Online colleges have made higher education more accessible than ever before. This is great news for you because earning a college degree is one of the best ways to advance your career.
Some of the world's best academic and professional programs are now available at your fingertips. You can balance life's competing demands, like work and childcare, while finishing your education online.
Use the following guide to learn more about earning an online degree. Find information about cost, the application process, and what it takes to succeed at learning from 贵州11选5走势图.
What are the best online colleges and universities of 贵州11选5走势图? Here are our Top 10 best online colleges of 贵州11选5走势图:
|1||University of Florida-Online||Gainesville, FL|
|2||University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL|
|3||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|4||Trine University||Fort Wayne, IN|
|5||Colorado State University-Global Campus||Greenwood Village, CO|
|6||Arizona State University-Skysong||Scottsdale, AZ|
|7||University of Illinois at Springfield||Springfield, IL|
|8||Northeastern University||Boston, MA|
|9||Texas Tech University||Lubbock, TX|
|10||Pennsylvania State University-World Campus||University Park, PA|
贵州11选5走势图 Top Accredited Online Colleges and Universities
We review hundreds of online college programs each year to help you find a school that best meets your needs. Each ranked school is fully accredited and nonprofit. Our methodology uses qualitative measures and data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics and proprietary school surveys.
Use our ranked list of online colleges to begin your search for a program that works with your budget, schedule, and learning style. Each school profile includes information about available subjects and majors, as well as notable student outcomes.
How to Choose an Online College?
Step 1: Check the Accreditation Status
Verifying a school's accreditation should be a top priority for any student applying to college. Accreditation status can impact your ability to apply for financial aid or transfer credits.
Accreditation status should be available on each school's official website. Students can also verify a school's status through the or the . Both maintain lists of recognized regional, national, and programmatic accrediting agencies.
Why does accreditation matter?
Accreditation matters because it sets quality standards meant to ensure that your degree holds value. Employers and graduate schools know that if you hold a degree from an accredited online school, then you graduated from a program that meets the rigorous requirements for accreditation.
In contrast, an unaccredited degree can cost you more than job offers. Graduates of diploma mills risk leaving school with debt and nothing to show for it but a degree that isn't recognized by employers, graduate schools, or professional certifying agencies.
Always verify that an online college is accredited.
National vs Regional Accreditation
Colleges are accredited by either regional or national agencies.
Regionally accredited colleges are typically nonprofit and state-operated. In the U.S., there are seven regional accrediting agencies that evaluate two-year and four-year colleges. Some states also have their own accrediting bodies independent of the regional agencies. You can learn more about each individual agency, and its jurisdiction, through the .
Most nationally accredited colleges are for-profit and meet lower academic standards than their regional counterparts. Students considering a nationally accredited online college should research the school's reputation and understand how academic standards differ from regionally accredited schools. It's important to note that most nationally accredited schools will accept transfer credits from regionally accredited colleges and universities, but the opposite is not always true.
Students should also be wary of accreditation mills that offer genuine-looking but ultimately phony endorsements to schools.
In some cases, individual programs may also be accredited by an independent board. One example is the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, which evaluates academic programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. These agencies assess the competence of both on-campus and online degree programs giving students the peace of mind that their school's department offers a reputable program.
Some state-level professional certifications require that students graduate from a program with programmatic accreditation.
After confirming accreditation, it can still be difficult to weigh the value and quality of one online college over another. Keep in mind that regardless of whether a program is offered online or on campus, all regionally accredited programs in the U.S. are held to the same academic and professional standards. These standards also extend to the full-time faculty and adjunct professors that schools hire.
Any online school that fails to meet program and faculty quality requirements risks losing accreditation.
Due to the rapid evolution of online coursework, online programs are quickly becoming some of the most high-quality degree options available. To date, well over 2,000 colleges offer accredited online programs. While our list of the best online colleges and universities is a good starting point for researching programs, we've outlined additional steps you can take to narrow your list of potential schools.
How do you choose the best online college for you?
In the world of online education, there is no overall best online college or online degree program. But there is a best option for you. Ask yourself these five questions to begin the search for the best online colleges and universities for you:
- What do you want to do with your degree?
- What degree level do you want to earn?
- What majors will help you achieve your career goals?
- How much flexibility do you need?
- How much can you afford to spend on an online degree program?
By understanding what you want out of a particular degree, you can make educated choices about which schools and programs will give you an acceptable return on investment.
