The cost of a college degree can vary wildly as well. It's no secret that tuition prices have skyrocketed in the last few decades. Online degrees aren't necessarily cheaper than traditional on-campus degree programs, but choosing an online degree program can save you money in commuting costs and materials, and most importantly, give you the flexibility to work while you earn your degree more easily than if you had to take classes in-person.
Maybe you’re balancing a full time job and family, but still want to earn a degree. Good news it that anyone can earn a degree online. The right online program can help you advance your career, or even help you enter a new industry. For those interested in furthering their education, there are thousands of online colleges to choose from. While there are several excellent online colleges to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the right school for your needs. To help you in your search, we have put together a list of our top online colleges to help narrow it down.
BetterHelp is a growing hub for online counseling. Many licensed therapists who have worked with clients in their private practices are expanding their careers and accepting clients online, which means you're choosing from seasoned mental health professionals who know how to help you and your needs. Currently, over 35,000,000 sessions have helped people with their mental health. Now it's time for you to meet with an online therapist who can help get you the support you're seeking, and it's easy to find. Thousands of counselors from across the world are ready to connect with you; meaning you can get matched with a therapist anytime that's best suited for you. Whether you have a mental health issue or need advice, seeking the counseling you need can help.
Overall, the best measure of effectiveness is hearing from the thousands of existing customers already using these services. Most of them post testimonials and reviews on their websites. While some leave negative reviews, the fact that so many have had positive experiences is very telling. It means that at least to some extent, this is working. It's just a matter of trying it out oneself to make an individual determination.
We review hundreds of colleges every year to help you find an online program that best meets your needs. Our final list includes 50 of the best online schools in the country. Each ranked school is a fully accredited, nonprofit institution that offers at least ten online bachelor's degrees and three online master's degrees. Our assessments use qualitative measures and data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics. Review our complete methodology here.
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Amridge University, founded in Montgomery, AL in 1967, was among the first 15 universities to offer online degree programs as part of a U.S. Department of Education initiative. The study culminated with a change in Federal laws to allow more students to receive online degrees. Ranked among the best online schools, AU currently offers programs leading to an Associate or Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts or Science, Master or Doctor of Ministry, and Doctor of Philosophy. Its online programs are administered by the College of Business, College of General Studies, School of Human Services, and Turner School of Theology.


The public research university of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is often called UNC or UNC Chapel Hill and is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is the flagship university for the University of North Carolina system which has 17 campuses. The school was chartered in 1789 but did not begin enrollment until 1795 and for this reason, UNC is one of three schools which claim the title of the oldest public university in the U.S.
Regis University is a private, Jesuit University with its main campus located in Denver, Colorado. The online college offers a catalogue of courses to suit students hoping to advance their career path, earn a bigger paycheck, or to fulfill their passions. A long list of flexible programs allows students to pick and choose which suits their needs best as they juggle work, family, and school. The school boasts some impressive statistics, such as 89% placement rate after graduation, and 50% higher than Colorado State average. Regis University is a excellent option for those seeking a reliable online program.
With online therapy with a licensed counselor, you're matched to a counselor based on your preference of communication; either live video, text messaging, or telephone... never having to worry about traveling to an office. While all the counselors are qualified, many will prefer a younger, older, male, or female counselor. Once that happens, here is what you can expect.
Online education breaks down barriers to physical or geographic limits. If you’re in a rural community, for example, you get access to the same world of online options as you would in a city. “10-20 years ago, if you wanted to finish school or get an advanced degree, chances are your options were one of the handful of local schools,” says Dale Leatherwood, Co-Founder of ClearDegree, which helps working professionals research online education. “If they didn’t offer the program that you wanted, you were out of luck. Now you have dozens or sometimes hundreds of options to choose from when looking to get your degree.”
UIC offers a range of student supports to ensure your success as an online student. Live technical support is available, as well as access to tutorials on how to access information within your online courses. And students can access learning software from computers and mobile devices. UIC also offers flexible scheduling so students can attend lectures, complete assignments, and engage in discussions at their convenience.
The online Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management prepares students for managerial and technical careers in the field of information systems. The online Bachelors of Science in Information System Management Program is designed for students interested in pursuing a career as an information technology professional who can apply accepted standards and best practices to effectively plan, design, implement, and manage the various aspects of an organization. The program emphasizes the acquisition of sound theoretical concepts and research experience in the area of information systems. 
Home to the Red Wolves athletics teams, Arkansas State University is a learning community of 14,000 students privy to world-class faculty, research, and student-friendly instruction. The school offers academic programs in classrooms with a 17-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Arkansas State is one of the oldest virtual colleges in the state. Courses are delivered asynchronously to both undergraduates and graduate students. Distance learners can earn bachelor's degrees in fields like general studies, communication studies, nursing, sociology, and political science.

