Accreditation is regional, national, and programmatic in nature, with 15 accrediting agencies currently recognized by the Department of Education to conduct regional and national accreditation. Specialized accrediting organizations handle subject- and program-based review in areas such as community and social services, healthcare, law, and counseling. Choosing an accredited program of study is important because students receive a level of assurance their institution provides an education that is of value. It also important because it ensures the following:

Tiffin University understands the unique needs of working adults, which makes it among the best online colleges for students who need to juggle their education with working a full-time job and raising a family. With flexible programs that begin six times per year and the ability to take courses at a pace that makes sense for their lifestyle, Tiffin University allows adult learners to obtain the education they need to get ahead while not missing a step in the other areas of their lives. Students can earn bachelor's degree in subjects such as criminalistics, psychology, system administration, and health, fitness and wellness. On the graduate level, there are also master's degree programs in art and visual media, forensic psychology, crime analysis, and teaching art. In addition, the school offers graduate and undergraduate certificate programs.
Actuaries use a mixture of skills in statistics, mathematics, and financial theory to analyze and assess elements of risk and uncertainty present in hypothetical financial decisions. Most commonly employed by business clients like life and health insurance agencies, actuaries work collaboratively with other accountants and analysis to help determine company policies and premiums. Other common employment areas include working for individual wealthy clients and top business executives, with goals set to maximize profit returns and minimize loss. All actuaries must exhibit high-level abilities in data analysis, information compilation, proposal development, and teamwork.
Arkansas State University offers a handful of online degrees for students at the undergraduate and graduate level. Bachelor's options for online students include degrees in business fields such as organizational supervision, strategic communications and social media management, and business administration. Other major fields include creative media, criminology, and digital innovation, and an accelerated RN-to-BSN track that students can complete in 12 months or less. Arkansas State also offers 10 online master's degrees concentrating in education and teaching fields.
One of the country's largest providers of online degrees, Old Dominion University offers online bachelor's pathways -- with a majority being degree completion programs geared toward students who already earned an associate degree. These include degrees in specialized technical fields such as cybersecurity and cybercrime, mechanical engineering technology, medical laboratory science, and power systems technology.

Distance learning is here to stay. Initially on the fringes of formal education, online colleges, courses and degree programs have quickly become mainstream. Even traditional campus-based institutions have incorporated online learning into their curricula. In 2013, seven million college students — nearly 50 percent of all those enrolled — took at least one online class, with an estimated 20 percent earning an entire degree program remotely. The Sloan Consortium reports that 74 percent of today's academic leaders rate the educational outcomes of online learning as equal to or superior to those of face-to-face systems. More recruiters than ever before are embracing online credentials. Read More

The upper-division coursework in the bachelor's program is centered around the student's particular focus area in education. Possible specializations include elementary education, special education, middle school, or secondary education. Students specializing in secondary education also take coursework in a particular teaching subject area, such as math, science, or English. Teaching-oriented bachelor’s degrees require that students complete teaching labs or practicums, as well as an internship.
Most online courses at Missouri State are asynchronous, and students generally earn their bachelor's in four years or less. All baccalaureate degrees culminate in a capstone assignment that requires students to construct a public affairs project or presentation around their major. The university allows students to transfer up to 90 credits toward their undergraduate degrees.
The 24 schools on this list offer the best online bachelor's degrees in education. Top-ranked Kansas State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education for an annual tuition of $13,964. Education alumni of the school earn a median salary of $81,100, making it a great choice for prospective students. Fort Hays State University, ranked 12th, has the lowest tuition on the list: an affordable rate of $6,997 per year for the Bachelor of Science in Education - Early Childhood Unified program.
The university offers flat-rate tuition for all online students regardless of their state residency. Additionally, discounted tuition rates are available for military veterans and personnel and for students seeking a bachelor's in addiction counseling or an RN-to-BSN degree. Ottawa University receives regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
The school also offers bridge programs that enable students to earn a bachelor's and master's in the same field on an accelerated timeline. Ottawa University's generous transfer policy allows students to apply up to 80 previously earned credits toward their undergraduate degrees. Instructors deliver all courses fully online, asynchronously, and in timeframes that span eight weeks.

Institutions pursuing accreditation undergo a rigorous review process, which includes the examination of elements such as curriculum planning, course offerings, faculty, admissions standards, graduation rates, facilities, and financial resources. Accredited institutions and programs must undergo regular evaluation to ensure compliance with the standards set forth by the accrediting bodies.


