Many adults return to college only to drop out three weeks into their studies. Why? One of the most common reasons is that online learning is hard work. It takes time. It takes discipline. It takes quiet. How can you guard against prematurely dropping out? The first step is to look around your house and find a place to claim as your own. Some students have found a quiet space in the garage, basement, attic or laundry room. After you’ve claimed your study space, make sure everyone in the family understands it is your sacred spot. Put up a DO NOT DISTURB sign and enforce it! Even if you can’t follow all the tips for success in online courses, your odds of staying in school will increase if you find a study spot.
To keep my research organized, I created an online flashcards account and keep the tab open while online. I created a folder for each class and made a set of cards for the various study topics. When I find interesting content, I copy the data to a flashcard and include a link back to the source. Because the flashcards are stored online, they can be accessed at any time, even when I am reading online material using my phone.
Once you know what degree level you want to pursue, think carefully about what majors will have the biggest impact on your current career or future job prospects. Different majors teach different skills and have different points of emphasis. Multiple studies have shown that what you study has a bigger impact on future earning potential than where you go to school.
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.
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.
Iowa Central Community College offers 7 affordable online associate-level programs. The college has an 82% recommendation rate from 11 student reviews. The 8-week online courses are taught using the iNET module located in TritonPass and the full programs typically take about two years to complete. Textbooks are offered as eBooks and cost $30 per credit hour as part of tuition. Full-time students usually take two 8-week courses at a time and classes start at the beginning of every month. All online students have access to tutoring services through a program called SmartThinking. Tuition is $315 per credit hour for undergraduate students or $7,125 per year.
Northern Arizona University is a large public university in Flagstaff, Ariz., with a strong reputation in its online offerings. With degree programs available at the bachelor’s and master’s levels, students who do study online are able to work toward their degrees while receiving the same quality education they would get on-campus at NAU. The school offers an innovative Personalized Learning program, where students pay a flat subscription rate over 6 months, with no additional fees, not even for books -- an attractive option for many students whose employers are picking up the tuition tab. Students at NAU also benefit from the school’s focus on career readiness in all its degree programs.
Located in Tempe, Arizona, Arizona State University (ASU Online) is one of the top providers of online education in the country. The University serves a huge online student body, with over 25,000 students enrolled in one of their 150+ undergraduate and graduate programs. Through their multiple online education platforms, ASU Online is constantly removing barriers for students to attend a nationally-ranked university.

Students must meet the admission requirements for their chosen program. Credits from a regionally or nationally accredited institution may be eligible to transfer, provided that a grade of a C- or better was earned. Transfer credits typically apply toward general education and elective categories. Contact an Enrollment Representative for more information specific to your background.

Vanderbilt University also has a partnership with Coursera and Class Central, which allows students to take free MOOCs and take individual courses online. Certificates of completion are available for a small fee. Committed to providing all students with a high quality and rigorous education regardless of their financial status, Vanderbilt University does meet 100% of the demonstrated financial needs of their students. To qualify for entirely free tuition, the family of the student must have an annual income of less than $60,000.


All schools included above were required to offer at least 10 online degrees. Degree coverage was determined based on data from The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and from schools' official websites, collected in 2018. Annual tuition data was collected from the NCES or a school representative. Recommend rates reflect internal data, which is calculated based on student reviews submitted to our partner site, GradReports.com.
While researching bachelor programs, online certificate programs, accelerated online masters degree or doctorate programs offered by online schools, most prospective students place importance on the average net price of each college or university degree program. High quality degree programs can be expensive and many students are forced to get student loans to cover costs, but free online courses can help reduce or eliminate student loan debt.

Obtaining a doctoral degree is one of the ultimate ways to achieve excellence in a field, and there are a variety of online doctorates available. Time required for completion of these degrees varies, and many degrees are available at a reasonable rate from highly recommended institutions, such as The George Washington University and Texas A & M University-College Station. Prospective doctoral students can explore degree offerings in business, psychology, computer science, and a wide variety of other subject areas.
Adult students looking to earn a degree from one of the best online schools for bachelor's degree should consider Siena Heights University. Founded on Catholic ethics, Siena Heights has gained a reputation for being one of the best liberal arts schools for adult learners and working students. Their degree programs are designed to help students further their careers, giving them the knowledge they need to make a jump from one career to another or advance further in their current field. The online school at Siena Heights is nationally recognized for the quality of their bachelor's degrees as well as their incredibly high graduation rate. Students who study at Siena can also choose to study in a hybrid format, allowing them to study both online and on-campus. There are many resources students can use as well, most of which are available entirely online.
Fort Hays State University has established itself as one of the best online colleges, largely due to their affordability and quality of education. Each program is designed to give students the knowledge they need to enter the global community as a leader and expert. This can be seen with their online bachelor’s degrees, all of which are fully accredited. Popular bachelor’s degree options include criminal justice, elementary education and accounting. Along with their bachelor’s degrees, Fort Hays also has extensive master’s degree programs that give students the experience and knowledge they need to make a leap in their career. The best online schools are the ones that prepare students for their future, and Fort Hays does just that.
When Texas A&M University-College Station enrolled its first students in 1876, it became the first public post-secondary institution in Texas. The university, dubbed "Aggieland" is home to 68,625 students. A&M's 19 colleges host nearly 130 undergraduate, 268 post-graduate degrees and certificates. Three A &M graduates are recipients in the Nobel Prize and the university was ranked 3rd nationwide by Washington Monthly for its "research, service, social mobility, and contributions to society." For students who cannot get to campus in College Station, A&M offers one of best online colleges in the region. You can choose among one online undergraduate degree, 48 online graduate degrees, and 26 online certificates. Online studies are delivered as web-based, on-campus and web-based, off-campus courses. Distance-degrees at A&M include the Master of Agriculture (MAG), MED in Curriculum and Instruction, Master of Public Service and Administration (MPS), MS in Education for Health Care Professionals, Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)/Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and Master of Jurisprudence (MJ).
Cornell is another institution among the Ivy League schools that is a tuition-free university for many of its students. If a family brings in under the amount of $60,000 per year, they can expect to pay absolutely nothing for their child’s higher education. The university is also unique in that there is no standard income bracket for grant-aid recipients. Instead, eligibility is considered on a case-by-case basis by looking at factors such as family size, assets held, the number of children the family has in college, and so on. If students don’t meet the requirement for free tuition, generous grant aid from Cornell could take their estimated contribution pretty close to zero.
SAGU online courses are relatively small, allowing students to receive individualized attention from faculty members. As part of the school's Experiential Learning Credit program, students may qualify for up to 45 undergraduate credits -- and save as much as $25,000 on their degree -- by completing a three-credit course. Admission requires each student to provide a statement of Christian faith.