The University of Rochester, UR or U of R and occasionally just Rochester, is a private nonsectarian research university located in Rochester, New York. The school was originally established in 1850 and John N. Wilder was the original benefactor, donating $10,000 to the school which opened the path for other individuals and institutions to donate as well.


With a bachelor’s degree in sociology, students are prepared for employment in a wide range of entry-level positions in social services, community work, corrections, management, college settings, health services, public relations, government services, and teaching (in conjunction with appropriate teacher certification). For students who plan to further their education, a major in sociology prepares them for graduate studies in a wide array of programs, including but not limited to sociology, counseling, criminology, education, law, public health, rehabilitation, social research, and social work.
The University of Alabama in Huntsville is one of the top research schools in the state with many students going on to earn a degree in science or engineering. However, many graduates realize that a bachelor's degree is no longer enough to advance through some careers. With this in mind, UAH has created one of the best online schools in Alabama to earn a master's degree. One of the popular areas of study for online students is engineering with degrees offered in seven different focuses. Some of these degrees are available at both the master's and doctoral level, giving students the chance to study toward two graduate degrees at the same online school. For students who live in the area, some of the courses offered are available entirely online or in a hybrid of both online and on-campus.
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.

Although many online colleges provide learning options in a variety of disciplines, some excel in a certain area or have special resources to facilitate the educational process. For example, institutions with strong art programs often have custom tools designed to organize, send and receive multiple types of digital media. Furthermore, online colleges that concentrate on healthcare and nursing establish strong relationships with hospitals and other medical facilities to ensure that students get the on-site, hands-on training they need to successfully transition from college to career.


UCF also features 24 fully online master's degrees for graduate-level students. These programs cover a wide range of academic subjects. Master of Arts (M.A.) options include degrees in applied learning and instruction, educational leadership and English-technical communication. Alternatively, online students at UCF can earn Master of Science (M.S.) degrees in fields like criminal justice and digital forensics. UCF also offers web-based master's degrees in seven specialized engineering fields, a dual public administration and criminal justice master's, and an MSN option for nurses. Some UCF Online master's programs are 30 to 35 credits in length, and may be completed in as little as one year of full-time enrollment.
A counseling career gives you the opportunity to help others every day and this resource is here to help you achieve your professional goals. Whether you are a practicing professional, seeking a career change, or following a dream or passion, our mission is to provide all of the information you need to pursue a career as a professional counselor, no matter where you live.
UMKC is renowned for their high-quality online programs and is home to one of the top 20 online Graduate Nursing Programs in the country, as well as highly-ranked online Bachelor’s and Graduate Education programs (U.S. News & World Report). And UMKC has recently been awarded the SANsational award by the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) for their online presence in the State Authorization area.

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.

Texas A&M University, often referred to as TAMU, is a flagship public research-intensive institution in College Station, Texas. The school opened in 1876 as the first public institution of higher learning in the state of Texas and was named the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. The letters A&M, standing for Agricultural and Mechanical, are kept as a reminder of the school’s heritage.
More than 55,000 students attend the University of Florida. The school has 16 different colleges in order to serve students with a wide variety of majors and minors. UF also offers online courses and degree programs for students who would prefer the flexibility of an online education and still have the same high-quality standards as on-campus education.

