Central Michigan University welcomes transfer students at all stages of their academic careers and from around the country (and even the world). The school simplifies the often stressful work of assessing transfer credit and has a generous transfer policy of 64 credits per degree program. Military students are also well supported at CMU Global Campus, with Military Transfer Credits and various support programs.
Excelsior College, a private nonprofit institution, offers online associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees spanning several academic fields. Online undergraduate options include multi-concentration bachelor's degrees in fields such as business, health sciences, criminal justice, and electrical engineering technology. Excelsior's bridge degrees allow students to earn a bachelor's and a master's in an accelerated timeline. Examples include a BS in healthcare management with an MBA or master's in health science and a BS in nuclear engineering management with an MBA. The school makes dual-degree bachelor's pathways available too.
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.
Presbyterian College, a Christian institution based in Clinton, S.C., with a reputation for academic rigor, offers a large array of programs online. The school’s ethos is around educating the whole person, which translates into an emphasis on critical thinking and communication in its online courses. Courses are offered in a number of different areas, including unique language courses like Greek and Hebrew. The school’s undergraduate offerings include degrees across 42 majors and nine pre-professional programs, while its graduate school focuses on medical fields. While many students enroll at Presby because it’s one of the best colleges for a Christian-based education, there are numerous courses unrelated to the Bible or theology. Regardless of a prospective student’s religious background, the online courses offered at Presbyterian College are carefully constructed to give all students the knowledge they need for their professional career.
In March 1906, the Kentucky General Assembly approved the establishment of the Bowling Green school that was to become Western Kentucky University. Today, more than 100 majors lead to the baccalaureate degree, and students can choose from 111 academic minors. U.S. News and World Report has ranked WKU 12th in The Best Online Bachelor's Programs and 12th in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs . Among the best online schools in the region, WKU offers 20 online undergraduate degrees, 30 wholly online master's degrees, and online 45 graduate/undergraduate certificates. Students may also enroll in one of more than 100 courses offered through the on-demand program that offers for-credit classes in 7-week semesters.
Indiana Wesleyan University is a private, religiously affiliated school with a wide selection of online undergraduate and graduate degrees. Those seeking an online bachelor's can choose from eight business pathways, along with degrees in fields such as digital communication, addictions counseling, criminal justice, and licensure or non-licensure early childhood education. Indiana Wesleyan also offers several online graduate programs, including English-language and Spanish-language master's degrees in divinity and ministry; several graduate-level nursing tracks are also available.
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.
One of the top schools in Central Florida, Saint Leo University has established its presence in the area by having over 40 locations for students to study at. However, the online school at Saint Leo University makes up a large part of their total student body. Online degrees at Saint Leo are available to students around the world, and the quality of education is the same that students would get if they were to study on-campus. Students can also choose to do a hybrid of both online and on-campus courses to complete their degree. The flexibility of the online programs combined with the expert staff make Saint Leo's one of the best online schools for adult learners who are looking to earn a degree to further their professional career.
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).
Columbia Southern University offers 28 online undergraduate degrees and 12 online graduate degrees. CSU also partners with over 2,500 organizations to offer a 10% tuition discount for working professionals. The recommendation rate for this university is 80% by the 164 students who review their experiences there. Columbia Southern University offers two track schedules to give students flexibility in when they begin their coursework. Track A and Track B dates overlap but have different start and end dates for more flexibility. CSU also offers a program called LifePace Learning that offers even more flexibility where students can either complete a course in four weeks or extend up to 18 weeks. Tuition is an affordable $6,600 per year or $225 per credit hour for undergraduates and $300 per credit hour for graduate courses. Textbooks are included in these tuition costs for online 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.
Since a large part of online coursework will be in written form, there is an opportunity to submit well-written, polished work that will positively impact your grades. Good grammar and correct punctuation will help convey your message accurately, and it’s always a good idea to be clear and concise in your writing. I suggest reading Write to the Point by Bill Stott for direction in good writing.
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.
Another school that is no stranger to national rankings, the University of Florida—located in the city of Gainesville—is breaking down geographical barriers to higher education. The University of Florida offers access to more than 200 online undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs. And as a student, you’ll be a member of The Gator Nation, along with thousands of students and alumni around the world.
