2021 Best Online Bachelor's Degrees

Online Colleges with the Highest Return on Investment

By the OnlineU team | Updated 5/20/2021

Earning a bachelor's degree has strong positive effects on earning potential and employment prospects, but it can be difficult to make an informed decision about where to apply. This is especially true now that more colleges offer online bachelor's degrees. Our ranking list of top online colleges is the first to highlight the online bachelor's degrees with the best return on investment (ROI) using student salary and debt data from the government.

To rank these schools, we first calculated a 10-year ROI for each online bachelor's degree program, then calculated the percentile by comparing the ROI against the average for comparable programs. Schools were then ranked by their average ROI percentile. We also required that each school offer online bachelor's degrees in at least three different subject areas. View our methodology for more details. We've also published an appendix that lists all of the program salaries and debt figures for these ranked schools.

The fields that are most commonly represented on this list are business, psychology, nursing, and computer and information science. You can view the complete list below, along with information about earning a degree online, accreditation, how much an online bachelor's degree will cost, and whether enrolling in a program will be worth it.

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RankSchool Annual Tuition ROI Score
# 1 #1 University of Virginia $14,640 98.9%
# 2 #2 Northeastern University $16,230 97.6%
# 3 #3 Excelsior College $15,300 96.9%
# 4 #4 Capella University $9,600 94.8%
# 5 #5 SUNY Empire State College $10,943 94.7%
# 6 #6 University of Alaska Anchorage $25,440 94.3%
# 7 #7 Roger Williams University $12,990 92.9%
# 8 #8 Thomas Edison State University $9,278 92.1%
# 9 #9 Rider University $45,120 89.9%
# 10 #10 Colorado State University Global $10,500 89.0%
# 11 #11 Drexel University $23,850 88.5%
# 12 #12 University of Maryland Global Campus $14,970 88.0%
# 13 #13 Concordia University - Saint Paul $12,600 87.9%
# 14 #14 Saint Joseph's University $47,740 87.8%
# 15 #15 Brandman University $15,000 86.7%
# 16 #16 Bellevue University $13,600 86.3%
# 17 #17 Miami University-Oxford $10,850 84.2%
# 18 #18 Western Governors University $6,450 84.1%
# 19 #19 American Public University System $8,550 83.4%
# 20 #20 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide $12,870 82.8%
# 21 #21 University of Northwestern - St. Paul $14,080 81.9%
# 22 #22 Trident at AIU $12,150 80.5%
# 23 #23 The University of Texas Permian Basin $10,620 80.1%
# 24 #24 University of Bridgeport $17,250 79.3%
# 25 #25 National University $16,650 78.2%

Popular Online Bachelor's Programs

Those interested in earning an online bachelor's degree will find many options on our best colleges list. We also offer the following comprehensive list of accredited online bachelor’s degrees, which covers 463 schools and 5,184 programs. Prospective students will find information about their desired field and other popular areas of study, including the number of online schools and programs in each field.

