Located in Riverside, California, California Baptist University (CBU)is a private, Christian, liberal arts university with extensive online programming.  CBU offers top-ranked online programs—currently, there are over 40 degree options—at the bachelor, masters, and doctoral levels. And CBU Online has been lauded by national rankings like U.S. News and World Report for their high-quality programs.
As a student, you have many options available to fund your education. Some of the most common financial options include Federal Financial Aid, scholarships, grants, the cash plan, the third-party billing plan, the military or government billing plan, tribal funding and third-party private student loans. Learn about each option to determine your eligibility. 
While you might think “duh, that’s obvious,” a reliable Internet connection is not always available in your area or deemed too expensive. You’ll need to have a cable modem or a fast DSL connection in order to connect to your courses. Reliable is the key word here. If your Internet connection has a tendency to crash your browser or drop altogether, you’ll need to diagnose the source of a problem or find a new way to access the Web.
Only about 1/5th of all students live on campus at the University, the rest live elsewhere in the area, are distance-learners, or are in the military. To be eligible for the free tuition program at the University–which covers everything except for fees– students’ families must have an income of less than $60,000 annually. Students that are covered by this program typically receive additional scholarships and grants to bridge that gap and cover the entirety of their higher education costs.
Ask questions as soon as you have them. There's nothing worse than convincing yourself that you will eventually learn the subject and find out a week later that you still do not understand the topic. Generally with online classes, one week is built off the knowledge of the past week. If you do not understand week 1, you will have greater difficulty in week 2, and so on.
Today’s students should expect convenient access, affordability and academic value from online colleges. That’s why we only consider accredited online colleges for our rankings. The accreditation process guarantees that a school’s facilities, instructors, and curriculum meet a rigorous set of standards established by industry leaders. To ensure they invest in a universally respected degree, students should only consider accredited online colleges, like those on our list.

Tuition rates vary by degree subject, but most courses cost the same per credit regardless of the student's state residency status. Military servicemembers and veterans qualify for discounted tuition rates and fee waivers. Additionally, prospective students with a military background seeking a non-nursing degree do not need to submit an application in order to earn admission.
If your goal is to apply scientific skills to real world problems, engineering is a field you should explore. Online engineering programs are available at the introductory level for new students, with a number of options at both the associate and bachelor’s level. For those more experienced in the field, online master’s and doctoral degrees in engineering are available as well. Interested students should also research what engineering specializations appeal them, as online programs are available in areas such as electrical engineering, civil engineering, software engineering and mechanical engineering. Graduates of an online engineering degree program may find work at research labs, governmental agencies, large corporations, construction sites, or small companies.
Several online programs, ranging from certificate to graduate, are available to students enrolled at Southwestern College. Online students may choose to complete one of these programs without ever having to actually be present on the Southwestern College campus. Other students interested in online learning may wish to consider a hybrid learning format, where they will split their academics between online and in-person learning. Hybrid students can make use of the flexibility afforded through online learning while also participating in many of the extracurricular activities available on the Southwestern College campus. Online classes are just as likely to be covered by financial aid as traditional courses.

In some cases, individual programs may also be accredited by an independent board. One example is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, which evaluates academic programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. These agencies assess the competence of both on-campus and online degree programs giving students the peace of mind that their school's department offers a reputable program.
Online students attending Lehigh University can receive a well-rounded education that will help them to obtain a position in their field of interest. Online learning at Lehigh is characterized by specialized virtual programs, experienced faculty members, and convenient accessibility. Students will be able to stay in contact with their peers and professors through video chats, discussion boards, and emails. If a student is looking to experience a more traditional college experience, but also wants to maintain the flexibility of online learning, they may wish to consider dividing their study time between home and school with a hybrid program.

Make a weekly plan the day before a new week starts so you know what you are going to do as far as homework and research. Divide everything up during the week so you know what to complete on a daily basis. Review materials in small portions so you’re not cramming everything into one day, stressing out, and trying to hurry and get everything done at the last minute.
Many students enter online programs with previous college credits. However, transferring these credits is easier for those who earn credits from regionally accredited schools than for those who receive credits from nationally accredited schools. Additionally, most online institutions place a maximum on transferable credits. For example, many programs limit undergraduates to 90 transfer credits. In addition, older credits for courses in rapidly evolving fields, such as information technology, may not be accepted if a certain amount of time has elapsed.

