Princeton, New Jersey is home to Princeton University, one of the nation’s Ivy League colleges. Princeton is the 4th oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and was founded in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey in 1746. This also makes the school one of the nine colonial colleges which were chartered prior to the American Revolution. Over time the school has changed locations, once to Newark before transitioning to its current campus. It was 1896 when the school took its official name as Princeton University.
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The value of any ranking list of schools and/or degree programs depends on having a methodologically sound assessment of each school’s/program’s characteristics, especially insofar as these can be objectively measured. A college or university is a complex entity, with numerous factors to consider, and distilling these down to the place where meaningful comparisons can be made to form a defensible ranking list becomes part science and part art.


UC San Diego offers students 6 residential colleges: Revelle College, John Muir College, Thurgood Marshall College, Earl Warren College, Eleanor Roosevelt College, and Sixth College. There are 9 academic departments at UCSD which are Arts and Humanities, Biological Sciences, Business, Engineering, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Marine Sciences, Pre-Med, and Pre-Law. There are also online programs or courses offered from UC San Diego Extension.
There are 10 schools and colleges at Vanderbilt which collectively offer 68 bachelor programs, 79 master’s degree programs, and 59 doctoral programs. Vanderbilt University offers online courses via the Coursera platform as well as the Peabody Online offering two online programs: Doctor of Education in leadership and learning in organizations, and Master of Education in human development counseling.
The integration of Christianity and learning is central to the academic programs at Dallas Baptist University. The school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in classrooms with an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. While Dallas Baptist's urban location is home to multinationals, global ministries, and artistic and athletic venues, students don't have to live in Dallas to enroll. Using Blackboard LMS, DBU delivers class content asynchronously, including baccalaureate degrees in Biblical studies, communication, criminal justice, psychology, and sociology.

Substance abuse and addiction counseling online programs are accredited by the National Addictions Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC). One addictions counseling program from the University of the Cumberlands is accredited only by CACREP. Generally, accreditation by some governing body is important for online counseling programs in order to ensure quality, credibility, and value.
Columbia University in the City of New York is often called simply Columbia University or Columbia. Columbia is a private Ivy League university in the upper Manhattan area of New York. The university was established in 1754 and is the oldest in the state as well as the 5th to be chartered in the country, making it one of the 9 colleges established prior to the American Revolution.

Adult students looking to earn a degree from one of the best online schools for bachelor's degree should consider Siena Heights University. Founded on Catholic ethics, Siena Heights has gained a reputation for being one of the best liberal arts schools for adult learners and working students. Their degree programs are designed to help students further their careers, giving them the knowledge they need to make a jump from one career to another or advance further in their current field. The online school at Siena Heights is nationally recognized for the quality of their bachelor's degrees as well as their incredibly high graduation rate. Students who study at Siena can also choose to study in a hybrid format, allowing them to study both online and on-campus. There are many resources students can use as well, most of which are available entirely online.

UMass Amherst contains 9 schools and colleges and offers over 100 undergraduate programs, 75 master’s, and over 45 doctoral programs to the more than 30,000 students who are enrolled. Online education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst includes not only courses but also more than 40 total programs for undergraduates and graduates, as well as certificate programs. UMass online also offers programs through multiple campuses in the University of Massachusetts system which is even more variety with hundreds of choices.