Many students enroll at public colleges in their own state to qualify for lower in-state tuition rates. However, several public colleges now offer in-state tuition rates to all online students, even if you don't live in the same state as the school. This can mean savings of thousands of dollars a year, which means you pay less out-of-pocket and take out fewer loans. If you are looking for a degree with a high return on investment, or are entering a field that doesn't pay a six-figure salary, do your research to find out if the program you are interested in can be found somewhere where you qualify for in-state tuition.
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.
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.
At ASU Online you’ll be able to avoid the one-size-fits-all approach to education. Students are able to tailor their degree programs to fit their personal career goals and often have the chance to practice skills and gain real-world experience in their own communities. And students benefit from direct connection to the knowledge and expertise of the same award-winning faculty who teach on-campus. Top degree programs include:
With over 200 degree programs offered online by Southern New Hampshire University, it’s easy to see why many consider it one of the best online colleges for students looking to improve their careers. Each online degree program is designed to help students improve or change their current professional position. With the aid of affordable tuition and the flexibility to study at their own pace, students find that SNHU not only meets their expectations, but offers more than they thought an online school might: they also get access to the large SNHU alumni network, which can help them secure a new job after graduation. SNHU is among the best online schools in terms of services available to virtual students, which include an online library, tutoring and around-the-clock support.
St. Paul's Concordia University offers a total of 16 online bachelor's programs. These include degrees in specialized fields such as child development, exercise science, sport management, and pulmonary science -- along with tracks in accounting, information technology, an RN-to-BSN, and other general fields. Additionally, graduate students can pursue online master's degrees in 23 different fields and doctoral degrees in physical therapy or education.
According to research from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), more than 80 percent of public universities and at least half of private colleges offer online programs. A 2014 study from the Babson Institute estimated that 71 percent of all public-, degree-granting institutions provide distance learning opportunities to students.
Timing Self-paced, or asynchronous learning, is a form of instruction where students study at their own time and pace. In this format, students and teachers may not interact in real-time and instruction is conducted through self-study elements such as pre-recorded lectures, individual assignments, and reading course materials. Real-time, or synchronous learning, is a form of instruction where the instructor and students are present at the same time. Instruction is facilitated in real-time by a teacher and includes traditionally classroom-based elements such as group discussions, team projects, and lectures.
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:
Midway University, founded in 1847 by Dr. Lewis L. Pinkerton, was one of the nation's first schools to serve disadvantaged or orphaned women. Today, the coeducational Midway offers its 1,005 students over 30 academic majors in many of the region's top-demand fields of business, teacher education, nursing/healthcare, and equine studies. For distance education, Midway is among the best online colleges in the region. Students can earn their associate degree online, one of more than 20 baccalaureate degrees, or a 100-percent-online MBA, M.Ed., or MSN graduate degree. Online options for a bachelor's degree in education include more than 12 areas of specialization. Midway's Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) program may grant course credits for online students based on their work experience or career preparation outside the classroom.
Concordia University Saint Paul offers the benefits of a liberal arts education immersed in an online program. Online programs at CSP are designed to give students highly marketable job skills and knowledge. And CSP’s commitment to experiential learning means that online students apply academic concepts to real-world settings, developing practical knowledge and abilities. Top online degree programs at CSP include:
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.
City University of Seattle (also known as CityU) is a private, nonprofit university that offers accredited degrees from the undergraduate through doctoral level. With a commitment to serving working adults and transfer students, CityU is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top schools for online bachelor’s degree programs, and among the top online programs for veterans in the U.S.
There is no shortage of options for degrees at North Carolina State University. A nationally ranked institution, their faculty are considered some of the best in the nation. One thing to note about NC State is that their faculty also play a large role in crafting their online courses, as well as teaching and assisting students who choose to study through the online school. There are over 350 courses offered online at NC State, as well as more than 90 degree programs to study, including graduate degrees. This allows students the chance to study toward their degree entirely online or with a combination of online and on-campus courses. NC State is considered one of the best online colleges in the nation for MBA candidates.
Since online courses are more independent and self-paced than in-person college courses, the process of studying can be a bit different than with in-person courses. Make sure to re-watch any lectures, videos, and/or slideshows that the teacher posts, take notes, jot down questions you have, utilize the class discussion board, do some outside research to fill in gaps in your understanding, and reach out to your teacher if any questions you have remain unanswered.