To help get you started on researching career options, check out these guides:
Step 2: Pick a Degree Level
There are a few considerations to make before choosing a degree level to pursue. One, what level of education have you achieved already? Two, what are your career goals? There are many online bachelor's degrees out there, but depending on your career aspirations you may also want to consider online associate degrees and online master's degrees. The following list can help you better understand these options:
- Online Associate Degree
Full-time students can typically earn an associate degree in two years. An online associate degree is ideal for those who have a high school diploma and who want to quickly gain practical career skills. Associate degrees are less expensive than a bachelor's degree, and many online community colleges offer programs that open the door to vocational and administrative support positions such as legal assistant, medical assistant, and medical biller and coder. An online associate degree program is also a cost-effective way to complete general education requirements before transferring to a four-year program.
Learn more about how to choose an online associate degree below.
- Online Bachelor's Degree
Most full-time students can earn a online bachelor's degree in four years. If you have a high school diploma or some college credits to your name, an online bachelor's program may be the right choice for you. Some colleges even offer degree completion programs specifically for students who have earned an associate degree and would like to finish a bachelor's program. A bachelor's degree is perhaps the single best way to increase your earning potential. According to the , employees with a bachelor's degree earn about $461 more dollars per week than those with a high school diploma. Most entry-level positions at professional organizations require at least a four-year degree. Business, healthcare, tech and other sectors prefer to hire candidates who are well-rounded and have good critical thinking and communication skills. An online bachelor's degree provides students with all of these skills, making them desirable to employers.
Learn more about how to choose an online bachelor's degree below.
- Online Master's Degree
Most online master's programs can be completed in less than three years of full-time study. Many schools offer accelerated online programs, allowing you to complete your graduate degree in just 12 months. You should consider pursuing a graduate degree if you already have a bachelor's degree but want to switch careers, qualify for more advanced leadership roles, or increase your earning potential. Some fields require a master's degree and the completion of professional licensure and certification. Example careers include licensed counselors, social workers, and certified public health employees.
Learn more about how to choose an online master's degree below.
Learn More About Choosing an Online Degree
Step 3: Choose a Major
Once you know what degree level you want to pursue, think carefully about what majors will have the biggest impact on your current career or future job prospects. Different majors teach different skills and have different points of emphasis. Multiple studies have shown that what you study has a bigger impact on future earning potential than where you go to school.
Examine the different majors offered by a variety of top online colleges that relate to the field of study you are interested in. Research what specific courses are required in each major. Also consider what specific hard and soft skills will be most valuable to the work you want to be doing. You can explore our collection of academic program rankings to learn more about other fields of study and potential career paths.
|Major||Percentage of Degrees Conferred|
|Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies, and Humanities||37%|
|Health Professions and Related Programs||18%|
|Business, Management, Marketing, and Support 贵州11选5走势图||11%|
|贵州11选5走势图land Security, Law Enforcement, and Firefighting||4%|
|Computer and Information Sciences and Support 贵州11选5走势图||3%|
|Major||Percentage of Degrees Conferred|
|Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support 贵州11选5走势图||19%|
|Health Professions and Related Programs||12%|
|Social Sciences and History||8%|
|Biological and Biomedical Sciences||6%|
|Major||Percentage of Degrees Conferred|
|Health Professions and Related Programs||15%|
|Engineering and Engineering Technologies||7%|
|Public Administration and Social 贵州11选5走势图||5%|
Step 4: Decide How Much Flexibility You Need
Different online degree programs offer different amounts of flexibility. Here are some common types of online degree programs and online college classes you'll find. Each offers a different level of flexibility and different types of instruction.
Students are expected to attend classes, view lectures, participate in group chats and conversations and complete assignments at the same time according to a pre-set schedule or syllabus.
Students are given regular deadlines for completing assignments, reading, viewing or listening to lectures and participating in group discussions (often using an online message board), but can complete these tasks at any time before the due date.
- Open Schedule
A type of asynchronous class, Open Schedule courses allow students to begin courses at any time, independent of traditional quarter or semester systems. Students complete assignments at set points during the class based on their start date. Discussion and interaction with other students is usually minimal.
- Fixed-Time Online Courses
Students access all academic materials from a computer (no in-person meetings are required), but must log in to virtually attend and participate in class at specific times.
- Hybrid Online Courses
The majority of course materials and instruction are provided online and can be done remotely, but students are required to meet in person one or more times during the course.