Regis University is a private, Jesuit University with its main campus located in Denver, Colorado. The online college offers a catalogue of courses to suit students hoping to advance their career path, earn a bigger paycheck, or to fulfill their passions. A long list of flexible programs allows students to pick and choose which suits their needs best as they juggle work, family, and school. The school boasts some impressive statistics, such as 89% placement rate after graduation, and 50% higher than Colorado State average. Regis University is a excellent option for those seeking a reliable online program.
UCF also features 24 fully online master's degrees for graduate-level students. These programs cover a wide range of academic subjects. Master of Arts (M.A.) options include degrees in applied learning and instruction, educational leadership and English-technical communication. Alternatively, online students at UCF can earn Master of Science (M.S.) degrees in fields like criminal justice and digital forensics. UCF also offers web-based master's degrees in seven specialized engineering fields, a dual public administration and criminal justice master's, and an MSN option for nurses. Some UCF Online master's programs are 30 to 35 credits in length, and may be completed in as little as one year of full-time enrollment.
Not all students are able to study toward a degree in a traditional manner. To reach out to these students, Jackson State University has created an online program that allows students to earn a degree entirely online while also receiving the same benefits that traditional students receive. One of the best online schools in Mississippi, JSU designed their online degree programs to help students who want to improve their long term career outlook. Each degree offered online teaches students how to succeed in their field while also giving them the credentials to advance. Because JSU places such an emphasis on the career outlook for students, most of their online degree programs end with a master's degree. For students who want a mix of online and on-campus, some of the programs offered can be completed in a hybrid format.
As members of the National Association for College Admission Counseling and the American Council on Education, the team at TheBestSchools.org has proven expertise in online education for nearly 10 years. We cover online colleges and universities more broadly and thoroughly than anyone else on the web! With over 300 online degree programs rankings, best online colleges in each state, top universities in the world rankings, and online student news and information through our magazine The Quad, we are online college experts!
Located in the town of Longview, Texas, this interdenominational Christian institution was primarily founded in 1946 to provide education and specialized for returning WWII veterans. LeTourneau's online programs are centered around the philosophy that higher education shouldn't interfere with the lives of working adults; many degrees and courses are available in accelerated web-based formats, and most follow an asynchronous schedule that allows students to complete degree requirements at their own pace.
And since many universities have embraced the flexible online format, more employers are taking these degrees – and other online credentials, like graduate certificates – seriously, experts say. It’s important, they note, to check if a degree program is accredited before enrolling to make sure that it’s legitimate; having regional accreditation will also increase the likelihood that any earned credits will be accepted at other accredited universities.
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.
Online students at WSU Global Campus benefit from many student supports including personal academic assistance, a worldwide alumni network, and access to their unique Global Connections program. WSU is constantly expanding online course offerings—and these programs constantly garner national acclaim. WSU has ranked at the top of U.S. News & World Report’s online rankings for Bachelor’s, MBA, and Graduate Engineering programs.

One of three campuses in the world-class University of Illinois, the University of Illinois Springfield is widely acclaimed for their leadership in online learning. UIS offers over 45 degree, certification, and graduate certificate programs for nontraditional students, many of which rank among the best in the country. Students encounter an intellectually rich environment with top-notch faculty and online resources.
The following online college ranking considers that the best online college depends on the needs of an individual student; what might be the “best” for one might not even make the short-list of another. As a result, the list below ranks schools based on many variables, including tuition, financial aid and number of online programs available. Depending on what students find most important in a school, they can tailor their college search to focus on those characteristics. By narrowing down the options with their top needs and desires, students find the best online school for them.
16. Podcasts
Today, more than 36,000 students attend the University of California, Davis. The university has 11 colleges and schools and offers over 102 undergraduate majors as well as 101 graduate programs. While UC Davis is a brick-and-mortar institution, it does offer students online course options for summer sessions and UC Davis Extension offers online programs for certificates and professional concentrations.
Online learning benefits each student differently. Some students may need the time flexibility, where they can hop online and submit materials after hours or early in the morning before work. Others gravitate toward the location flexibility, being able to work from home, a coffee shop or anywhere else that fits into their lifestyle. And for those who need a hands-on element to their education, many online programs have the best of both worlds, allowing for remote coursework but including campus-based or other on-site laboratory experiences.
In journalism, digital media and citizen journalism have led to the loss of thousands of jobs in print media and the bankruptcy of many major newspapers.[25] But the rise of digital journalism has also created thousands of new jobs and specializations.[26] E-books and self-publishing are changing the book industry, and digital textbooks and other media-inclusive curricula are changing primary and secondary education.[27][28] In academia, digital media has led to a new form of scholarship, called digital scholarship, and new fields of study, such as digital humanities and digital history. It has changed the way libraries are used and their role in society.[12] Every major media, communications and academic endeavor is facing a period of transition and uncertainty related to digital media.
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