Online colleges give traditional and non-traditional students access to quality education without putting their career or family life on hold. Studying online has been growing as a popular alternative to brick-and-mortar college classrooms. In fact, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that over 21 million students enroll in online education each year. Roughly 74 percent of total higher education enrollment takes at least one online course annually. Online colleges may have a physical campus headquarters or exclusively deliver distance degree options.
Earning a degree online gives students a wealth of benefits. Coursework is accessible 24/7 via the Internet, so scheduling offers the utmost flexibility. Online learners can attend class anytime and from anywhere with high-speed Web access. Online colleges bring together students from across the globe for highly diverse virtual classrooms. Students can easily talk to their teachers through email, chat, or discussion boards rather than wait for office hours. Online degrees are usually more affordable because textbook, transportation, housing, meal plan, and childcare costs are lowered or eliminated. Online students also enhance their skills for using the latest technology.
Unfortunately, not all online colleges are created equal. There are an increasing number of disreputable schools offering fake online programs to scam students. It’s essential that students exercise caution in steering clear of the so-called diploma mills. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a diploma mill is a company offering bogus degrees in short time periods with little or no coursework. One of the best ways to avoid getting duped is to check for accreditation through the U.S. Department of Education. Being accredited ensures that the online college is legitimately providing valuable education.
Choosing from the plethora of accredited online colleges available is still tough though. It’s recommended that prospective students do plenty of research. Review online college rankings. Compare tuition and financial aid packages to weigh affordability. Inquire about each school’s technical support services and academic advising. Look through the online program’s curriculum to determine if it aligns with your interests. Asking questions about the university’s loan default, graduation, retention, and job placement rates is always smart too.
State-by-State Listing of Online Colleges in the U.S.A.
We know that the choice can be hard, and it’s our mission to assist you in making a smart decision about where to pursue an innovative online degree.
Our list of online colleges was obtained from Wikipedia’s list of online colleges in the United States. The Top 10 Online Colleges staff then narrowed the list down to only those with accreditation.
We also only included schools featured in the College Navigator database. All of our tuition information was garnered from this tool. For every state, we sorted the online colleges from high to low based on in-state undergraduate tuition.
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