Fully online programs at the school do not require any campus visits, and primarily online pathways include occasional on-campus requirements. Most online programs mirror their brick-and-mortar counterparts and consist of mostly synchronous coursework. Students nearing graduation can access career counseling services through HireABlazer -- an online job management platform for students and alumni -- through the school's career and professional development services department.

Harvard University, a private Ivy League university in Cambridge, Mass., is the top-ranked online college due to the high-quality education it provides to students in its 41 online programs. Students enrolled in Harvard’s distance learning programs have access to all the same benefits as their on-campus peers, including counseling services, academic advising, financial aid and tutoring assistance. Just like many of Harvard’s traditional courses, many online classes are transferable to other colleges and universities, giving students the chance to complete their education at whichever location they are most comfortable with. For students enrolled in programs requiring on-campus participation, the Harvard Extension School provides degree, certificate and professional programs in a hybrid format, allowing some credits to still be completed online. For students not pursuing a full degree, Harvard Online Learning offers many free courses open to the public.


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.
Considered the oldest and largest online degree-providing institution in the state, Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers web-based programs at all degree levels. Bachelor's options include degrees in fields such as addiction studies, business administration, and social work; the psychology and unified public safety administration fields offer multiple concentrations.

The most common culprit of free time is TV. Most adults spend about 20 hours per week watching TV. We are not saying you should never watch TV; we’re suggesting that you give up watching the TV shows that do not really interest you. Free up your time. Record what you love for viewing on demand and nix the rest of that dead TV time. Reducing your TV time by 10 hours per week will result in 10 hours of free time to devote to your online education. Ten hours of free time per week is enough to complete that long-delayed dream of earning a college degree.
Mississippi State University has created a history of excellence, and it all starts with their degree programs. Regardless of what students study, each degree is meant to give students all the resources they need to succeed throughout their life. The same philosophy is applied to their online program, often considered one of the best online colleges in the nation. Students can study online while learning from faculty who also teach on-campus courses, meaning the quality of the education is consistent from on-campus to online. Also, Mississippi State offers in-state tuition to all online students, not just residents of Mississippi. Degrees can be earned entirely online from start to finish for students all around the world.
Due to the rapid evolution of online coursework, online programs are quickly becoming some of the most high-quality degree options available. To date, well over 2,000 colleges offer accredited online programs. While our list of the best online colleges and universities is a good starting point for researching programs, we've outlined additional steps you can take to narrow your list of potential schools.

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.
One of the goals at George Washington University’s online school is to educate leaders. They understand that the best online schools are the ones that teach students everything they need to succeed, both right after graduation and in the future. Students that do end up studying toward an online degree at George Washington will find that the curriculum goes beyond the degree they’re earning. There are online options in most fields, and degrees are available at various levels. However, the graduate degree options are what sets George Washington apart from other online colleges. George Washington is home to many well-respected online programs, and they are considered one of the best online colleges for earning a master’s degree in public health.
Distance learning has a wide appeal to a diverse population of Americans. It offers students a number of advantages, many of which dovetail with other social or lifestyle needs. Online courses and degree programs suit working professionals who are looking to move up to management roles, often with their employers paying part or all of their tuition. It's a powerful option for stay-at-home parents who are preparing for a new or re-entry career when they head back to work. Pearson Learning Solutions Senior VP Todd Hitchcock reports:
But full or part-time employment is not the only hurdle to completing higher education; nearly 34% of respondents say they chose online classes due to flexibility surrounding their family's scheduling demands. In fact, 33% of those surveyed had dependent children living with them when they took courses, offering some insight into what types of external factors students may have to consider when selecting a learning format, such as childcare arrangements.

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.


Institutions pursuing accreditation undergo a rigorous review process, which includes the examination of elements such as curriculum planning, course offerings, faculty, admissions standards, graduation rates, facilities, and financial resources. Accredited institutions and programs must undergo regular evaluation to ensure compliance with the standards set forth by the accrediting bodies.
But full or part-time employment is not the only hurdle to completing higher education; nearly 34% of respondents say they chose online classes due to flexibility surrounding their family's scheduling demands. In fact, 33% of those surveyed had dependent children living with them when they took courses, offering some insight into what types of external factors students may have to consider when selecting a learning format, such as childcare arrangements.
UNC Chapel Hill is one of the few tuition free online universities that is not part of the Ivy League; however, it is one of the original Public Ivies declared by Richard Moll in 1985. It is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was chartered in 1789 and began enrolling students a while later in 1795; it is one of three institutions in the nation that can claim the title of being the oldest.
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.
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.
Online courses involve email assignments, streaming video lectures, and proctored exams. In addition to the fully online programs listed above, Bama by Distance offers primarily online and blended degree options. Nontraditional students seeking a degree can also choose the New College LifeTrack option, a hybrid online and on-campus program for nontraditional students that awards degrees in four general subjects.

College tuition is getting more expensive, which puts a lot of stress on prospective students, but these free online colleges and degree programs are eliminating the stress for some students. There are many reputable — and even prestigious — schools that offer a tuition-free college education to students, but the schools we’ve listed below have free tuition that doesn’t require a work program so they are truly free colleges and online degree programs.


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.
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.
A fully online format versus a hybrid format is another important consideration. Hybrid learning requires students to participate in on-site trainings, group work, and other activities that take them away from their computer. These components foster social interaction but may not be ideal for students with busy schedules. Fully online programs do not offer the same level of personal interaction but are more suitable for students with full-time jobs, childcare duties, and other time-consuming commitments.
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.
×