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.

Online students face a set of unique issues. Whether you’re wondering about online student disability services, LGBT support at online colleges, or paying for your online degree, our library of guides is here to help you. Planning to transfer credits from an online college? We’ll walk you through the importance of enrolling in accredited online colleges to ensure your hard work does not go to waste. We collected questions from parents, educators, and students to discover the most pressing issues they faced, and then put our team of experts to work finding in-depth answers.


Located in Odessa, TX, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers students a choice of 35 undergraduate and 18 graduate programs. The university is one of the best online colleges in the region. Its current 250 teaching faculty members serve more than 7,000 students who attend campus-based courses or study online. UTPB is part of the University of Texas system of nine universities and six health institutions in the Lone Star State. The distance degree program was named among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs for 2016 by U.S. News and World Report. Online students can complete one of 18 bachelor degrees, 10 master's programs, and five online education certificates. Many of the bachelor-level courses are offered in 8-week semester formats, and some online courses are offered through University of Texas Online consortium (UTOC).
Another important consideration is the cost of tuition compared to the net price of attendance. Tuition is the listed rate found on the school's website, while net price refers to the amount students pay after loans, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid are applied. For example, the College Board notes that the average student attending a four-year public institution in 2017-18 paid $21,370 in tuition and room and board. However, these students also received an average of $6,490 in financial aid, bringing their average net price to $14,880 — nearly 30% less than the listed price for tuition and room and board.
In 2019, U.S. News & World Report named ERAU the top educator of online undergraduates and the best provider of online bachelor's programs for veterans. The university offers 12 different start times for undergraduates throughout the calendar year, with each course spanning 9-12 weeks in length. Instructors deliver all coursework synchronously and follow a schedule that mirrors brick-and-mortar coursework.
The University of Laverne offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Education Studies. The program trains students in K-6 methods and content and includes pre-K. Admission requires at least 28 college credits with a minimum GPA of 2.50. Up to 88 credits may be transferred. One of the main focuses is on preparing graduates for the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET). Among the courses offered are Learning Technology for Educators, Science for Elementary Teachers, and Teaching K-8 Social Studies. Regular online tuition is $645 per semester hour, with a reduced rate of $250 per semester hour for active military. The school is located in Laverne, California, near Los Angeles.

John Holland’s Self-Directed Search The idea here is that people and work environments fall into six categories: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. The assessment will consider your aspirations, activities, competencies, interests and more to determine which category you fit into, and then suggest a list of careers most likely to align with your results. The test costs about $10.


Choosing a degree program is an exciting part of any student’s journey, but it can also be a daunting choice when there are so many unknowns. While your passions and interests should play a large role in the career path you are considering, it is important to have long-term job stability and salary in mind as well. That's why the data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is so valuable. Not only can you review industry growth metrics, but you can also compare jobs and salaries in a number of fields. To help aid you in your efforts, we have assembled a list of the Top 40 career options for some of the most popular degrees. We hope you find this information both helpful and useful!
Most online courses require students to log into their school's learning management system (LMS), a comprehensive platform that contains course syllabi, assignments, and students' grades. Before enrolling in courses, online students should research hardware and software requirements for their school's LMS to ensure their computer is compatible. Additionally, students can use smartphones and tablets to access their school's LMS. The best online university programs offer multiple accessibility options for distance learners.
Online undergraduates at Midway University who plan to enter a teaching career can earn a bachelor's in education with eight concentration options. Other bachelor's degree options include subjects such as business administration, criminal justice, healthcare administration, marketing communications, and nursing. The school also makes online MBA, master's in education, and master's in nursing degrees available for graduate students.
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.

The fourth-largest degree-granting institution in North Carolina, East Carolina University offers a total of 22 online bachelor's degree completion programs aimed at transfer students. These include concentrations in several specialized areas of industrial technology, such as bioprocess manufacturing, distribution and logistics, and health information technology. Other options for undergraduates include five business pathways, five teaching tracks, and an RN-to-BSN. Online grad students at ECU can choose from 51 master's degrees and concentrations -- most of which concentrate in education and/or healthcare -- and seven doctorates.


The best online colleges offer career support services that are on par with their brick-and-mortar counterparts. However, these resources vary from school to school. According to U.S. News & World Report, students should look for online institutions that offer one-on-one career counseling, virtual networking, access to online career fairs, and opportunities to meet and network with other students. Some schools also provide students with access to webinars and livestreamed lectures related to their career path.