According to Wired Magazine, The Federal Reserve Bank of New York tallies the nationwide student loan debt at $902 billion. After factoring in lack of commute time, parking and related fees, the cost of online classes stack up to those taken in-person. Furthermore, many traditional campus-based colleges that have established online degree components are able to provide digital course materials, cutting textbook sticker-shock to students.
As a graduate of University of Phoenix, you are automatically a part of the University of Phoenix Alumni Association. To access the benefits on the alumni website just log in using your eCampus login credentials. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a long-time University of Phoenix alum, the Alumni Association is your gateway to your alumni network — 1,023,112 strong, and growing.
Founded in 1890, Oklahoma State University-Main Campus serves more than 35,000 at its main campus in Stillwater, online through OCampus, at campus locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and the OSU Institute of Technology in Okmulgee. Popular majors include agriculture operations; business (management and marketing); biological and biomedical sciences; and engineering. OSU also serves distance students as one of the best online colleges in the region, with more than 32 online degree programs leading to baccalaureate and master's degrees through OCampus. Certificate students can select among 10 online programs in the fields of business, engineering, finance, and online teaching.
University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (http://hlcommission.org). Since 1978, University of Phoenix has been continually accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor. University of Phoenix obtained its most recent 10-year Reaffirmation of Accreditation in 2012–13. A comprehensive evaluation is scheduled for 2016–17, and the next Reaffirmation of Accreditation is scheduled for 2022–23.
Some online students prefer the self-paced schedule of asynchronous programs, along with the possibility of early graduation. Others appreciate the structure of synchronous programs and the idea of taking multiple courses with the same cohort of students. With this in mind, you should choose programs based in part on your preferred learning format.
Certificates are available online for students at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Online certificates can serve as a supplement to a degree, or as a standalone qualification. There are over 5,000 online certificate programs to choose from, many leading to job opportunities as physical therapy assistants, occupational therapy assistants, dental assistants, and veterinary technicians.
Yale University is a private Ivy League research university that was founded in 1701, making it the third oldest institution of its kind and also one of the nine Colonial Colleges. It is located in New Haven, Connecticut. Yale University is the alma mater of 5 former U.S. Presidents, and 19 Supreme Court Justices. More interesting trivia about Yale is that their mascot Handsome Dan is believed to be the first in the United States.
Davenport University, founded in 1866, is a private, non-profit university serving 7,500 students at its Michigan campuses and through its extensive online programs. There are more than 50 academic programs at Davenport's Colleges of Business, Arts & Sciences, Technology, Urban Education, and Health Professions. Among the best online schools in the Midwest, Davenport University has been an annual recipient, from 2012-2017, of the INSIGHT into Diversity's "Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award". At DU, online students can prepare for the workplace or advance their careers in some of the most in-demand fields of employment. There are 25 online master's degrees and graduate certificates at DU. Online baccalaureate degree majors include accounting, finance, computer science, nursing, general business, human resource management, international business, leadership and organizational performance, management, marketing, and sport management. Students may also complete an associate degree in computer science, health information technology, accounting, business administration and finance.
You can find faculty and other students who share your discipline at our SAS research centers. These scholarly communities help students and faculty find others with similar research interests and build relationships. You can take advantage of research courses that help to inform you about methodologies, writing style and requirements. If you have specific questions that require a quick response while you write your dissertation, you can contact a research faculty member who will answer within 24–48 hours.
One has to look no further than the student success stories posted on the University of Southern Mississippi's website to understand why it's among the best online schools, as it has provided students from different backgrounds the opportunity to obtain a quality education that fits their lifestyle. In addition to providing convenience, the school also gives students variety in terms of the degree programs they can choose from. For example, on the undergraduate level, students can earn bachelor's degrees in areas such as interdisciplinary studies, industrial engineering technology, library and information science, special education, child and family studies, and applied technology. In addition, prospective graduate students can choose from master's degrees in public health, instructional technology, kinesiology, nutrition and food systems, and library and information science and doctoral degrees in nursing leadership and international development. Also, there are graduate certificates in management of child nutrition programs, sport security management, youth services and literature, and archives and special collections and undergraduate certificates in management of child nutrition programs and casino management.
Second, make sure all target schools have been accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies and/or, if it's an online-only school, by the Distance Education and Training Council. Accreditation means potential colleges and its target programs have been thoroughly vetted by an independent higher education agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education (check out the best accredited online colleges of 2016). Finally, make sure you know exactly what you need from an online degree. The flexibility offered by many programs is great, but the curriculum, professors and resources should have the same quality as their campus counterparts. Don't be afraid to call up counselors and talk to current and former students.