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Jump to a Program: a b c d e f g h i j l m n o p r s t v w
a Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Accounting 153 237 $81,929 AACSB ACBSP
Aerospace Engineering 4 6 $86,486 ABET
Agriculture 18 56 Not reported Institutional
Anthropology 18 45 $47,346 Institutional
Architecture 1 3 $42,294 NAAB
Art & Design 20 56 $50,509 NASAD
Art History 4 5 Not reported Institutional
Aviation 16 27 $84,852 AABI
b Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Biology 15 29 $55,877 Institutional
Business 369 1,905 $73,654 AACSB ACBSP IACBE
c Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Chemical Engineering 2 7 $94,405 ABET
Child Development 48 70 $49,360 APA
Christian Counseling 7 11 $42,063 ACPE
Civil Engineering 3 14 $87,636 ABET
Communications 138 369 $68,635 ACEJMC
Computer Engineering 16 22 $86,277 ABET
Computer Science 93 192 $85,150 ABET
Conflict Resolution 7 10 $49,954 Institutional
Construction Management 10 10 $72,883 ACCE ATMAE
Counseling 62 103 $46,115 AAMFT CACREP
Counseling Psychology 20 24 Not reported Institutional
Creative Writing 14 26 Not reported Institutional
Criminal Justice 229 509 $55,644 Institutional
Criminology 43 66 Not reported Institutional
Cybersecurity 95 177 $55,667 Institutional
d Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Data Science 28 44 Not reported Institutional
Dental Hygiene 22 22 Not reported Institutional
e Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Early Childhood Education 76 128 $37,088 CAEP MACTE NAEYC NCATE
Economics 41 86 $86,433 AACSB
Education 165 477 $49,528 CAEP CEA MACTE NCATE
Educational Leadership 10 11 Not reported NCATE
Electrical Engineering 14 35 $93,219 ABET
Elementary Education 50 81 $38,177 CAEP MACTE NCATE TEAC
Emergency Management 59 119 Not reported Institutional
Engineering 91 268 $88,118 ABET
Engineering Management 5 5 Not reported Institutional
English 54 112 $56,040 Institutional
Environmental Science 43 108 $66,107 Institutional
ESL 3 4 $40,372 CEA
Exercise Science 11 20 Not reported Institutional
f Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Fashion 6 14 $61,804 Institutional
Finance 108 182 $93,307 AACSB
Fire Science 22 41 $55,667 FESHE
Forensic Accounting 11 16 Not reported Institutional
Forensic Psychology 16 18 $39,797 APA
Forensic Science 31 50 $55,667 AAFS
g Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Geographic Information Systems 14 29 $61,628 Institutional
Graphic Design 21 28 $52,877 NASAD
h Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Health Education 22 27 Not reported Institutional
Healthcare Administration 154 271 $54,130 CAHME
Healthcare Informatics 55 84 $50,611 CAHIIM CAHME
Healthcare Management 135 227 Not reported CAHME
History 63 125 $62,354 Institutional
Holistic Medicine 3 4 $57,180 ACAOM CNME
Homeland Security 58 132 $55,667 Institutional
Hospitality Management 45 85 $65,352 ACPHA
Human Resources 125 178 $62,050 AACSB ACBSP
Human Services 111 246 $42,962 Institutional
HVAC 1 1 $73,170 Institutional
i Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Industrial Engineering 15 27 $86,894 ABET
Information Technology 151 483 Not reported ABET
Interior Design 1 1 $46,425 CIDA NASAD
j Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Journalism 43 63 Not reported ACEJMC
l Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Landscape Design 1 1 Not reported LAAB
Law 38 53 $57,728 ABA ABA
Law Enforcement 50 62 $55,667 Institutional
Liberal Studies 278 893 $55,507 Institutional
Library Science 4 5 Not reported ALA
m Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Management 352 1,468 $71,212 AACSB
Marketing 181 331 $70,957 AACSB
Marriage & Family Therapy 18 22 $46,115 AAMFT COAMFTE
Mathematics 22 53 $78,598 Institutional
MBA 10 24 Not reported AACSB ACBSP IACBE
Mechanical Engineering 7 14 $90,036 ABET
Medical Assistant 2 3 $50,611 ABHES
Medical Office Administration 1 1 $55,588 ABHES
MPA 1 2 Not reported Institutional
Music 9 19 $45,570 NASM NASM
n Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Network Administration 28 33 $63,010 ABET
Nurse Practitioner (NP) 1 2 Not reported ACEN ACEN CCNE NPWH
Nursing 320 397 $60,973 AANA ACEN ACEN ACME CCNE
Nutrition 10 12 $45,189 ACEND
o Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Occupational Safety 10 23 Not reported ABET
Occupational Therapy 1 1 Not reported Institutional
Organizational Leadership 196 439 $71,739 AACSB
p Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Paralegal 13 17 $57,728 Institutional
Personal Training 1 1 Not reported Institutional
Pharmacy 1 1 $94,711 ACPE
Philosophy 16 20 $55,086 Institutional
Photography 4 4 $52,215 Institutional
Physical Education 4 7 $48,200 NCATE
Physical Therapy 3 5 $55,922 APTA
Physician Assistant 1 1 $60,157 ARC-PA
Physics 7 12 $80,203 CAMPEP
Political Science 62 119 $73,826 Institutional
Project Management 40 69 $71,577 AACSB PMI-GAC
Psychology 213 454 $49,369 APA
Public Administration 90 204 $46,913 NASPAA
Public Health 50 111 $46,115 CEPH
Public Relations 40 46 Not reported Institutional
r Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Radiology 25 39 Not reported JRCERT JRCNMT
Real Estate 9 11 $72,834 Institutional
Religious Studies 83 274 $47,517 ACPE
Respiratory Therapy 24 26 $57,427 CoARC
RN to BSN 274 295 Not reported ACEN
RN to MSN 2 4 Not reported Institutional
s Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Secondary Education 21 64 $44,242 CAEP NCATE TEAC
Social Work 50 54 $41,108 CSWE
Sociology 83 157 $42,294 Institutional
Software Engineering 24 34 $83,909 ABET
Sonography 6 8 Not reported Institutional
Spanish 13 17 Not reported Institutional
Special Education 29 43 $40,516 CAA CAEP
Speech Pathology 3 3 Not reported CAA
Sports Management 54 98 $46,126 Institutional
Statistics 2 3 Not reported Institutional
Substance Abuse Counseling 23 31 $46,115 CACREP
Supply Chain Management 61 100 Not reported Institutional
Systems Engineering 4 7 $67,254 ABET
t Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Teaching 43 88 $44,654 CAEP MACTE NCATE TEAC
Theology 14 25 Not reported CAATS
v Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Veterinary Technician 2 4 $50,611 AVMA COE
Video Game Design 16 24 Not reported Institutional
w Online Schools Programs Annual Salary Accreditation
Web Design 21 30 $69,732 Institutional
Web Development 33 52 $63,010 Institutional
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Best Online Colleges Highlights

#1 University of Virginia

  • Annual Tuition: $14,640
  • Locations: Charlottesville (VA)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

The community at UVA is one that wishes to excel in their education while supporting those around them. The professor push students to reach their goals while being very supportive along the way.

University of Virginia has outstanding professors who genuinely want you to succeed and learn. Although some classes are difficult, you come out of them knowing so much more than you did going into them.

The University of Virginia (UVA) offers 13 online bachelor’s degree programs, including a Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) in Health Sciences Management and a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (BIS) program with multiple tracks available. Both programs can be completed in three to four years. The BPS is designed for working adults with some college credit or an associate degree in allied healthcare. Students who want to complete their bachelor’s in liberal arts degree can consider the BIS program with concentrations offered in technology, healthcare management, business, and liberal arts.

Online classes at UVA combine synchronous, live interactions in the evenings through Zoom with asynchronous coursework. UVA offers interest-free tuition payments plans and need-based scholarships, such as the Bridge Scholarship program and SFS-Administered Scholarships. New students are paired with peer mentors who support and guide new students through the program. The Darden Career Center offers a global alumni network, career coaching, skill development, and job support to students. Additionally, students can pursue professional development with free access to LinkedIn Learning and Coursera for UVA courses.

Applicants must have a high school diploma (or equivalent), 45-60 transferable credits that also satisfy the Liberal Studies Core requirements, and a minimum GPA of 2.0. Alternatively, those applying to the BPS program may have an associate degree in a medical field or an associate degree plus allied healthcare training.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 344
  • Graduation Rate: 94%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 59%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $488.00
  • Program Count: 13
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 27%
  • Average SAT Scores: 1330 - 1500
  • Application Fee: $70
  • Requirements: All programs require a high school transcript; other requirements vary by program and may include a minimum 2.0 GPA, essays, and a letter of recommendation

#2 Northeastern University

  • Annual Tuition: $16,230
  • Locations: Burlington (MA)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

Northeastern University has grown a lot over the years. They have added many majors and reached out to the students to give them the best chance at the career they want. Their co-op program is the best and really helps you on your way to a successful career.

Northeastern University (NU) offers 17 online bachelor’s degree completion programs taught by faculty experts in their field. Students may choose to major in Analytics, Digital Communication and Media, Finance and Accounting Management, Information Technology, and Healthcare Administration. All students must complete NUpath, the university’s competency-based general education requirements. 

Online classes are asynchronous. Students can access course materials 24/7 and communicate with instructors through email, instant messenger, and discussion forums. NU provides scholarships, loans, and grants to help lower the cost of a bachelor’s degree. Some examples of need- and merit-based scholarships include the Professional Advancement Scholarship, the Lowell Institute Scholarship, and Community College Scholarships. NU places a large emphasis on experiential learning to provide students with professional experience and real-world skills. Their optional, cooperative educational program (co-op) allows students to alternate between traditional coursework and full-time employment. Students must take a Co-op Preparation course and are paired with a Co-op Coordinator before beginning the program. Alternatively, students can participate in research, service learning, or study abroad programs. 

To apply to NU’s online bachelor’s degree programs, prospective students must submit a completed application form and all official college transcripts. Additionally, applicants should include a resume, statement of purpose, one to three letters of recommendation, and proof of English proficiency. 

