The 25 Best Online Colleges in the U.S.

top-online-colleges

Whether you’ve just finished high school or you’ve finally decided to take your next step in education, an online college is a great way to get the credentials you want without uprooting your life.

Distance education has come a long way over the last few decades, and now you can study almost any college-level course online on a schedule that fits your life. The challenge is finding quality schools and the right program.

There are hundreds of online colleges in the U.S., and not all of them are legitimate. To help you sort through the good and the bad, we’ve used data from The National Center for Education Statistics and ratings from school-ranking entities like U.S. News & World Report, TheBestSchools.org, CollegeChoice.net, OnlineU.org, BestColleges.com, BestCollegeReviews.org, AffordableCollegesOnline.org, and OnlineCollegePlan.com to make a list of the top 25 online colleges. These are the best of the best.

We’ll show you each school’s:

  • Tuition cost (for undergraduate programs)
  • Location (which may affect tuition cost)
  • Number of online degrees
  • Admission rate
  • Graduation rate
  • Awards and accolades
  • Accreditation
  • Anything else we think will help you decide

Let’s find a school you’ll love! For starters, here are some highlights:

Most affordable

A lot of colleges offer steep tuition discounts for online students. Whether that means in-state tuition regardless of where you live, or a unique per-credit price, you can often get an excellent education without draining your bank account or taking on a ton of debt.

If you’re hunting for an affordable online college education, you’ll find some solid options on this list, but one schools stands above the rest. University of Central Florida is #9 on our list, and you can earn your entire degree there for about $12,000. That’s pretty hard to beat.

Best graduation rate

If you’re taking the time to go back to school and continue your education, you want to make sure it pays off. For some people, learning new things is a reward in itself.

But maybe the credentials are what really matters to you. If you’re most concerned about actually walking away with a degree, University of Florida (#8) has the highest graduation rate on this list—87%.

Most online undergraduate degrees

If you’re already sure what you want to major in, a list of top degrees in a specific field might be what you’re really looking for. But if you’re among the many, many students who don’t already know what you want to do, you probably want to choose an online school that has lots of options. Most schools have general requirements that all programs share, so you’ve got some time to make a decision.

To give yourself the most options, you may want to jump down to #2. Arizona State University has over 100 online degree programs, so no matter what subject you become passionate about, there should be a degree path for you. Liberty University (#23) is another option to consider—they also offer well over 100 online degrees.

Best job placement rate

Most schools aren’t required to share their job placement rate, which unfortunately means that they often don’t. This doesn’t mean they’re hiding something—they may still have great career services and a track record of connecting their students with jobs—it just means the data isn’t available.

But if landing a good job is the whole reason you’re considering an online degree, check out Fort Hays State University. They’re #4 on our list, and they have a 95% job placement rate. You’ll find some other schools on this list with placement rates in the 90s, but none of them are better than Fort Hays.

Now, on to the top 25 online colleges!

1. Oregon State University

Oregon-State-University-online
Image source: Oregon State University

Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Tuition cost: about $25,000–$31,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 22
  • Graduate: 20

Admission rate: 77%

Graduation rate: 63%

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on BestCollegeReviews.org: 2
  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 2
  • Rank on US News & World Report: 8
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 10
  • Rank on CollegeChoice.net: 16
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 20

Oregon State University offers a suite of online undergraduate and online graduate degree programs through their Ecampus.

Nobody likes scrolling through obnoxiously tiny text and watching monotonous instructors on outdated videos. Here’s how OSU keeps your experience at least as lively as it would be in the classroom:

“Faculty work with Ecampus instructional designers and multimedia developers to ensure that classes meet industry best practices and utilize the latest technologies to create an enriching, interactive learning environment.”

But you’re not taking classes for entertainment. An online education through OSU’s Ecampus is planned and facilitated by the same faculty you’d have on campus.

To see what their online classes are like, check out their course demo trailer:

In addition to discussion boards and email, you can get one-on-one instruction with your professors through online video chats.

2. Arizona State University

Arizona-State-University-online
Image source: Arizona State University

Location: Phoenix, Arizona

Tuition cost: about $61,000–$86,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 70
  • Graduate: 56

Admission rate: 77%

Graduation rate: 67%

Job placement rate: 87%

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 2
  • Rank on U.S. News & World Report: 4
  • Rank on CollegeChoice.net: 4
  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 5
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 7

Some schools force you to “take what you can get” when it comes to online degrees. That’s not the case at Arizona State University. They offer more than 100 online degree programs through ASU Online.