People do not handle going back to school in the same way. Some are very excited about being a college kid, so they tell the world about their new online courses. Others are embarrassed that they do not have a formal education. The latter tend to keep quiet that they are going to college online because they do not want to draw attention to the fact that they have not yet earned a college degree. (You would be surprised to learn how many highly successful people nearing retirement age go through their entire careers without the aid of a college degree!) Keeping quiet about college will make it difficult for you to garner support at work. For example, you may need to leave work 15 minutes early on Wednesdays to attend your required online class chat session. Many employers will subsidize at least a part of employee’s tuition and training bills. Don’t forget to ask about tuition assistance plans at your place of employment. If you work for a small company, try asking for tuition assistance to cover the expense of specific online courses that may directly correlate to your work.


Brown University currently offers online masters programs, undergraduate courses, and pre-college courses that help to prepare aspiring students of the university. Programs include an MBA, a Master in Cybersecurity, a Master of Healthcare Leadership, and a Master in Science and Technology Leadership. Online classes for undergraduate students and incoming students take place throughout the academic year as well as during special summer and winter sessions. Throughout the year, online classes are the traditional length of 15 weeks. Summer session courses are seven weeks and winter session courses are only four weeks.

While Wayland Baptist University was founded with Baptist roots, the school has grown into a large university that offers plenty of different degree options for students. One of the options offered by Wayland Baptist is their online program, designed to give students the flexibility to study at their own pace. Most students that choose to study through the online school are studying toward a master's degree. Wayland Baptist is considered one of the best schools in the nation to earn a master's degree in fields like divinity and Christian ministry, two popular options for online students. Aside from graduate degrees, Wayland Baptist also offers undergraduate degrees through their online school.
In addition to loans, students may apply for scholarships and grants for extra financial aid. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants never need to be paid back — and some cover a year's worth of tuition or more. Scholarships and grants are available through a wide range of sources, including private businesses, nonprofit organizations, community foundations, and religious institutions. Additionally, most colleges and universities offer scholarships and grants to students who attend or are planning to attend school there.
Central Michigan University is a public research university—the largest university in Michigan—and a highly regarded provider of online education. CMU Global Campus (which houses their online programs) offers 27 degrees and multiple professional certificates from undergraduate through doctoral levels. CMU has been highly ranked for their online Bachelors, Graduate Education, and MBA programs (U.S. News & World Report).

Educators can use continuing education for license renewal, for professional development, toward endorsements and pay scale increases, and for personal growth. Our credit-bearing teacher curriculum is designed for new and seasoned educators who want to develop or reinforce their knowledge of classroom concepts and techniques, or to enhance their career.


Mary Baldwin University -- a smaller, private liberal arts institution in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley -- has cultivated a niche in helping professional adults earn their degrees later in life. Mary Baldwin’s online courses and programs can help students move forward in their careers without making sacrifices to other obligations. MBU’s online degrees are a popular option with many students due to the university’s credit transfer policy: Mary Baldwin allows transfer of up to 90 credit hours, cutting into the cost of earning a degree.

A notable upside of online learning is the absence of a commute to and from campus. Brick-and-mortar students must often pay for campus parking spaces or public transportation, each of which can increase monthly costs by a significant margin. However, online students in programs with on-site requirements may need to pay for or arrange transportation.


The Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph founded Brescia University in 1950. While offering an extensive range of academic programs on its campus in Owensboro, the Roman Catholic university began offering online courses in 2007. Ranked among the Top-30 Regional Colleges in the South, Brescia has also become one of the best online schools in the region. Students will benefit from online tuition, which has been frozen at its current level through 2022. Online courses are offered in accelerated 8-week formats. Programs at Brescia Online culminate in four associate degrees, six bachelor degrees (including degree-completion), and two master's degrees. Students can also complete an online certificate in accounting.
Concordia University Saint Paul also delivers an exceptionally high return on investment—with students making the highest average salary among Minnesota private schools four years after graduation. CSP also makes transferring credit easy with Transferology—a web-based course transfer system that helps transfer students determine how courses will transfer to CSP.  And through Concordia’s Transfer Advantage program students can transfer credits from a partner institution seamlessly.
Duke is committed to educating all students, and they accept students based on a “need-blind” policy, allowing students in based on merit alone, regardless of their ability to afford the tuition. As part of this, Duke has promised to meet 100% of the demonstrated need for their students. To receive a full-tuition scholarship, the student’s family must make less than $60,000 annually. However, there are additional aid programs to help students bridge the gap even if they’re ineligible for the free online school full-tuition coverage.
UMC Online offers access to world-class teaching, learning, and research resources, as well as internship and undergraduate research opportunities. Students experience small class sizes and individualized attention—with a faculty that serves as true mentors for online learners. And UMC’s online courses utilize a broad variety of technological tools that make learning online intuitive and engaging. Top degree programs include:
Meet FAFSA®, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If you’re applying for financial aid, and you should be regardless of whether you attend a traditional program or an online college, it’s your new best friend. Don’t quake in your boots at the thought of having to complete a federal form. Compared with doing your taxes, the FAFSA® is a piece of cake. Millions of people have gone through the process and survived. You will, too.
Online master’s degree programs are a valuable option to students hoping to pursue graduate level education at a flexible pace, as many programs are designed to allow students to continue working while completing their studies. Online master’s degrees typically take two years to complete, and are available online in most subjects. Many schools, such as Dallas Baptist University, Liberty University, and Southern New Hampshire University Online offer over 100 different online graduate degree options.
Accreditation is regional, national, and programmatic in nature, with 15 accrediting agencies currently recognized by the Department of Education to conduct regional and national accreditation. Specialized accrediting organizations handle subject- and program-based review in areas such as community and social services, healthcare, law, and counseling. Choosing an accredited program of study is important because students receive a level of assurance their institution provides an education that is of value. It also important because it ensures the following:
The best online schools don't just teach students and give them a degree – they also see the students through school and help them along the way. Stevens Institute of Technology has spent a lot of time on their online program, making sure that it’s one of the best online colleges in New Jersey. There are plenty of programs available, including 17 different master’s degrees, all of which are fully accredited and available entirely online. Along with their different programs, Stevens also offers students additional benefits. For example, their online platform is considered one of the best, making it easier for students to learn and earn their degree. Students also have access to instructors and often collaborate with other students, making their online program feel more like a traditional college experience.
Accreditation is regional, national, and programmatic in nature, with 15 accrediting agencies currently recognized by the Department of Education to conduct regional and national accreditation. Specialized accrediting organizations handle subject- and program-based review in areas such as community and social services, healthcare, law, and counseling. Choosing an accredited program of study is important because students receive a level of assurance their institution provides an education that is of value. It also important because it ensures the following:
At the University of Alabama, non-traditional learners can reach their academic goals through online courses and degree programs. Fields of study include law, nursing, business and arts and sciences along with many others to meet the increasing demand for non-traditional learning formats. Students can research and enroll in their courses through the school's online portal, myBama and then access e-course content through the online learning management system, Blackboard. A technical support team is also available for help with technical issues or general technical questions.
California Coast University offers a low undergraduate tuition rate of $4,725 per year with interest-free payment plans starting at $100/month. In the online module, there are 13 undergraduate degree programs, 14 graduate degree programs, and 16 certificate or diploma programs. The average recommendation rate for this university is a solid 90% based on the reviews of 62 different students. The fully online degree and certificate programs have no set meetings times or group projects. Students are not required to be on campus or take exams on a specific date. CCU also offers academic credit for work experience or training for professionals hoping to earn an undergraduate degree. Graduate degree programs are $230-$290 per credit hour depending on the program.
Choosing your field of study is the first step in your online education, a process that takes time, commitment, and energy. The online degree program you decide to pursue will affect your career path, income potential, and level of employment. Online colleges offer a number of diverse options, and your area of interest may cross over several different degree programs. To help you find the online degree program that matches your interests and gives you best chance of financial success, explore our online degree comparison tool for information about earning potential, degree costs, and time commitments.
Online students attending Lehigh University can receive a well-rounded education that will help them to obtain a position in their field of interest. Online learning at Lehigh is characterized by specialized virtual programs, experienced faculty members, and convenient accessibility. Students will be able to stay in contact with their peers and professors through video chats, discussion boards, and emails. If a student is looking to experience a more traditional college experience, but also wants to maintain the flexibility of online learning, they may wish to consider dividing their study time between home and school with a hybrid program.