Many, though not all, of the private schools offering online programs are religious schools. Some of these schools incorporate scripture into their online program, though others do not, and have no religious requirements for distance learners. Private non-profit schools are often more expensive than other four-year options, so be sure to do your research and find a school that fits with your budget.
Cornell University is a private Ivy League, sea-grant, space-grant, and private land-grant doctoral research university. It is the only private land-grant university in the state of New York, one of only three in the country. The school has consistently been a non-sectarian and co-educational institute since it was established, never discriminating on the basis of race or religion. This is incredibly unique for its time, as was the original mission of the school to provide all students with an education in any field.
CityU has an exceptionally generous transfer policy which allows students to transfer up to 135 credits into a program. The University also offers discounted military tuition, scholarships and credit for prior learning (like work experience or military service). And CityU partners with national, regional, and local organizations to ensure that current and former U.S. service members and their families have the support they need while attending school.
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.

Many of America's top colleges have launched online degree programs. Investments in technology have allowed colleges to create affordable and flexible programs for students. Online classes have significantly improved over the past 10 years and are more respected and accepted by top academics. Universities such as MIT and UC Berkeley now offer a wide variety of classes online. Find programs by clicking your state below.

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).

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%.

*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.
Since 2006, the University of Alabama—a public research university—has been offering high-quality online programs through Bama by Distance, their distinctive online portal. Bama by Distance currently offers around 60 accredited online degrees and certificates—primarily in the areas of education, engineering, healthcare, and business—at the undergraduate through the doctoral levels.
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Two organizations oversee the accreditation process and officially recognize accrediting agencies: the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a nongovernmental organization. Both the Department of Education and CHEA maintain exhaustive lists of all recognized regional, national, and programmatic accrediting agencies. These organizations also list the accreditation status of each participating school, including the best regionally accredited online colleges and universities. Students comparing colleges and universities should check both lists to ensure a recognized agency has evaluated the school they select.
WSU offers free online tutoring and a complementary writing lab for distance learners. Transfer students can apply up to 90 previously earned credits toward their bachelor's degrees, including 73 credits for lower-level courses. In terms of tuition pricing, full-time students taking 10-18 credits pay the same per-semester rate regardless of their major or state residency status. Individual per-credit rates are offered for part-time students and those taking more than 18 credits per semester.
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.
The history of the New Mexico State University-Main Campus dates back to 1888 when Las Cruces College was established in the territory of New Mexico. Home to the first honors program in the state, the university today serves 6,428 students that hail from across the US and more than 70 countries. Students take courses from the major colleges: Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering; Health and Social Services; and Honors. New Mexico State University is nationally-ranked for its online graduate nursing programs. NMSU Distance Education offers online bachelor degree-completion programs, masters and doctorate programs, and graduate certificates. Teachers can pursue their online New Mexico K-12 educator licensure and endorsements.
CBU Online was designed for the working professional and as such takes the needs of working students seriously— with market-demand, adult-tailored degree programs. For students looking to advance their current career or start an entirely new career path, CBU Online offers flexible, accredited programs that allow you to earn your degree while working full or part-time.  Top online degree programs at CBU include:
OSU Ecampus students have access to a wide range of student supports—vital resources like success counseling, library services, free online tutoring, and career guidance. And OSU Ecampus is currently ranked among the top five best online bachelor’s programs for veterans—  advisors collaborate with veterans to maximize their military education benefits and find programs that work well for military service members.
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.

Northeastern divides its schedule into two standard semester terms and two condensed summer terms. Incoming freshmen may begin taking courses in the fall, spring, or summer. The school prices tuition according to course instead of according to a per-credit rate. Northeastern University receives regional accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
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