Those looking for a creative degree will appreciate our comprehensive list of 144 degrees and 57 colleges that offer fully online degrees in art & design related areas. Graphic design degrees are a popular route for online art & design students, with 48 online graphic design degrees available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and certificate levels. Prospective online art students will also find a number of fine arts degrees available, as well as degrees in music and film production. An online art & design degree can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities, from positions in art education, to roles in advertising, web design, and media. Whatever your talents and interests, Guide to Online Schools has information about the online degree programs best suited to meet your career goals as an artist, fashion designer, or even architect.


Vanderbilt University is a private research university in Nashville Tennessee. It is most widely recognized for its research, continually coming in among the top 20 universities in the nation. It has the largest academic facility dedicated to studying the effect of radiation. Vanderbilt also has more unique research initiatives; their chemical biology department is on track to breeding a blue rose, they have extensive research departments on coffee, and the card game of Bridge. Interestingly, the modern form of the game was developed by Harold Stirling Vanderbilt, great-grandson to Cornelius Vanderbilt.
Ottawa University is a private school affiliated with the Baptist denomination that offers a wide selection of online bachelor's programs for business majors. These options include degrees in accounting, business economics, healthcare management, human resources, management information systems, and business administration, all of which carry multiple concentration options.
Oregon State University has done an excellent job of creating one of the best online colleges in the nation. With over 1,100 courses offered entirely online, there’s no shortage of options for students. Most students who study through the online school choose to pursue one of the 45 online degree programs. However, online is also a popular option for students that want to combine online courses with on-campus courses, either to bolster their education or finish their degree faster. OSU has a proven track record with their online education as well, and they have over 21,000 students worldwide who are studying online. Whatever students are looking for out of their college experience, OSU has made itself one of the best online schools for people from all walks of life.
Admissions requirements for international students vary depending on the program. Students must meet the English Language Proficiency requirement and, if in the U.S., provide an acceptable visa that does not prohibit educational studies at the University of Phoenix. Please speak to an Enrollment Representative to learn about program-specific requirements.

Columbia University has no upper limit for financial aid eligibility for any of its students and the financial aid packages present students with grants as opposed to loans, so they will not have to be paid back at any point. In addition to that, Columbia will not charge students any tuition or fees if their family has a calculated annual income under $60,000. Families bringing in under $100,000 see significant reductions in their tuition and fees as well.


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.

Cornell University is a private Ivy League, sea-grant, space-grant, and private land-grant doctoral research university. It is the only private land-grant university in the state of New York, one of only three in the country. The school has consistently been a non-sectarian and co-educational institute since it was established, never discriminating on the basis of race or religion. This is incredibly unique for its time, as was the original mission of the school to provide all students with an education in any field.
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.
Career Exploration. Here, you will find a long list of interests. Click on those that pique your interest to see potential career paths. For example, if you enjoy helping your community, you might consider working as a childcare worker, firefighter, police officer, social worker or as a school or career counselor. This is a great tool for brainstorming!
When individuals think of the highest paying careers out of college, nuclear engineering often comes first to mind. This specialized occupation involves extensive research and development to create the processes, instruments, and systems used in harnessing nuclear energy and benefiting from nuclear radiation. Nuclear engineers may work in the medical field, designing imaging devices or radiation treatments for cancer, or in industrial fields, handling the development of nuclear power plant technology, safety measures and protocol, or waste control or disposal systems. Most of these professionals work in an office environment, whether at a power plant, a government building, or a consulting firm.
The University of Toledo, located in Toledo, Ohio, offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. The program is designed for students interested in graduate study or who want to work in administrative support positions in schools and related programs. This is a non-licensure fast track program. Applicants must have an associate's degree in early childhood education or child development with a 2.7 GPA, and must also be employed at least half-time in an appropriate educational setting. The program is on the cohort system. Among the courses offered are Education of Talented and Gifted Children, Effective Teacher Practice and Curriculum Adaptations and Policies. Online tuition for a 3-credit course is $1,260. California residents should check with UT about program availability.
The Cutis Institute of Music is a highly competitive school that offers free tuition to undergraduate and graduate students, alike. The student body is quite small at about 175 students and accepts only 4% of applicants each year. In this way, Curtis students receive an incredibly in-depth and personalized music education that is focused on “learning by doing.” There are over 200 offerings through orchestral groups, opera, chamber music, and more, all of which are led by world-renowned musicians and instructors. The free college tuition covers an annual amount of $42,320 for undergraduate students and $52,548 for graduate students, however, all are required to pay for administrative fees and textbooks. The Curtis Institute of Music has been maintaining the free tuition for all students since 1928 through scholarships and merit-based aid.
Cadets in the United States Air Force Academy receive free tuition and free room and board in an education that is valued at over $400,000. Students at this institution engage in military, athletic, academic, and character development programs while completing an education and training in the air force. There are over 20 majors and minors available to students and some of the more popular are, for example, Business Administration, Economics, and Systems Engineering. Acceptance is competitive at the US Air Force Academy as only 15% of applicants are accepted. The student body is a little larger than most of the schools on this list with over 4,000 students in attendance. Upon completing an education at this free college, members go on to complete 5 years of active duty and 3 years reserve. Cadets are pushed to their limits and learn to exercise all of the skill, knowledge, and strength at their command.
The University of Missouri features an online Bachelor of Education Studies. This program is one of relatively few that are designed for teachers who want to work with adult learners in education but in non-school settings such as HR training, churches, nonprofit organizations or community colleges. Admission requires a minimum of 24 college credits with a 2.5 GPA. The degree has an interdepartmental structure and examines topics such as career counseling, vocational education, and special education. Sample courses include Workforce Education Teaching Methods, Positive Psychology, and Developmental Aspects of Human Learning. Tuition per credit is $284.80 for residents and $369.70 for nonresidents.
Yale University is committed to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need for all students. In light of this, a family making less than $65,000 per year will not be expected to pay anything for the child’s tuition. In addition to this, although the annual expected parent contribution is $10,000 or more, over 10% of all students pay nothing for the education they are receiving.
The competency-based online pathway focuses on individualized learning. Students complete their courses asynchronously, allowing them to complete their degree ahead of schedule. The school offers a competency-based online format for students working through bachelor's degrees in computer information technology, liberal arts, management, nursing, and small business administration -- along with five undergraduate minors and two master's degrees.