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 21
  • Graduation Rate: 88%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 77%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $541.00
  • Program Count: 14
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 27%
  • Average SAT Scores: 1360 - 1540
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Requirements: High school transcript, GED, or associate degree

#3 Excelsior College

  • Annual Tuition: $15,300
  • Locations: Albany (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Most of my classes at Excelsior were the usual format where you "test out of a class". I found these to be an excellent option to the semester system and most were very affordable. The Capstone was great. A lot of writing, however the professor was outstanding and very involved.

My experience with Excelsior was really good. ...My student advisors were excellent, except they changed often which was a bit frustrating at times. ...Most of the instructors were very engaged and helpful. ...As hard as the research and writings were, I know that I came out of those assignments learning more than I could have ever imagined. ...Overall, I worked very hard and felt that it was a great option for me.

Excelsior College offers 40 online bachelor’s degree programs in business, health sciences, liberal arts, nursing, public service, engineering, and technology. The college has been recognized for its 121-credit Bachelor of Science in Nursing program with multiple accreditations, including the Center of Excellence Recognition from the National League for Nursing. Other bachelor’s degree programs include a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity, Electrical Engineering Technology, Information Technology, Business, Health Care Management, Criminal Justice, and History.

Online courses are designed to be flexible for adult learners and follow an 8-week format, with some classes available in 15-week terms. Excelsior College offers a generous credit acceptance and transfer policy for prior learning, including military, criminal justice, federal emergency management training, and professional certifications. Additionally, students are awarded credit for AP, CLEP, and DSST exams and IT certifications. The curriculum at Excelsior emphasizes evidence-based general education career competencies that are intended to prepare students for success in their careers. These competencies include oral and written communication, mathematical and scientific problem solving, information literacy, cultural diversity and expression, global understanding, ethical reasoning, and professional presence and self-awareness.  

To apply to Excelsior College, students must choose their program, review requirements, gather required information and documents (including names and addresses of colleges attended, list of exams/training/certifications, and official transcripts). Lastly, applicants should submit an online application with a fee. 

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 27,207
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $510.00
  • Program Count: 47
Admissions
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Requirements: Most programs only require a high school transcript; the nursing program requires prior work experience

#4 Capella University

  • Annual Tuition: $9,600
  • Locations: Minneapolis (MN)
  • Accreditation: HLC

I found the Admissions process to be pretty quick and straightforward. With the academic plan tool on iGuide, I always knew where I was with my degree plan, and the sequencing of courses. Once I decided that I wanted to change to add a concentration, I was able to get that approved pretty seamlessly. Academic advisors have, over the 4 years I have been a student, nothing but courteous, understanding, empathic, knowledgeable, and helpful.

A total of 36 online Bachelor of Science programs are available from Capella University. Students can select from degrees in Nursing, Business, Public Health, Psychology, Project Management, Criminal Justice, Network Technology, Finance, and others. Capella University offers part-time and full-time study options. The time it takes to complete a course is dependent on the student’s pace and prior commitments. 

Online courses are delivered through the Blackboard learning management system. All learning is asynchronous so students can access to their classrooms and course materials at their convenience. Students can reduce their tuition costs with the help of scholarships, grants, and loans. Capella also allows students to choose between a flat tuition rate or a tuition rate based on the number of courses. A generous credit transfer policy allows students to receive credit for prior learning and life experience. Resources available through the Alumni Association include career services, development courses, and online networking.

To apply to an online bachelor’s degree at Capella University, students can complete an online application. Students will be required to provide official transcripts and meet minimum GPA requirements. Individual programs may also have additional requirements. This institution offers resources that include academic advising, career services, and tech support.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 9,815
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • School Type: For-Profit
Program Overview
  • Program Count: 24
Admissions
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED, placement exam scores, government-issued form of ID, and must be at least 24 years old

#5 SUNY Empire State College

  • Annual Tuition: $10,943
  • Locations: Saratoga Springs (NY)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

I have had an overall, very good experience through Empire, and I would recommend it with some caveats. ...[I]f you have some discipline, are mature, responsible, and can learn without instruction you will do well. ...It's challenging, but very doable. Again, I highly recommend it. I have become a much better writer and communicator as a result.

I loved attending SUNY Empire State College. I enjoyed the flexibility of being able to move around while attending college, as well as the opportunity to design my degree plan to my specific interests.

SUNY Empire State College offers 60 online bachelor’s degree programs. Students can choose to study accounting, addiction studies, allied health, business administration, human resource management, management, nursing, psychology, or security studies. The majority of these programs can be completed in four years. Alternatively, students can customize their bachelor’s degree through independent study with the help of a mentor. 