ASU Online makes one of the best pitches I’ve seen for online education in this short video:

Basically, ASU faculty thinks you’re actually going to get more out of the class discussions that happen online than you would in the classroom.

Online students have access to a 24/7 live chat service for technical support.

The Wall Street Journal says ASU is #5 in the nation for producing the best qualified graduates. And with an 87% job placement rate within 90 days of graduation, you have a great shot of landing a job.

3. Penn State University

Penn-State-University-World-Campus
Image source: Penn State University

Location: University Park, Pennsylvania

Tuition cost: about $54,000–$67,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 38
  • Graduate: 49

Admission rate: 58%

Graduation rate: 25%

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 1
  • Rank on CollegeChoice.net: 1
  • Rank on U.S. News & World Report: 8
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 8
  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 12

Penn State University offers more than 80 online degree programs through their World Campus. They’ve been providing university-level online education for more than 20 years.

Here’s how online learning works at Penn State’s World Campus:

Remember that article from The Wall Street Journal we talked about with ASU? Penn State was #1 on that list of recruiter-preferred schools. Companies like schools like Penn State because they have such a wide range of exceptional programs. It’s a “one-stop-shop” for hiring.

Referring to the online discussion forms, the director of one of Penn State’s online programs said, “What we find out is that the students are not only students, but they’re also teachers.”

As you work through the materials with fellow students at Penn State, you’ll add their perspectives to your own.

Here’s how one student described their experience with this community approach to online learning:

“The professors and instructors are top-notch, encouraging in-depth interaction among classmates in a way that did not feel forced.”

4. Fort Hays State University

Fort-Hays-State-University-online
Image source: Fort Hays State University

Location: Hays, Kansas

Tuition cost: about $26,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 34
  • Graduate: 16

Admission rate: 91%

Graduation rate: 37%

Job placement: 95%

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on AffordableCollegesOnline.org: 1
  • Rank on BestCollegeReviews.org: 3
  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 7
  • Rank on U.S. News & World Report: 15
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 19

Fort Hays State University has a more limited selection of online degrees than we’ve looked at so far, but if you find a program that interests you, FHSU’s Virtual College is a great way to go.

Interestingly, Fort Hays State University originated as a fortress on the frontier:

“The infirmary at Fort Hays, a former army post that had been abandoned in 1889, was where 57 students paid a tuition fee of $5 for the first summer courses in 1902. The stone guardhouse down the path at what is now Historic Fort Hays served as the gymnasium.”

The school relocated shortly after, but as a student at FHSU, you’re stepping into a rich tradition of preparing people for professional life, stretching back more than 100 years.

You may have noticed FHSU’s impressive 95% job placement rate. The career services center helps every student make the successful transition from academia to a career.

5. Colorado State University-Global Campus

Colorado-State-University-online
Image source: Colorado State University

Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado

Tuition cost: about $42,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 13
  • Graduate: 11

Admission rate: N/A

Graduation rate: N/A

Job placement rate: 92%

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 5
  • Rank on CollegeChoice.net: 10
  • Rank on BestCollegeReviews.org; 14
  • Rank on U.S. News & World Report:15
  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 19
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 19

Colorado State University’s Global Campus does an exceptional job catering to online students.

While they may not have the widest selection of online bachelor’s degrees or master’s degrees, CSU Global has a unique a-la-carte specialization option, which lets you choose from as many as 20 different specializations for each major. It adds a couple more classes to your program, but it gives you maximum degree customization. The right specialization option could be just what you need to make your resume stand out.

Here’s what CSU Global wants you to know about their online programs:

98% of employers were very satisfied or satisfied with their CSU-Global graduates.

Note: CSU’s Global Campus is not to be confused with Colorado State University Online. I called Colorado State University Online to clarify the distinction, and they said “The Global Campus is as different from us as California State University.” (The Global Campus has a lot more online options anyways.)

