Colleges, universities, or military academies who offer free-tuition often expect the student to pay for certain aspects of their college experience, such as their room and board, meals, or perhaps pay for their own books. In addition, some schools will require you to work on campuses, such as a librarian or maintenance worker. Some will require a commitment to serve your country in the military when you have completed your education. There are some schools on this list that do require students to pay some administrative fees, but these amounts are insignificant considering what they would be paying at other schools.
Education graduates who plan to become a teacher or an administrator (e.g., principal or superintendent) in a public school district will need to follow the proper procedure to become licensed before they can begin working. Each US state has its own set of licensing or certification requirements, so it's best to check with your particular state before embarking on a path to become an educator or administrator. In general though, educators and administrators must earn an accredited degree, have professional experience, and pass at least one competency exam.
Second, make sure all target schools have been accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies and/or, if it's an online-only school, by the Distance Education and Training Council. Accreditation means potential colleges and its target programs have been thoroughly vetted by an independent higher education agency endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education (check out the best accredited online colleges of 2016). Finally, make sure you know exactly what you need from an online degree. The flexibility offered by many programs is great, but the curriculum, professors and resources should have the same quality as their campus counterparts. Don't be afraid to call up counselors and talk to current and former students.
Online certificates and associate degrees in education can provide an introduction to the field and preparation for later college-level work. These degrees cover general liberal arts topics, as well as courses in curriculum design, child development, and instructional methods. Stand-alone undergraduate certificates are usually available in early childhood education areas, while certificates that are part of bachelor’s degrees cover a wider range of topics, such as education policy or adult education.
Online associate degrees typically can be completed in two years and are available for a variety of programs. Graduates of an associate degree program will often be more competitive in the job market, especially in technical and vocational fields, compared to those with only a high school diploma or GED. Online associate degrees are also a solid stepping stone for those looking to continue on to more advanced degrees.
Three types of accreditation are awarded in the U.S. The first two types, regional and national, are institutional accreditations bestowed on the college or university as a whole. Regional accreditation is typically reserved for nonprofit schools that offer degrees in the liberal arts and sciences. A total of seven regional accrediting agencies evaluate schools in all 50 states and U.S. territories. National accreditation, on the other hand, is generally offered to for-profit schools, vocational learning centers, and religious institutions. A total of 10 national accrediting agencies — including the Distance Education Accrediting Commission — assess schools nationwide.
Considered the oldest and largest online degree-providing institution in the state, Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers web-based programs at all degree levels. Bachelor's options include degrees in fields such as addiction studies, business administration, and social work; the psychology and unified public safety administration fields offer multiple concentrations.