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When looking for the right place to pursue their higher education goals, students often examine a variety of factors. One of the most important tends to be affordability. Those colleges that create a rigorous educational experience for a reasonable, affordable price are obviously quite attractive to fiscally-minded students. The schools below have met that goal of blending a high-quality education with a manageable cost. Our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Colleges for 2018 takes into account which schools provide the most programs, financial aid options with lower rates and services necessary for online students while also keeping tuition and fees at a reasonable level.
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:
Choosing the best online degree from among the many colleges offering them will require taking many things into consideration. For example, a person’s ultimate career goal will primarily dictate the area of study they choose. Then, the student’s potential time commitment will decide what kind of class format the student can take. For instance, if a student has a full-time job or significant financial responsibilities, they will probably need to enroll in an online program that offers asynchronous learning. Finally, the student must confirm the program is accredited.
Columbia Southern University offers 28 online undergraduate degrees and 12 online graduate degrees. CSU also partners with over 2,500 organizations to offer a 10% tuition discount for working professionals. The recommendation rate for this university is 80% by the 158 students who review their experiences there. Columbia Southern University offers two track schedules to give students flexibility in when they begin their coursework. Track A and Track B dates overlap but have different start and end dates for more flexibility. CSU also offers a program called LifePace Learning that offers even more flexibility where students can either complete a course in four weeks or extend up to 18 weeks. Tuition is an affordable $6,600 per year or $225 per credit hour for undergraduates and $300 per credit hour for graduate courses. Textbooks are included in these tuition costs for online students.
Brandeis University enrolls more than 5,000 students, both undergraduate and graduate. The campus at Brandeis is 235 acres and there are over 100 academic and residential buildings. The College of Arts and Sciences alone offers undergraduate students more than 40 majors to choose from and even more minors. Likewise, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offers 40 master’s programs and 17 doctoral programs and these are only a portion of the programs offered. Brandeis also offers online courses during summers and has 12 online master’s programs, a professional certificate program as well as a hybrid Executive MBA for Physicians (EMBA) program.
Florida has a comprehensive list of master’s degree offerings, including programs in art education, business administration, educational leadership, aerospace engineering, fire and emergency services, and gerontology. Notable online programs include the 30-credit master’s in veterinary forensics science, a program for professionals working in veterinary medicine and forensic science. Areas of study include animal crime scene processing, scientific and legal principles of forensic evidence, cruelty to animals, and interpersonal violence. The school’s 32-credit master of science in pharmaceutical sciences has several areas of emphasis, including forensic science, pharmaceutical regulation, and forensic DNA and serology. The school also offers a selection of undergraduate and graduate certificates in various fields.
Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the private, Ivy League school of the University of Pennsylvania, often referred to as Penn or UPenn. The school was founded in 1740, then later received its collegiate charter in 1755 and is one of the 9 colonial colleges which pre-date the American Revolution. Benjamin Franklin is the founder and the red chief and dolphin on the university’s coat of arms stems from the Franklin family coat of arms.
California Coast University offers a low undergraduate tuition rate of $4,725 per year with interest-free payment plans starting at $100/month. In the online module, there are 13 undergraduate degree programs, 14 graduate degree programs, and 16 certificate or diploma programs. The average recommendation rate for this university is a solid 90% based on the reviews of 61 different students. The fully online degree and certificate programs have no set meetings times or group projects. Students are not required to be on campus or take exams on a specific date. CCU also offers academic credit for work experience or training for professionals hoping to earn an undergraduate degree. Graduate degree programs are $230-$290 per credit hour depending on the program.
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The second largest public university in the state of Florida, FIU's main campus is situated in the heart of downtown Miami. According to the school's website, more than 200,000 students worldwide have successfully completed web-based degree and certificate programs through FIU Online coursework. FIU's online business, engineering, MBA and bachelor's degree programs also earned spots on 2016 best-of rankings by U.S. News & World Report.
In terms of confidentiality and privacy, it is important to look at practitioners who use encrypted video software. You may need to download the software they are using. This is typically an easy step, but it is an important one. Skype and FaceTime may seem like obvious, easy choices for video software, but they may not meet the HIPAA standards of privacy in your state and may not meet you or your therapist’s privacy and confidentiality standards.
Because a master’s degree is a requirement for licensure as a professional counselor, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in counseling related fields sets the groundwork for graduate studies in counseling. Coursework for undergraduate studies in these fields will typically include the evaluation of human development, counseling skills and foundation, introduction to psychology, and/or basic approaches to counseling/therapy.
Master’s degrees are available in accounting, criminal justice, sociology, and engineering, each with corresponding concentrations. Master’s programs offered in a blended format include the MS in health informatics, the MAED in special education-collaborative teacher, and the MS in health information-executive format. Notably, the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s online master’s of public health has several concentrations delivered fully online, including epidemiology, health behavior, industrial hygiene, and occupational health and safety. The 44- to 45-credit master of science in nursing— nurse practitioner provides nurses with specializations in women’s health, family healthcare, and psychiatric-mental health.

The U.S. military employs counselors, case workers, and psychologists in a variety of roles with various levels of education and training to provide a host of support options for our military personnel and their families. In many cases, a military counselor will work as part of a team that may include social workers, psychologists, medical officers, chaplains, personnel specialists, and commanders.


The process of applying for student aid at an online college is similar to the application process at a traditional school. To be eligible, students must first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA becomes available online on October 1 annually; students should start preparing their FAFSA form as soon as possible, as many awards are offered on a first-come-first-serve basis. Note that students applying for student aid must be enrolled at an online college that has been accredited by a federally recognized accreditation agency. The status of an online student (full time or part time) may also affect their eligibility to receive aid.


Graduation rates at online degree programs and bricks-and-mortar alike are less than you might think. According to the U.S Department of Education Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the graduation rate for four-year degrees hovers in the 48-49% range, and no one likes the idea of paying for something you start but don’t finish.
When looking for the right place to pursue their higher education goals, students often examine a variety of factors. One of the most important tends to be affordability. Those colleges that create a rigorous educational experience for a reasonable, affordable price are obviously quite attractive to fiscally-minded students. The schools below have met that goal of blending a high-quality education with a manageable cost. Our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Colleges for 2018 takes into account which schools provide the most programs, financial aid options with lower rates and services necessary for online students while also keeping tuition and fees at a reasonable level.
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.
Master's degree programs available through Drexel Online include two MBA tracks: a 42-month 'flex' program and a 24-month 'accelerated' program. An additional 13 Master of Science degrees are available online through Drexel's business and management department. Grad students with an interest in clinical/medical research can pursue master's degrees in six niche fields, including laboratory animal science, drug discovery/development and molecular medicine. Other specialized master's options at Drexel Online include degrees in television management, cyber security, project management, sports management and 14 education specialization tracks. Many of Drexel's master's programs include practicum or field-based components.
With a total of four colleges and schools, California-based National University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs delivered by world-class faculty. At National University, approximately 70 degree programs are delivered asynchronously fully online to eLearners. Students are given access to interactive tools and a wide range of support services.
The Center for Online Education understands online colleges have a dynamic future as new technologies and new uses for existing tools change the way we communicate, connect, and collaborate. In the coming years, virtual reality, blended program delivery, makerspaces, predictive learning platforms, gigabit Internet speeds, and other emerging technologies will push the limits of what was once thought possible at online colleges. Social media and networking sites will continue to impact online teaching and learning, providing a virtual space for authentic interaction, relationship building, and participation in professional communities. Our in-house team, and panel of contributors, are all graduates of accredited colleges and are here to help inform your online college journey.

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!)
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.
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