6. Embry-Riddel Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle-Aeronautical-University-online
Image source: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Location: Daytona Beach, Florida

Tuition cost: about $44,000 total

Online Degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 21
  • Graduate: 20

Admission rate: 63%

Graduation rate: 25%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on U.S. News & World Report: 1
  • Rank on CollegeChoice.net: 2
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 6
  • Rank on BestCollegeReviews.org: 9

For nearly 50 years, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has been providing distance education. Now they have more than 40 online degrees for you to choose from through their “Worldwide & Online” program.

Here’s how some ERAU students made online education work for them:

As an online student at ERAU, you get a dedicated academic advisor to help you stay on track, and a personal degree plan to help you see how your education fits with your timeline.

ERAU’s vice chancellor of online education says, “With decades of experience in distance learning, we are setting the standard for world-class online education by focusing on engagement and services critical to student success. Technology has given our faculty and advisors the ability to interact with students in new and exciting ways, and we’re constantly looking to improve the overall student experience.”

7. Northeastern University

Northeastern-University-online
Image source: Northeastern University

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Tuition cost: about $60,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 10
  • Graduate: 40

Admission rate: 29%

Graduation rate: 86%

Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 3
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 4
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 5
  • Rank on OnlineU.org: 8

Northeastern University offers a selection of online undergraduate degrees, but as you can see by the breakdown, this online school is best enjoyed by master’s students, who will find an ample selection of graduate-level programs.

Like many of the schools on this list, Northeastern’s history of providing quality education stretches back long before the Internet was even an idea:

“Founded in 1898, Northeastern University is a global, experiential, research university built on a tradition of engagement with the world.”

You can read and watch student testimonies on their website.

Want to actually try an online class? Northeastern University has an online course demo that lets you explore what it’s like to be an online student.

8. University of Florida

University-Florida-online
Image source: University of Florida

Location: Gainesville, Florida

Tuition cost:

  • In state: about $15,000 total
  • Out-of-state: about $25,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 18
  • Graduate: 53

Admission rate: 46%

Graduation rate: 87%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 2
  • Rank on CollegeChoice.net: 5
  • Rank on AffordableCollegesOnline.org: 18
  • Rank on U.S. News & World Report: 20
  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 22
  • Ranked #8 in the nation for employability by Times Higher Education

University of Florida offers a good selection of online bachelor degrees, and an even wider selection of online graduate-level degrees. In addition to the 18 majors, you can also choose to add one of five minor options.

At some schools, you may feel like being an online student means you miss out on a lot of career advancement opportunities. But that’s not the case at all with University of Florida. Online students at UF can take full advantage of the same nationally ranked career center as on-campus students, and you can even supplement your studies with an internship or research opportunities. You’ll also meet once per term with an academic advisor.

Here’s how they put it:

“UF Online provides an unparalleled education to determined individuals—wherever life takes them. We remove barriers, so our students can break through. And those who have what it takes to complete one of our fully online four-year programs earn the same University of Florida degree as their counterparts on campus.”

Whether you’re preparing for graduate studies or looking to start a career, UF gives you the flexibility you need to craft a degree that fits with your goals.

In this inspirational video, University of Florida shows you how an online education fits with your life:

University of Florida has 400,000+ alumni, and as a student, you’ll be plugged into this network.

9. University of Central Florida

University-Central-Florida-online
Image source: University of Central Florida

Location: Orlando, Florida

Tuition cost: about $12,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 21
  • Graduate: 27

Admission rate: 50%

Graduation rate: 69%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 1
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 15
  • Rank on CollegeChoice.net
  • Rank on BestCollegeReviews.org: 17
  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 20

University of Central Florida offers a diverse selection of online degrees through UCF Online.

Here’s what they say about their online program:

“Whether you’re around the corner or across the globe, transferring from another institution or returning to college as a nontraditional learner, the University of Central Florida’s online bachelor’s degrees are designed and taught by the same award-winning faculty who teach these classes at our main campus in Orlando, FL. Every course—online and traditional—is held to the same high-quality standards.”

As a student at UCF, you’ll have access to a wide range of online student services and you’ll still be eligible for internship opportunities.

Here’s what one student’s experience with online classes looked like:

UCF also has a “Knights Online” page that teaches you more about how online classes work.

The transfer rate at University of Central Florida is just 4%. That’s significantly lower than the national average, and it means that people who start here typically stay here.

