Paying for school is a major hurdle for many potential online college and university students. Not only can the financial cost be high, but the financial aid process can be daunting and confusing. We can help alleviate some of this confusion and help you find the most affordable colleges online by explaining how to determine a program’s true cost of attendance. Remember, tuition is not the bottom line! There are other costs to consider. Let’s break them all down so you can make a more informed decision.
Online associate degrees are particularly useful for those pursuing a career in a specific trade or one that requires a narrow and specialized set of skills, such as paralegal, nursing assistant or information technology (IT) professional. Many two-year schools offer degrees specifically for these industries that prepare graduates to pursue entry-level jobs. These schools, often known as trade schools, technical schools, or career colleges, tend to center around industries like healthcare, IT, and specific trades such as computer drafting. As online education becomes more common, more online trade schools and online career colleges have emerged. Our rankings can help you find the best online technical education options.
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:
Plan.Net is the Serviceplan Group’s digital communications specialist brand. It is one of the largest digital agencies in Europe and is focused on technology and platform management. More than 1,000 employees at over 25 locations worldwide develop and deliver relevant customer experiences enabling seamless digital customer journeys across all channels.
One of 28 Jesuit colleges in the nation, Regis University emphasizes a rigorous, Jesuit-conscious curriculum delivered by award-winning faculty both online and on campus. The school offers bachelor's degrees in applied science, communication, computer science, global studies, and health information management, among others. The 120- to 128-credit BS in business has several specializations, including management, marketing, public administration, and project management. The 120-credit BA in global studies draws from coursework in the humanities and sciences, with classes available in human trafficking, global health, animal exploitation, and a senior capstone in global citizenry.
Webster University strives to be a global school, so along with their main campus they've opened up locations around the world. The goal is not only to give students the chance to see something new, but to show that they are including the global community. They also connect the local and global community through their online learning program which is available to people around the world. Through their online program, students can study toward one of more than 50 degree programs, all of which can be completed entirely online. Consistently ranked as one of the top online schools in the nation, Webster does an excellent job of keeping their online curriculum challenging, making sure that their graduates are prepared for the professional world after graduation.

In many online degree programs, students can access course material on their own time and in a location of their choice, regardless of their distance from a university. In others, students might attend live lectures through videoconferencing. Some programs have both. How long it takes an online learner to finish a degree program varies depending on the structure of a program’s academic calendar and the number of classes a student takes each term.


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 for 2018. 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.

Our ranking methodology includes a blend of data analysis and research (in areas such as academic excellence, strength of faculty, reputation, affordability, and range of degree programs), as well as the combined professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board. All of the online colleges and universities listed are regionally accredited, nonprofit, and offer a range of online degree programs. Our goal is to identify and rank the best accredited online colleges available to ensure the greatest satisfaction among online students.
All of the online schools, at any degree level, featured on our website are accredited, ensuring that they meet high standards of quality. In order to be accredited, online colleges are evaluated based on criteria such as curricula, faculty, course offerings, facilities, financial resources, and support services. Accreditation in the United States comes from federal and state agencies as well as non-governmental bodies approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation not only demonstrates the quality of an online school, but can also determine whether credits are transferable to other accredited online colleges. To find out whether an accreditation agency is legitimate, make sure it is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
While most schools prepare students for their career right after they graduate, East Carolina University prepares students for a changing world. This means that their degree programs are designed to give students the knowledge to adapt to changing fields so that they can advance throughout their life. This is particularly true for students who earn an online degree from ECU. Residents of North Carolina and students from across the nation can complete their bachelor's degree online, but what really makes ECU one of the best online colleges in the nation is their master's degree program. With dozens of degrees and focuses available at the graduate level, ECU prepares students for a long, prosperous future in their career.
You might be surprised to hear that distance therapy practices aren't new. In fact, online mental health services are about as old at the internet itself, and other distance therapy methods—like phone counseling—have been around since the Samaritans began a hotline in the early 1950s. There is decades of research on telephone and online services that have shown that distance counseling services can benefit the client, and that clients often prefer them to traditional in person sessions.
The University of Maryland notable alumni are plentiful and diverse. Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google and President of Alphabet Inc; Connie Chung, American Journalist; Jim Henson, Puppeteer famous for Muppets; Larry David, comedian, writer, actor, and producer; and many other talented people who have excelled in their chosen field are among those who have attended UMD.
Online two-year and four-year colleges represent some of the most affordable ways to enter higher education. Academic programs at the two-year level provide a solid foundation in the liberal arts and basics within certain major paths. Vocational programs take a more career-oriented track, helping students acquire specific skills they can apply on the job day one. Beyond the material itself, many junior and community colleges and universities have embraced online learning, opening their doors to a more inclusive student body – from working professionals and stay-at-home parents to those who may not be able to commute to a physical campus. The following two-year and four-year colleges offer some of the best combinations of online program volume, breadth, and affordability available today. See who stands out for 2018.
OSU Ecampus courses and programs are developed by world-class OSU faculty who use innovative course delivery strategies. Through cutting-edge technology, students are actively engaged in virtual labs, interactive language-acquisition exercises, engaging videos, and interactive lectures. OSU uses Canvas as its learning management system, so online interaction through discussion boards and web conferencing keeps students in touch. Top online degree programs include:
UMC Online offers access to world-class teaching, learning, and research resources, as well as internship and undergraduate research opportunities. Students experience small class sizes and individualized attention—with a faculty that serves as true mentors for online learners. And UMC’s online courses utilize a broad variety of technological tools that make learning online intuitive and engaging. Top degree programs include:

