Distance learning is here to stay. Initially on the fringes of formal education, online colleges, courses and degree programs have quickly become mainstream. Even traditional campus-based institutions have incorporated online learning into their curricula. In 2013, seven million college students — nearly 50 percent of all those enrolled — took at least one online class, with an estimated 20 percent earning an entire degree program remotely. The Sloan Consortium reports that 74 percent of today's academic leaders rate the educational outcomes of online learning as equal to or superior to those of face-to-face systems. More recruiters than ever before are embracing online credentials. Read More
Another important consideration is the cost of tuition compared to the net price of attendance. Tuition is the listed rate found on the school's website, while net price refers to the amount students pay after loans, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid are applied. For example, the College Board notes that the average student attending a four-year public institution in 2017-18 paid $21,370 in tuition and room and board. However, these students also received an average of $6,490 in financial aid, bringing their average net price to $14,880 — nearly 30% less than the listed price for tuition and room and board.
As you read through these college study tips and techniques below, we challenge you to experiment and see which work best for you. They may not all work for you but it is highly likely that as you try, there will be some that work wonders and you will start to see success in your homework, studying, memorizing, reading, writing essays, and test taking.

When adults—especially moms and dads—think about going back to school, many see no way to squeeze college into their hectic routines. But it is possible—and we’re here with tips for success in online courses. Attending college online helps with that time crunch. Not having to commute to a campus saves adult students several hours per week. These stolen hours can then be applied to home study time. Truth is, the average working American has about 30 hours of free time per week. That’s right: 30 hours. The key is learning how to manage your time tightly.

University of Florida students benefit from some of the best online programs in the country: many of their over 100 online programs consistently rank top in the nation. Incoming transfer students will be able to put many of their previously earned credits to use at the University of Florida, ensuring the completion of their degree will involve as little backtracking as possible. Incoming freshman can get a leg up while easing into college with UF Online’s PaCE Program, which allows them to begin school online and later transfer to on-campus programs.
Dedicate a specific amount of time each day or each week to studying and commit to it. A lot can come up in life, and there will always be many distractions. If you are a morning person, then wake up an hour earlier and spend some time studying. If you are a night owl, then dedicate some of that Facebook and Instagram time on an evening to studying.
The University of Massachusetts-Lowell, the second-largest degree-granting institution in its state, offers a handful of online undergraduate degrees. These include fully online bachelor's pathways in business administration, management, English, liberal arts, and psychology -- along with a degree in information technology with a business minor. Other bachelor's degrees at UMass Lowell, such as the RN-to-BSN track and engineering fields, are available in a blended format. The school also offers 12 master's degrees and a doctorate in educational leadership fully online.
Best known for their dominant athletics, the University of Alabama is much more than just an athletics school. Considered one of the best schools, if not the best, in the state of Alabama, The University of Alabama has a long reputation for helping educate students that go on to do great things. The same can be said about Alabama's online school. One of the best online schools in the nation, Alabama's distance learning program offers the same high-quality, accredited education that they do on campus. Along with that, the distance learning program gives students - including military personnel and adults - the chance to study at their own pace and freedom. Alabama offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees through their online school, so students at all levels can find something to fit their needs.
As part of an agreement with the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), Old Dominion offers guaranteed admission to all degree-holding VCCS graduates. Students may transfer up to 90 credits toward their undergraduate degrees. Additionally, some bachelor's programs enable students to earn graduate-level credits while pursuing their undergraduate degree. For example, those enrolled in the online bachelor's in business administration can take credits toward an MBA or master's in public administration degree.