10. University of Massachusetts

UMass-online
Image source: University of Massachusetts

Location: Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Tuition cost:

  • In state: about $15,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $32,000 per year

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 37
  • Graduate: 42

Admission rate: 60%

Graduation rate: 76%

Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 3
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 14
  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 15
  • Rank on BestCollegeReviews.org: 18

University of Massachusetts offers almost 80 online degrees through UMassOnline.

Among University of Massachusetts’ prestigious faculty, you’ll find:

  • A Nobel laureate
  • Pulitzer Prize winners
  • Members of the National Academy of Sciences
  • An American Book Award winner
  • Fulbright, Guggenheim, Macarthur, and Mellon fellows
  • Nine of the “World’s Most Scientific Minds of 2016”

This is one of the fastest growing colleges in the nation. Student enrollment at University of Massachusetts has increased 27% in the last decade.

University of Massachusetts is the largest educator of Massachusetts residents and the state’s second largest employer. And with more than $600 million in sponsored research and development, it’s the state’s third largest research University, right behind two schools you might be familiar with . . . Harvard and MIT.

Fun fact: According to their website, “UMass is one of two university systems nationwide to have all of its campuses recognized with the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification, which is considered the gold standard for measuring the service that universities provide to their local communities.”

11. Washington State University

Washington-State-University-Global-Campus-online
Image source: Washington State University

Location: Pullman, Washington

Tuition cost:

  • In-state part-time: about $60,000 total
  • Out-of-state part time: about $68,000 total
  • In-state full-time: about $33,000 total
  • Out-of-state full-time: about $38,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 12
  • Graduate: 11

Admission rate: 72%

Graduation rate: 67%

Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 13
  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 14
  • Rank on U.S. News & World Report: 15
  • Rank on CollegeChoice.net: 25

Washington State University offers a limited selection of online degrees, but they make up for having fewer choices by providing a truly online “campus” experience. Through WSU’s Global Campus, students can:

  • Participate in online career fairs
  • Showcase their research through a digital pavillion
  • Watch webinars hosted by University experts
  • Join online events
  • And more . . .

Here’s how WSU describes the Global Campus:

“The Global Campus is a door that connects the world to WSU and WSU to the world. It provides access to the best of WSU for students, faculty, and anyone seeking to gain or share knowledge. The Global Campus consists of five pillars, each of which advances WSU’s mission to bring education beyond geographic boundaries. And it goes beyond education to create a virtual gathering place that offers a true campus experience.”

You can learn more about the Global Campus in this video:

One student shared about the long road that led from high school to WSU’s Global Campus, where she finally completed a degree she’d started nearly 20 years earlier:

“Well, I had started my degree right after I graduated from high school, just like most kids do. I went to Tacoma Community College, got my two-year degree, was funding it with myself and my parents’ support, went on to the University of Washington in Tacoma, funded that same way, working hard, working full-time, and I literally ran out of money and took a break. And once I got into the career path that I’m in now, my boss really encouraged me to go back and finish so that I could have a promotion at my job.”

WSU’s Global Campus also offers non-credit earning professional development courses and free online education.

12. Indiana University

Indiana-University-online
Image source: Indiana University

Location: Bloomington, Indiana

Tuition cost:

  • In state: about $10,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $34,000 per year

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 19
  • Graduate: 34

Admission rate: 79%

Graduation rate: 76%

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 4
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 6
  • Rank on BestCollegeReviews.org: 24

Indiana University offers about 50 online degree programs and about 50 online certificate programs through the Indiana University Office of Online Education. Some of these programs are jointly offered by multiple Indiana University campuses. You can also enroll in classes even if you’re not a student.

More than one-quarter of all Indiana University’s students take at least one class online.

Here are the most popular online degree programs at Indiana University:

popular-online-degree-programs

13. CUNY School of Professional Studies

CUNY-School-Professional-Studies
Image source: LinkedIn

Location: New York, New York

Tuition cost: about $34,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 12
  • Graduate: 7

Admission rate: 45%

Graduation rate: 47%

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on CollegeChoice.net: 6
  • Rank on BestCollegeReviews.org: 7
  • Rank on U.S. News & World Report: 24

The CUNY School of Professional Studies offers almost 20 online degrees. To enroll in any of their online undergraduate programs though, you have to have at least 24 credits from an accredited university.

You can transfer up to 90 credits from a previous institution of higher education. Additionally, through their prior learning assessment, you can also earn credits for your portfolio, select college exams, and college-level training programs. Your total credits earned through these cannot exceed 90 credits (75% of your degree).