Park University was founded on 700 acres along shore of the Mississippi River in Parkville, MO, in 1875. The university today enrolls 16,933 students at its main campus, at 41 campus centers, and online. Undergraduate students can complete one of 38 bachelor and eight associate degrees. Graduate students have a selection of eight master's degrees. There are also 27 undergraduate and graduate-level certificate programs. Park University is one of the best online colleges in the region, offering 63 online degrees. Park Universities' business and management programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).

Some schools automatically deduct tuition and housing payments from the disbursements, and provide students with the remaining balance. Other colleges disburse all of the financial aid, requiring students to make tuition and housing payments themselves. The aid money that is left over may be used for books, food, transportation, and personal expenses.
Consider the rapid growth in the number of online degree programs available between 2012 and 2014. Over the last three academic years, we've seen a 45% increase in the number of online programs offered across the United States, for a total of 13,092 in 2014-2015. You can choose from over 550 individual degree programs alone that are offered by the 4-year colleges featured within our list of the best online universities.
Most students who study online are looking for a high-quality yet flexible program – the aspects that make Wayland Baptist University one of the top online schools in Texas. Their online school acts like any other school within a college, and they put their online students first. Students that do end up studying at WBU online to earn or complete their degree also receive a private, Christian education, instilling Christian ideals in students. This gives a more well-rounded education, something that goes on to help students throughout their careers. While students can earn or complete their bachelor's degree entirely online, most students come to WBU online to earn a master's degree. Each is fully accredited, and they offer the same WBU education as their on-campus programs. The school's history and dedication to their core values place them among the best online schools to get a Christian education.

Cornell University offers two fully-online degree programs at present. These are a Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering and a Master of Human Resource Management. The Master of Engineering is offered year-round in a self-paced format and the Master of Human Resource Management is an executive program that is only available over the summer. Both programs can be completed in a relatively short timeframe and are designed to meet the needs of a working adult. There are more than 70 certificate programs you can complete online at Cornell, spanning 16 different fields. In addition to this, the university also operates eCornell, their online counterpart that provides students with various certificates and professional development courses entirely online but not directly through the university.

Only about 1/5th of all students live on campus at the University, the rest live elsewhere in the area, are distance-learners, or are in the military. To be eligible for the free tuition program at the University–which covers everything except for fees– students’ families must have an income of less than $60,000 annually. Students that are covered by this program typically receive additional scholarships and grants to bridge that gap and cover the entirety of their higher education costs.


Columbia University is a private Ivy League Research University, which is officially known as Columbia University in the City of New York. It is one of the most exclusive and prestigious universities in the country, and in the Ivy League, with a very rich history. It was the first school in America to grant a Doctor of Medicine degree; was the birthplace of inventions such as the laser and the FM radio; and is also where the first uranium atom was split on North American territory.
Online students attending Lehigh University can receive a well-rounded education that will help them to obtain a position in their field of interest. Online learning at Lehigh is characterized by specialized virtual programs, experienced faculty members, and convenient accessibility. Students will be able to stay in contact with their peers and professors through video chats, discussion boards, and emails. If a student is looking to experience a more traditional college experience, but also wants to maintain the flexibility of online learning, they may wish to consider dividing their study time between home and school with a hybrid program.
With a focus on flexibility and accessibility,  CityU’s online classes are designed for working adults and students who need an education that will fit into their busy lives. CityU offers their online programs through a virtual classroom where students can log-in to check assignments, video, and discussions. Online students collaborate and discuss topics with one another and faculty on a portal within this virtual classroom and through the Blackboard system.
UF online programs have three start dates per year (in August, January, and May), and the school offers multiple pathways (like degree completion programs) for students depending on their educational background. In addition to the many degree programs offered online, the University of Florida also offers a number of professional development courses online for working professionals.

Thomas Edison State University counts among the many online colleges that offers a broad range of online undergraduate and graduate programs. Those seeking a bachelor's can choose from 32 online degree pathways, including nine business administration tracks and specialized technical fields such as nuclear engineering technology, data science and analytics, homeland security and emergency management, and cybersecurity. The college also offers 10 online master's degrees and an online doctorate in nursing practice.
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