Why do we focus our work on accredited online colleges? With the expansion of traditionally campus-based institutions into online degree programs, there are more options than ever for prospective online students. This also increases the need for research before committing to an online college. An accredited online college will guarantee that your degree is seen as valuable by other learning institutions and future employers, providing you assurance that your online degree will be a good investment. There are many
The school also offers bridge programs that enable students to earn a bachelor's and master's in the same field on an accelerated timeline. Ottawa University's generous transfer policy allows students to apply up to 80 previously earned credits toward their undergraduate degrees. Instructors deliver all courses fully online, asynchronously, and in timeframes that span eight weeks.
All active-duty personnel and spouses qualify for in-state tuition. Many online bachelor's degrees at ECU are cohort-based, allowing students to take courses with the same group for the duration of their program. The university also offers a handful of video tutorials to help online students get started. East Carolina University receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Form a Parent Pool with Fellow Online Students Many online students attend local colleges. If that’s you, this means your fellow online students likely live close to you—and they may be parents, too. Tap those connections. Ask people in your class if they want to start a parent pool. You could watch your classmate’s kids on Wednesday nights when she has calculus in exchange for her watching your kids during your Monday night computer programming course.
The online degree programs offered at East Carolina University utilize a course management system that ensures convenient accessibility for both the student and their professor. Several programs offered at ECU can be completed without ever attending any traditional, in-person classes, but some students prefer splitting their time between campus and home. This kind of hybrid program is beneficial for its flexibility, but still allows students to build the social connections that make the college experience truly rich. From point of enrollment to graduation, online students will receive academic support from several departments, including academic advisement and online tutoring to aid in their success.
There are a few considerations to make before choosing a degree level to pursue. One, what level of education have you achieved already? Two, what are your career goals? There are many online bachelor's degrees out there, but depending on your career aspirations you may also want to consider online associate degrees and online master's degrees. The following list can help you better understand these options:
According to a report from the Society of Human Resource Management, more than half of private organizations offer tuition reimbursement plans to employees who wish to earn a postsecondary degree or certificate. These plans are mutually beneficial. Employees who receive assistance can offset some of the out-of-pocket costs for their education, and employers strengthen their workforce with workers who have advanced training in their field. However, tuition reimbursement will not cover all of the student's expenses. The average organization reimburses roughly $4,600 in tuition expenses per year. Additionally, the employee may be required to work for the organization for a certain length of time after they have received their degree or certificate.
Maybe you’re balancing a full time job and family, but still want to earn a degree. Good news is that anyone can earn a degree online. The right online program can help you advance your career, or even help you enter a new industry. For those interested in furthering their education, there are thousands of online colleges to choose from. While there are several excellent online colleges to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the right school for your needs. To help you in your search, we have put together a list of our top online colleges to help narrow it down.
With monthly starts and accelerated eight-week courses, CSU-Global makes higher education both immediately accessible and remarkably efficient. The University also insists on absolute transparency in costs and fees—which includes a tuition guarantee so you know exactly what you will have to pay. They also integrate a data-driven approach that measures key student performance metrics to ensure that their courses are doing what they need to.
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.
As widespread acceptance of online education surges among nonprofit institutions, we predict that the number of accredited online colleges – and their quality – will increase. This rapid growth can make choosing an online college feel intimidating. To develop a short list of options that make sense for you and your goals, you need to compare a wide range of components, such as accreditation, tuition and fees, support services, faculty, and career preparation.
When I first started studying online, I found it difficult to listen to videos 3 hours straight and remember everything. Take breaks! Also, you could record teaching videos if they are only streamed online. Divide the video into several parts, depending on topics and sub-topics. Give the file a name (Psychology: An Introduction) and a date (27.09.2015) so it is easier to find at a later point. Write down in bullet points what you can hear (Psychology is…) in each section and put the time (01:35 or 00:57-2:13) behind it.
The university has a free tuition program called the Carolina Covenant. Students from any state are considered but there are potentially some on-campus requirements depending on the courses you select. The Carolina Covenant guarantees students the opportunity for undergraduate-level students to graduate debt-free as long as they meet the following requirements: Parents income must be no more than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, students must meet citizenship and federal aid eligibility requirements, and students must be enrolled full-time. This free tuition program is specifically for low-income families.
The university is home to the Peabody College of Education and Human Development, which is where its distance education options are housed. The two degrees you can earn 100% online at Vanderbilt are a Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning in Organizations and a Master of Education in Human Development Counseling. Classes feature interactive coursework that is accessible 24/7 where you can read case studies and view recorded lectures. Students will also take place in weekly discussions, collaborative projects, and have opportunities for on-campus immersions, internships, and more. Studying online at Vanderbilt will give you a world-class education and foster strong peer relationships without interrupting your lifestyle and responsibilities.
Webster University strives to be a global school, so along with their main campus they've opened up locations around the world. The goal is not only to give students the chance to see something new, but to show that they are including the global community. They also connect the local and global community through their online learning program which is available to people around the world. Through their online program, students can study toward one of more than 50 degree programs, all of which can be completed entirely online. Consistently ranked as one of the top online schools in the nation, Webster does an excellent job of keeping their online curriculum challenging, making sure that their graduates are prepared for the professional world after graduation.

Most online bachelor's degrees at Concordia are designed as completion programs for transfer students with previously earned credits, and online courses span seven weeks in length. Roughly 95% of Concordia University graduates receive at least one offer within a year of their college graduation. The school also ranks first among all private Minnesota institutions in terms of graduate earnings, and Concordia alumni outearn the average graduate by more than 40%.
Most online bachelor's degrees at SNHU are fully online and consist entirely of asynchronous coursework, and the school also makes some blended options available. The university allows transfer students to apply up to 90 credits toward their bachelor's degrees. Additionally, the school does not require a minimum GPA for undergraduate admission. Students with lower-than-average GPA scores qualify for provisional admission and may be placed in smaller classes to ensure more individualized attention.
Concordia University-Chicago is one of the best online colleges for students who want to combine a liberal arts education with the tenets of the Lutheran tradition. As one of only 10 schools part of the Lutheran college system, Concordia University-Chicago has a long tradition of promoting the faith and helping students explore their spirituality as they complete their degrees. As a result, the school has been listed multiple times on the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for the acts of service performed by students, professors, and staff. In the classroom, the university has a variety of degree programs, including bachelor's degrees in human resource management, organizational management, kinesiology, sports and recreation management, and health care management. Those who want to earn a graduate degree can enroll in the school's grant writing, management and evaluation, religion, leadership studies, early childhood education, and curriculum and instruction master's degree programs.
Due to its religious affiliations, students at LeTourneau must complete courses in biblical study and other related fields as part of their general education requirements; weekly chapel services are also required. The school boasts a graduation job placement rate of 95% or higher for all academic programs. LeTourneau University receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