Here are what some students and alumni have to say about their experience online:

You can also read detailed student profiles to get a student’s perspective on the various programs CUNY SPS offers.

14. University of Alabama

University-Alabama-online
Image source: University of Alabama

Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Tuition cost: about $43,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 12
  • Graduate: 33

Admission rate: 53%

Graduation rate: 69%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 9
  • Rank on BestCollegeReviews.com: 13
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 18

The University of Alabama offers numerous online degrees through their Bama by Distance program.

Here’s what they say about Bama by Distance:

“When you earn your degree from The University of Alabama you don’t have to worry. While it’s physical location is in Tuscaloosa, its influence and reputation reaches around the globe. Leaders in every profession throughout the world have earned their degrees from UA. The university is consistently ranked among the top public universities in the country. For almost 175 years, this institution has produced a higher level of graduate. A worldwide community who proudly say, ‘Roll Tide.’”

There are a variety of academic resources available to online students to make sure you succeed, including a writing center, library resources, technical support, and a center for academic success.

And now, I give you the most-watched promotional degree program video I’ve ever seen:

15. University of Illinois at Chicago

University-Illinois-Chicago-Online
Image source: UIC Today

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Tuition cost:

  • In state: about $14,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $27,000 per year

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 3
  • Graduate: 9

Admission rate: 74%

Graduation rate: 58%

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on CollegeChoice.net: 3
  • Rank on U.S. News & World Report: 8

University of Illinois at Chicago offers a small selection of online degree programs through the UIC Extended Campus. They have a much wider selection of online education programs, but most of them are for certificates.

Some of these programs are highly specialized, developed through partnerships with businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations to offer education tailored to meet specific needs.

Here’s how they describe the online experience at UIC:

“Online learning is a rewarding and convenient option for busy professionals to accomplish their educational goals. But don’t mistake convenience for easy. Online learning at UIC requires self-discipline, critical thinking, good writing skills, and an up-to-date computer with reliable Internet access. You don’t need specialized technical knowledge to achieve success in UIC online courses. If you can browse the Web, use word processing software, and attach a document to an email message, you have the basic skills you need to take online courses at UIC.”

16. University of Illinois at Springfield

University-Illinois-Springfield-online
Image source: University of Illinois at Springfield

Location: Springfield, Illinois

Tuition cost: about $43,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 12
  • Graduate: 13

Admission rate: 65%

Graduation rate: 50%

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on AffordableColleges.net: 4
  • Rank on CollegeChoice.net: 17
  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 21

University of Illinois at Springfield has a larger selection of online degree programs than its Chicago counterpart.

More than 50% of all UIS students take at least one class online.

For transfer students, UIS has an extensive list of partner schools that make transferring credits a breeze.

You can get a feel for what recorded lectures might be like with this class introduction video:

You can also take a Blackboard tutorial to get familiar with the interface for your online coursework.

17. Drexel University

Drexel-University-online
Image source: Drexel University

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Tuition cost: about $59,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 13
  • Graduate: 50+

Admission rate: 75%

Graduation rate: 70%

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 11
  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 11
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 21

Drexel University offers a sampling of online undergraduate degrees and wide range of online graduate programs.

In most online classes, recorded lectures let you “go to class” on your own schedule. But when you’re watching a professor in front of a green screen, you can miss some valuable material that comes up in class discussions. At the very least, you may not be able to participate in these conversations. But when you take classes online at Drexel, some of your courses will have live online classrooms where you can jump into the conversation from your computer.

At Drexel Online, you’ll have online access to their award winning W.W. Hagerty Library, their writing center, and the Steinbright Career Center.

You can learn more about Drexel’s online classes in this video:

If you’re worried about being able to build relationships with faculty and staff as an online student, see what former online students have to say:

You can also hear from online students from a range of degree programs here:

18. New England Institute of Technology

New-England-Institute-Technology-online
Image source: Facebook

Location: East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Tuition cost: about $26,000 per year

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 4
  • Graduate: 4

Admission rate: Open admission policy

Graduation rate: 54%

Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on BestCollegeReviews.org: 1
  • Rank on U.S. News & World Report: 8

New England Institute of Technology has one of the smaller selections of online degrees on this list, but the school has been around for more than 75 years, and has several strong offerings.

