In many ways, getting a degree online is no different than getting a traditional degree. In perhaps the most important way (financially), it can be nearly the same. So proceed with caution and healthy skepticism. Consider the cost-benefit tradeoffs, and be thoughtful about taking on additional debt. You may not have pictured yourself as a strong candidate for getting your degree online, but it could just be the right — and best — decision for your particular set of circumstances.

In developing the ranking for the 100 Best Online Colleges, several pieces of data were collected in order to evaluate the institutions. A list of all colleges offering online degrees or courses was obtained from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). In addition, data and information for online colleges and universities considered for this college ranking was obtained from Payscale, CollegeData, Niche, and individual school websites.


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]

As an adult learner, your desire to pursue an education comes with a clear destination in sight: a promotion, a better career, the completion of a long-held goal. At Champlain College Online, we understand this, and we're committed to helping you get where you want to go. Offering more than 60 degree and certificate programs, all available fully online, we serve as a bridge between your aspirations and success to help you Accomplish Anything.


Park University was founded on 700 acres along shore of the Mississippi River in Parkville, MO, in 1875. The university today enrolls 16,933 students at its main campus, at 41 campus centers, and online. Undergraduate students can complete one of 38 bachelor and eight associate degrees. Graduate students have a selection of eight master's degrees. There are also 27 undergraduate and graduate-level certificate programs. Park University is one of the best online colleges in the region, offering 63 online degrees. Park Universities' business and management programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
Distance learning is here to stay. Initially on the fringes of formal education, online colleges, courses and degree programs have quickly become mainstream. Even traditional campus-based institutions have incorporated online learning into their curricula. In 2013, seven million college students — nearly 50 percent of all those enrolled — took at least one online class, with an estimated 20 percent earning an entire degree program remotely. The Sloan Consortium reports that 74 percent of today’s academic leaders rate the educational outcomes of online learning as equal to or superior to those of face-to-face systems. More recruiters than ever before are embracing online credentials. Read More
As an online student at Creighton University, you’ll  experience both the academic rigor of campus-based courses as well as the benefits of Creighton’s exceptional sense of community. Courses provide online discussions and activities to ensure that you regularly interact with classmates. And course sizes are small so faculty can give you personalized attention. Top online degree programs include:
Graduate students enrolled at Liberty’s online programs also enjoy a wide range of online master's degree selections. Aspiring teachers seeking a Master of Education can choose from more than 15 different degree specializations, including obtaining licensure if needed. The school's MBA programs include 36-hour and 45-hour tracks that have 16 possible specializations. Online counseling options are also quite robust. For example, the master of arts (M.A.) degrees in human services counseling and pastoral counseling each feature 11 possible concentrations. Online grad students pursuing a religious master's can also earn degrees in seven different fields through the Rawlings School of Divinity. Finally, Liberty’s online programs offers web-based and blended doctoral degree programs in business, counseling, education, music, nursing and religious studies. The application fee is $40 for master’s degree programs and $50 for doctoral and postgraduate degrees.
Established 130 years ago in Natchitoches, Northwestern State University of Louisiana has extended its community reach through satellite campuses in Alexandria, Shreveport, and Fort Polk - and through its online programs. Two NSU online graduate programs have been ranked in the top-five degrees in education. The master's in special education is a 36-hour program preparing students to excel in elementary and secondary gifted education and early intervention. Online students can also complete an associate degree, 18 online bachelor degrees, 22 master's degrees, and two doctoral programs (education or nursing practice). NSU also offers six hybrid degrees that combine campus settings with online learning. Technology students can earn an online, competency-based Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems that since 1999 has received citations for "Area of Excellence" by the University of Louisiana system.
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:

Since its establishment 80 years ago, Eastern New Mexico University has served students in New Mexico and beyond with academic programs emphasizing the liberal arts. Students have the option to be part of a global learning community enrolled in one of 30 online programs offered fully online or in hybrid format. As one of the best online colleges in the nation, Eastern New Mexico University offers programs delivered asynchronously using the Blackboard LMS. Note that some programs are delivered synchronously.
Go over any job posting carefully and make a list of the skills and attributes the employer is seeking. For instance, if a job posting lists “the ability to create pivot tables in Excel,” and you have this experience, then be sure to include the phrase “pivot tables” in your resume. If a posting requires “ability to work with minimal supervision,” and your prior work history includes such a position, then you should be sure to write something like, “managed the department with minimal supervision.” Including specific keywords like this helps employers find you when searching for resumes online and also helps the hiring official match you to the opportunity when scanning resumes to determine which people to interview.
Penn State's online bachelor's degree programs cover a wide range of academic fields, from core subjects to less traditional areas of study. Students can pursue bachelor's degrees in more than a dozen business-related fields, including accounting, agribusiness management, finance, marketing and security and risk analysis. Registered nurses can also complete their four-year education through the World Campus's RN to BSN online degree program. Eco-minded undergrads can also earn online bachelor's in biobehavioral health, energy and sustainability policy or turfgrass science. Online degrees in four different fields are available as either a B.A. or B.S.: economics, labor and employment relations; organizational leadership; political science; and psychology. In addition to degree fields of study, a total of 18 online minors are available. These include nine minors in business-related fields and six in liberal arts subjects. Seventeen online undergraduate certificates are also offered, including three nursing options.

Students may seek loans from the federal government or private lending institutions, such as banks or credit unions. Federal loans carry a fixed interest rate and the interest may be tax-deductible. These loans do not need to be repaid until the student graduates or leaves school, and those who struggle to repay their loans may be able to postpone or reduce their monthly payments.