The University of Cambridge offers online courses for free through iTunesU. Apple offers downloadable course materials from a broad selection of universities around the world for free, giving you the chance to learn what you want on your own time. The university boasts that more than 300 audio and video files are now available for free download through the software, which you can access on a Mac or Windows computer as well as on Apple and Android mobile devices. Cambridge’s entire catalog of free educational material has been put in this one convenient place so that students like yourself can take advantage of all they have to offer.
If you’re looking for some easy party ideas then a backyard BBQ theme is what you’ve been missing out on. All you really need for this celebration is a couple of items to throw onto the grill and party decorations. If you don’t want to go out and splurge on a lot of party supplies just use items related to the graduate that you can find around the house. Hang old photos and maybe your grad’s senior pictures around the party location, you can also showcase the grad’s diploma and other academic achievements
Not only does Siena Heights University offer some of the country’s best online degree programs, but students are also able to select from four minors that can be completed online as well. More than 80 full-time faculty members are employed at Siena Heights University, several of which have many semesters of experience teaching online students. A great many of Siena Heights students receive financial aid in some form, be it scholarships, grants, or federal aid, and online students are included in financial aid opportunities. Online students may also wish to study in a hybrid format, and split their time evenly between home and the Siena Heights campus.
Adult students looking to earn a degree from one of the best online schools for bachelor's degree should consider Siena Heights University. Founded on Catholic ethics, Siena Heights has gained a reputation for being one of the best liberal arts schools for adult learners and working students. Their degree programs are designed to help students further their careers, giving them the knowledge they need to make a jump from one career to another or advance further in their current field. The online school at Siena Heights is nationally recognized for the quality of their bachelor's degrees as well as their incredibly high graduation rate. Students who study at Siena can also choose to study in a hybrid format, allowing them to study both online and on-campus. There are many resources students can use as well, most of which are available entirely online.
Computer science engineering may refer to either computer hardware engineers or software engineers. Each of these occupations pay well but require different specialized training and education. Hardware engineers primarily focus on the design and development of physical components and equipment that make up a computer system, while software engineers work on the applications that control the functions and output of these components. Both forms of engineering involve evaluating user needs, performing tests and analyzing results, creating modifications and updates as necessary. Hardware and software engineers commonly collaborate with one another and with other computer programmers.
Whereas electronics engineering focuses on developing and bettering technology that uses electricity to function, electrical engineers focus on electricity itself. The main goal of electrical engineers lies in how to produce sufficient energy for human needs and how to effectively distribute it. Areas of specialization can include motors, power generation equipment, and radar or navigational technology. Electrical engineers often work with dangerous or even deadly amounts of electricity in play and require extensive safety training on top of their formal education. Due to the nature of their work, electrical engineers may spend significant amounts of time working on-site at locations.
The history of the New Mexico State University-Main Campus dates back to 1888 when Las Cruces College was established in the territory of New Mexico. Home to the first honors program in the state, the university today serves 6,428 students that hail from across the US and more than 70 countries. Students take courses from the major colleges: Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences; Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering; Health and Social Services; and Honors. New Mexico State University is nationally-ranked for its online graduate nursing programs. NMSU Distance Education offers online bachelor degree-completion programs, masters and doctorate programs, and graduate certificates. Teachers can pursue their online New Mexico K-12 educator licensure and endorsements.
Free college courses are growing in popularity and they are a great way to learn about a topic that you are interested in. The thing to note about free online college courses is that there are no options to earn credit for any course you take this way. These are a good option for those of you who want to learn about a particular topic or want to test out a few courses to see if college is right for you.