See why employers consistently hire NEIT graduates:

One of NEIT’s biggest draws is the hands-on experience its programs provide. You can’t usually get this in an online class, so some of the programs they offer are hybrid online/on-campus degrees. You complete your coursework online but come to campus for labs.

Here’s what they want you to know about their programs:

“ Each one has been thoughtfully designed with input from both educators and industry experts. . . . The heart and soul of these programs are the teachers. Faculty members have been chosen for their exceptional talent, expertise and practical experience. Equip them with the latest technology and resources, and it’s no wonder our students enter the job market so well prepared.”

19. California University of Pennsylvania

California-University-Pennsylvania-online
Image source: California University of Pennsylvania

Location: California, Pennsylvania

Tuition cost: about $7,500 per year

Types of programs:

  • Undergraduate: 14
  • Graduate: 58

Admission rate: 96%

Graduation rate: 50%

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on BestCollegeReviews.org: 4
  • Rank on U.S. News & World Report: 6

California University of Pennsylvania offers online bachelor’s and master’s degrees through their Global Online program. As you might’ve noticed, the vast majority of these programs are for graduate degrees. But that’s not to say Cal U doesn’t also have great undergraduate options.

Cal U wants you to know that their Global Online programs deliver the same quality education as their on-campus classes:

“Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors. Many Global Online programs have earned program accreditation.”

Here’s what the Cal U Global Online experience is like:

To hear more student perspectives, you can check out their student testimonials.

20. University of Minnesota

University-Minnesota-Twin-Cities-online
Image source: University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tuition cost: about $53,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 16
  • Graduate: 24

Admission rate: 44%

Graduation rate: 78%

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 3
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 8

University of Minnesota offers almost 40 online degree programs. Not all of these programs are fully online though. Some of them are hybrid programs where up to 50% of the program is not online.

Costs vary widely from program to program, but University of Minnesota Online makes it easier than most schools to find and calculate your costs. When you find the program you’re interested in, this will be some of the first information you’ll see.

Here’s what University of Minnesota says about their online programs:

“The University of Minnesota offers world-class online and blended programs for students who want the flexibility to learn at their own pace, in their own space. Whether your goal is to obtain a degree, advance your career, or fulfill requirements, we’ve got courses and programs to keep you motivated and on track.”

A handful of students have provided some valuable interviews about their experience with the online programs.

21. West Texas A&M University

West-Texas-A-M-University-online
Image source: West Texas A&M University

Location: Canyon, Texas

Tuition cost:

  • In state: about $8,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $9,000 per year

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 7
  • Graduate: 9

Admission rate: 60%

Graduation rate: 44%

Job placement rate: 94%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on BestCollegeReviews.org: 5
  • Rank on U.S. News & World Report: 6

West Texas A&M University may not have the widest selection of online degree programs, but that job placement rate is tough to beat.

Interestingly, WTAMU even breaks down their job placement rate to full-time and part time. 75.8% of graduates were employed full time, and 18.4% were employed part time. You can explore their employment data here.

This excellent employment rate is likely the result of their dedication to quality education:

“Our faculty and staff care about students and recognize the opportunities presented to them through their study and engagement. We all work diligently to reinforce the educational process and make sure that every activity supports excellent teaching.”

22. Liberty University

Liberty-University-online
Image source: Liberty University

Location: Lynchburg, Virginia

Tuition cost:

  • Part time: about $55,000 total
  • Full time: about $47,000 total

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 121
  • Graduate: 125

Admission rate: 24%

Graduation rate: 51%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 7
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 24

Liberty University offers far and away the widest selection of online bachelor’s degrees and online master’s degrees. This is the largest Christian postsecondary school in the world, and the vast majority of their students attend online. Liberty’s online education is a university staple.

You can transfer up to 75% of your degree from another accredited school.

Get a glimpse of the online experience as a student at Liberty University in this short video:

You can also watch student testimonies to get some different perspectives about various online degree programs.

If you’re curious how a Christian education might look different from a secular school, take a look at the actual courses within the programs you’re interested in. Most of the curriculum will be similar to what you’d see at other colleges, but there may be a couple of Bible-related courses as well.