Texas Tech University began administering distance learning with "flying professors" who, in 1966, brought education to students spread across Texas. In the school's modern iteration of distance learning, students all around the country and the world are now a part of a learning community with more than 100 degree programs available fully online and through regional teaching sites.
At the graduate level, online Master of Science degrees are available in seven fields: applied science and technology; hospitality management; human resources management; information technology; international business finance; management; and nursing. Other affordable web-based master's options include an MBA, two degrees in education and a Master of Public Service Leadership (MPSL). A dozen online graduate certificates are also offered, including programs in niche fields like clinical trials management, digital humanities, geropsychology, industrial-organizational psychology and online learning and teaching; all of these certificate programs are 15 credits in length.
Currently, there are more than 28,000 students University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The school offers over 70 bachelor’s programs, and there are more than 100 master’s and over 70 doctoral degree programs available for students to choose from. UNC also offers students online classes and programs from not only the Chapel Hill campus but other schools in the UNC system.
There are over 6,000 students attending Yeshiva University which offers liberal arts, sciences, medicine, business, law, social work, psychology, Jewish studies and education. Yeshiva University offers students online course options and uses the Canvas platform. There are opportunities for summer courses to be taken online. Yeshiva University also offers an open course through the Coursera platform.
Attend class online and pick the view you want! Today, access means more than just physical location. Your busy life demands college that is flexible and convenient. TCL College Online is the solution: attend class online through your computer, tablet or smart phone. These fully online career and transfer programs offer the same highly accredited programs, just delivered in a new format. Plus, we are only a phone call or short drive away if you need one-on-one support or access to other student services. (It’s the best of both worlds!)
Sometimes it's hard to open up to a counselor in person about sensitive issues. If you've experienced severe trauma, for example, such as sexual assault or domestic violence you might feel vulnerable or scared to reveal your experience to anyone. An online counselor is used to working with clients who are frightened due to trauma. They can help you work through that fear in the privacy of your own home, or anywhere you feel the most comfortable.
What can be considered a top concern for online counseling program students is the support for finding clinical placements. These experiences are required for counseling licensure in all states. All accredited and valuable online counseling programs require an internship where you will use your learned skills and theories with clients. Because you may be learning online from across the country for a university whose campus is over 1,000 miles away, having clinical placement support that is relevant for your home of address is integral. Some universities have online-specific placement support services, helping you to find clinical sites for practice within driving distance from your home.
Lehigh serves nearly 7,000 students, both undergraduate and graduate. There are four colleges at Lehigh University: the College of Arts and Sciences, the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Business and Economics, and the College of Education. There are also 9 master’s degree programs offered online through the Office of Distance Education as well as 3 certificate programs.
User-generated content raises issues of privacy, credibility, civility and compensation for cultural, intellectual and artistic contributions. The spread of digital media, and the wide range of literacy and communications skills necessary to use it effectively, have deepened the digital divide between those who have access to digital media and those who don't.[34]
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