By possessing valuable skills in high demand, chemical engineers can find employment in a large variety of industries. They utilize chemistry, biology, physics, and math to examine problems and devise solutions for the production of everything from medicine, to food, to clothing, to fuel. Chemical engineers spend a significant amount of time conducting research in order to develop and improve manufacturing processes in a safe and efficient manner. In addition to design and development, chemical engineers test their methods and may even directly oversee facility operations. These professionals work in offices, laboratories, and on-site at industrial locations like plants and refineries.

National University features an online Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. The program focus is on inclusive curricula and best practices for educating children birth to age 5.  Admission requires a diploma with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or the GED. Transfer students should also have a minimum GPA of 2.0. Policies on transfer credit and credit for prior experience are generous. Classes are offered in a one class per four-week term format. Courses offered include Partnering with Families, Music, Movements, Drama, Dance, and Crisis Trauma and Abuse. Online tuition is $370 per quarter credit. National University's home campus is in San Diego. The program requires a teaching practicum, and a background check is mandatory. NU is extremely military friendly. Arkansas residents should check with the admissions office regarding program availability.
Tiffin University understands the unique needs of working adults, which makes it among the best online colleges for students who need to juggle their education with working a full-time job and raising a family. With flexible programs that begin six times per year and the ability to take courses at a pace that makes sense for their lifestyle, Tiffin University allows adult learners to obtain the education they need to get ahead while not missing a step in the other areas of their lives. Students can earn bachelor's degree in subjects such as criminalistics, psychology, system administration, and health, fitness and wellness. On the graduate level, there are also master's degree programs in art and visual media, forensic psychology, crime analysis, and teaching art. In addition, the school offers graduate and undergraduate certificate programs.
Technology is constantly growing, advancing and evolving, and that means careers for computer science majors are also on the rise. According to the Cawley Career Education Center at Georgetown University, a computer science degree gives students many skills outside of just technical knowledge — like critical thinking and communication skills, both of which are useful in a variety of jobs.
Nova Southeastern University’s distance program doesn’t just serve students at one of the remote campuses, but also students that are studying online. Nova Southeastern University offers their online courses as part of the Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus program, meaning that each course offered online is fully accredited. This rigorous accreditation makes Nova one of the best online colleges in Florida for students that are looking for a high-quality education. Nova offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, some of which have earned the school distinctions. For example, Nova is considered one of the best online schools for graduate nursing, graduate education and criminal justice, all of which are already popular fields for online students.
A wide range of healthcare related degrees are available online, including programs in nursing, pharmacy, nutrition, personal training, public health, respiratory therapy, healthcare administration and medical and dental assisting. These online degree programs prepare students interested promoting health and wellness to ensure others maintain healthy lives. Careers in healthcare vary from hands-on positions, like working as a dental assistant, to more administrative positions, such as working behind the scenes to provide others with exceptional care. Online degrees in healthcare related fields are available at all levels, with a variety of associate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and certificate degrees to choose from.
Indiana Wesleyan University is a private, religiously affiliated school with a wide selection of online undergraduate and graduate degrees. Those seeking an online bachelor's can choose from eight business pathways, along with degrees in fields such as digital communication, addictions counseling, criminal justice, and licensure or non-licensure early childhood education. Indiana Wesleyan also offers several online graduate programs, including English-language and Spanish-language master's degrees in divinity and ministry; several graduate-level nursing tracks are also available.
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