How Much Does Online College Cost?
There is no doubt that a college education pays off - on average, a male college graduate with a bachelor's degree earns about $900,000 more than a high-school only graduate over the course of their lifetime, according to the , and women with a bachelor's degree will earn about $630,000 more. Individual earnings vary greatly from person to person based on what level of degree you earn, gender, what you study, and what kind of career you choose to pursue.
The cost of a college degree can vary wildly as well. It's no secret that tuition prices have skyrocketed in the last few decades. Online degrees aren't necessarily cheaper than traditional on-campus degree programs, but choosing an online degree program can save you money in commuting costs and materials, and most importantly, give you the flexibility to work while you earn your degree more easily than if you had to take classes in-person.
In-state vs. Out-of-State Online Colleges
One of the main reasons that you might be considering an online college is because it frees you up from having to visit a campus, meaning you could attend college anywhere, regardless of where you live or work. This is absolutely true, and it means that you can consider colleges and online degree programs that wouldn't be available to you if you had to attend traditional in-person classes.
Many students enroll at public colleges in their own state to qualify for lower in-state tuition rates. However, several public colleges now offer in-state tuition rates to all online students, even if you don't live in the same state as the school. This can mean savings of thousands of dollars a year, which means you pay less out-of-pocket and take out fewer loans. If you are looking for a degree with a high return on investment, or are entering a field that doesn't pay a six-figure salary, do your research to find out if the program you are interested in can be found somewhere where you qualify for in-state tuition.
Consider Your Options
- Community Colleges
At a community college, you can pursue your associate degree online, either to qualify for introductory positions in your chosen field or as preparation for a four-year program down the line. Tuition at two-year schools is lower than at most colleges, and for students just starting college, it might make sense for you to begin here.
- Professional & Career Colleges
If you want to attend school and prepare for a specific career, you can develop industry-specific skills in a career college. Whether you're interested in nursing, secretarial work, or anything else, a professional college can help you take the next step in your career.
- Public Colleges
These are the traditional four-year state schools. As a general matter, public colleges are usually cheaper than private schools. Some online schools offer reduced tuition rates to in-state students, while others are able to offer in-state tuition to students throughout the country贵州11选5走势图.
- Private, Not-for-Profit Colleges and Universities
Many, though not all, of the private schools offering online programs are religious schools. Some of these schools incorporate scripture into their online program, though others do not, and have no religious requirements for distance learners. Private non-profit schools are often more expensive than other four-year options, so be sure to do your research and find a school that fits with your budget.
- Private, For-Profit Colleges and Universities
There are a number of reputable private for-profit colleges as well. When researching for-profit schools, it is vital that you research their accreditation and reputation, as there are a number of diploma mills in this category.
How to pay for your online degree
Earning an online college degree requires a substantial investment. While some students choose to pay for college out-of-pocket using savings or loans from their parents, many must seek financial aid to offset the costs of tuition, housing, food, and other necessary expenses. Many online schools also allow students to pay for tuition and housing in monthly installments, rather than paying one lump sum for each semester or quarter term. These deferred payment plans carry little to no interest, but the balance must be paid off by the end of each term.
- Financial Aid
Financial aid opportunities are available through various sources, including the federal government, nonprofit organizations, and private companies, as well as the online college or university the student attends.
- A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to qualify for federal student loans, as well as many scholarships and grants. The FAFSA form may be .
- The FAFSA includes questions about the applicant's financial background, including their family's income, tax history, and current assets. All students must complete the FAFSA form.
- The student's online college will evaluate the information in the FAFSA form and send them a , including federal loans. The college will also guide them through the process of accepting part or all of the offer.
- Students who complete FAFSA forms are from the school they attend. The money is generally disbursed twice per academic year.
- Some schools automatically deduct tuition and housing payments from the disbursements, and provide students with the remaining balance. Other colleges disburse all of the financial aid, requiring students to make tuition and housing payments themselves. The aid money that is left over may be used for books, food, transportation, and personal expenses.
- Students may from the federal government or private lending institutions, such as banks or credit unions. Federal loans carry a fixed interest rate and the interest may be tax-deductible. These loans do not need to be repaid until the student graduates or leaves school, and those who struggle to repay their loans may be able to postpone or reduce their monthly payments.
