A central reason for the increasing demand for online education is flexibility. Whether the student is seeking to go back to school, is a recent high school graduate that wants to attend a college in another state, or is a career advancer who wants to pursue a graduate degree, online college allows them to complete an education on their own terms. Online education helps students to craft a schedule that fits their lives, which is typically not possible in the traditional classroom. School can be woven into the student’s working and home lives instead of the other way around, making online classes the number one option for many in pursuit of a higher education.
A visa is a document that allows the holder to apply for entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Department of State (DoS) determine who is eligible to be admitted into the U.S. along with how long they can stay and other conditions of their visit.
Architects design the style and appearance of a building. Architectural engineers, on the other hand, focus on a building’s functionality and safety in regards to future occupants. Though some crossover exists between the two jobs — for example, architects must know the technical limits to their design work — architectural engineering generally requires a more intense mathematical and technical approach. Engineers take an architect’s design and determine the best way to make it a reality, including choosing the best support structure, designing the necessary mechanical systems, and laying out electricity and lighting systems. Architectural engineering requires occasional travel from an office workspace to on-site locations.
According to recent data, roughly 6.3 million U.S. college students took at least one online course during the fall 2016 term. This figure represents an annual increase in distance learner enrollment over the past 14 consecutive academic years. But finding great online colleges can be difficult because each institution is so different. To help find the best online college for you, we cover important topics like accreditation, financial aid, and other baseline considerations to make when choosing from top-rated online colleges below.
Illinois Online, which is available through the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is one of the best online colleges for adult learners and traditional students alike. One of the reasons the school receives such high marks is because of its Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, which is a one-stop shop for online students to get their questions answered about the distance learning experience. Academically, the school offers dozens of online degree programs, including a bachelor's degree in earth, society, and environmental sustainability and master's degrees in aerospace engineering, translation and interpreting, strategic brand communication, executive human resource development, and food science and human nutrition. There are also certificate programs available on the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students who want to take advantage of Illinois Online without enrolling in a degree program can also choose from dozens of massive open online courses.
One of the goals at George Washington University’s online school is to educate leaders. They understand that the best online schools are the ones that teach students everything they need to succeed, both right after graduation and in the future. Students that do end up studying toward an online degree at George Washington will find that the curriculum goes beyond the degree they’re earning. There are online options in most fields, and degrees are available at various levels. However, the graduate degree options are what sets George Washington apart from other online colleges. George Washington is home to many well-respected online programs, and they are considered one of the best online colleges for earning a master’s degree in public health.
For those with a detail-oriented mind and knack for creative design, an Architecture degree is an excellent way to pursue a fast-paced, lucrative career! Whether you go on to become a licensed architect or translate your skills into a related industry, there is a number of exciting career opportunities for those who have a strong architectural skillset!
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.
If you are someone with a scientific mind that enjoys exploring the wonders of the natural world, then a degree in Biology can open the door to a number of lucrative, professional careers! Whether you are researching in a laboratory setting, teaching at a university, or working out in the field, a Biology degree gives you the opportunity to make a direct impact on the world around you.
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.
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.
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.
The tuition is entirely free for all students that meet only three requirements, which are: a high school diploma or equivalent, proficiency in the English language, and 18 years of age or older. There is a registration fee of $60 per student, as well as a $100 fee for each end-of-course exam a student is required to take in the undergraduate programs, and a $200 fee for each exam in the MBA program. The total cost of an Associate’s degree is $2000 (20 exams), a Bachelor’s degree $4000 (40 exams), and for the MBA the total cost is $2460 (12 exams). There are also scholarships and grants available for eligible students who cannot afford the nominal processing fees of the university.

Online education degrees are available at 498 accredited colleges and universities. Our comprehensive list of online education degrees includes options at the associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate levels. In addition to this list, we highlight the best online bachelor's in education and best master's programs, ranked based on tuition costs and alumni salaries, as reported by PayScale.

