Online Colleges 2020

Apply to an Online College Today! Bachelor’s degree holders earned over $23,900 more per year in 2017 than HS diploma holders.*

FIND AN ONLINE DEGREE PROGRAM

As online colleges gain respect, the number of people enrolling in them is on the rise.  According to the NCES, over 6.6 million students took web based courses in 2018. Of them, more than 3.1 million chose to earn their college degree entirely online!

Why Choose an Online College? 

There are a few reasons why online college is popular. You can set your pace, forgo the commute and there’s no need to give up your job. In fact, most online students are working adults aged 24 and above. Many do study full time, but a larger share pursue their online degree part time.  The flexible format and easy access to higher ed may be very useful. Perhaps you want to switch careers, hone marketable skills, or climb the ladder.  

Recent stats show that a college degree often boosts lifetime earnings too. So, with a bachelor’s degree, you may earn $2,700 more per month than with a high school diploma. Additionally, an online degree may help you jump start your career path. Check out our list of fast growing careers.

That said, some online colleges may have more features than others. Things like rolling start dates, program specific and regional accreditation as well as affordability.  

Some education programs also offer military friendly policies. They also may offer many degree programs at all levels. This includes an associate degree, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees and doctoral degrees.  

Online Colleges by Subject

While many colleges may offer quality distance education, it can be hard to sift through all the options. Check out our list of online programs to help make things a little easier for you. If you know the field of study you’d like to pursue, you can find out more information below.

We compiled a list of the top 10 online colleges. The data we used is from the 2018/19 National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard.  

1

American Public University

Accredited: HLC

UNDERGRAD COST PER CREDIT

$285

UNDERGRAD TUITION RATE & FEES

$6880

GRAD COST PER CREDIT

$370

GRAD TUITION & FEES

$6600

MILITARY COST PER CREDIT

$250

APU is a fully online 4 year private college. The mission of APU is to provide higher education, especially for the nation’s military and public service groups. They offer degrees at all levels. Associate, Bachelor, Masters and PhDs. Plus a range of certificate programs if you prefer a shorter program.

School Features

  • New classes start monthly.
  • Digital course materials provided at no charge to students in undergraduate courses
  • 77% of new undergrads transfer credits

Most Popular Programs

  • Business, Administration, Marketing
  • Homeland Security, Law Enforcement
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences

More Info

  • Earnings After School: $15K-$74K
  • # of Students: 46,088
  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 21-to-1

2

Columbia Southern University

Accredited: DEAC

UNDERGRAD COST PER CREDIT

$235

UNDERGRAD TUITION & FEES

$5535

GRAD COST PER CREDIT

$325

GRAD TUITION & FEES

$3735

MILITARY COST PER CREDIT

$250

CSU is a four year private college devoted only to online programs. Some of them are ones you’d find at a community college. Like associate degrees and certificate programs. There are also online Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s and PhDs. As a prospective student you can choose from a menu of college majors as well.

School Features

  • 11 Term Start Dates Per Year
  • No Application Fee
  • Advanced Placement (AP) credits available

Most Popular Programs

  • Business Administration, Management and Operations
  • Quality Control and Safety Technologies
  • Fire Protection

More Info

  • Earnings After School: $26K-$67K
  • # of Students: 21,104
  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 62-to-1

3

Capella University

Accredited: HLC

UNDERGRAD COST PER CREDIT

$357-$411

UNDERGRAD TUITION & FEES

$14,579

GRAD COST PER CREDIT

$435-$805

GRAD TUITION & FEES

$14,987

MILITARY COST PER CREDIT

15% Discount

Capella is a 100% online university with 205 Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhD and certificate programs on their menu. The 4 year private school uses the quarter credit hour system rather than semester college credits to help you move towards your goals. You can choose your format based on your study habits and preferences too. Flex Path is the self paced option and Guided Path, the more structured.

School Features

  • Rolling Starts
  • FlexPath and GuidePath Learning formats available
  • Credit for Life Experience Available

Most Popular Programs

  • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research
  • Business Administration, Management and Operations
  • General Psychology

More Info

  • Earnings After School: $37K-$78K
  • # of Students: 37,171
  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 22-to-1

4

Grantham University

Accredited: DEAC

UNDERGRAD COST PER CREDIT

$295

UNDERGRAD TUITION & FEES

$6540

GRAD COST PER CREDIT

$350

GRAD TUITION & FEES

$4080

MILITARY COST PER CREDIT

$250

Grantham University is a four year distance learning only private college. They offer 45 online programs including undergraduate degrees at Associate and Bachelor levels. There are also certificates and Master’s degrees if that is your goal. The college also has support services such as advising geared toward student success.

School Features

  • New classes start every 8 weeks.
  • Prior Learning Assessments
  • Credit for Life Experience as well as Credit for Advance Placement (AP) are available

Most Popular Programs

  • Business Administration, Management and Operations
  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Criminal Justice and Corrections

More Info

  • Earnings After School: $23K-$85K
  • # of Students: 8,059
  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 20-to-1

5

Pennsylvania State University World Campus

Accredited: MSCHE

UNDERGRAD COST PER CREDIT

$576-$617

UNDERGRAD TUITION & FEES

$13,988

GRAD COST PER CREDIT

$576-$617

GRAD TUITION & FEES

$21,772

MILITARY COST PER CREDIT

$353

PSU World Campus is a the fully online wing of this 4 year public university. They offer 147 online degree programs. Undergraduate programs include Associate and Bachelor degrees. There are also a range of Master’s and PhDs plus certificates. The choice of majors is extensive so think everything from engineering to social sciences.

