Figures released by the National Center for Education Statistics indicate that millions of students have enrolled in online degree programs in the past few years. The logic is simple. Online courses give students the opportunity to integrate their assignments and study time into their existing work schedules and personal lives with less disruption and stress. Besides giving new college students a less expensive way to go to school, online colleges open the door to working professionals who want to earn new degrees to change careers or earn promotions.
The benefits of online colleges are pretty obvious, but that doesn’t mean you should just enroll in the first one — or the cheapest one — that pops up in your search engine. Choosing an online college takes some research and due diligence, just like choosing any other college. Plenty of scam schools have popped up on the internet to lure unsuspecting students into wasting their valuable time and money. Make sure the school you choose has the proper credentials. Start your search with these highest rated accredited online colleges, according to U.S. News & World Report.
University of Florida – Gainesville, FL
Besides a stellar education, the University of Florida in Gainesville offers students an interesting twist on expenses with some built-in flexibility in the form of certain optional fees. The school also has almost two decades of experience conducting online degree programs. If you’re looking for online colleges for business degrees, Business Administration is a top program at the school. The biggest con is the higher price of out-of-state tuition for the school’s online programs.
University of Illinois – Chicago, IL
If you’re interested in exploring online colleges for business degrees, you definitely want to check out the University of Illinois in Chicago. Business Administration and Management are key online degree programs at the university. In fact, the school’s business program is ranked first in the entire Chicago area. However, on a less positive note, the online degree programs are for completing degrees, not starting them. Students must either already have an associate degree or between 50 and 60 hours of college credit.
Oregon State University – Corvallis, OR
This accredited university has been on top of the online degree game for about 20 years, so it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that computer science is one of the school’s main attractions. The Ecampus experience consists of archived lectures and study sessions that are always at the students’ disposal, and online degrees issued by the school are identical to the traditional, in-person equivalents.
Ohio State University – Columbus, OH
Many students choose Ohio State University in Columbus for its online Registered Nursing program, but two other health-related degrees are also available: a bachelor’s degree in health sciences and a baccalaureate program in dental hygiene. Admission is simple with a rolling application process, and the out-of-state tuition is very cost-friendly at only $5 more per credit hour than in-state tuition.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Daytona Beach, FL
Just saying you graduated from a university with aeronautical in the name probably gives you an immediate career boost. It certainly shouldn’t be surprising that the most popular online programs at this school revolve around aeronautics, aviation and aerospace sciences. Cutting-edge technology ensures the highest level of education using simulators and virtual labs. As a bonus, the school takes flexibility to the next level with classes that start on a monthly basis.