Educators must meet state requirements to maintain their license. This may include taking courses to keep your license active, change positions/subject areas or stay knowledgeable on current education topics and standards. Educators can use continuing education for license renewal, for professional development, toward endorsements and pay scale increases, and for personal growth.
The Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph founded Brescia University in 1950. While offering an extensive range of academic programs on its campus in Owensboro, the Roman Catholic university began offering online courses in 2007. Ranked among the Top-30 Regional Colleges in the South, Brescia has also become one of the best online schools in the region. Students will benefit from online tuition, which has been frozen at its current level through 2022. Online courses are offered in accelerated 8-week formats. Programs at Brescia Online culminate in four associate degrees, six bachelor degrees (including degree-completion), and two master's degrees. Students can also complete an online certificate in accounting.
One-year education administration or education leadership graduate certificate programs are available for students who are currently earning or have already earned a master's degree. They are typically designed for education professionals who would like to advance into a career as a school leader or school district leader. Associate and bachelor’s degrees in educational administration give a broader and more in-depth liberal arts experience. An undergraduate degree program in early childhood education administration provides students with an understanding of the education industry, helps them gain advanced organizational management skills and trains them in the theories of child development.
Saint Leo University’s online program is designed to help nontraditional adult learners succeed by making higher education more accessible. In the virtual classroom, students will receive a comprehensive education in their field of choice that are taught by dedicated instructors who are trained specifically to teach online courses. While the school was built with Catholic roots, online learners are welcomed into this learning community regardless of their religious affiliation. Before beginning their online courses, students may also receive a free e-book that contains tips to succeed in an online learning environment.
Williamson College of the Trades is a young men’s college that offers free tuition to all students. There are certain requirements by which each student must abide, which includes being under the age of 20 prior to admission, completing the designated work hours each semester, engaging in school activities outside of class such as athletics, attending chapel services, and adhering to the dress code and grooming regulations. This free college of the trades is tied to the Judeo-Christian faith and maintains a strong focus on moral conduct and excellence. There are about 265 men enrolled at Williamson who major in Associate in Specialized Technology Degrees and Craftsmen Diplomas. Some examples of programs in the school include horticulture, masonry, carpentry, and machine tool technology. The campus includes numerous shops, labs, and plants, as well as educational centers in which students learn and perfect their trade of choice.
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.
Educators can use continuing education for license renewal, for professional development, toward endorsements and pay scale increases, and for personal growth. Our credit-bearing teacher curriculum is designed for new and seasoned educators who want to develop or reinforce their knowledge of classroom concepts and techniques, or to enhance their career.
Despite what some students may think, online colleges are no less challenging than traditional colleges. Depending on a student's learning style, keeping up with online work may actually prove to be more demanding for some. When asked about the greatest challenges they face while studying online, a majority of students in a Learning House survey cited motivation, attention, and focus as their main concerns.
Some online students prefer the self-paced schedule of asynchronous programs, along with the possibility of early graduation. Others appreciate the structure of synchronous programs and the idea of taking multiple courses with the same cohort of students. With this in mind, you should choose programs based in part on your preferred learning format.
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.
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.

Shadow box: many craft and frame stores offer "shadow boxes": a box that has one side made of glass (made to look like a frame) that you can hang on a wall. Create a special one tailored just for your graduate—with mementos, college insignia, and even sports paraphernalia, if appropriate. As a bonus, shadow boxes work well in an office or your graduate's new apartment.

Students must meet the English Language Proficiency requirement (ELP). To meet this, a student must have completed high school in the U.S. or another English-speaking country, have 30+ transferrable semester credits from an approved English-speaking institution or pass an ELP exam from an approved testing agency (Berlitz, TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson). For more information, contact an International Enrollment Representative.
Webster University is a private nonprofit institution that offers five online bachelor's programs. These include degrees in management and data analytics through the university's School of Business and Technology and bachelor of arts tracks in media communications and religion and global society. The school also makes an RN-to-BSN pathway available for nurses. Master's degrees include options in specialized fields such as gerontology, environmental management, advertising and marketing communications, and public relations -- along with nine business-oriented programs and four teaching tracks.
Webster University offers online programs at the certificate, baccalaureate, and graduate level, all of which vary through several fields of study. Students taking online classes will be able to construct their own schedules and complete their coursework at their own pace. Further freedom of schedule is available for students completing their work part-time. Students also have the choice of completing their classes in a hybrid format, splitting their academic time between home and the Webster University campus. Online students will also be provided with all necessary student services to secure their success, including career counseling and tech services.

