The Best Accredited Online Colleges

The top ranked schools offering online degrees are linked to below. You can request free information from each school by using the links provided. Upon completion of a school’s “Request Information” form, an official from that college will provide you information about the degrees, tuition, entrance requirements of that specific university. We recommend you request information from at least 3 online colleges.

Kaplan University – Kaplan University is a leader in online education, boasting one of the largest student enrollments in the nation. The university is divided into ten schools, including Arts and Sciences, Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Health Sciences, Information Systems and Technology, Legal Studies, Nursing, Kaplan Continuing Education, and Concord Law School of Kaplan University.
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Ashford University – Located in Clinton, Iowa, Ashford University offers both an on-campus and online program of study. For those online students enrolled in a Bachelor's program with zero credits, the expected time to receive their degree is four years. Courses run continuously, instead of in semesters, providing multiple chances to enroll.
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Liberty University – Established in 1971, Liberty University features a dynamic campus-based program and a structured, well versed online program. Students benefit from a warm learning environment that is Christ-centered. There are over 100 registered clubs on campus. Liberty is accredited by numerous organizations, including the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers online classes.
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DeVry University – DeVry University offers a variety of courses in business administration, computer information systems, engineering, network and communications management, and management. The institution also offers professional graduate certificates in business, office management and health information technology. DeVry is scheduled on a trimester course schedule. Students can graduate with an online Bachelor's degree in about three years.
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Grand Canyon University – Grand Canyon University features numerous online degree programs at the associates, bachelor's and graduate level. At the College of Arts and Sciences, students have a multitude of degrees to choose from, including sciences, social sciences, media and communications, and the humanities. Grand Canyon University's health sciences programs include pre-med, and pre-pharmacy.
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Walden University – Walden University offers Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Health, Ed.S., Ed.D., D.B.A., and Ph.D. online degrees in a number of subjects. The university was called a “respected virtual institution” by U.S. News and World Report and publishes many journals, including the International Journal of Applied Management and Technology.
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Capella University – Capella University is one of the nation's most trusted and largest names in education, with several programs offered online and at the campus. Capella is for students from all walks of life because they have degrees offered at every education level and in most industries. Take advantage of distance learning and you’ll find a flexible, convenient way to earn your degree.
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Strayer University – Founded in 1892, Strayer University's programs are built for the working professional seeking career advancement. Today, over 60,000 students have picked Strayer as their choice for online education. Strayer University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
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Southern New Hampshire University – Southern New Hampshire University is a top provider of online, accredited degree programs. These programs are designed to be completed at a relatively fast pace in an environment comfortable to the student. Work on classes and assignments from school, home, or even while you are on-the-go!
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University of Liverpool – Liverpool University features a variety of online degree programs in partnership with Laureate Online Education in the fields of Management, Information Technology, Health, Law, and Psychology. The university system features over 23,000 students. The main campus in Liverpool, England features teaching in arts, sciences, medicine, and law.
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How do I earn a degree online?

Earning a degree online is simply a new, innovative way of earning a degree to increase your earning power and job potential. Never mistake an online degree or program for being “easier” than the traditional university degree. Often, students who pursue an online degree also have a full-time job and a family to tend to, making it very difficult to juggle time and keep on top of classes. That said, online degrees and programs offer the flexibility that traditional classes do not, allowing students to manage their own time accordingly.

Students can select how many courses they take at a time. If a person hasn’t been in school in several years, they may start with one or two courses. Those who were recently in school may still be in groove of keeping up with classes and the workload that comes with them, and can take four to five courses, which is a full schedule.

There is no right or wrong way, though it is best to set yourself up for success by taking on a few courses at a time versus a full schedule. A college advisor can help determine how many classes a student should take based on the amount of time the student plans to devote to school.

3 Things to Consider Before You Earn Your Degree Online:

Time – Think how much time you have. If you are working full-time and have a family, these are things to consider when signing up for classes. You are working towards a degree to improve your opportunities, so you want to make ample time for studying and homework.

Money – Many online degrees and programs offer payment options. Sourcing money for your online degree can be an issue for some, so make an effort to look into grants and scholarships before taking out a student loan. Grants are offered by the government and various non-profit organizations and never have to be repaid. Most scholarships are based on academic performance or aimed at a certain type of degree.

Accreditation – As you begin your journey to earn a degree online, you will come across many different schools and programs. Be sure you check the accreditation of the school you are interested in. Some schools may not currently be accredited but due for review prior to the time you want to enroll. If this is the case, inquire with the institution to find out which organization will be reviewing them to grant accreditation.

All higher education programs should be accredited by a commission that is approved by the U.S. Secretary of Education. The Department of Education publishes a searchable list of accredited institutions.

Where to Find Scholarships and Grants to Help You Earn Online College Degree

The Internet is your best source for tracking down scholarships and grants. Keep your information organized, allowing you to sit down and fill out applications when you have time to be thorough. Start your search by looking for general scholarships and grants, as well as those awarded specifically to students studying your prospective degree (or the subject that that degree falls under, such as healthcare for someone majoring in nursing).

School – Scholarships and grants may be offered by individual institutions or regional organizations for your area of study. Your counselor or advisor will have additional information on any scholarships or grants offered by the school and should also provide you with forms and deadline information.

Non-profit organizations – Many non-profit organizations offer scholarships based on area of study or being from a certain area.

Banks and financial institutions – Some banks and credit unions offer scholarships or grants.

Companies/employers – Many companies provide financial aid to employees in exchange for a commitment to serve the company for a set amount of time after graduating.

3 Hidden Costs of Earn Degree Online You Might Not have Considered

Application fee – All schools have an application fee. This can run anywhere from $50-$150 and will be required at the time that you submit your application. Should you take a leave of absence from attending school for an extended period of time, you may have to pay additional registration fees you decide to start classes again.

Books – Many online classes require old-fashioned books to accompany online material. These books can be just as costly as those found in traditional classrooms, often costing $100-$300 per course. Depending on how many classes you are taking at one time, these costs can add up quickly. This is something to consider when deciding how many classes you enroll in. A good tip is to search the school catalog and inquire with the professor or teacher’s aide on what books are required for the class.

Subscriptions – Some MBA degrees require subscriptions to pricey publications like The Wallstreet Journal or Financial Times. The good thing is you can get a student rate for these publications, but they still take $100+ on to your bottom line. An online subscription is another option which is usually less costly than the hard copy version.

What is a Class like at Colleges Where You Can Earn Your Degree Completely Online

Class is similar to traditional courses, only students are on their own and can move at their own pace (for the most part). Self-discipline is key in succeeding at an online degree program. Each professor runs the class as they wish, usually making a syllabus available for download. There may be an initial meeting for all students prior to the class beginning, depending on the program. Usually there is a forum or message board for students to converse and discuss things they are studying for a designated class. Some professors may require a certain amount of posts on the message board which will count towards a class participation grade.

The syllabus will outline what should be studied, in what order and sometimes will include a timeline in which work should be done. There may be weekly quizzes online or only a few tests that determine a student’s grade. If things like class participation and quizzes are included, do not be intimidated. This gives you a better chance at an good grade versus 2-4 tests which weigh heavily on or make up your entire grade.

You will access all of your online classes through one platform provided by the school. You will have a username and password and log in each time you need information on your class. Even those with little computer experience can get the hang of online classes. If you have minimal experience with computers and the Internet, it is best to have a mentor that can help you with the technological ins-and-outs of the course.

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