Specific requirements vary by program, but most online students log into their school's learning management system (LMS) 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.
Blackburn College offers a free tuition promise to local students in the state of Illinois whose families earn an average of $60,000 per year or less, which is known as the Affordable Access Award and was enacted by the Blackburn College President, Dr. John Comerford. Blackburn is a well-established school that has been educating students since 1837. This free college offers over 30 degrees and programs and some of the most popular include business administration, management, accounting, and criminal justice. Blackburn is known as a Work College, where students are required to work at least 160 hours in a semester, wherein they can earn $5,500 each year! In this way, Blackburn College is incredibly well-supported by its students who, for example, have built 9 of the 20 buildings on campus through the work program. There is an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio and the current enrollment is about 570 students, making the campus an intimate, close-knit learning environment with a huge amount of access to professors and facilities.
Only about 1/5th of all students live on campus at the University, the rest live elsewhere in the area, are distance-learners, or are in the military. To be eligible for the free tuition program at the University–which covers everything except for fees– students’ families must have an income of less than $60,000 annually. Students that are covered by this program typically receive additional scholarships and grants to bridge that gap and cover the entirety of their higher education costs.
Core classes in the education program explore the structure of public education, major topics and issues in public education, cultural effects on student achievement, education around the world, and the political state of education. Other classes explore curriculum development, evaluation techniques, and teaching techniques. To earn a four-year degree in education, students also take a number of general courses in math,biology, the arts, and the humanities.
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:
Brown University currently offers online masters programs, undergraduate courses, and pre-college courses that help to prepare aspiring students of the university. Programs include an MBA, a Master in Cybersecurity, a Master of Healthcare Leadership, and a Master in Science and Technology Leadership. Online classes for undergraduate students and incoming students take place throughout the academic year as well as during special summer and winter sessions. Throughout the year, online classes are the traditional length of 15 weeks. Summer session courses are seven weeks and winter session courses are only four weeks.
In addition to online-only pathways, the school offers many of the university's bachelor's programs in a blended format. Some of these tracks follow CityU's Regional Cohort Model, enabling degree seekers to take the same online and onsite courses with the same group of students based on their geographical area. Bachelor's programs span at least 180 credits, and students typically complete their requirements within four years.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the country's largest accredited institution that primarily offers degrees in aviation and aerospace technology. Undergraduates choose from 16 online bachelor's programs, including subjects such as aviation business administration, homeland security, safety management, and unmanned systems applications. The selection for graduate students focuses on similar topics, as options include online master's degrees in aviation and aerospace sustainability, cybersecurity management and policy, and systems engineering. The school also offers a Ph.D. in aviation.
It is also possible that some careers may require an entry-level education of a bachelors degree or higher. BLS suggests that earning a degree might open up career paths that would otherwise be closed to non-degree earners. Of course, program outcomes vary according to specific curriculum, and no employment opportunities and salaries are guaranteed.
Harvard is far from an online university and it is highly residential. Which is why you may find it surprising that you can earn your degree through this esteemed institution online. At the undergraduate level, the only choice the university currently gives you is a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree. Only four courses must be taken on campus and the school has three-week and weekend intensive options to help make that easier. There are more than 20 masters degrees online that you can earn this way and just under 40 professional certificates. This blended format helps you to earn the degree you want from this top university with the flexibility you need while providing you with some awesome traditional instruction along the way.
It is also possible that some careers may require an entry-level education of a bachelors degree or higher. BLS suggests that earning a degree might open up career paths that would otherwise be closed to non-degree earners. Of course, program outcomes vary according to specific curriculum, and no employment opportunities and salaries are guaranteed.

Because online students aren't confined to a classroom, they can complete coursework virtually anywhere – as long as there is internet access. This makes online learning particularly appealing for working professionals and students with family obligations or other responsibilities that make it hard to travel to and from campus regularly. Additionally, most online curriculum is delivered asynchronously, meaning that students can log on at any time and complete coursework at their own pace.


Engineering always enjoys a consistent ranking near the top of the highest paying careers out of college, and the relatively new industry specialization in biomedical engineering is no exception. Biomedical engineers use an interdisciplinary understanding of engineering principles and medical knowledge to develop technology used in the healthcare field, including equipment, computer systems, software, and medical devices like artificial organs and replacement body parts. These professionals play an important role in creating solutions for health practitioners and patients, ensuring safety and effectiveness, and presenting research findings to scientists, executives, colleagues, and the general public.