There are many different ways students can pursue an excellent education at the University of Virginia. Students who study on campus have access to many different schools, each with their own set of accredited degrees. Also useful for students is the online education offered by UVA. Because of the size and scope of the school, UVA offers different types of online programs. One popular option is their School of Continuing and Professional Studies, best for students that want to further their career either with a bachelor's degree, graduate degree or certificate. Also available is a master's degree in engineering. UVA is considered to be one of the best online schools in the nation for an online master's in engineering, so students who want to earn a graduate degree that fits their schedule may find this is the perfect fit.

The highest-paying careers out of college in the field of business and information technology run the gamut from computer support specialists, who provide tech assistance to company employees or customers, to computer systems analysts, who work to support an organization’s overall operations through study and optimization of its computer systems, and everything in between. Individuals in business and information technology jobs work in office environments, typically with little travel required. Learning a combination of business and IT skills provides for a well-rounded and advanced knowledge base that can lead to high pay and high job satisfaction in a number of careers with faster-than-average growth projections.
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.
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.
Today’s students should expect convenient access, affordability and academic value from online colleges. That’s why we only consider accredited online colleges for our rankings. The accreditation process guarantees that a school’s facilities, instructors, and curriculum meet a rigorous set of standards established by industry leaders. To ensure they invest in a universally respected degree, students should only consider accredited online colleges, like those on our list.

As the undergraduate college of our country’s naval service, the Naval Academy prepares young men and women to become professional officers and leaders of sailors and Marines. Naval Academy students are midshipmen on active duty in the U.S. Navy. They attend the Academy for four years, graduating with bachelor of science degrees and commissions as ensigns in the Navy or second lieutenants in the Marine Corps. Naval Academy graduates serve at least five years in the Navy or Marine Corps.


The University of Saint Mary has established itself as one of the tops schools in the Midwest, largely due to their healthcare and science programs. The same can be said about the school's online programs, it is one of the best online schools for earning a degree in nursing or healthcare. One reason their healthcare and science degrees are so well respected is because of the emphasis the University of Saint Mary puts on liberal arts. With a liberal arts background in any field, students gain a better all-around perspective, something that be helpful for advancing through future careers. Online degrees are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and while many students study toward a nursing or healthcare degree, a master's in business administration is also available.

If you're considering online college, you have many school options available to you. Browse our list of fully accredited, U.S.-based colleges offering quality education in a broad variety of subject areas that can lead you to your next rewarding career. Below our school listings, learn more about the basics of online education, including how to find a match among the different types of college and learning styles offered by degree programs.
Midway University, founded in 1847 by Dr. Lewis L. Pinkerton, was one of the nation's first schools to serve disadvantaged or orphaned women. Today, the coeducational Midway offers its 1,005 students over 30 academic majors in many of the region's top-demand fields of business, teacher education, nursing/healthcare, and equine studies. For distance education, Midway is among the best online colleges in the region. Students can earn their associate degree online, one of more than 20 baccalaureate degrees, or a 100-percent-online MBA, M.Ed., or MSN graduate degree. Online options for a bachelor's degree in education include more than 12 areas of specialization. Midway's Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) program may grant course credits for online students based on their work experience or career preparation outside the classroom.
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.
Oregon State University, the state's largest degree-granting institution, offers a wide selection of online programs for undergraduates and graduate students. Many bachelor's degree online options focus on fields related to environmental science and land management, such as environmental economics and policy, fisheries and wildlife sciences, horticulture, and range science; the school also offers a dual degree in sustainability. Online master's programs at Oregon State include four MBA tracks, four teaching pathways, and a master's in public health.
Petroleum engineers work to design methods and equipment for the extraction of oil and gas located in reservoirs below the Earth’s surface. These skilled professionals first work alongside specialists and scientists to understand the reservoir formations, before beginning research and development of drilling equipments, plans, and other operations. Petroleum engineers may specialize in different areas, including completions, working on building wells; drilling, determining the safest and most efficient drilling procedures; production, monitoring the production of built wells; and reservoir, determining how much gas or oil can be extracted from a deposit. Work may require frequent travel to drilling sites.
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.

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.


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.
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