School Features

  • 3 Term Start Dates per Year
  • Asynchronous Learning Format
  • Credit for Life Experience as well as Credit for Advance Placement (AP) are available

Most Popular Programs

  • General Business and Commerce
  • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, and Nursing Research
  • General Psychology

More Info

  • Earnings After School: $19K-68K
  • # of Students: 14,458
  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 17-to-1

6

Purdue University Global

Accredited: HLC

UNDERGRAD COST PER CREDIT

$371

UNDERGRAD TUITION & FEES

$14,343

GRAD COST PER CREDIT

$485

GRAD TUITION & FEES

$11,414

MILITARY COST PER CREDIT

N/A

At Purdue University Global, 99% of undergraduate students study exclusively online. Graduate students are online only. As a student you choose from 175 online degree programs at all levels. Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s, PhDs and certificates. As an undergrad, you can try college classes for an introductory 3 week period free with the exception of your application fee.

School Features

  • New classes start every 6 weeks.
  • Some programs offer externships or internships.
  • Credit for Life Experience as well as Credit for Advance Placement (AP) are available

Most Popular Programs

  • Health and Medical Administrative Services
  • General Business and Commerce
  • General Health Services, Allied Health and Health Sciences

More Info

  • Earnings After School: $22K-72K
  • # of Students: 1,498
  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 20-to-1

7

Liberty University

Accredited: SACS

UNDERGRAD COST PER CREDIT

$390-$455

UNDERGRAD TUITION & FEES

$22,584

GRAD COST PER CREDIT

$565-$615

GRAD TUITION & FEES

$8,333

MILITARY COST PER CREDIT

$275

Liberty University is a four year private Christian college that offers 196 programs via online learning which about 71% of students do. If you go for an Associate degree, the credits may satisfy the general education courses required in the school’s Bachelor’s programs. There are also a range of Master’s and PhD programs as well as certificates.

School Features

  • New classes start every 8 weeks
  • Learn from a Christian point-of-view
  • Students may be able to transfer 50-75% of prior credits

Most Popular Programs

  • General Psychology
  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Business Administration, Management and Operations

More Info

  • Earnings After School: $15K-$67K
  • # of Students: 79,152
  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 18-to-1

8

Excelsior College

Accredited: MSCHE

UNDERGRAD COST PER CREDIT

$510

UNDERGRAD TUITION & FEES

$6,805

GRAD COST PER CREDIT

$645

GRAD TUITION & FEES

$11,382

MILITARY COST PER CREDIT

$295

Excelsior College which is a 4 year private school offers all its 46 programs entirely online. Here you may go for an undergraduate degree (Associate, Bachelor) or a Master’s degree. The school also has certificates at both levels. And, there are many ways to get credit for prior learning and professional training to cut down on time and cost.

School Features

  • New classes start every 8 weeks.
  • Students may be able to get transfer credit for prior learning
  • Student may be able to get credit for prior experience, training and/or exams.

Most Popular Programs

  • Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration and Clinical Nursing
  • Business Administration, Management and Operations

More Info

  • Earnings After School: $33K-$89K
  • # of Students: 30,008
  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 18-to-1

9

University of Phoenix

Accredited: HLC

UNDERGRAD COST PER CREDIT

$398

UNDERGRAD TUITION & FEES

$9,552

GRAD COST PER CREDIT

$698

GRAD TUITION & FEES

$16,752

MILITARY COST PER CREDIT

$250

UoPX is the online wing of this four year private college. There are 131 majors to choose from and degrees from Associate to PhD. Some of the undergraduate programs allow you to jumpstart your Master’s by taking a few courses during your Bachelor’s curriculum. The school also has certificates which you might go for on their own or add as an extra credential.

School Features

  • New online classes start every 6 weeks
  • Transfer credits may be available for prior learning
  • Students may get credit for experience and military training

Most Popular Programs

  • Business Administration, Management and Operations
  • Health and Medical Administration Services
  • Behavioral Sciences

More Info

  • Earnings After School: $20K-$86K
  • # of Students: 96,777
  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 55-to-1

10

Western Governors University

Accredited: NCCU

UNDERGRAD COST PER CREDIT

Varies

UNDERGRAD TUITION & FEES

$6,670

GRAD COST PER CREDIT

Varies

GRAD TUITION & FEES

$7,790

MILITARY COST PER CREDIT

N/A

WGU is a fully online 4 year private college that offers 60 programs split between Bachelor’s, Master’s and certificates. Instead of using credit hours, they have terms that begin the first of each month and you take as many courses as you can during the term. This ‘competency based model’ allows you to progress at your own pace. There’s also no in or out of state tuition, just a flat fee.

School Features

  • Offers rolling start dates
  • Offers flat rate tuition, and may waive application fee
  • Students may transfer prior learning credits and/or receive credits for experience

Most Popular Programs

  • Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, and Clinical Nursing
  • Business Administration, Management and Operations
  • Teacher Education and Professional Development

More Info

  • Earnings After School: $30K-$75K
  • # of Students: 121,437
  • Student-to-Teacher Ratio: 41-to-1

*Unemployment Earnings.  Sources for school stats and data include the NCES and IPEDS.