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10 Best Online colleges and universities

Online degrees have become more popular in recent years – and chances are if you’ve arrived at this page, you yourself have considered pursuing an online degree. Online education is a great option if you aren’t the traditional student who can afford to spend time at a university campus.

Maybe you’re balancing a full time job and family, but still want to earn a degree. Good news is that anyone can earn a degree online. The right online program can help you advance your career, or even help you enter a new industry. For those interested in furthering their education, there are thousands of online colleges to choose from. While there are several excellent online colleges to choose from, it can be overwhelming to find the right school for your needs. To help you in your search, we have put together a list of our top online colleges to help narrow it down.

The College Choice Score you see beside each school is a composite score that balances academic excellence with return on investment. We hope our ranking helps you in your search for a great online college!

#1 PENN STATE WORLD CAMPUS

Overview

A name brand school, Penn State World Campus (part of the Pennsylvania State University system), has been offering students an alternative to traditional on-campus education since 1998. Penn State World Campus offers over 150 degree and certificate programs all delivered online. These courses are developed and taught by Penn State professors, ensuring the highest quality course content. The university is focused on offering an education to suit current market-based needs. Online courses are offered from the Bachelors to the Doctoral level, and include programs such as Nursing, Nutritional Science, and Geographic Information Systems.

Program Features

As a student at Penn State World Campus, you’ll be able to complete your program at your own pace. Courses at Penn State World Campus are delivered in asynchronous format, so you can attend classes on your own schedule. You’ll experience both self-study and peer-to-peer interaction using chat, video conferencing, phone calls, email, social media, bulletin boards, and more. Some top degree programs offered include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Master of Engineering: Electrical Engineering
  • Master of Education: Educational Leadership

Notables

Penn State World Campus has an unparalleled national reputation. In U.S. News and World Report’s 2018 ranking of leading online degree programs, Penn State World Campus received the most top-ten rankings of any institution in the country. The school is also home to six online programs that rank among the top-ten online programs for veterans.

#2 EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY

Overview

A pioneer in distance learning, Florida’s Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has been offering online programs since the school first launched their online portal in 1993. The school, which is one of the top-ranking STEM-focused universities in the country, uses cutting-edge technology to deliver its undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to nontraditional students.

Program Features

If you’re looking for an online degree in aeronautics or engineering, then look no further. Embry-Riddle has developed innovative programs which rank highly and offer exceptionally high return-on-investment. The school is also home to excellent online Business programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. And Embry-Riddle uses their long experience in distance learning to focus on engagement and critical services that help ensure student success. Some top programs include:  

  • Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics
  • Master of Science in Engineering Management
  • Master of Science in Technology

Notables

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University knows how to make education accessible for nontraditional students. Online learners have access to dedicated student advisors that help guide them through their program. And online degree programs feature multiple start times throughout the year, with 12 undergraduate and 10 graduate terms. This accelerated format propels students through the program in nine-week sessions.

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