According to research from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), more than 80 percent of public universities and at least half of private colleges offer online programs. A 2014 study from the Babson Institute estimated that 71 percent of all public-, degree-granting institutions provide distance learning opportunities to students.
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.
Presbyterian College, a Christian institution based in Clinton, S.C., with a reputation for academic rigor, offers a large array of programs online. The school’s ethos is around educating the whole person, which translates into an emphasis on critical thinking and communication in its online courses. Courses are offered in a number of different areas, including unique language courses like Greek and Hebrew. The school’s undergraduate offerings include degrees across 42 majors and nine pre-professional programs, while its graduate school focuses on medical fields. While many students enroll at Presby because it’s one of the best colleges for a Christian-based education, there are numerous courses unrelated to the Bible or theology. Regardless of a prospective student’s religious background, the online courses offered at Presbyterian College are carefully constructed to give all students the knowledge they need for their professional career.
Many students find that the best online colleges are the ones that allow them to study at their own pace – even if that means completing a degree faster than normal. Concordia University, Wisconsin does just that with their accelerated learning programs, allowing online students to study at a faster pace. For students who have a busy schedule and prefer to study at a more traditional pace, there are over 50 different online degree options offered by Concordia. Concordia is also one of the best online schools in terms of transferring credits, including military and work-related experience. Students can study toward a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or, in some instances both, such as with the RN to MSN program that accelerates nurses to a master’s degree.
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.
Bachelor’s degrees in education are the minimum requirement to teach in public elementary and secondary schools. Online degrees are available in elementary education, early childhood education, secondary education, and special education. In general, half of the credits in bachelor’s degrees in education are in the education major core, while half are in liberal arts topics like natural science, social science, communications, and math.
Obtaining a doctoral degree is one of the ultimate ways to achieve excellence in a field, and there are a variety of online doctorates available. Time required for completion of these degrees varies, and many degrees are available at a reasonable rate from highly recommended institutions, such as The George Washington University and Texas A&M University-College Station. Prospective doctoral students can explore degree offerings in business, psychology, computer science, and a wide variety of other subject areas.
There are a number of ways to research your intended career path, and one of the best is by utilizing the information provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS is a Federal agency that monitors labor market activity, working conditions, and economic factors that affect occupations. The Occupational Outlook Handbook on the BLS website is a great resource for students looking to gather information on various careers. You can find the following topics listed in this section of the website to help you gain a broader understanding of the specific occupation:
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is the oldest and largest institution in the Minnesota university system. The school offers a total of 18 online bachelor's degree pathways, including six tracks related to general business studies and programs in specialized fields such as tribal administration and governance, manufacturing management, agricultural business, and sport and recreation management. Other online offerings include six undergraduate certificates and a learning technologies minor. Graduate students at UMN-Twin Cities can choose from 14 online master's degrees and nine online doctoral degrees, most of which focus on healthcare fields.
Job prospects: Wildlife biologist in the field for state and federal natural resource agencies, conservation organizations, private ecological consulting firms, private timber companies, zoos and wildlife rehabilitation centers as wildlife managers, wildlife biologists, refuge managers, park rangers, park naturalists, game wardens, recreations planners, consulting wildlife biologists Do you have a unique major? If so, we'd love to hear about it!
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.
By utilizing the University of Virginia's distance learning program, students are able to stay on top of their daily commitments while still working towards a college degree. Multiple online programs are available at various levels of study, from full bachelor degree programs to grad-level certificates. These programs can be completed with a fully-online approach, or students could choose to spend part of their time studying on campus with a hybrid program. Hybrid students will be exposed to the rich academic culture that has developed at The University of Virginia, and have the opportunity to live in modern and comfortable student housing, join one of UVA's numerous student organizations, and attend campus events.
Vanderbilt University also has a partnership with Coursera and Class Central, which allows students to take free MOOCs and take individual courses online. Certificates of completion are available for a small fee. Committed to providing all students with a high quality and rigorous education regardless of their financial status, Vanderbilt University does meet 100% of the demonstrated financial needs of their students. To qualify for entirely free tuition, the family of the student must have an annual income of less than $60,000.
College tuition is getting more expensive, which puts a lot of stress on prospective students, but these free online colleges and degree programs are eliminating the stress for some students. There are many reputable — and even prestigious — schools that offer a tuition-free college education to students, but the schools we’ve listed below have free tuition that doesn’t require a work program so they are truly free colleges and online degree programs.
One of the best online schools for students that want to become teachers, National University offers various degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s level. To set itself apart, National doesn’t just offer degrees that can be completed entirely online – they also offer degrees that lead to certification, bringing students one step closer to their future career. The online schooloffers bachelor’s degrees in education that lead to licensure. For example, students can earn a bachelor’s in English education while receiving Nevada state licensure, or the same degree with credentials in California. Students can expect the same type of professional readiness from all their programs. College degrees aren’t just about becoming educated, and National University understands that the best online colleges prepare students for their career.
The University of Florida is one of many online colleges that offers a comprehensive selection of online degrees at the bachelor's level, master's level, and doctoral level. Opportunities for undergraduates include bachelor's degrees in popular fields such as business administration, computer science, nursing, and psychology. Students also enjoy online options in specialized fields such as fire and emergency services, microbiology and cell science, and sport management. Graduate students can choose from a total of 77 online master's degrees, most of which focus on STEM fields and specializations, and nine online doctorate programs.