According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly three million students complete their undergraduate or postgraduate degrees fully online in 2015.
Inside HigherEd reports that this number continues to grow, and is likely to remain so. This is likely due to several causes. First, many students can work full or part time while taking online classes because they can complete their courses comfortably.
Some classes and programs do require students to enter at certain times for direct lectures, but many allow students to see it in their free time. Distance education also sometimes helps students to complete faster depending on the length of the school period.
When viewing online programs, students must first consider what services are most important to them. Some universities give students access to online tutoring services that can help with assignments. Others allow online students to use facilities on campus whenever they want, and although this may not affect many students, this can benefit those who live in the same area but cannot attend classes on campus during the day or consistently due to professional obligations.
More often than not, online programs welcome their students to campus if students want to take advantage of campus facilities. Most, if not all, programs also allow students to graduate with colleagues on their campus when the time comes too. For those of you who want to choose the best online college, here are the Top 10 Best Online Colleges that you should consider:
1. Arizona State University
US News & World Report places Arizona State University No. 1 in Most Innovative Schools, No. 9 in First Year Experience, and No. 2 in the Best Online Bachelors Program, among the other top ten ranking for graduate business, criminal justice, and engineering programs. U.S. News has also given ASU a favorable rating in terms of suitability for veterans. In total, ASU has more than 200 online degree programs, and 87% of graduates have job offers within three months of graduation. Students can also choose from six start dates per year, making it easy to start their degree at the time of the year that is most suitable for them. Interestingly, ASU is also a place for the Starbucks Achievement Plan, which allows qualified partners to get scholarships to help with their tuition fees. Students can also be reimbursed for tuition fees that are not covered by needs-based assistance. Once at ASU, students can use tutoring services and will work with academic advisors to support their efforts to achieve academic success.
2. The Ohio State University
The Ohio State University makes its online programs accessible to everyone by allowing students in their programs to pay tuition fees in whatever state they are in. All campus fees are also waived for online students, and students are entitled to various scholarships and financial aid opportunities. Each course offered online is also designed with the knowledge that many OSU students work full or part time. All students are assigned as advisors to help guide them through their program. Students can also take advantage of the Teaching and Writing Study Center, which offers online sessions. OSU also allows online students to study abroad in several different countries.
3. University at Buffalo
Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a State University in New York. It is a member of the American University Association. Students can obtain their degrees in a number of different formats, choosing to come to campus for class if they want but without the need if they want the flexibility of working on their college assignments remotely. There are master and doctoral options for the degree. Some of the programs offered by UB include the Master of Science in School Librarianship, a Ph.D. in Information Science, and Masters in Science in Rehabilitation Counseling, among many others. There is also an RN for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program which is entirely online, allowing students to continue their studies in nursing to get their bachelor’s degree; this program was created to help students comply with New York law that registered nurses must continue their BSN within ten years after licensing.
4. Oregon State University
Oregon State University offers more than 65 online programs, building a tradition of academic integrity and success since 1868. There are more than 1,300 online programs to choose from, and students can even add minor programs to their online degree programs. Certificate also available. Some undergraduate programs include Economics; Human Development and Family Sciences; Psychology; and Women’s Studies, Gender, and Sexuality. OSU also offers doctorates and masters degrees in fields that include Data Analysis, Counseling, Adult and Higher Education, Business Administration, and Radiation Health Physics. In all of these programs, the university seeks to bring material to life through its eCampus. Students can use virtual microscope laboratories, animation, and augmented reality technology to better understand the material in their classrooms. Oregon State also follows a quarterly system, which offers four starting dates throughout the year.
5. University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago ensures that online degrees and certificate offers are flexible but do not jeopardize the integrity of UIC education. Students can obtain a Bachelor of Business Administration, Masters in Public Health in Public Health Sciences, and a Masters in Science in Patient Safety Leadership, among others. UIC also provides support for these courses by ensuring that students can get technical assistance. They also have tutorials to guide students through online learning platforms. Students can access their subject matter comfortably, and most courses include discussions and online assignments. News & World Report US has placed UIC as No. 5 in the Best Online Bachelors Program.
6. University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida emphasizes positive learning experiences that are tailored for each student and flexible so that students can work full time and progress towards their degree. UCF offers more than 80 programs that can be completed online, and they are taught by the same faculty members who teach classes on campus. Students in these programs benefit from online tutors and academic guidance, as well as from the community built in each online class. The top five majors for undergraduate degrees are Psychology, Nursing, Health Service Administration, Criminal Justice, and English, while the most popular programs for postgraduate students are Social Work, Nursing, Health Informatics, Nonprofit Management, and Criminal Justice. News & World Report US puts UCF as No. 14 of the Best and No Online Bachelors Programs 16 in the Most Innovative Schools.
7. Florida International University
Florida International University is one of the largest universities in the United States with nearly 54,000 students. Because of this size, the school has built a network of more than 200,000 alumni. In addition, once in a program, students connect with successful coaches to help progress through their program, and they can also utilize guidance services to help them with difficult concepts or to read an assignment before submitting it to their professors. They can also take part in the Academy of Leaders, which is a leadership development certification program so students can develop their leadership and management skills. This can add to student resumes and prepare them further for graduation. Finally, students can complete their bachelor’s or master’s degrees in Asian Studies, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Hospitality Management.
8. University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama Birmingham offers three formats in which students can graduate with their degree. The first is entirely online, where students do not need to come to campus to complete their courses. Next is the format that can be accessed remotely, which is mainly online, although there are some requirements on campus. Finally, students can work towards their degree in a mixed format where half of their courses are online and half are completed directly. At UAB, students can study Accounting, Public Health, Finance, Marketing, Psychology, and several other disciplines to get a bachelor’s or master’s degree. UAB also allows students to complete online minor so they can complete their curriculum with additional areas of interest. The UAB is also accredited by the Southern Association of Schools and Schools Commission on Higher Education and is a member of the Online Learning Consortium.
9. George Washington University
At George Washington University, students can become civic leaders, according to the university’s mission, without ever setting foot on campus. They can obtain degrees at all levels in GW, from associate employees to doctoral degrees. There are many fields where students can complete their degree, including Business Administration, Health Sciences, Clinical and Translational Research, Nursing, International Policy and Practice, and Cyber Security Policy & Compliance. When working on their college assignments, students can utilize GW VPN, which connects them directly to the GW network. WebEx is also a web conference platform that helps so students can still hold effective group meetings even from afar. Students also have access to the GW library, and they can have books sent to their homes if they do research.
10. The University of Massachusetts Lowell
More than 25,000 students are registered with the University of Massachusetts Lowell online program. Students who wish to complete online studies can choose from 60 programs. UMass Lowell allows students to complete certificates, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, choosing from disciplines that include Education, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Business, and Information Technology. The university also has Java Development certificates, Paralegal Studies, Homeland Security & Security Management, and Website Design & Development. News & World Reports The US has ranked universities 5th in the Best Online Graduates Criminal Justice Program, No. 6 in the Best Online Graduate Computer Information Technology Program for Veterans, and No. Top 25 in the Best Online Bachelor Programs.