At Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College students benefit from online learning and from one of the cheapest tuition rates in the state. Ranked among the top 100 Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana schools offering associate degrees, MGCCC serves over 10,000 students online and in Lucedale, Long Beach, Gulfport and Biloxi. For distance students, MGCCC offers online college certificate, diploma and degree programs through its eLearning initiative. MGCCC instructors lead more than 350 online courses in addition to some 3,000 courses offered in partnership with the Mississippi Virtual Community College consortium. The college also offers hybrid programs that blend traditional on-campus courses with online studies. Online courses are delivered by the Canvas class management software but are not self-paced, however, as each class has a beginning and an end date.
As its name suggests, City University of Seattle is headquartered in Washington, but the school also operates numerous locations across the state and in eight other countries around the world, including Canada, Switzerland, and Vietnam. As one of the country's colleges with open admissions, the admissions process requires only the submission of transcripts along with completion of the online application. In addition, international students may be required to submit proof of English proficiency to be granted enrollment; dedicated admissions advisors are available to guide applicants through the enrollment process.
Founded in the heart of Meridian, Mississippi in 1937, Meridian Community College now enrolls more than 4,000 students. One of the most affordable undergraduate institutions in Mississippi, MCC offers students 55 career and technical programs to choose from, along with a University Transfer Associate of Arts degree. Hundreds of online college courses are made available to distance students each semester through the Holladay Center for eLearning, and more than 6,000 online courses are also offered through the Mississippi Virtual Community College. Online courses at MCC offer the same academic credit as their on-campus course counterparts, but allow students with busy schedules the flexibility they need to succeed. The college recommends that online students dedicate nine hours of study per week for each three-credit course. MCC associate-degree programs are accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the top 19 online colleges and universities with open admissions. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: admissions rate (20%) + default rate (20%) + retention rate (20%) + graduation rate (20%) + percent of students enrolled in online classes (20%) = final score.
University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College of North Little Rock serves more than 6,000 students through five campus locations. Prospective students will be happy to know UA-PTC's per-hour tuition rate is among the cheapest in the state. Since 1992, it has granted over 18,000 degrees and certificates since 1992 while also preparing students who want to pursue higher degrees. UA-PTC online college degree programs can help students transfer to four-year colleges and universities or can lead to completion of technical and occupational programs. The college also awards academic credit based on prior training or life experiences. Popular degree and certification programs are available in allied health and human services, business and information technology, culinary arts and hospitality management, fine arts and humanities, science and mathematics, and technical sciences. Online courses are delivered via the Blackboard class management software.
Kobzina echoes some of these concerns. "I believe those who'd suffer the most are the students who get admitted simply because they have a sub-par GED or high school diploma. We want to prepare our future leaders to be critical thinkers and, in more general terms, well educated. Someone who comes to a four-year school and doesn't have the educational background isn't likely to persist. What happens to them when they have $20,000 in loans and flunk out after the first year? We aren't setting them up for success that way."
Cochise College currently offers 90 degree and technical certificates, including an honors curriculum. The college has been recognized by five college-ranking organizations as one of the most affordable schools in the nation. Its tuition is 77 percent lower than tuition and fees charged at the average university in Arizona. Founded in 1964 as one of Arizona's first community colleges, Cochise College currently enrolls 14,000 students annually, offering associate degrees, diplomas and technical certificates of credit. Online degree programs at Cochise College are offered through the Virtual Campus, which the college founded in 1998. Online students can choose from 12 degree programs and three certificates. The online associate degrees are in economics, general education, humanities, social and behavior sciences, English, business administration, business management, computer information systems, computer programming and intelligence operations studies. Certificates studies include general business and entrepreneurship/small business management.
For many students, the cheapest path to a four-year degree is often starting at a two-year college. Mississippi Delta Community College (MDCC) students who plan to transfer to a four-year institution can take advantage of MDCC's lower priced tuition, earn an associate degree and enjoy a smooth transition to a four-year institution through articulation agreements with several Mississippi state colleges and universities. Students can also earn a four-year degree from Mississippi Valley State University through MDCC, allowing them to stay at one location, rather than transferring. Technical and career-based programs are big at MDCC, with training in fields such as health sciences, business, agriculture, hospitality, construction and manufacturing. Classes are offered on-campus, at satellite locations and online. MDCC belongs to the MSVCC consortium, providing access to even more online programs and courses. To ensure the success of all types of learners, MDCC offers workforce training through their Capps Center, GED, life skills and employability certification through Smart Start, the Edge Grant, which helps SNAP recipients with employment, free training and education, and MI-Best, which gives work training, basic skills and academic support.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana was established over 130 years ago. Today it is Louisiana's first and largest electronic campus. The online school at NSU, called eNSU, is also is one of the cheapest options for earning a degree in the state. One reason it is such a value is that Louisiana residents aren't required to pay any type of out-of-state fee. Courses are available individually, or students can study toward a degree through one of their degree programs. Financial aid is also available to those who qualify, and there are special benefits for military members.
The United States Department of Education's Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System contains information on all 7,316 officially recognized institutions of higher education in the United States. The following is a list of the thirty largest institutions of higher education by Fall 2013 enrollment, meaning it is the number of unique individuals who were enrolled in at least one class on the 21st day of the Fall 2013 semester. Whether a system of individual campuses is counted as one or multiple institutions depends on how that institution is accredited and chartered. All data can be verified on the IPEDS system website.