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.
The search tool below has been designed to help simplify the process of comparing online colleges and programs. Users can evaluate distance learning options based on important factors such as enrollment, tuition, and academic program availability. Armed with this information, students can make an informed decision about which online university fits their personal, educational, and professional needs.
The most obvious difference between counseling online (web-based) and counseling in the office is that you can get counseling from the comfort and privacy of your own home, and you save the time and expense of traveling to a counseling office. If you have children at home, it can also save you the cost of child care or dealing with the difficulties of bringing children along to an in-office session. In terms of effectiveness, the research from Kessler, Amstadter and the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has shown that for most issues, web-based therapy is as effective as in-office therapy. To ensure web-based sessions are as confidential as our in-office sessions, The Village Family Service Center uses an encrypted web service [Nefsis] so what you share in session stays between you and the counselor.

Due to the rapid evolution of online coursework, online programs are quickly becoming some of the most high-quality degree options available. To date, well over 2,000 colleges offer accredited online programs. While our list of the best online colleges and universities is a good starting point for researching programs, we've outlined additional steps you can take to narrow your list of potential schools.
The University of Texas at Austin is the 8th largest single-campus enrollment institution of higher learning in the nation with well over 51,000 students. UT offers courses and programs through 18 different schools and colleges with a very large variety of areas of study for students to choose from. Self-paced, real-time, and on-demand online options are available for select courses at UT for students who are interested in taking online courses.
And some of those option may come at a reduced price. “For online students, some schools charge the same tuition rates for out-of-state students as in-state, which means it’s possible to get a degree from a school in another state for the same cost that students in that state are paying,” says Professor Andrew Selepak, Director of the Master Program in Social Media at the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida.

I had been used to having administrative hours end at 5:00 pm. I had a question about my registration and was able to talk to someone at 7:00 p.m. This may sound like a small event, but to me it showed the school understands my situation. I have been treated as if I was an incoming traditional student. All of my question and problems have been addressed. I feel like I am a part of something big, even from behind my computer screen.
Full-time students can typically earn an associate degree in two years. An online associate degree is ideal for those who have a high school diploma and who want to quickly gain practical career skills. Associate degrees are less expensive than a bachelor's degree, and many online community colleges offer programs that open the door to vocational and administrative support positions such as legal assistant, medical assistant, and medical biller and coder. An online associate degree program is also a cost-effective way to complete general education requirements before transferring to a four-year program.
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.

Meet FAFSA®, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. If you’re applying for financial aid, and you should be regardless of whether you attend a traditional program or an online college, it’s your new best friend. Don’t quake in your boots at the thought of having to complete a federal form. Compared with doing your taxes, the FAFSA® is a piece of cake. Millions of people have gone through the process and survived. You will, too.
Instead, prepare to talk about two or three genuine deficits – and how you plan to address them. For instance, if you’re asked about your greatest weakness on the job, you could respond with something like, “I wish I had a better grasp of bookkeeping now that I’m moving into positions that require more budget responsibility, and I’m planning to take an online course to improve my skills in that 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.
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.
More psychologists are exploring online sites and apps just as more patients are interested in using them. Research does show that some technological tools can help when used in conjunction with in-office therapy. Many psychologists and patients are finding text messages helpful for quick check-ins or reminders. Some apps can help track and log moods or thoughts. Web-conferencing and streaming in real time can offer continuity when a patient is on vacation or not able to make a regular session. There are cases in which Web-conferencing or therapy via telephone does seem to be a viable option on its own for some people. But for now, with the current research and with the current technology, mobile apps and text messaging are best used as complementary to in-person psychotherapy.
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 over 10 years' experience in web design/development and search engine marketing, the team at Phoenix Online Media has extensive knowledge and expertise, plus an intuitive understanding of the customer journey. We provide scalable strategies designed to address your most pressing business challenges, including branding, industry research, customer analytics, SEM, SEO, Local SEO, content marketing, social media, email and campaign management, and website design & development.
WSU’s Global Campus strives to provide online students with a true campus experience—including online events, career fairs, webinars from university experts, and a digital pavilion where students can showcase their research. And at WSU Global Campus busy students—including undergraduates—can take accelerated online courses which propel them through coursework at a faster than usual pace. Top degree programs include:
Many of America's top colleges have launched online degree programs. Investments in technology have allowed colleges to create affordable and flexible programs for students. Online classes have significantly improved over the past 10 years and are more respected and accepted by top academics. Universities such as MIT and UC Berkeley now offer a wide variety of classes online. Find programs by clicking your state below.
As a student, you have many options available to fund your education. Some of the most common financial options include Federal Financial Aid, scholarships, grants, the cash plan, the third-party billing plan, the military or government billing plan, tribal funding and third-party private student loans. Learn about each option to determine your eligibility. 
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.
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.
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.
With an emphasis on public affairs, Missouri State University-Springfield trains students to become culturally competent and community-engaged, ethical leaders. While the school has a four-year campus in Springfield, two-year campus in West Plains, and a campus in China, it is also among the top accredited online colleges in the country, boasting baccalaureate degrees in fields like communication studies, criminology and criminal justice, health services, and psychology.
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.
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:
Attending online class is easy, all you need is a reliable internet connection. You simply log into your classroom to complete assignments, access course materials and resources and interact with faculty and classmates. Class participation is graded based upon your contributions to online discussions. This is a great solution for students who might have a difficult time commuting and for those who learn better independently.
The workplace is changing. Digital media and data are everywhere. The world is social. If you’re no longer in your twenties but want to get into a digital role, you may find it hard to find peers to interact with at traditional schools. That’s where an online degree program can be particularly helpful. In a virtual setting, you’re more likely to be valued for your contribution, and not judged on age or other less relevant qualities. “Older students are able to attend school with more of their peers and have interaction with students and instructors that are related to their experience,” says Leatherwood.