- Loans from private lenders, on the other hand, typically carry a variable interest rate -- up to 14% in some cases -- and the interest is rarely tax-deductible. Students are often required to begin repaying the loans while they are still in school. Private lenders may place restrictions on how the aid money is spent, as well. However, if you cannot afford your monthly payment for your private student loan, there are refiance and consolidation options available.
- The federal government offers . Direct Subsidized Loans are available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. The federal government will pay the student's interest as long as they are enrolled in college courses, and during the six-month period after they graduate.
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to any undergraduate or graduate student, regardless of their financial need. However, students will be responsible for paying the entire interest.
- Loan repayments are due each month. The federal government offers several , including structured plans that allow students to pay off the entire balance in 10 to 30 years.
- Work-Study Programs
- is designed for students who demonstrate financial need. The program allows them to work part-time while enrolled in courses.
- Any student attending a school that participates in Federal Work-Study is eligible for the program. This includes those seeking undergraduate, graduate, or professional degrees, as well as those enrolled part-time or full-time.
- Federal Work-Study jobs are often related to the student's field of study. On- and off-campus positions may be available through the program. Those who work on-campus usually work for the school, while off-campus employees often work for nonprofit organizations or public agencies.
- The college's financial aid office will review the student's academic record and class schedule to determine the number of hours he or she may work per week.
- All students participating in Federal Work-Study earn at least the federal minimum wage. Skilled positions may offer more compensation. Additionally, earnings depend on the college's amount of available funding and the student's financial need.
- Tuition Reimbursement Programs
According to a report from the , more than half of private organizations offer tuition reimbursement plans to employees who wish to earn a postsecondary degree or certificate. These plans are mutually beneficial. Employees who receive assistance can offset some of the out-of-pocket costs for their education, and employers strengthen their workforce with workers who have advanced training in their field. However, tuition reimbursement will not cover all of the student's expenses. The average organization reimburses roughly $4,600 in tuition expenses per year. Additionally, the employee may be required to work for the organization for a certain length of time after they have received their degree or certificate.
- Grants, Fellowships, and Scholarships
- A grant is a form of financial aid delivered to students in a lump sum. The federal government provides grants to low-income students, and many colleges and universities also offer similar grants.
- Fellowships are a type of grant for students who conduct independent research studies. Scholarships are similar to grants, but these are normally available through private organizations.
- Some grants, fellowships, and scholarships impose restrictions on how the money may be spent. Recipients who do not follow these guidelines may need to pay back some or all of the award. Otherwise, these forms of financial aid -- unlike loans -- do not need to be repaid.
- Some grants, fellowships, and scholarships are delivered to students in a single payment. Other 'renewable' awards are available for two or more years of study. Students may need to reapply for renewable awards in order to receive successive payments.
- Some of these awards require students to attend national conferences, or work or volunteer in their community while attending school.
- To learn more about finding grants, fellowships, and scholarships, please scroll down to the 'Financing Your Online Degree' section.
Online Colleges by State
Even though one big advantage of an online college or university is the fact that you can take courses anywhere in the world, most online students take classes from a school within 100 miles of where they live. Online programs offer a great deal of flexibility, but enrolling in an online degree program close to your 贵州11选5走势图 can offer some big advantages. If you enroll in an online program close to 贵州11选5走势图, you can save money with in-state tuition, easily access campus resources like libraries, gyms or in-person office hours with professors, and you can access hybrid programs, which require you to spend some time on campus in addition to online curriculum.
Ready to learn what online college degrees are available in your state? Select from the map below to learn about online degree programs where you live.
Why Choose Online Education?
A big reason for the growth in online education is demand. Online college programs make college more accessible to a much larger population than traditional on-campus learning. Thanks to technology, you can earn an online associate degree, online bachelor's degree or online master's degree without having to sacrifice your job or time caring for your family.
In a conducted by of over 1,500 online learners, an overwhelming 59% of respondents noted that they have kids and cited flexibility as a top factor in choosing an online program. These respondents were also less concerned about curriculum specifics or access to on-campus activities. While traditional factors such as affordability, academic excellence and delivery format remain major determining factors, our survey results suggest a majority of students choose to take courses online because they are more convenient.
The advantages of online courses are more than just a sense of freedom. Online courses eliminate the need to commute to a campus, which saves money as well. There are several costs associated with this type of long-term campus commute, and as 50% of respondents report a household income of less than $50,000 a year, affordability matters.
About 49% of online students are also employed, so the convenience of distance education works in their favor, allowing them to complete classes around their employment schedule.