Online learning is the new norm, but with so many schools – including the largest and most recognizable in the nation – offering numerous distance learning options, how can you identify the best online colleges? While in the past the question may have been whether or not to pursue a degree online, current students are asking themselves how to find the right online college to attend instead. Prospective students who want to enroll in the best online program should start their journey at the school level. But what earns a school that distinction? Several variables may come into play, many of which depend on the individual student’s academic and financial needs. For many students, picking the best online college starts with accreditation and affordability.
Stony Brook University offers more than 200 majors, minors, and combined-degree programs through six undergraduate colleges. There are also nearly 50 graduate programs available through the Graduate School. Stony Brook University offers online courses during their summer and winter sessions. There are also online courses offered through the Biology department, an online Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and an online MS Program in Nutrition at Stony Brook.

"When I began my sessions with BetterHelp I was skeptical of how well online counseling would work for me, but after almost a month working with Lauren I feel better mentally than I have in a while. It was reassuring to receive her messages and helped me make peace with the issues that I was having. Lauren was relatable and overall a great counselor!"
 I understand that if I choose to share an email account and password with another person, that person will have access to my online counseling profile, which will contain my personal and academic information. By sharing an email account, I am authorizing that person's access to information, and in essence, giving them access to alter information about me in the online counseling program.
Online learning has surged in popularity over the past decade. An estimated 5.8 million students were enrolled in online courses – a staggering 263% increase from just 12 years ago. There’s a reason online degree programs are on the rise. As technology has advanced, so have the capabilities for distance learning. In fact, 94% of academic leaders say that digital curricular resources have improved student learning, and it’s estimated that half of all college classes will be taught online by 2019. While there are plenty of benefits to online education, most students tend to be attracted to online colleges for their low tuition and the convenience they offer.

Video therapy, also known as online or distance therapy, has become a viable alternative for anyone with a computer, tablet, or iPhone. Just as physicians began to do with patients in the medical community, more and more therapists now practice distance therapy, treating people seeking help in areas where mental health professionals are scarce. With increased availability and ease of use, the internet now may be a go-to method of receiving therapy for a person who travels with work, has a schedule that makes it difficult or impossible to visit an actual office, and/or may be fearful of facing a therapist in person.

OSU Ecampus students have access to a wide range of student supports—vital resources like success counseling, library services, free online tutoring, and career guidance. And OSU Ecampus is currently ranked among the top five best online bachelor’s programs for veterans—  advisors collaborate with veterans to maximize their military education benefits and find programs that work well for military service members.
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:
There are three schools which serve over 6,000 students at Stevens Institute of Technology: Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering & Science; School of Business; and School of Systems & Enterprises. There are 35 undergraduate majors and over 40 master’s programs and more than 20 doctoral programs available. Also, StevensOnline offers 17 master’s degree programs available completely online.

If you’re looking for an online degree in aeronautics or engineering, then look no further. Embry-Riddle has developed innovative programs which rank highly and offer exceptionally high return-on-investment. The school is also home to excellent online Business programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. And Embry-Riddle uses their long experience in distance learning to focus on engagement and critical services that help ensure student success. Some top programs include:  
If you feel more comfortable being anonymous, we honor that need. BetterHelp (leading online therapy services globally) wants you to feel comfortable sharing your feelings with your counselor, and you don't have to disclose your full name; and remember, all therapists are licensed. You can even have a nickname if that makes you feel comfortable. What's most important is you getting help from the best online therapists available, feeling comfortable, and secure. Of the more than 35,000,000 online sessions our licensed counselors have had with people dealing with things like depression, anxiety, stress, getting marriage counseling (aka... couples therapy) with a family therapist, family relationship counseling, or simply an alternative to traditional face-to-face therapy.
There are many different ways students can pursue an excellent education at the University of Virginia. Students who study on campus have access to many different schools, each with their own set of accredited degrees. Also useful for students is the online education offered by UVA. Because of the size and scope of the school, UVA offers different types of online programs. One popular option is their School of Continuing and Professional Studies, best for students that want to further their career either with a bachelor's degree, graduate degree or certificate. Also available is a master's degree in engineering. UVA is considered to be one of the best online schools in the nation for an online master's in engineering, so students who want to earn a graduate degree that fits their schedule may find this is the perfect fit.
As one of the best colleges in the state, graduate programs at Texas Tech vary widely and include master's degrees in education, civil engineering, public administration, family and consumer sciences, horticulture, and software engineering. The school has a strong MA education program with master's degrees including higher education administration, special education, instructional technology, and educational leadership and principal professional certification preparation.
The methodology behind our rankings is grounded in statistical data and a few consistently applied guiding principles. Our 2017 rankings reflect the most recent data compiled from IPEDS and the College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. Our goal is to objectively assess relative quality based on academic outcomes, affordability, and the breadth and depth of online learning opportunities. The following criteria was used to make these assessments:
Online Counseling gives practical insight into how professionals can translate and extend their practice to the electronic online medium. The volume provides an overview of current research on the use and effectiveness of counseling online and data on the idiosyncrasies of online behavior and communication. The practical aspects of and skill sets required for counseling online are discussed at length, as are technological, ethical, legal and multicultural issues, treatment strategies, and testing and assessment.
Forums were originally used in Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire as a place where the public gathered and discussed the latest news, politics or philosophy. When the World Wide Web gathered popularity and Internet access became something normal and not a luxury, forums saw a second coming. Online forums, or discussion boards, are widely popular, since they allow everybody, connected to the web to share their opinion on a certain topic. And while in the beginning forums were difficult to maintain, with the introduction of databases, such as MySQL and PostgreSQL, and scripting languages, such as PHP and Perl, forums became very easy to create, maintain and manage.
×