Mississippi State University has created a history of excellence, and it all starts with their degree programs. Regardless of what students study, each degree is meant to give students all the resources they need to succeed throughout their life. The same philosophy is applied to their online program, often considered one of the best online colleges in the nation. Students can study online while learning from faculty who also teach on-campus courses, meaning the quality of the education is consistent from on-campus to online. Also, Mississippi State offers in-state tuition to all online students, not just residents of Mississippi. Degrees can be earned entirely online from start to finish for students all around the world.
The advantages of online courses are more than just a sense of freedom. Online courses eliminate the need to commute to a campus, which saves money as well. There are several costs associated with this type of long-term campus commute, and as 29% of respondents report a household income of less than $50,000 a year, affordability matters. In addition, 46% of online students cite choosing the convenience of an online course due to a lack of a local campus or an inability to regularly commute to one.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University knows how to make education accessible for nontraditional students. Online learners have access to dedicated student advisors that help guide them through their program. And online degree programs feature multiple start times throughout the year, with 12 undergraduate and 10 graduate terms. This accelerated format propels students through the program in nine-week sessions.
We're here to put you on the right path to meet your educational and career goals by finding the best accredited online colleges for you! The top online schools on our site offer premier undergraduate and graduate certificates and diplomas, online bachelor degree programs, online Masters degrees, and online PhD programs. Just use the online college finder above to start your search now!
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.
The school has a strong online bachelor of business administration program with majors in management, management information systems, and marketing. The school also offers an online bachelor of business studies program with majors in business administration, finance, management, management information systems, and marketing. Both programs require students to complete 120 credits.

The largest university in the Chicago area, the University of Illinois at Chicago has consistently ranked among the top ten schools to get an online Bachelor’s degree (and currently sits at #4 according to U.S. News and World Report). The University has been offering online programs for a decade, and currently offers over 45 degrees at the undergraduate through postgraduate levels.
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.
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.
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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.
UVA offers more than 120 majors across their 8 undergraduate and 3 professional schools. Overall, UVA offers its students 48 bachelor’s degrees, 94 master’s degrees, 55 doctoral degrees, 6 educational specialist degrees, as well as 2 first-professional degrees in Medicine and Law. Also, there are undergraduate degrees and certificates as well as graduate certificate programs online through UVA. The university serves over 22,000 students from all 50 states as well as international students from 148 countries.

The term "media" is defined by the dictionary as the storage and transmission tools used for delivering data or information. However, nowadays media is often used as a synonym to mass media and news media. And media, along with everything else in this world, has evolved a lot, and when the Internet was introduced, media fitted perfectly in it, giving birth to the online media.
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