As widespread acceptance of online education surges among nonprofit institutions, we predict that the number of accredited online colleges – and their quality – will increase. This rapid growth can make choosing an online college feel intimidating. To develop a short list of options that make sense for you and your goals, you need to compare a wide range of components, such as accreditation, tuition and fees, support services, faculty, and career preparation.
Second, make sure all target schools have been accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies and/or, if it's an online-only school, by the Distance Education and Training Council. Accreditation means potential colleges and its target programs have been thoroughly vetted by an independent higher education agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education (check out the best accredited online colleges of 2016). Finally, make sure you know exactly what you need from an online degree. The flexibility offered by many programs is great, but the curriculum, professors and resources should have the same quality as their campus counterparts. Don't be afraid to call up counselors and talk to current and former students.
You should also ask admissions counselors if their school has any transfer agreements with colleges or universities that offer bachelor's degrees. It's common for a community college, even an online community college, to have relationships with other schools that give students priority acceptance to bachelor's degree programs after they earn an associate degree.
You're making a bold and brave decision to go back to school, and you need a school that can meet you where you are. Our long history of educating adult learners online has allowed us to build an online learning experience designed to meet your needs, address the unique challenges you face, and to help you achieve your goals. Whether you're finishing a degree you started years ago, pursuing an additional credential, or just embarking on your academic journey, we'll be supporting your success every step of the way.
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.
Academic accreditation functions as a seal of quality for online colleges and universities just as it does for traditional on-campus programs. It means that an impartial third-party organization officially recognizes the school as providing reputable programs and degrees. All of the online schools ranked here have regional accreditation. A degree from an accredited institution comes with approval and recognition of the US Department of Education, which in turn is recognized by other schools and employers as being of good quality.
Founded in 2007, Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global)is the online campus of the Colorado State University system. CSU-Global was the first independent, 100% online state university in the U.S. and now has an online student body of over 15,000 students. CSU-Global currently offers 24 accredited degree programs at the Bachelor’s and Master’s level.
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.
Campbellsville University, a comprehensive, Christian institution, offers students a wide range of associate degrees, undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as non-credit technical programs. As one of the best online colleges, Campbellsville University offers programs like certificates in Christian ministry, five associate degrees, and 20 different wholly-online master's degrees. In addition to its celebrated graduate business studies, the university focuses on teacher training, offering a selection of online master's degrees in education with 13 different specializations.
Essential to Bellevue University’s commitment to serving adult learners is acceptance of prior learning that students bring. Bellevue University considers many forms of previously earned college credit for transfer into its degree programs, including associate degrees, previous college classes, military and corporate training, and for-credit exams like CLEP and DSST. This helps accelerate completion, while keeping it affordable.
One of the top accredited online colleges in the state, NAU offers five baccalaureate programs leading to BA or BS degrees. Busy professionals in any of the five programs -- management, RN to BSN, computer information technology, liberal arts, and small business administration -- study courses broken down into modules in which their real-world knowledge can be applied to learning. The programs are competency-based with no set classes or schedules.
What is today's University of Louisiana at Monroe opened its doors in 1931 as Ouachita Parish Junior College. It has since become the largest university in North Louisiana with 9,700 students taking campus-based and online courses. eULM, the university's distance education division, has been ranked as Louisiana's "Best Online College," now offering more than 30 online degree programs. Online students can complete a 63-hour Associate of General Studies (AGS), one of 14 bachelor programs of 120-125 hours, one of 24 master's degree programs of 30-39 credit hours, or a 60-hour online doctorate in education or philosophy (marriage and family therapy). Online students gain virtual access to ULM's faculty, advisors, and admissions counselors.
At risk of sounding too obvious, I say, “Online, of course.” You can begin your search for a distance counselor at GoodTherapy.org. Many therapists who list with GoodTherapy.org offer distance therapy, and this will be noted in the therapist’s profile, along with types of therapy practiced and their specific approach to treatment. You can also look into websites specifically created to help people find online behavioral health care. A simple Google search will yield many options (and you may wish to compare ratings and customer feedback before settling on any one service or provider). Any of these sites will display therapist profiles and information about their therapy orientation and modalities offered, fees, and time availability.
Penn State University Park serves more than 47,000 students and world campus has over 18,000 students. Programs offered through World Campus are taught by the same world-class faculty as on-campus. Pennsylvania World Campus is also based at University Park and offers a large number of online courses and programs from associate’s and bachelor’s degrees to master’s and even a DNP program online.
Baccalaureate degrees are offered in fields such as accounting, Christian ministries, criminal justice, human services, public administration, sociology, and organizational leadership. The degree completion 48-credit BA in business administration provides a business foundation in one of two concentrations: logistics and operations or management, both of which require the transfer of general education credits and can be completed in as few as 16 months. Students seeking an education degree can choose the 48-credit BA in early childhood studies with a focus on childhood social and emotional growth and development.
UA online students seeking a master's in education can select from fully online programs in four subjects: educational psychology learning and assessment; elementary education; secondary education (with a preschool to 12th grade reading specialist certification); and secondary education English language arts. Blended M.A. programs in educational psychology and special education are also available. Other fully online opportunities for master's students are available in business, communication and information sciences, aerospace engineering and mechanics, human environmental sciences, nursing and social work.
Pace University has a long history of providing access to excellent education and career preparation. The school utilizes Blackboard—a learning management system which provides easy access to online class resources as well as keeping students in touch with instructors and other students. And online courses at Pace offer an affordability that their campus-based counterparts can’t compete with. Top degree programs include:
FIU Online features a total of 21 online bachelor's degree programs. These include degrees in eight business-oriented fields: organizational communication studies; finance; hospitality management; human resource management; international business; logistics and supply chain management; management; and marketing. Bachelor's programs in core academic subjects include degrees in criminal justice, early childhood education, health services administration, psychology, religious studies and sociology, as well as an RN to BSN track for registered nurses. The university also offers bachelor's pathways in less traditional areas of study, including sustainability and the environment, women's and gender studies and two tracks in recreation and sports management. All online bachelor's degree options at FIU are 120 credits in length, and are typically completed after four years of full-time study; each online student is paired with a 'success coach' to ensure they meet key deadlines and complete their degree requirements in a timely, cost-effective manner. With the exception of the RN to BSN program, all bachelor's degree pathways at FIU are delivered fully online.
As the internet becomes more and more prevalent, more companies are beginning to distribute content through internet only means. With the loss of viewers there is a loss of revenue but not as bad as what would be expected. Cisco Inc released its latest forecast and the numbers are all trending to internet news to continue to grow at a rate where it will be quadruple by 2018.