Auburn University, chartered in 1856 and closed during the Civil War, Auburn University is Alabama's oldest 4-year, coeducational institution. Today it enrolls 29,776 students who attend degree programs at Auburn's College of Agriculture; College of Architecture, Design & Construction; Raymond J. Harbert College of Business; College of Education; Samuel Ginn College of Engineering; School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; Graduate School; College of Human Sciences; College of Liberal Arts; The School of Nursing; James Harrison School of Pharmacy; College of Sciences and Mathematics; College of Veterinary Medicine; University College; and Honors College. Auburn Online is one of the region's best online schools. It garners top-20 national rankings in the categories of best online MBA programs and best online graduate computer information technology programs. Students can earn one of four online baccalaureate degrees as well as undergraduate certificates in education, and pharmacy studies.


University of the People has been widely successful, garnering partnerships with NYU, Yale, UC Berkeley, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and more. The university is approved by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education and is fully accredited by the United States Department of Education, the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.
At Indiana Wesleyan University, students can receive an affordable and convenient education via the school’s online degree programs. By taking advantage of one of Indiana Wesleyan’s online programs, students will be able to complete their academics at a pace with which they are comfortable. Just like their on-campus peers, online students have several opportunities to receive financial aid to make earning a college education a less stressful pursuit. Online students will also receive all necessary support from the Indiana Wesleyan University faculty and staff. Faculty members have several years of experience in teaching online courses and are prepared to help all incoming online students reach their goals. IWU offers all students a generous credit transfer policy and has degree completion programs which can help students finish their bachelor’s degrees in as little as 10 months.
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.
Whether you are drawn to a specific subject, or hoping to broaden your worldview and develop stronger critical thinking and communication skills, an online degree falling under the umbrella of liberal studies may be for you. The field of liberal studies includes a wide array of subjects, from English to anthropology, physics to mathematics, psychology to music. 194 associate degrees, 837 bachelor’s degrees, 232 master’s degrees, 2 doctoral degrees, and 51 certificates in liberal studies subjects are available in a fully online format. Because career paths for graduates with a liberal studies degree vary widely depending on program of study, looking over our more specific subject pages will help you learn what to expect.
Many Ashworth College students and graduates had this same concern before they enrolled. We think you’ll find the online format of our degree programs is ideal for independent learners like you who are returning to school after a long break. Our easy-to-follow curriculum lets you work at your own pace and comfort level. And any time you need help, an Academic Advisor is just a click or call away.
WSU offers free online tutoring and a complementary writing lab for distance learners. Transfer students can apply up to 90 previously earned credits toward their bachelor's degrees, including 73 credits for lower-level courses. In terms of tuition pricing, full-time students taking 10-18 credits pay the same per-semester rate regardless of their major or state residency status. Individual per-credit rates are offered for part-time students and those taking more than 18 credits per semester.
Most online undergraduate degree programs and graduate programs are convenient because they give students the ability to schedule their coursework around their lives. This includes important things such as a current career, kids or other family needs. Online education may be ideal for someone who wants to switch careers, maybe wants to earn another type of degree to do so, and has to work full-time while earning that degree.
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.
Texas-based Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers many different pathways for students seeking a religious degree. These include online undergraduate programs in fields such as Bible and theology, church ministries, and theological studies. Secular options include online bachelor's degrees in counseling, criminal justice, elementary education, and TESOL. Additionally, the university offers multi-concentration online bachelor's degrees in business administration and human services and 19 online master's and doctoral degrees.
Occupational Outlook Handbook. If you already have a few ideas in mind, this is the go-to place to find all the important data you will need to make a decision! For each occupation, you will find a job description, what education and training is needed, salary and job growth outlook, and similar professions.  The handbook allows you to browse occupation groups, such as all careers under the healthcare umbrella, or the legal umbrella, for example. You can sort by education or pay, look at the fastest growing occupations or the newest occupations. If you’re not sure if you’d rather be an accountant or a financial analyst, this is a great place to learn and compare your options and learn about other alternatives.
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.