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:
CBU Online delivers courses in accelerated 8-week courses, with three semesters offered year-round so students move through courses efficiently, helping you graduate faster. And CBU is committed to being transfer-friendly so students can consolidate their undergraduate college credits and finish their degree.  Students also benefit from Academic Success Center support, including SmartThinking—24/7 online tutoring support for multiple subjects.
A pioneer in distance learning, Florida’s Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has been offering online programs since the school first launched their online portal in 1993. The school, which is one of the top-ranking STEM-focused universities in the country, uses cutting-edge technology to deliver its undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to nontraditional students.
Before you apply to an online program, make sure you know what online learning is all about. It’s not for everyone! Is face-to-face interaction with teachers and classmates important to you? Some students find they learn better in a physical classroom while others are comfortable learning independently. How good are you at managing your time? Online learning requires high autonomy and high accountability.

When looking for the right place to pursue their higher education goals, students often examine a variety of factors. One of the most important tends to be affordability. Those colleges that create a rigorous educational experience for a reasonable, affordable price are obviously quite attractive to fiscally-minded students. The schools below have met that goal of blending a high-quality education with a manageable cost. Our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Colleges for 2018 takes into account which schools provide the most programs, financial aid options with lower rates and services necessary for online students while also keeping tuition and fees at a reasonable level.


All online students pay the same per-credit tuition rate regardless of their major or state residency status. Active-duty military personnel receive a substantial tuition discount. Additionally, students do not need to pay for application fees or transfer credit evaluations. Concordia University receives regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

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).
Student loans are also available through banks, credit unions, and other private institutions. However, students are urged to seek federal loans over private loans for several reasons. For one, federal loans are offered at a fixed interest rate while private loans come with a variable rate that is often higher. Additionally, loan repayments for federal aid are not required until the student leaves school or graduates. For private loans, students often need to begin paying back the money while they are still in school. Other benefits of federal loans include the possibilities of loan consolidation and loan forgiveness.

Southeast Missouri State University provides several online pathways for undergraduates and graduate students. Online bachelor's degree options include tech-oriented subjects such as applied technology, computer information systems, and technology management. Other options include business administration, criminal justice, family studies, and RN-to-BSN completion program. Graduate students may select from a total of 18 online master's tracks, most of which focus on management and/or education.
For over a century, Colorado Christian University has been providing students in Colorado with some of the best education in the state and nation. Nationally recognized as one of the best online schools for adult learners, CCU's online degree programs are largely designed to give adults a stronger education. This often translates to a better career, or the opportunity to advance through their current career. One impressive part of CCU's online school is the number of degree programs offered at each level. Students can study toward an undergraduate, graduate or associate degree, and these degrees can be completed entirely online. For adult learners looking to make a change or jump in their career, the flexibility and size of this program is a big part of why it's nationally respected.
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.
The university offers flat-rate tuition for all online students regardless of their state residency. Additionally, discounted tuition rates are available for military veterans and personnel and for students seeking a bachelor's in addiction counseling or an RN-to-BSN degree. Ottawa University receives regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the country's largest accredited institution that primarily offers degrees in aviation and aerospace technology. Undergraduates choose from 16 online bachelor's programs, including subjects such as aviation business administration, homeland security, safety management, and unmanned systems applications. The selection for graduate students focuses on similar topics, as options include online master's degrees in aviation and aerospace sustainability, cybersecurity management and policy, and systems engineering. The school also offers a Ph.D. in aviation.
Fitting school into a busy schedule is rarely a simple process; that’s why North Carolina State University at Raleigh offers several of their programs in a format that can be completed from a distance. NC State currently offers more than 90 degrees and certificates and more than 350 different courses fully-online, meaning students can fit earning a degree into their lives more easily. Students taking online courses will have opportunities to make use of facetime with their professor through video chat sessions, and will participate in discussion boards that will allow them to socialize with their peers. Online students are eligible forfinancial aid.
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.
Our rankings of the best online colleges and universities are a jumping off point to help you build your own list of prospective programs that meet your needs. Remember, many factors that contribute to the quality of a degree program are intangible. You won't find data points here or elsewhere that fully capture the level of faculty support, peer networking or academic and professional stimulation found in one program versus another. Please contact your schools directly for more information.

Fort Hays State boasts numerous accolades for its online degrees and virtual college. Several of the school's online bachelor's pathways serve as degree completion programs geared toward transfer students with an associate degree; most students complete these tracks in two years or less. Additionally, some programs carry a foreign language coursework requirement.

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