Online courses often consist of required readings and lecture videos, which may be livestreamed or prerecorded. Distance learners can complete these assignments entirely online. Some courses also include discussion elements; in these cases, students typically participate in group chats with their professors and fellow classmates. Some online courses also feature in-person components, such as site-based practicum training. These courses are known as "blended" because they integrate online and brick-and-mortar elements.
A distance-learning degree earned at Texas A&M University can provide students with the same tools for success that are available to students attending classes on campus. Current, fully-online offerings include 47 graduate degrees and 25 different grad certificates. As one of the best online schools, Texas A&M prides itself on ensuring that virtual students feel as much a part of the Aggie family as their on-campus peers; all online students are eligible for the same school-provided networking opportunities. Financial aid and scholarships are available to online Aggies as well.
Boston's Northeastern University serves as home to a total of 10 online bachelor's programs. These include degrees in business-oriented fields such as finance and accounting management, leadership, analytics, and project management. Other options include online bachelor's degrees in digital communication and media, health management, and psychology. Graduate students can choose from 40 online master's pathways, most of which focus on management and/or education, along with doctoral degrees in education or transitional physical therapy.
WSU’s Global Campus strives to provide online students with a true campus experience—including online events, career fairs, webinars from university experts, and a digital pavilion where students can showcase their research. And at WSU Global Campus busy students—including undergraduates—can take accelerated online courses which propel them through coursework at a faster than usual pace. Top degree programs include:
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the oldest and largest institution in the Minnesota university system. The school offers a total of 18 online bachelor's degree pathways, including six tracks related to general business studies and programs in specialized fields such as tribal administration and governance, manufacturing management, agricultural business, and sport and recreation management. Other online offerings include six undergraduate certificates and a learning technologies minor. Graduate students at UMN-Twin Cities can choose from 14 online master's degrees and nine online doctoral degrees, most of which focus on healthcare fields.
For bigger assignments, such as outlines and essays, it is beneficial to set a personal deadline to finish 2 days before the actual deadline. Two days is an ideal time to do extra revision and editing to any work. It allows 1 day for rest and 1 day to revisit the work with clear eyes. That one day could mean catching errors in grammar that were missed in the original revision process and making a satisfactory grade into an excellent one.
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
*PBV is a proprietary metric that compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or a similar) qualitative score. It also compares the qualitative score of the program to the score of other programs with the same (or similar) cost. In short, the PBV calculation denotes the overall value – or ‘bang for your buck’ – of an online degree.
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.

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.
My tip for succeeding at online study is to make sure you learn how to navigate around your classroom home tabs. This is where you will find your weekly assignments and activities. You will also find your teacher info and fellow classmates for if you have questions. Learn your school website so you know how to access your library, upcoming classes, website info, technical support, and more. Also make sure you know how to contact your school, teachers, and other people when you have a question or concern. Take time to click on each tab on the school website to see what they all do and mean before you get started.
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. The Higher Learning Commission conducted an interim Comprehensive Evaluation in 2018, and the next Comprehensive Evaluation for Reaffirmation of Accreditation is scheduled for 2022–23.
Dedicate a specified time for school work each day and isolate yourself from distractions. When I was enrolled in my online Spanish class during the summer in high school, I made it a point to work at least 2 hours a day on the course directly after lunch. If it is routine, then it will be easy to maintain. I also placed myself at the table with only the computer so that nothing else could gain my attention.

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.
Online bachelor's programs at Arkansas State are mostly asynchronous and do not carry any face-to-face requirements. These pathways span 120 credits or more, but many students complete their degree requirements in less than four years due to the self-paced format. The school offers multiple start dates throughout the calendar year. Additionally, distance learners may request online tutoring in a handful of business, STEM, and social sciences subjects.
Specific requirements vary by program, but most online students log into their school's learning management system (LMS) to participate in course lectures. Asynchronous programs allow students to view lecture recordings on their own time. Alternatively, synchronous programs may require students to watch live-streaming lectures. In some cases, synchronous courses feature video conferencing components that allow students to ask questions and interact with their professors and fellow students.
City University students finish at twice the national rate”. Based out of Seattle, Washington, the private, non profit university is well-known as a top university for both on campus and online students. Graduates from the Undergraduate, Graduate and Doctoral programs career paths include Teacher, Project Manager, Counselor, and much more. CityU has locations worldwide, including international locations in China, Slovakia, and Vietnam. Several need and merit-based scholarships are available for students seeking financial assistance.
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
Judson College is a private institution in Alabama that draws from its Baptist roots to form high standards of education and conduct. Being an undergraduate school with limited degree options, Judson College is best for students that want to earn a bachelor's degree in arts and sciences. However, the degrees that Judson College offers are well-regarded, and their track record has led them to become a respected institution. The online school at Judson College is also worth noting as it is one of the best online schools for an undergraduate degree. Just because students can study and earn their degree online doesn't mean that the courses or requirements are any easier, though. By earning an online degree from Judson, students will be just as prepared as any other graduate to begin their career.
My tip for succeeding at online study is to make sure you learn how to navigate around your classroom home tabs. This is where you will find your weekly assignments and activities. You will also find your teacher info and fellow classmates for if you have questions. Learn your school website so you know how to access your library, upcoming classes, website info, technical support, and more. Also make sure you know how to contact your school, teachers, and other people when you have a question or concern. Take time to click on each tab on the school website to see what they all do and mean before you get started.
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.
Examine the different majors offered by a variety of top online colleges that relate to the field of study you are interested in. Research what specific courses are required in each major. Also consider what specific hard and soft skills will be most valuable to the work you want to be doing. You can explore our collection of academic program rankings to learn more about other fields of study and potential career paths.

Well known as one of the most innovative institutions in the country, Arizona State University has established itself as a leader in online education. ASU is one of the best online colleges in terms of accessibility, degree offerings and quality, and a lot of their success is due to their innovative spirit. Students that choose to study online will find that there is no shortage of options at any level. ASU has an impressive list of online programs offered, which can be completed entirely online. The online programs are accredited, and classes start each quarter, so students can study toward a degree at their own pace. These degrees are perfect for students who are unable to commute to campus but still want to earn an ASU education.
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.
Have a planner for school only. In my planner I can organize my daily tasks or assignments that need to be completed. I will write down how many times I will have to be involved in discussion. I will also schedule my study sessions and which topic I will be working on for that day. This really helps me to stay on top of due dates and keeps me on track to be successful in my classes.
University of the People has been widely successful, garnering partnerships with NYU, Yale, UC Berkeley, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and more. The university is approved by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education and is fully accredited by the United States Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
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.
Usually, assignments in online colleges are submitted through an educational platform such as Blackboard, Desire to Learn (D2L), or something comparable. There will usually be an embedded feature which allows you to upload your assignment so that your instructor can see, review, and grade it. If you cannot find this feature, email your instructor for help.
If you're considering online college, you have many school options available to you. Browse our list of fully accredited, U.S.-based colleges offering quality education in a broad variety of subject areas that can lead you to your next rewarding career. Below our school listings, learn more about the basics of online education, including how to find a match among the different types of college and learning styles offered by degree programs.

Online associate degrees typically can be completed in two years and are available for a variety of programs. Graduates of an associate degree program will often be more competitive in the job market, especially in technical and vocational fields, compared to those with only a high school diploma or GED. Online associate degrees are also a solid stepping stone for those looking to continue on to more advanced degrees.
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.
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.
With more than 90,000 online students, Southern New Hampshire University is one of the fastest-growing postsecondary institutions in the U.S. The school offers online bachelor's degrees in a total of 40 fields. These options include business administration, criminal justice, geosciences, and information technology. Graduate students can choose from 29 MBA tracks and five pathways in curriculum and instruction.
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.
Western Governors University is a non-profit regionally accredited school that has a 72% recommendation rate from 622 student reviews. WGU offers 23 bachelor's degrees, 31 master’s degrees, and 3 certificates and diplomas. The most unique aspect of Western Governors University is their competency based learning policy. This policy allows students to accelerate their program if they already have the knowledge or experience regardless of how it was gained. In fact, on average students finish their programs in three years or less. Students take assessments in the form of assignments, projects, or tests to prove their competency and move forward in the program. Tuition for online undergraduate students is an affordable $6,380 per year.
Northern Arizona University offers two pathways for distance learners: traditional online or competency-based online programs. Traditional online degrees mirror brick-and-mortar bachelor's programs in terms of course and credit requirements. Traditional online bachelor's options include specialized fields such as hotel and restaurant management, parks and recreation management, and 10 fields related to health professions. The school also makes 21 master's degrees and a doctorate in nursing practice available in the traditional online format.
Online courses frequently include at least one examination. To mitigate the risk of cheating, distance learners may need to take the exam at a testing facility with a proctor. Alternatively, the course's professor may administer the exam online and monitor students using webcams or anti-cheating software. However they are administered, these exams are typically as rigorous and demanding as those completed in classrooms.

Oregon State follows a quarterly calendar and provides four start times throughout the academic year for online students. Tuition for undergraduate online courses costs the same irrespective of a students residency status. Military veterans and servicemembers also qualify for certain tuition benefits, including financial aid that covers the cost of up to 16 credits per year. Oregon State University receives regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
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