Many students choose online classes due to flexibility surrounding their family's scheduling demands. In fact, 59% of those surveyed had children, offering some insight into what types of external factors students may have to consider when selecting a learning format, such as childcare arrangements.
Our rankings of the best online colleges and universities are a jumping off point to help you build your own list of prospective programs that meet your needs. Remember, many factors that contribute to the quality of a degree program are intangible. You won't find data points here or elsewhere that fully capture the level of faculty support, peer networking or academic and professional stimulation found in one program versus another. Please contact your schools directly for more information.
How Does Online College Work?
Specific requirements vary by program, but most online students log into their school's to participate in course lectures. Asynchronous programs allow students to view lecture recordings on their own time. Alternatively, synchronous programs may require students to watch live-streaming lectures. In some cases, synchronous courses feature video conferencing components that allow students to ask questions and interact with their professors and fellow students.
- Peer to Peer Interaction
Online courses often feature discussion boards where students can communicate through written posts. Videoconferencing may be also available, and students may contact one another by phone, email, or social media. Additionally, students who live close to campus may be able to coordinate live study groups with their classmates.
- Instructor Interaction
Online courses frequently feature a discussion board dedicated to faculty questions. Many professors will also provide their personal contact information -- including email, phone, and social media -- to ensure their students can easily contact them if they have questions or concerns.
- Assignments and 贵州11选5走势图work
- The assignments and 贵州11选5走势图work requirements for online courses will usually mirror those of on-campus classes. Depending on the subject, these assignments may include group projects, presentations, and research papers.
- Many online courses also require students to participate in group discussions on LMS boards. The LMS will feature specific drop boxes for each individual assignment.
- Synchronous courses often follow a tight schedule. Asynchronous courses allow more flexibility for assignments, though most still have weekly deadlines.
- Online courses may use online platforms like , which organize course content into quizzes, tutorials, and other interactive materials.
- Online courses may include presentation assignments. In most cases, group members communicate and work on their project through discussion boards, email, or phone.
- The presentations are usually delivered remotely, either through and other live web conferencing tools or videos posted on websites like YouTube.
- Tests and Exams
- Quizzes for most online courses are completed using the LMS.
- Tests and exams in online courses may be proctored or monitored remotely. Proctored exams usually require students to visit local testing centers, where onsite proctors can monitor them.
- For virtually monitored exams, the proctor may observe the student using a webcam. Some courses also use cheating detection software to monitor the student's web activity while they are taking the exam.
- Online proctoring requires a high-speed internet connection, since the exams are delivered entirely online. The online proctor may also carry certain technical requirements related to a student's computer.
- Online proctors charge a small fee, which must be paid when the student schedules their exam. Most online proctors will record exam sessions.
For many online students, their graduation date marks the first time they set foot on their school's campus. Online students are often invited to participate in cap-and-gown ceremonies with on-campus graduates, where they receive their official diploma. Smaller ceremonies may be held to honor online graduates in specific programs. Some online colleges hold live-streamed commencement ceremonies and will mail diplomas to each graduate at a later date.
Growing Popularity of Online Programs
is now taking at least one class online, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Many leaders in education predict digital learning will become even more of an everyday experience for college students and recommend that high schools require students to take one online course before graduation, a requirement many high schools have .
In terms of total enrollments nationwide, growth rates of online enrollment have exceeded traditional enrollments since 2002, when of new students were enrolled in at least one online class. reported that in 2017, 15.4% of students were enrolled exclusively online.
Digital learning is easily the most dramatic change to sweep higher education in more than a century. Colleges are under pressure to expand their online program offerings to meet the rising demand for distance learning options across the country贵州11选5走势图. Learners can choose to take individual courses online, or to pursue a formal certificate or degree program. In fact, 63% of the students responding to our survey were working towards a degree, with the majority of them working towards a four-year bachelor's degree. The rest were enrolled in online classes for personal learning and growth rather than college credit.
Recent declines in online enrollment can be attributed to an overall, post-recession decline in college enrollment as well as a significant decline in enrollment at online for-profit colleges. Overall, enrollment in online degree programs is growing at a faster pace than general college enrollment.
Growth of Available Online Degree Programs
This is great news for prospective students. Academia, once synonymous with tradition and the slow and careful adoption of all things new, is changing more quickly than ever and for the better. There have never been more opportunities for a more diverse group of degree-seekers.