We see and utilize the work of public and private sector civil engineers everywhere, everyday: bridges, tunnels, roads, buildings, airports, water supply systems, and sewage treatment systems. These skilled professionals conceive of, design, and help build and maintain complex infrastructure projects and systems throughout the world. The job of a civil engineer can cover everything from surveying land to submitting permit applications, from overseeing soil testing to analyzing different building materials. Employment often involves heavy supervisory or administrative responsibilities and a changing work environment which requires travel to and from various site locations.
As a graduate of University of Phoenix, you are automatically a part of the University of Phoenix Alumni Association. To access the benefits on the alumni website just log in using your eCampus login credentials. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a long-time University of Phoenix alum, the Alumni Association is your gateway to your alumni network — 1,023,112 strong, and growing.
Fitting school into a busy schedule is rarely a simple process; that’s why North Carolina State University at Raleigh offers several of their programs in a format that can be completed from a distance. NC State currently offers more than 90 degrees and certificates and more than 350 different courses fully-online, meaning students can fit earning a degree into their lives more easily. Students taking online courses will have opportunities to make use of facetime with their professor through video chat sessions, and will participate in discussion boards that will allow them to socialize with their peers. Online students are eligible forfinancial aid.

Often holding formal job titles like IT manager or IT project manager, computer information systems management professionals plan, coordinate, and direct all of the computer-related activities that take place within an organization. Specific duties may include ensuring network security, planning installation and maintenance, negotiating with vendors, and researching potential technology projects. IT managers work in company offices, schools, healthcare facilities — any location that requires a large number of computers to complete daily operations. This job requires supervisory skills, as IT managers frequently direct and oversee the work of other department professionals like systems analysts, software developers, and support specialists.
Fort Hays State University has established itself as one of the best online colleges, largely due to their affordability and quality of education. Each program is designed to give students the knowledge they need to enter the global community as a leader and expert. This can be seen with their online bachelor’s degrees, all of which are fully accredited. Popular bachelor’s degree options include criminal justice, elementary education and accounting. Along with their bachelor’s degrees, Fort Hays also has extensive master’s degree programs that give students the experience and knowledge they need to make a leap in their career. The best online schools are the ones that prepare students for their future, and Fort Hays does just that.
Although online and brick-and-mortar courses share similarities in terms of readings, lectures, and assignments, these programs also differ in several ways. Additionally, finding great online colleges can be difficult due to the wealth of differences between each institution. Here are answers to some of the most common questions about online versus brick-and-mortar programs.
Liberty University features four online Bachelor of Science programs in education. They include the B.S. in Biblical and Educational Studies, the B.S. degrees in Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education, and the B.S. in Special Education: Interdisciplinary Studies. Admission requires a diploma and a minimum 2.0 GPA. Transfer students also need a minimum 2.0 GPA and can transfer in up to 90 credits. These programs combine foundational skills and teaching methods within a Christian ethical context. The Biblical Studies program focuses on training for denominational schools and Christian institutions. The elementary education program can be combined with the Liberty M.A.T. for certification. The early childhood program focuses on pre-school. Online tuition is $390 per credit hour.
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.
Economists may work for federal, state, or local governments, research firms, international organizations, or think tanks, using their skills in quantitative and qualitative analysis to study the production and distribution of resources, goods, and services. Relied upon for information from industries, governments, and individuals, these vital professionals use historical trends to forecast future economic events and market trends. Some economists may specialize in a certain area, including product costs, energy, employment levels, exchange rates, inflation, or taxes. A typical office-environment work day for an economist includes gathering data, performing various analyses, and developing solutions or offering advice in response to findings.
The process of applying for student aid at an online college is similar to the application process at a traditional school. To be eligible, students must first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA becomes available online on October 1 annually; students should start preparing their FAFSA form as soon as possible, as many awards are offered on a first-come-first-serve basis. Note that students applying for student aid must be enrolled at an online college that has been accredited by a federally recognized accreditation agency. The status of an online student (full time or part time) may also affect their eligibility to receive aid.
Through a combination of the college Work Program, institutional scholarships, and federal and state grants, College of the Ozarks students can complete their entire education entirely tuition-free. There are no student loans throughout a student’s college experience, but they are required to give back to the community through hard work. Through this incredible free college, students gain invaluable experiences, ethics, and an education that is incredibly well-rounded. Otherwise known as Hard Work U., there are over 100 jobs and positions of which students can take advantage to offset the cost of tuition. This free Christian College is also focused on nurturing students’ faith by offering ministry retreats, mission trips, Bible studies, and other such opportunities. C of O has been educating students since 1906 and is founded on Christian principles. Students at this free college can look forward to a fulfilling experience and outstanding education.
In 2019, U.S. News & World Report named ERAU the top educator of online undergraduates and the best provider of online bachelor's programs for veterans. The university offers 12 different start times for undergraduates throughout the calendar year, with each course spanning 9-12 weeks in length. Instructors deliver all coursework synchronously and follow a schedule that mirrors brick-and-mortar coursework.
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