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Education Reference Desk | Online Education Resources for Students and Teachers

Rankings

Best Accredited Online Colleges

 

best_accredited_online_colleges_universitiesOnline degree programs have become an excellent avenue for students who need to fit a degree or master’s program into their already busy lives. Maybe you are entering college for the first time and don’t want to pay all the living expenses that your far away dream university would require. Perhaps you already have a career and are going back to finish school without giving up your income source. Maybe you’re a parent who wasn’t able to complete your degree when your sweet children came along, and now life is too busy to go to campus for classes. Maybe you are unhappy in your current profession, and you need a new career in a new industry. Millions of people are already using online education because of these and a myriad of other reasons.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, over 6 million college students in the U.S. took at least one online course in the fall of 2016. About half of those took all of their classes online. More and more potential students are finding that the traditional college or university model of education does not fit into their lifestyles.

As the demand for online degree options has increased over the years, colleges and universities have created more classes and degree programs to meet the need. You can pursue nearly every course of study. When you are ready to decide on which online college or university you want to attend, it is crucial to make sure it is accredited. If it is accredited, employers will accept the degree. If it is not, search for another school.

You can check any school’s accreditation status by searching the institution’s name on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation website at https://www.chea.org/ and the U.S. Department of Education Database at https://ope.ed.gov/dapip/#/home. Whatever reason you have for completing your post-secondary education online, online colleges and universities can fit into your life’s competing demands. Online colleges and universities can make it possible for you to reach all your educational and career goals.

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Ranking Methodology | Best Accredited Online Colleges Ranking

Rankings

EduRef.net rankings are based on affordability, academic quality, and student outcomes via the following information:

  • Affordability (average net price)
  • Academic quality (retention & graduation rates)
  • Student outcome (salary after attending or the median earnings of former students who received federal financial aid, at 10 years after entering the school)

Each school considered for this ranking was given a score and a ranking based on the average net price, retention rate, graduation rate and post attendance salary. Scores were then combined to create an overall ranking and score with 100 being the highest score and a ranking of #1 as the highest possible ranking in each category and overall ranking.

All data was gathered from NCES.ed.gov and is accurate at the time of this writing (October 2019). All other information was gathered from school websites and other ranking sites such as EDsmart.org, US News & World Report and Niche.com.

48 Best Accredited Online Colleges for 2020

1. University of Florida Distance Learning

Score: 100

Average Net Price: $10,533

Retention Rate: 83%

Graduation Rate: 90%

Salary After Attending: $56,000

University of Florida Online programs offer a unique opportunity to those looking to complete traditional degrees solely through distance learning. At the University of Florida Online, students can earn a degree with the same accreditation that is available through the traditional on-campus learning experience. Students also have the same access to financial aid, career services, and exceptional faculty as they would if they enrolled on campus.

The distance learning program at the University of Florida is among the top in the country, according to several metrics. U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Florida’s online program 5th in the nation, with the online Bachelor’s program for veterans ranking 12th in the country. The University of Florida has also received recognition from Business Insider as offering the 11th best online undergraduate programs. Prospective students will also be pleased to learn that the University of Florida is one of the most affordable online schools nationwide.

2. Indiana University–IU Online

Score: 97.6

Average Net Price: $14,351

Retention Rate: 91%

Graduation Rate: 77%

Salary After Attending: $47,700

Indiana University, or IU, offers over 125 degree programs that can be completed online or with just a few visits to the campus. The online division includes programs that result in certificates, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in 19 different areas of study. Flexible class schedules allow working individuals and parents to work toward a degree on a schedule that works best for them. IU distance learning students access scholarships, grants, and loans to complete their studies and to take classes developed and taught by the faculty on the physical campus.

US News and World Report highly regards the IU online bachelor’s and master’s programs. The school’s online division is ranked number one in the country for best online graduate business programs and tied for the top MBA programs. IU also takes the top spot for its online MBA programs for veterans. The school ranked 15th for the best online bachelor’s programs for veterans and 20th for best online bachelor’s programs.

3. University of Minnesota–Twin Cities

Score: 97.4

Average Net Price: $17,396

Retention Rate: 93%

Graduation Rate: 79%

Salary After Attending: $51,900

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers a variety of options for learners who want to work toward their degrees online. Depending on the department and degree program, there are options to complete the coursework online-only, partially online, or primarily online with a short residency on campus in person. Regardless of the pathway to completion, students take classes with the same professors who teach on campus, complete similar curricula, and follow the same required components of the program. All online students will earn a degree from the University of Minnesota, just as if they had followed a traditional campus education.

While the rankings for the online division of the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities on U.S. News and World Report are not as high as the previous schools listed here, they are still impressive when considering all the programs nationwide. The school ranks between 41 and 51 for Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs and between 72 and 94 for Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs. This puts the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in the top 10 percent of the best accredited online schools nationwide.

4. Rutgers University

Score: 97.2

Average Net Price: $20,379

Retention Rate: 93%

Graduation Rate: 80%

Salary After Attending: $57,900

Rutgers University has a wide variety of online offerings available to their students. For those pursuing undergraduate degrees, Rutger’s has bachelor’s degree programs in business administration and nursing. The university also offers 12 different online master’s degree programs in a variety of disciplines. University professors teach the online classes which are smaller with academic rigor comparable to those on the physical campus. As a public university, tuition rates are competitive, and loans and financial aid are as available to online students as they are to students who attend classes on campus. Rutger’s online programs offer variety to help those who need flexibility in their schooling schedule to complete the degree.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the university 115th among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs. Forbes also ranks Rutgers 32nd among the best public colleges and 67th in the list of top research universities.

5. Arizona State University–ASU Online

Score: 95.6

Average Net Price: $11,163

Retention Rate: 86%

Graduation Rate: 65%

Salary After Attending: $47,700

The online division at Arizona State University, or ASU, offers over 200 degree-granting programs for students to work toward that are completely accomplished through long-distance learning. Students working toward an online degree at ASU will receive the same access to the full accreditation and top-notch professors at the university as students do who complete their programs on campus. It is easy to transfer credits from other colleges and universities, as 90 percent of students do so upon enrollment in the ASU online division.

The recognition and top rankings for the ASU online programs are plentiful and positive. U.S. News and World Report has ranked the programs as first in the nation for innovation and second in the nation for overall online education. The Wall Street Journal also ranks ASU students in the top 5 best-qualified groups of graduates to enter the workforce. ASU has excellent career preparation and networking opportunities for its students, as 87 percent of graduates receive job offers within 3 months of completing their degrees.

6. Northeastern University

Score: 95.4

Average Net Price: $29,748

Retention Rate: 97%

Graduation Rate: 87%

Salary After Attending: $67,400

Northeastern University provides a robust and comprehensive online education for students seeking undergraduate and graduate degrees. Over 80 programs are offered completely or mostly online at Northeastern, and all 9 colleges within the university offer at least one degree through distance learning. Students can pursue certificates, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorates through the online learning division at Northeastern University. Regardless of the degree program in which they are enrolled, students have access to the same faculty and staff as the students attending the physical campus. Northeastern University also offers an Experiential Network in which its online students can complete virtual projects with large companies to gain applicable job skills in their degree area.

Northeastern gets several nods from U.S. News and World Report for their online degree programs. The university ranks 27th for Best Online Graduate Business Programs for Veterans and 47th for Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans. For the general population of students attending the university online, the program ranks 53rd for Best Online Graduate Business Programs and 77th for Best Online MBA Programs.

7. University of South Florida

Score: 95.2

Average Net Price: $11,700

Retention Rate: 90%

Graduation Rate: 69%

Salary After Attending: $43,500

The University of South Florida is an innovative leader in educating students pursuing all levels of degrees. The university offers 7 bachelor’s degrees and over two dozen master’s degrees that can be completed through distance learning. Students can pursue just one course online or their entire degree. There are a variety of courses offered online as part of the traditional on-campus degree programs. Access to the Electronic Campus and the Florida Virtual Campus databases help keep students informed and gain access to courses at the University of South Florida at learning institutions around the south.

The U.S. News and World Report ranks the online graduate programs at the University of South Florida favorably. The college ranks 20th on the list of the Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs and 37th among the Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs. The overall graduate education programs rank 69th, and the university is 82nd on the list of Best Online MBA Programs.

8. University of Massachusetts

Score: 94.4

Average Net Price: $20,926

Retention Rate: 91%

Graduation Rate: 77%

Salary After Attending: $51,400

The University of Massachusetts offers a great online program for learners who require a flexible format. Online students can take classes at any time of day when it is convenient for them, and they have access to the coursework 24 hours a day throughout the calendar year. Technical support is available around the clock, which is crucial for students who need to log in during off-hours and who encounter a problem. All the degree and certificate programs offered through the online courses are fully accredited, and the classes are of the same caliber and taught by the same faculty as those on the physical campuses.

The Best Schools ranks the University of Massachusetts online division at the top of the charts for its programs. For two years in a row, the school was ranked 3rd on the list of Best Online College. The university’s online program is also within the top 10 online schools for return on investment. U.S. News and World Report also ranks the University of Massachusetts online programs favorably. The school is the 17th best for online MBA programs and sits 20th on the list for its general online programs.

9. University of Central Florida

Score: 93.8

Average Net Price: $15,286

Retention Rate: 89%

Graduation Rate: 69%

Salary After Attending: $45,400

The University of Central Florida recognizes that there are bright and talented students who cannot physically attend classes on campus but should still have access to a degree program. Their online offerings include 24 undergraduate degrees, 32 graduate degrees, 32 certificate programs, and 3 doctoral degrees from a wide variety of departments. The online program at the University of Central Florida welcomes transfer students, first-time undergraduate and graduate students, and international students. The university is affordable for residents and those who live out of state, making it a great choice for those who are financially burdened by attending a typical physical institution.

The University of Central Florida online program is very highly regarded by several outfits. The U.S. News and World Report ranks the online program 14th for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The school is also lauded for two of its specific programs, ranking 26th among the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs and 50th on the list for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Kiplinger’s and Forbes also feature the college on its lists for the Best College Value and Most Affordable College.

10. Drexel University–Drexel Online

Score: 92.4

Average Net Price: $37,427

Retention Rate: 89%

Graduation Rate: 70%

Salary After Attending: $68,800

Drexel University has offered online courses at their school for over two decades. Using the same curricula and faculty as on the physical campus, the university offers over 150 different degree and certificate programs. The undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees offered through the university allow those living far away, working during typical classroom hours or away from home, or raising children to access coursework that will help them achieve degrees to advance their futures. The university even offers an alumni discount for former students to return and work toward an additional or advanced degree.

Drexel University has such a comprehensive and innovative online education program that they rank in the top 10 percent on 12 of the U.S. News and World Reports lists. The university ranks within the top 55 for 10 of their online graduate programs and within 85 for two of their overall online bachelor’s degrees for veterans.

11. Florida International University

Score: 91.8

Average Net Price: $12,503

Retention Rate: 88%

Graduation Rate: 56%

Salary After Attending: $46,300

Florida International University, or FIU, has over 20 years of experience with providing opportunities for students to complete degrees online. The university is a leader in innovative educational technology to connect students around the country and world with access to certificates and degrees to advance their career opportunities. FIU offers four degree track programs and 2 certificate options for dozens of courses in 14 different departments. Students engage in similar curricula with the same professors as on-campus and are encouraged to take part in the on-campus graduation ceremony when they complete their degree program.

The U.S. News and World Report rates many of the online programs at FIU highly. The university ranks 17th on both the Best Online Graduate Business Programs and the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs lists. Several of the online graduate programs and the general bachelor’s programs all rank in the 50s and 60s on their respective lists. The Best Schools also holds the online programs at FIU in high regard, ranking them 7th on the list on the Best Online Colleges in Florida.

12. Colorado State University-Fort Collins Online

Score: 91.4

Average Net Price: $17,058

Retention Rate: 84%

Graduation Rate: 68%

Salary After Attending: $47,100

Colorado State University, or CSU, has a wide variety of courses, degrees, and certificate options through its online program. Students can work toward 38 different graduate degrees, 12 bachelor’s degrees, and dozens of certificates, training, and minors. The online program also offers digital badges, a unique way to show additional skills that you have gained. Students can take short online courses that do not award academic credit to strengthen their knowledge base and build their resumes. Once a course is completed, students can add the digital badge to their email signature, personal or business website, or LinkedIn page. The badges are clickable to allow others to see the work and content you covered in that course.

According to the U.S. News and World Report, CSU Online has programs that rank highly on 11 of their lists. Among their top honors are 20th on the list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and 25th among the Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs. Affordable Colleges Online ranked CSU as the second-best in the nation for a reasonable price and best value.

13. Texas Tech University

Score: 91.2

Average Net Price: $17,134

Retention Rate: 84%

Graduation Rate: 60%

Salary After Attending: $51,400

Texas Tech University offers a variety of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through their online and distance learning division. They also have certificates for working professionals to work toward helping advance their careers. Students are taught by the same faculty and have access to the same reasonable tuition and resources as students who take classes on physical campuses. They encourage students who have started their education and degrees at community colleges to enroll in their online classes by offering transfer scholarships. Students with disabilities will find Texas Tech’s online programs to be friendly and navigable.

Texas Tech University is a leader in online education according to several sources. Best Colleges ranks the university number one on the list of Best Online Colleges in Texas. This resource also listed Texas Tech University as the Best Accredited Online College in Texas and the 12th Best Online College Nationally. Guide to Online Colleges ranked the university within the top 10 on 5 different lists, including Best Online Colleges for Bachelor’s Degrees and Best Online Colleges for Doctoral Degrees.

14. University of Missouri–Mizzou Online

Score: 91.2

Average Net Price: $18,602

Retention Rate: 86%

Graduation Rate: 68%

Salary After Attending: $48,300

Mizzou Online, the distance learning division of the University of Missouri, offers a wide variety of degree and certificate options to students who want the flexibility of taking classes outside of a traditional classroom. There are over 1,000 courses and 125 degrees and certificates available to students who enroll at Mizzou Online. Educational opportunities are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels to meet the needs of nearly every student. As the online division continues to grow and enroll more students, the number and caliber of the course and degree options expand. Students enrolled at Mizzou Online receive an education similar to the rigor and expectations of that received on the physical campus.

U.S. News and World Report ranks several of the programs through Mizzou Online favorably. The university’s online graduate education program is number one in the state of Missouri and ranks 38th among the programs nationwide. The bachelor’s online education programs have the top spot among the best in Missouri. Best Schools rates Mizzou Online first on the list of Best Online Bachelors in General Studies Programs.

15. Washington State University-Global Campus

Score: 90.6

Average Net Price: $16,314

Retention Rate: 80%

Graduation Rate: 64%

Salary After Attending: $50,600

For nearly 30 years, students have been able to take online courses at Washington State University. The Global Campus has emerged with innovative technology in response to the desire of students to get a degree from a strong and reputable university at their own flexible pace. The online school currently offers 19 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 13 certificate programs. Students have access to the renowned teaching faculty at the school as well as career counseling services to help them choose a future path. The rigor, prestige, and flexibility of the Global Campus programs offer all students a unique way to achieve their educational and eventual career goals.

Washington State University’s Global Campus is well regarded by reputable sources and publications. For advanced degrees, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school 13th on the list for Best Online MBA programs and 30th for Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs. The Global Campus is also 20th on the list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. College Choice also named Washington State University and the Global Campus as the 4th best university in the state of Washington.

16. University of Arizona

Score: 90.2

Average Net Price: $14,744

Retention Rate: 82%

Graduation Rate: 62%

Salary After Attending: $47,300

The University of Arizona Online offers students the opportunity to complete an undergraduate or graduate degree or a certificate with flexibility. The more than 100 degrees offered through the online division of the school provide exactly the same rigor and outcomes as for students that complete their degrees on the physical campus. Each class runs for 7.5 weeks and has significant support to ensure that students understand the content and master the concepts. Students also have access to the same professors and resources as they would if they completed their degree on campus, including financial aid.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Arizona Online within the top 50 schools nationwide on 10 different lists. Most notably, the university ranks 3rd and 4th on the lists of Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology for veterans and non-veterans, respectively. The University of Arizona Online also receives high marks for its graduate business programs, ranking 13th on the Best Online MBA Programs for veterans and 21st for non-veterans.

17. Regis University

Score: 89.6

Average Net Price: $23,672

Retention Rate: 80%

Graduation Rate: 70%

Salary After Attending: $56,400

The online division of Regis University offers a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degrees for students to work toward. The flexibility afforded to students through online scheduling allows parents, working professionals, and military personnel to complete their degrees without sacrificing their other responsibilities. The classes and coursework provided to the students enrolled online is commensurate with the curricula provided to students attending the traditional physical campus. Professors, support resources, and financial aid options are all available to students enrolled online just as they are to students who complete their degrees in person on campus.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the online graduate programs at Regis University highly. The school ranks 41st to 51st on the Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs list and 55th to 71st on the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs. The school also ranks 12th on Best Colleges for the best online colleges of the year.

18. Loyola University Chicago, Loyola Online

Score: 89.4

Average Net Price: $33,036

Retention Rate: 83%

Graduation Rate: 76%

Salary After Attending: $54,100

Loyola University has a well-developed online division for students to work toward degrees or complete coursework from remote locations. The university aims to support working professionals, parents, and other post-traditional students with completing degrees and certificates to help them recognize their career goals. Students can complete dozens of undergraduate or advanced degrees from 10 different departments through the online school. The online school also allows students who are currently enrolled and completing courses on the physical campus to complete online courses during the January term in between their semesters.

Loyola Online is ranked 12th on the list of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The University is also ranked 12th among the Best Value Schools. The source Best Schools ranks rates Loyola 30th on the list of the Best Accredited Online Colleges and Universities.

19. Oregon State University–OSU Ecampus

Score: 89.2

Average Net Price: $20,493

Retention Rate: 84%

Graduation Rate: 64%

Salary After Attending: $49,600

The Oregon State University Ecampus offers a mix of fully online and hybrid undergraduate and graduate degrees. The online school offers over 65 programs over 110 subjects and over 1,300 classes total. The OSU Ecampus offers classes over four terms during the year, maximizing the number of classes that students can take within a given calendar year. The OSU Ecampus is fully accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The university also supports veterans and active military to use their education benefits to advance their educations even while on deployment or transferred to a different base.

Oregon State University’s Ecampus is highly ranked and regarded by U.S. News and World Reports. The school ranks third on the list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and has been in the top 10 for five consecutive years. OSU Ecampus also ranks ninth on among the Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs.

20. Kansas State University

Score: 88.4

Average Net Price: $17,926

Retention Rate: 85%

Graduation Rate: 63%

Salary After Attending: $45,600

The Kansas State University Global Campus provides online learning for a wide variety of outcomes. Besides pursuing undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees, students of the Global Campus can work toward certificates, endorsements, professional development, and minors. In addition to innovative technology that allows students to remotely access their coursework from anywhere in the world, Kansas State University offers support services to ensure that every student can be successful in their long-distance studies. The university also makes it easy to transfer credits from other eligible universities and community colleges to streamline students’ pathways to their degrees.

The Global Campus of Kansas State University is well recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a leader in distance learning for veterans. The university ranks 14th and 18th on the Best Online Graduate Education Programs for Veterans and Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs for Veterans, respectively. The graduate engineering and education programs through the Global Campus also rank within the top 50 of their respective lists.

21. West Virginia University

Score: 88.2

Average Net Price: $11,825

Retention Rate: 79%

Graduation Rate: 57%

Salary After Attending: $45,800

West Virginia University Online offers a comprehensive and supportive education for distance learners. The school provides state-of-the-art technology easy for all learners to navigate to support more students in accessing coursework to complete their degrees. Over 30 degrees, 13 certificates, and 23 minors are available through distance learning. The faculty who design and run the over 600 courses for WVU Online are the same award-winning and renowned professors that teach students on the traditional physical campus.

The West Virginia University Online is ranked among the best accredited online universities for its graduate programs. U.S. News and World Report ranks the online university 26th on the Best Online Graduate Business Programs list and 30th among the Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.

22. University of North Dakota

Score: 88.2

Average Net Price: $15,056

Retention Rate: 80%

Graduation Rate: 55%

Salary After Attending: $48,700

The University of North Dakota considers its beginning in online education to be over 100 years ago when the school began offering courses through correspondence by mail. Currently, over 120 degrees, certificates, and professional development courses are offered through online distance learning. While the course offerings and availability follow the typical semester schedule on the physical campus, students complete work at their own pace through the online division of the school. Students also have resources available to support them with tuition and navigate any issues with technical support.

The online division of the University of North Dakota is among the top-ranked schools on 8 of the best colleges lists from U.S. News and World Reports. The university ranked 12th and 24 for the Best Online Graduate Business Programs for veterans and non-veterans, respectively. The school also ranks 31st among the Best Online MBA programs.

23. University of Alabama

Score: 88.2

Average Net Price: $21,973

Retention Rate: 87%

Graduation Rate: 68%

Salary After Attending: $44,500

The University of Alabama’s online school, Bama by Distance, offers a wide selection of degree programs for students at affordable rates. There are 15 undergraduate degrees and 58 graduate degrees that students can work toward through Bama by Distance. Course schedules are flexible and classes can be accessed from any location. Students who work toward their degrees online have the same access to the exceptional faculty members, the accreditation of the university, and the strong alumni network that students receive when completing their education on the physical campus.

The reputation of the strong online programs at the University of Alabama is bolstered by the rankings from U.S. News and World Reports. The online division of the university is number 7 on the list of Best Online Nursing Programs for Veterans. The school also ranks 10th for Best Online Graduate Business Programs and 12th on the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs list.

24. University of Cincinnati

Score: 86.2

Average Net Price: $22,828

Retention Rate: 87%

Graduation Rate: 68%

Salary After Attending: $42,300

At the University of Cincinnati, the school offers long-distance learning options through its online division. Students can pursue associate, undergraduate, and graduate degrees and an array of certificate options in 19 different academic areas. The online education offered through the University of Cincinnati aims to provide flexibility to military personnel, parents, and working professionals who want to complete their education in a non-traditional way. To support students through this application and coursework process, there is a team of staff to address any needs and difficulties that arise.

U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Cincinnati online division among the top of 11 different lists. Most notably, the school ranks 6th and 8th among the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs for veterans and non-veterans, respectively. The other two strongest ratings for the University of Cincinnati are 10th on the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs list and 11th for the Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.

25. Florida Institute of Technology–Florida Tech University Online

Score: 85.6

Average Net Price: $31,592

Retention Rate: 81%

Graduation Rate: 59%

Salary After Attending: $56,600

As an independent technological university, it only makes sense that Florida Tech University would have a strong online program. Designed to support working professionals to pursue degrees around their work schedules, the online offerings across 12 different departments help students work toward associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. There are opportunities to work toward certificates to supplement students’ education and advance their careers. The courses run on 8-week terms and are delivered through a proprietary technology system that allows students to complete coursework at their own pace and on their own schedule.

Florida Tech University online has collected many accolades for its online education. Forbes ranks the university as one of the Best Values Colleges in the country. U.S. News and World Reports ranks the school 10th for Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs for Veterans and 25th on the Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs list.

26. East Carolina University

Score: 85.2

Average Net Price: $15,415

Retention Rate: 83%

Graduation Rate: 61%

Salary After Attending: $40,500

East Carolina University provides an online division that allows students to complete a variety of degree and certificate options to advance their education and careers. The online university offers 24 bachelor’s degrees, 62 master’s degrees, and dozens of certificate options. Some of these programs require some face-to-face attendance on campus or previous licensure. The university has a partnership with North Carolina community colleges for some degree options to help students finish what they begin pursuing at those schools.

U.S. News and World Report rates the East Carolina University online programs highly. It rates the school among the top for several of its graduate degrees, ranking 13th and 27th for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs for veterans and non-veterans, respectively. It also ranks the school 17th for Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs and 29th for Best Online Graduate Education Programs.

27. University of Minnesota–Crookston

Score: 84.0

Average Net Price: $12,857

Retention Rate: 73%

Graduation Rate: 54%

Salary After Attending: $44,800

The University of Minnesota-Crookston offers a wide variety of degree and certificate options for students who are non-traditional, continuing their education, or attempting to work and take classes simultaneously. The university offers undergraduate degrees from 16 different departments, 12 minor programs to hone additional skill sets and further specialization, and 7 certificates to help advance students’ careers. The University of Minnesota-Crookston works with other colleges to transfer eligible credits and even has a pre-evaluation service in which they will review a student’s transcripts prior to applying to determine which credits will qualify.

Many sources rank the University of Minnesota-Crookston as one of the best accredited online schools in the state and across the country. Online College Plan rates the university first on its list of Top 100 Best Online Colleges. Niche also ranks UM-Crookston’s online programs number one for the Best Online Colleges in Minnesota and fifth for the Best Online Colleges in America.

28. University of Nebraska Omaha

Score: 83.2

Average Net Price: $13,173

Retention Rate: 77%

Graduation Rate: 46%

Salary After Attending: $44,200

Online learning at the University of Nebraska Omaha provides students with the opportunity to complete degrees, certificates and endorsements through distance learning. The school has even designed a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies that are very flexible and customized for transfer students, adult learners, and military students. Their multidisciplinary degrees can be specialized to 13 different concentrations to best fit the student’s career aspirations. The university also offers many typical degrees in social work, education, and technology, among many others.

One of the strongest programs that the University of Nebraska Omaha Online offers is Criminal Justice. U.S. News and World Report ranks the online school first on the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs lists for both veterans and non-veterans. The overall programs are also well regarded, as the school rates 32nd and 49th for the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for veterans and non-veterans, respectively.

29. Old Dominion University–ODU Online

Score: 83.2

Average Net Price: $15,368

Retention Rate: 79%

Graduation Rate: 53%

Salary After Attending: $43,700

Old Dominion University’s Online programs support students at various stages of their higher education aspirations. For students who have taken classes at other colleges or universities, ODU offers 39 bachelor’s completion degrees that students can use their previous credits toward. ODU also has 13 full bachelor’s degree programs for students who have never been to college or need to start a degree from scratch. The school also offers additional perks, such as a free transcript evaluation to determine which credits are eligible to transfer. Students can also gain early entry into the MBA and MPS programs by earning credits toward these master’s degrees while working toward their bachelor’s.

ODU Online is highly regarded for its programs for veterans. The university ranks 26th among the Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans and 29th on the list of Best Online Graduate Education Programs for Veterans. Technology degrees are also a strength of ODU Online, as they ranked 32nd on the list of Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.

30. Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global

Score: 82.4

Average Net Price: $23,176

Retention Rate: 80%

Graduation Rate: 51%

Salary After Attending: $49,900

Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global aims to offer affordable and comprehensive higher education opportunities to adults seeking degrees online. The over 90 programs available through the National & Global division of IWU can be completed either fully online or as a hybrid of distance learning and attending the physical campus. The online university has a variety of financial aid options for students to access, including grants, scholarships, and loans. The school also accepts and provides military, tuition reimbursement, and employer help benefits.

Best Colleges has ranked Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global 19th on the list of Best Online Colleges and Universities nationwide. The school also comes in 7th on the list of Best Colleges for the Money in Indiana and 63rd on the Best Colleges for the Money nationwide according to College Factual.

31. University of Louisville

Score: 82.2

Average Net Price: $16,721

Retention Rate: 80%

Graduation Rate: 54%

Salary After Attending: $41,800

The University of Louisville offers many degrees and courses online to help students achieve their academic pursuits. Students can choose from 11 bachelor’s degrees, 14 master’s degrees, and 10 online certificates. The university also offers a competency-based degree and several teaching endorsements through the online division. The University of Louisville makes it easy for students to be successful by offering a demo online course that helps them to understand how to access and take part in the online class structure. The school also helps to connect students with financial aid resources to make the cost of their online education more affordable.

The graduate programs through the online division of the University of Louisville are rated highly. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school at 13 on the list of Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs. For both the Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs and the Best Online Graduate Education Programs lists, the university is ranked at 54. The school also ranks 32nd nationally among the Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs.

32. Central Michigan University–Global Campus

Score: 82.0

Average Net Price: $15,531

Retention Rate: 77%

Graduation Rate: 58%

Salary After Attending: $41,900

The Global Campus online program at Central Michigan University is designed to help you achieve academic success and gain employment in your chosen field. Distance learning programs through the university allow students to pursue their own individualized pathways that are flexible and convenient for their needs. Students can pursue 10 different degrees, certificates, and professional development in 9 different departments through the Global Campus at CMU. All online students have access to financial aid resources and eligible credit transfers, and the Online Learning Resource Center to support students through any difficulties they experience with completing classes through the Global Campus technology.

U.S. News and World Report rates the CMU Global Campus very highly, particularly for its graduate programs for veterans. The university ranks 24th on the list of Best Online Graduate Education Programs for Veterans and 39th among the Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans. The undergraduate programs also fare well, ranking 60th on the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans list.

33. University of Alabama at Birmingham–UAB Online

Score: 81.4

Average Net Price: $17,535

Retention Rate: 83%

Graduation Rate: 53%

Salary After Attending: $41,200

The University of Alabama Online aims to provide a quality distance learning education to individuals who struggle to enroll in traditional college courses because they are serving in the military, work full time, or have children at home. Programs offered through UAB Online may meet completely via computer, require a few campus visits, or can be completed partially through distance learning and partially on campus. The dozens of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees offered are commensurate with the curricula and faculty that students on the physical campus have access to.

UAB Online was recognized by U.S. News and World Report by placing toward the top of 10 of their lists. Most notably, UAB Online was ranked 12 on the list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and 18th among the Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Programs. Best Schools has also honored the strength of the UAB Online programs by ranking the business school first on the list of the 25 Best Online Bachelor in Accounting Degree Programs.

34. Northern Arizona University–NAU Extended Campuses

Score: 80.0

Average Net Price: $14,789

Retention Rate: 76%

Graduation Rate: 54%

Salary After Attending: $40,100

The online division of Northern Arizona University, or NAU, offers two pathways to students interested in pursuing a degree or certificate through distance learning. The traditional online pathway offers eight-week-long courses with a schedule that the students can set based on their needs. Students pay per credit hour with this option. The other option is a competency-based track, for which students pay a biannual flat fee in order to take classes on a weekly basis and use quick assessments to prove your understanding of a topic and to earn credits toward a degree. Both options are fully accredited and students have access to the same perks as on-campus students in accessing skilled faculty and curricula.

NAU Extended Campuses are rated highly by U.S. News and World Report for its undergraduate degrees. The school ranks 37th and 58th on the lists for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for veterans and non-veterans, respectively. The school is also ranked first by Affordable Colleges Online for their Best Accredited Online Colleges list.

35. Webster University

Score: 79.8

Average Net Price: $22,937

Retention Rate: 77%

Graduation Rate: 62%

Salary After Attending: $42,300

Webster University has been offering online education to those seeking degrees and certificates for 20 years. Currently, the university offers over 50 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs through rigorous online courses that meet the same standards as those taught on the physical campus. Webster University works hard to continually incorporate the latest technology into its online platform to offer more educational, networking, and experiential opportunities for distance learning students. Webster University Online offers perks for military personnel, as these students can apply their training for credits and the university is closely affiliated with many bases around the country. Transfer students will also find that Webster University offers ample eligibility for credit transfers and course equivalencies.

Niche ranks Webster University 14th on the list of Best Value Colleges in Missouri. U.S. News and World Report also recognizes the impact of education of Webster University Online, ranking the school 56th nationwide on its own list of Best Value Schools. The university also ranks 23rd among the schools on the Regional Universities Midwest.

36. University of Memphis–UM Online

Score: 79.0

Average Net Price: $13,921

Retention Rate: 77%

Graduation Rate: 43%

Salary After Attending: $37,400

Every one of the over 60 programs offered through the University of Memphis Online is available through distance learning. Students can take courses to make progress toward their degree with the flexibility to schedule their classes to fit best into their military, work, and family obligations. Each of the courses on the online website is designed and taught by the esteemed faculty at the University of Memphis who teach on the physical campus. Students can also earn credits for courses eligible for transfer, skills that they have gained, and professional experience gained.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the University of Memphis Online has several great programs. The school ranks 17th on the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs list and 43rd among the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs. The undergraduate offerings also fared well, ranking 58th on the list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

37. Grand Canyon University

Score: 78.8

Average Net Price: $20,570

Retention Rate: 66%

Graduation Rate: 42%

Salary After Attending: $52,700

Grand Canyon University has a well known online learning program. Students can choose from dozens of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees across 10 different departments. GCU is among the best accredited online schools, accredited regionally by the Higher Learning Commission since 1968. The well-trained professors and access to online discussions with faculty and peers support students with skill and concept acquisition in this non-traditional format. Besides serving students who need a flexible course schedule because of work or children, GCU is a leading military university. The online programs support members of the military to accomplish their degrees no matter where they are stationed to apply new skills to their duties and advance in their careers.

The university receives distinguishing marks for several of its programs. Niche ranks Grand Canyon University as 33rd on the list of the Best Online Colleges in America. The Special Education programs offered through GCU Online rank 53rd and the Health Professions 20th for Best Value nationwide according to College Factual.

38. Eastern Kentucky University

Score: 77.8

Average Net Price: $11,892

Retention Rate: 74%

Graduation Rate: 42%

Salary After Attending: $36,100

The online division of Eastern Kentucky University offers a variety of degree programs at various levels. The university offers several dozen undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and certificate programs for students to work toward through distance learning. These programs are especially valued by veterans and active-duty military who require accommodating settings and schedules. In order to maintain completely flexible program options for non-traditional students, all class durations are 8-week sessions. To support students financially there are flat tuition rates for all courses and financial aid is available. Students can also access tutoring online if help is needed with any of their classwork.

EKU Online rates well among other distance learning programs according to U.S. News and World Report. Programs for veterans are strongest for the university, ranking 13th for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs and 27th for Best Online Graduate Education Programs. For non-veterans, EKU ranks 27th for Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.

39. Regent University–Regent Online

Score: 77.8

Average Net Price: $17,842

Retention Rate: 78%

Graduation Rate: 47%

Salary After Attending: $41,600

Regent University’s online programs have all the quality and rigor of the curricula on the physical campus without the rigidity of the schedule. The university offers 34 online bachelor’s degrees, 23 online master’s degrees, and 10 online doctoral degrees for students to work toward. Besides their coursework, students have access to many of the campus resources to support their studies and round out their academic experience. They offer online students a Peer Mentorship Program to guide them through the distance learning format and experience and tutoring services to support them with the expectations of their classwork. Career services are also available to online students to help them navigate internships and work opportunities as they progress through their degree. As a religious university, students can also remotely access weekly chapel services online.

U.S. News and World Report ranks Regent University Online as a top school for many of its programs. The university is especially well regarded for its programs for veterans, ranking 21st for Best Online Graduate Education Programs and 28th on the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs list. Best College Reviews ranks the online university 21st on its list of Best Colleges Online.

40. Dallas Baptist University

Score: 77.8

Average Net Price: $25,334

Retention Rate: 74%

Graduation Rate: 59%

Salary After Attending: $43,200

The online programs at Dallas Baptist University have been offered to distance learning students for over 20 years. Over 360 classes are offered to help students complete more than 75 degrees online. The undergraduate and graduate courses and degrees offered online are the same that students complete and are awarded on the physical campus under the tutelage of the same faculty. The small class sizes online allow students to get to know their classmates as they would in a traditional setting and promote collaboration with other students and the professor. Financial support is also available for students in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, and work-study opportunities. Dallas Baptist University is one of the most affordable online colleges, and students graduate with less debt than peers at other similar higher learning institutions.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the Dallas Baptist University Online ranks 114th for Best Online Graduate Business Programs and 200th for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The Best Schools ranks the university 41st on their list of Best Accredited Online Colleges and Universities. It was also ranked 8th on the list of the 30 Best Online Christian Colleges.

41. California Baptist University–CBU Online

Score: 77.8

Average Net Price: $31,231

Retention Rate: 77%

Graduation Rate: 59%

Salary After Attending: $42,600

The online programs at California Baptist University help students to complete their degrees more quickly than at a traditional physical campus. On average, students complete one of the 23 bachelor’s degrees, 16 master’s degrees and 2 doctorate degrees in about half or three-quarters of the time that students typically finish their degrees. The scheduling and flexibility of the degrees available through CBU Online enable students to take more courses within a calendar year to finish the degree at a faster pace. CBU Online accepts eligible transfers for those looking to apply prior credits to a future degree, making it perfect for anyone who attended a community college or started a degree and left for any reason.

CBU Online ranks high on many lists compiled by U.S. News and World Report. The school is ranked 42nd on the list of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. It also rates well for veteran education, ranking 25th in Best Online Graduate Education Programs and 28th among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. Niche also ranks the school as 64th among the Best Value Colleges in California.

42. Western Kentucky University

Score: 77.6

Average Net Price: $11,850

Retention Rate: 71%

Graduation Rate: 44%

Salary After Attending: $34,700

The online division of Western Kentucky University offers over 100 different degree programs for students to pursue distance learning. Students can achieve bachelor’s, masters and doctorate degrees in 6 different departments. All the programs are regionally accredited and students are taught by professors who also teach on the physical campus. Online student support is available to help any distance learners who require troubleshooting with the platform to access classwork and submit assignments. Students taking classes online have access to the student resource portal, which provides tools for library research, reading and writing support, and online tutoring.

U.S. News and World Report ranks Western Kentucky University 15th on the list of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and 16th among the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs. Best Schools ranks Western Kentucky University 31st on the list of The Best Accredited Online Universities and Colleges.

43. Penn State World Campus

Score: 77.4

Average Net Price: $19,221

Retention Rate: 57%

Graduation Rate: 26%

Salary After Attending: $50,100

Penn State World Campus offers students the opportunity to complete through distance learning the same exceptional education available on the physical campus. With over 150 degree options for students to pursue, there is an ideal program for any student looking for a flexible and non-traditional approach to college. Penn State World Campus supports the learning goals and needs of students interested in transferring credits, pursuing a degree while deployed or active within a distant base in the military, or wanting to return to school while balancing work and family. The online division has become so populated that students have formed a student government to advocate on behalf of the 14,000 online students as members of the university.

Penn State World Campus is ranked 5th on the list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs according to U.S. News and World Report. Niche ranks the online school 66th for Best Value Colleges in Pennsylvania. Best Schools ranks the campus #1 on the list of the Best Online Colleges in both Pennsylvania and nationwide for two years running.

44. Saint Leo University Online

Score: 77.0

Average Net Price: $18,456

Retention Rate: 72%

Graduation Rate: 44%

Salary After Attending: $43,800

The online programs at Saint Leo University are designed and tailored for adult and continuing learners. Men and women who return to the classroom to advance their careers, switch fields, and create a better life for their families are looking for a different learning experience than those just embarking on their independent adult lives. Saint Leo University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees that can secure positions in stable and growing industries. For encouragement and to reward efforts similar to a traditional physical campus, students completing degrees online at Saint Leo University are eligible for dean’s lists, honor societies, and walking across the stage at the graduation with the brick and mortar students.

The bachelor’s programs at the Saint Leo University Online division have earned acclaim from U.S. News and World Report. The source ranks the school 43rd and 69th for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for veterans and non-veterans, respectively. Niche ranks Saint Leo University 31st on the list of Best Online Colleges in America and 4th on the list of Best Online Colleges in Florida.

45. Liberty University Online

Score: 76.2

Average Net Price: $27,573

Retention Rate: 83%

Graduation Rate: 49%

Salary After Attending: $36,700

Liberty University offers very flexible and desirable parameters for students of its online school, especially those transferring. Students can transfer in up to 75 percent of their degree from previously earned credits of other institutions. The over 130 bachelor’s degrees and 275 master’s degrees available online outnumber many other institutions and are completed fully through distance learning, never requiring visits to the campus. Each session runs 8 weeks with 8 sessions offered each year to allow students to choose a learning schedule that works for them. There is also no standardized testing required of students, allowing those who struggle with testing or who are returning to college after a long hiatus from school some additional flexibility in their educational options.

The Liberty University Online master’s programs are well-reviewed according to U.S. News and World Report. The school ranks 46th on the list of the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs and 63rd among the Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans. Niche ranks Liberty University second on the list of the Best Online Colleges in America. The college also appears at numbers 2 and 5 on their lists for Best Colleges for Criminal Justice in America and Best Colleges for Religious Studies in America.

46. Southern Illinois University–Carbondale

Score: 76.0

Average Net Price: $17,175

Retention Rate: 66%

Graduation Rate: 42%

Salary After Attending: $42,900

The online division of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale provides a variety of options for students who cannot or prefer not to attend classes on the traditional physical campus. Students have the choice to complete their entire degree online or to take some courses online and some on campus. Those enrolled at other colleges who want to take just one course through Southern Illinois University online have the option to do so in most cases. The 25 bachelor’s degrees, 13 master’s degrees and the handful of certificate options provide options for students from many different departments. All online classes are taught by the same faculty and follow the same curricula as on the physical campus. Online students also have access to many of the same resources as these students, including advisement and financial aid.

The online graduate business programs at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale are ranked well by U.S. News and World Report. The school ranks 33 and 58 for Best Online MBA Programs for veterans and non-veterans, respectively. Best Colleges ranks the school 33 on the list of the Best Accredited Online Universities and Colleges.

47. California University of Pennsylvania

Score: 75.6

Average Net Price: $19,677

Retention Rate: 73%

Graduation Rate: 51%

Salary After Attending: $41,600

Global Online at the California University of Pennsylvania offers students a variety of top-notch degree programs to attain while learning and working remotely from any location. The online division allows students to pursue a wide variety of over 100 degrees, certificates, and minors. Students work with the same faculty from the traditional side of the university while completing their coursework and receiving the same degree as their peers enrolled in the physical classes. Global Online aims to be an affordable school, waiving certain fees for online-only students and setting tuition at competitive rates. Many students are also eligible for a reduced tuition rate to make returning to school acheivable.

According to U.S. News and World Report, California University of Pennsylvania Global Online ranks toward the top of the pack for some of its graduate programs. The school ranks 37th among the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs and 55th on the Best Online Graduate Business Programs list. Global Online also ranks highly with its programs for the military, placing 28th on the list of Best Online Graduate Business Programs for Veterans.

48. Upper Iowa University

Score: 72.4

Average Net Price: $24,710

Retention Rate: 60%

Graduation Rate: 43%

Salary After Attending: $42,900

Upper Iowa University Distance Learning offers students access to online education in one of two ways. Students can pursue online programs that offer courses in 8-week cycles for which students can log in to take part in ongoing discussions and complete and submit required coursework. There is also an option for a self-paced degree program, in which students can work one-on-one with a professor and move through the material at their own pace on a monthly basis, completing work and submitting it through an online forum. Each unique option provides distance learning students access to a rigorous, comprehensive and collaborative education leading to an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s degree or a certificate from over 100 different areas of study.

The distance learning programs at Upper Iowa University are friendly to military personnel. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school 85th on the list of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. Best Schools ranks the Upper Iowa University online division 1st on the list of The Best Online Colleges in Iowa. They also rank the school 38th overall for the Best Online Colleges and Universities nationwide.

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