Shadow box: many craft and frame stores offer "shadow boxes": a box that has one side made of glass (made to look like a frame) that you can hang on a wall. Create a special one tailored just for your graduate—with mementos, college insignia, and even sports paraphernalia, if appropriate. As a bonus, shadow boxes work well in an office or your graduate's new apartment.
Deep Springs College is an incredibly unique school for men that offers a two-year, free college tuition scholarship valued at over $50,000. A small school, Deep Springs accepts about 315 applicants each year, of which about 14 are accepted after a second round of applications, essays, and interviews. 24 to 30 students are in attendance each year where they live and work on an alfalfa farm and cattle ranch in eastern California. The farming atmosphere is not the only thing that makes this free college of the liberal arts so unique—the student body is the deciding group for many aspects of maintaining the college such as admissions and hiring faculty. Students start their day with classes and lectures and then are sent off to work on the farm where they labor for no less than 20 hours each week. Students have gone on to work in journalism, agriculture, medicine, politics, and much, much more after their fulfilling and free college experience at Deep Springs College.
The University of Toledo has been offering online courses for two decades, giving them plenty of time create one of the best online schools in the nation for adults who want to further their career. The flexibility of the courses offered by UT is one of the biggest draws, particularly for adults who are working or have families, or for military members. These students are usually looking for a way to move forward, and the online degrees offered by UT are designed to do just that. With degrees offered from the associate to doctoral level, students and adult learners of all ages can find something that fits their needs, helping them advance their career or learn new skills to pivot into a new field.
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 business degree programs aim to develop overall analytic, writing, and project management skills as well as an understanding of how organizations work. Those interested in accounting will find 737 online programs to choose from, at all degree levels, and may be qualified for jobs ranging from auditor to accountant upon graduation. Finance is another popular specialty for those seeking an online business degree and 249 schools offer fully online finance degrees, potentially leading to careers in financial management, budget analysis, and financial advising. Students hoping to pursue business careers related to management or administration might be interested in learning more about online human resources or management degrees.
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 Navy pays 100% of the tuition, room, and board, medical and dental care costs of Naval Academy midshipmen. This means ALL students who attend the Naval Academy do so on a full scholarship in return for 5 years of active duty service upon graduation. Additionally, you also enjoy regular active-duty benefits including access to military commissaries and exchanges, commercial transportation and lodging discounts and the ability to fly space-available in military aircraft around the world.
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.
Real estate brokers earn, on average, $56,570 per year and real estate agents earn, on average, $44,090 per year — though both can earn substantially more depending on their commissions. There are currently 421,300 brokers and agents. Typically, these professions require a high school diploma, real estate courses, and passing licensing exams. Growth, however, is a slower-than-average 3 percent.
All of the online schools, at any degree level, featured on our website are accredited, ensuring that they meet high standards of quality. In order to be accredited, online colleges are evaluated based on criteria such as curricula, faculty, course offerings, facilities, financial resources, and support services. Accreditation in the United States comes from federal and state agencies as well as non-governmental bodies approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Accreditation not only demonstrates the quality of an online school, but can also determine whether credits are transferable to other accredited online colleges. To find out whether an accreditation agency is legitimate, make sure it is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Are you considering a return to school? Do you feel uncertain about your ability to pick up where you left off? Browse our collection of student resources for a little peace of mind. Our guides are designed to help students at any level enter the classroom with confidence. Whether at home or on campus, find the help you need to get the most out of your education. Below you'll find some of our more popular resources.
The cost of a college degree can vary wildly as well. It's no secret that tuition prices have skyrocketed in the last few decades. Online degrees aren't necessarily cheaper than traditional on-campus degree programs, but choosing an online degree program can save you money in commuting costs and materials, and most importantly, give you the flexibility to work while you earn your degree more easily than if you had to take classes in-person.
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.
The distance learning program at the University of Cincinnati began in 1984 with an open learning program for firefighter advancement. Now, distance learners are able to enroll in degree and certificate programs and individual courses that can be completed entirely online and off-campus. Before beginning their e-courses, students must first complete a self-guided orientation to online learning where they will learn strategies for academic success in the virtual classroom. Distance students are also provided with access to academic advising, proctoring, tutoring and technical support resources. The university offers a variety of free and paid MOOCs to students as well.
With over 200 degree programs offered online by Southern New Hampshire University, it’s easy to see why many consider it one of the best online colleges for students looking to improve their careers. Each online degree program is designed to help students improve or change their current professional position. With the aid of affordable tuition and the flexibility to study at their own pace, students find that SNHU not only meets their expectations, but offers more than they thought an online school might: they also get access to the large SNHU alumni network, which can help them secure a new job after graduation. SNHU is among the best online schools in terms of services available to virtual students, which include an online library, tutoring and around-the-clock support.
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.

Boston's Northeastern University serves as home to a total of 10 online bachelor's programs. These include degrees in business-oriented fields such as finance and accounting management, leadership, analytics, and project management. Other options include online bachelor's degrees in digital communication and media, health management, and psychology. Graduate students can choose from 40 online master's pathways, most of which focus on management and/or education, along with doctoral degrees in education or transitional physical therapy.
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