23. East Carolina University

East-Carolina-University-online
Image source: East Carolina University

Location: Greenville, North Carolina

Tuition cost:

  • In state: about $7,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $23,000 per year

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate degree completion: 16
  • Graduate: 21

Admission rate: 70%

Graduation rate: 61%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on AffordableCollegesOnline.org: 5
  • Rank on BestColleges.com: 11

East Carolina University offers a decent selection of online degree programs, including several majors that have concentration options.

This is what they want you to know about distance education at ECU:

“East Carolina University has been a leader in distance education in North Carolina for more than sixty years. ECU recognized the potential of online learning, and was one of the first universities in the nation to develop and offer a degree entirely over the Internet. Since then, ECU has worked to offer more than 75 degrees and certificate programs online, in fields such as education, business, healthcare, and technology, among others.”

Here’s why people choose ECU Online:

24. Ohio State University

Ohio-State-University-online
Image source: https://www.linkedin.com/school/3173/

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Tuition cost:  about $10,000 per year

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate: 4
  • Graduate: 14

Admission rate: 54%

Graduation rate: 84%

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on U.S. News & World Report: 8
  • Rank on BestCollegeReviews.org: 10

The Ohio State University offers a few degree choices for online students through Ohio State Online. Interestingly, they have a program suggestions page to request new online degree programs. It’s also worth knowing that not all programs are available in all states. So before you set your heart on a degree, make sure OSU is authorized to offer it in your state.

OSU has over half a million alumni throughout the world. As an online student, you’ll be connected to that network, but you’ll also enjoy opportunities to develop meaningful relationships with your professors, and built-in ways to connect with fellow classmates.

Here’s why The Ohio State University says you should become one of their online students:

And here’s how e-learning has changed the way OSU students learn over the years:

25. Florida State University

Florida-State-University-Online
Image source: Florida State University

Location: Tallahassee, Florida

Tuition cost:

  • In state: about $7,000 per year
  • Out-of-state: about $22,000 per year

Online degrees:

  • Undergraduate degree completion: 7
  • Graduate: 19

Admission rate: 58%

Graduation rate: 80%

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

Awards and accolades:

  • Rank on OnlineCollegePlan.com: 8
  • Rank on TheBestSchools.org: 11

If you’ve already started your college education, Florida State University has a decent selection of online degrees, certificates, and courses. FSU’s online undergraduate programs are degree completion programs, so they’re only open to students who already have at least 60 credits. Their online master’s degrees, doctoral degrees, and specialist degrees are complete programs.

Here’s why FSU wants you to be an online student with them:

“Florida State University, designated a preeminent university in the state of Florida, is committed to a student-centered education that inspires the academically motivated, intellectually curious, and socially conscious student. . . . Florida State combines strength in the arts and humanities with leadership in the sciences. Students can pursue nationally ranked programs and study with world-renowned faculty.”

Once you get in, there’s an online orientation to help you get started.

With a 3% transfer rate, it looks like the vast majority of students that start their education at FSU wind up graduating there.

Florida State University’s faculty earns over $500,000 in external grants every single day. Their academic careers are built on more than past experience—they’re conducting cutting-edge research year-round, remaining at the forefront of their fields.

Fun fact: FSU has “entrepreneurs-in-residence” to help students and faculty bring their new ideas to market.

A quick note on transferring schools

According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, more than one third of all college students transfer schools before graduating. In order to transfer your credits from one school to another, the two schools usually have to be accredited by the same organizations. Sometimes a school will simply require that your credits came from a regionally-accredited college, but you may need to talk to an academic advisor to verify exactly what will transfer.

A lot of the schools on this list are accredited by different accrediting bodies, but most of them are either accredited by the Higher Learning Commission or the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. If you choose one of those schools, you’ll have plenty of solid options to transfer to—just in case.

The best school is really up to you

We can’t tell you exactly which school is the best choice for you—and you shouldn’t let anyone else do that, either. You have to weigh the factors that are most important to you and let that guide your decision. Choosing a school is a huge investment—both in terms of what it immediately costs you and how it affects your life. So take your time.

We hope this list has helped make the decision a little easier for you. Good luck in your future studies!

Ryan Nelson
Ryan has a B.A. in English Literature from Western Washington University. If he could rewind and go to college all over again, he'd do it a little differently. For now, he's living vicariously through people like you by helping you find the best online schools for your field.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *