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Largest, Most Popular Online Universities

Are you looking for a well-known, trustworthy institution through which to pursue your online education? If you’re unsure which school is the best option for you, looking at universities with large remote student populations is a great way to narrow down the search.

Our two lists take a look at virtual enrollment size and general popularity to give you a clear picture of which school most suits you. students These schools were chosen in accordance with their most popular bachelor’s degrees, as of Fall 2019 (Enrollment data from US News).

Largest Online Universities by Enrollment

  • Liberty University: 37,570
  • Arizona State University: 36,464
  • Colorado Technical University: 29,963
  • American InterContinental University: 15,976
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University—Worldwide: 15,752
  • Columbia College: 12,283
  • Colorado State University—Global Campus: 12,056
  • University of Central Florida: 11,947
  • Post University: 10,827
  • East Carolina University: 10,182

Universities with the Highest Number of Online Students Pursuing a Bachelor’s Degre

1. East Carolina University (NC)

Online Enrollment: 10,182

Most Popular Major: Speech communication and rhetoric and registered nursing/registered nurse

East Carolina University is a widely-renowned institution of postsecondary education that provides over 100 different programs of study in an entirely online format. The school is well-known for its wide array of virtual learning accommodations and working-student-friendly curricula. A master’s degree from ECU Online is highly valuable, as several of its virtual master’s programs rank within the top 20 in the country, according to the U.S. News and World Report. The school itself offers certification, undergraduate, master’s, post-master’s, and doctorate degrees, and holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

2. Post University (CT)

Online Enrollment: 10,827

Most Popular Major: Business administration and management, general

If you’re looking to be a part of a community of virtual students, then Post University is the place for you. Because the majority of their bachelor’s programs operate in an online format, remote collaboration is a major aspect of the curricula. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Post University sits at #223 among best online bachelor’s programs in the nation, in addition to offering a plethora of high-ranking master’s programs. The university is separated into three distinct schools–the Malcolm Baldridge School of Business, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the John P. Burke School of Public Service and Education.

3. University of Central Florida

Online Enrollment: 11,947

Most Popular Major: Psychology, general

The University of Central Florida offers over 100 different degrees online and aims to provide the most easily accessible education to as wide a population of students as possible from all around the country. A few examples of virtually accessible bachelor’s programs include Health Informatics and Information Management, Legal Studies, Sociology, Nursing, and much more. According to the U.S, News and World Report, this school sits at #49 in Best Undergraduate Teaching, #79 in Top Public Schools, and #166 in National Universities overall. Niche.com considers it the #4 Top Public University in Florida, giving it a grade rating of ‘A-‘ for academics, diversity, and value.

4. Colorado State University – Global Campus

Online Enrollment: 12,056

Most Popular Major: Business administration and management, general

Colorado State University’s global campus offers a variety of different virtual degree programs, including anthropology, computer science, journalism, and much more. The U.S. News and World Report ranks the school at #166 in National Universities, #56 in Best Undergraduate Teaching, #79 in Top Public Schools, and many other categories. According to Niche.com, CSU earned an overall grade rating of ‘A-‘ for its value, academics, and diversity. Ultimately, these rankings and the school’s wide acclaim definitely make it a school to consider when pursuing an online bachelor’s degree.

5. Columbia College (MO)

Online Enrollment: 12,283

Most Popular Major: General studies

Columbia College, located in Columbia, Missouri, offers a wide variety of online bachelor’s degree programs, a few of which include Criminal Justice Administration, American Studies, History, Healthcare Management, and much more. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Columbia ranks #54 among Regional Universities South, #10 in Top Performers on Social Mobility, and #25 in Best Value Schools–which are highly impressive rankings. As far as online bachelor’s programs go, Columbia operates through the School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences, the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, and the Robert W. Plaster School of Business.

6. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide (FL)

Online Enrollment: 15,752

Most Popular Major: Aeronautics/aviation/aerospace science and technology, general

The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide campus has provided online education to students everywhere for over 25 years. With its flexible scheduling capabilities, globalized networking opportunities, and convenient virtual format, earning a bachelor’s degree at Embry-Riddle is definitely worth the hard work. The U.S. News and World Report ranks Embry-Riddle at #2 in Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees, as well as at #1 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans–two especially impressive rankings. Niche.com considers it to be the eighth-best online college in America and gave it an overall grade rating of ‘B’ for value, diversity, and academics.

7. American Intercontinental University (IL)

Online Enrollment: 15,976

Most Popular Major: Business administration and management, general

American Intercontinental University has operated with a global vision since the year 1970. Today, its online bachelor’s programs cover everything from accounting to healthcare management, and much more. All courses are available 24/7, accommodating even the busiest of schedules. The school also dons an extensive online support system that students can access anytime, anywhere. The school itself holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and supports an actively-engaged student population of just over 6,000 students in total, all pursuing individualized degrees that will launch them into bright futures.

8. Colorado Technical University

Online Enrollment: 29,963

Most Popular Major: Business administration and management, general

Colorado Technical University is an institution dedicated to the furthering of education for individuals. That’s why its online bachelor’s programs involve easy-to-use, highly accessible tech tools that make the learning process all the more simple. A few of the school’s offered bachelor’s degrees include Business Administration, Information Technology – Software Systems Engineering, Psychology, and much more. According to the U.S. News and World Report, CTU ranks #152 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs and #213 in Best Online MBA Programs. Niche.com awarded the school an overall grade rating of ‘C+’ for academics, value, and diversity.

9. Arizona State University

Online Enrollment: 36,464

Most Popular Major: Psychology, general

For over 135 years, Arizona State University has been committed to furthering education and advancing individual knowledge toward the future. According to the U.S. News and World Report, it ranks at #1 among Most Innovative Schools, #53 in Top Public Schools, and #9 among schools that offer the best First-Year Experiences. Niche.com considers it to be the #1 school in Arizona and awarded it an overall grade rating of ‘A’ for academics, value, and diversity. Out of over 200 virtual programs, a few of the school’s online bachelor’s programs include Anthropology, Astronomical and Planetary Sciences, Biochemistry, Nursing, Political Science, and much more.

10. Liberty University (VA)

Online Enrollment: 37,570

Most Popular Major: Multi-/interdisciplinary studies, other

Liberty University is a leading Christian institution that operates an extremely comprehensive and accessible virtual degree system, which is ranked #2 in the nation by Niche.com. In the U.S. News and World Report, it ranks #223 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. One of its highest-ranked degrees is the Criminal Justice degree, which ranks at #48 in Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Programs. As far as online bachelor’s programs go, Liberty boasts over 130 different options that can be completed remotely–a few of which are Information Technology, Elementary Education, Aviation, and much more.

Most Popular Online Colleges

We looked at Google Trends data to see which of the universities above were most searched for in Google from Jan 2019-August 10, 2020. Here are the most popular online colleges according to Google search data for the United States.

  1. Liberty University
  2. Colorado State University
  3. Post University
  4. Columbia College
  5. Arizona State University
  6. University of Central Florida
  7. Colorado Technical University
  8. East Carolina University
  9. American InterContinental University
  10. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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