Online classes at SUNY are asynchronous so students can complete coursework when convenient. Students can access course materials, assignments, the online library, class discussion boards, and messages through the online learning management system. SUNY offers students financial aid options through dozens of scholarships, military discounts, and a tuition payment plan. The Prior Learning Assessment program awards students credit from previous professional licensure earned, exams, military training, and continuing education. Additionally, students can apply up to 79 transfer credits toward completion of their bachelor’s degree program. Mentors provide motivation and support to students throughout the length of the program. 

To apply to the SUNY Empire State College bachelor’s degree program, applicants send official high school transcripts, write an essay detailing their ability to perform college-level work, and submit an online application with fee. 

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 4,170
  • Graduation Rate: 24%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $353.00
  • Program Count: 40
Admissions
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED and a personal essay

#6 University of Alaska Anchorage

  • Annual Tuition: $25,440
  • Locations: Anchorage (AK)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

I have loved most of the teachers I have had so far, they have all been more than willing to go the distance to further my education. They take extra time out of their week to make sure students understand the material they teach and I feel as if they honestly care about the people they teach.

The University of Alaska Anchorage offers a total of nine online bachelor’s degree programs. Both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees are available from this institution, focusing on Justice, Psychology, Applied Technologies Leadership, Construction Management, Dietetics, Nursing Science, or Occupational Safety and Health. These programs usually take two to four years to complete, depending on the program chosen and the student's learning pace.

This institution uses Blackboard as its learning management system for online courses. Online classes may require students to watch videos, participate in class discussions, and take proctored exams. Some degree programs may require students to complete in-person activities as well. Students at this institution can enroll in payment plans and receive financial aid in grants, loans, and scholarships. Tuition discounts are available for Alaska residents and lineal descendants of Alaska residents. The school's Office of Alumni Relations fosters connections between alumni and students. 

Students can apply by completing an online application. Students must have a high school diploma or equivalent with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Applicants will be required to submit official transcripts with their application. Students admitted to programs at this institution have access to support services through Blackboard and Atomic Learning.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 2,451
  • Graduation Rate: 28%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 82%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $848.00
  • Program Count: 9
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 71%
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED and minimum GPA of 2.5

#7 Roger Williams University

  • Annual Tuition: $12,990
  • Locations: Bristol (RI)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

I enjoyed my time at Roger Williams University immensely. I made incredible connections with faculty, professors, Deans, Administrators, and students that I will cherish for the rest of my life... Each professor had the desire to get to know students individually, and cared for their success. This created a positive learning environment, where support was consistent... I was always busy, I never felt too stressed or that my homework was out of control.

Students who want to earn a bachelor’s degree online at Roger Williams University can choose from 42 different programs. The types of degrees available from this institution include a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of General Studies, and Bachelor of Arts in various subjects, including Public Administration, Paralegal Studies, Emergency Medical Services, Healthcare Administration, Criminal Justice, and more. Programs typically require four years of study to complete, depending on the student's pace.

Online classes are delivered on the Bridges/Sakai learning management system. Learning may be synchronous or asynchronous, depending on the course. Typical class activities include live or pre-recorded lectures, group work, papers, presentations, reading, discussions, and exams. This institution offers a wide variety of scholarships. Students may also seek financial aid in state grants, federal grants, federal student loans, and private student loans. Interest-free monthly payment plans are also available, and tuition rates are frozen for four years upon enrollment in a bachelor's degree program. The alumni association offers many resources, including alumni career services.

Prospective students can apply online and submit high school transcripts, a completed essay, and a letter recommendation. Some programs may have additional requirements for admission. Students can submit ACT or SAT scores if desired, but it is not required. Enrolled students receive support through academic advising and online tutoring services conducted via Zoom.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 312
  • Graduation Rate: 69%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $433.00
  • Program Count: 27
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 82%
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED

#8 Thomas Edison State University

  • Annual Tuition: $9,278
  • Locations: Trenton (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The only things I liked about the school were the cost, the number of credits that could be transferred in and the fact that new classes begin every month. The quality of instruction was poor; my professors did not explain assignments even when asked and rarely provided feedback.

Classes were easy to access and the instructors were always there to assist in anything I needed. The exams were taken through a proctored service and they had individuals who were dedicated and professional.

Thomas Edison State University offers students the option to enroll in over 40 online bachelor’s degree programs. Students can earn either a Bachelor of Art, Bachelor of Science, or Bachelor of Business Administration. Some of the many majors available include Communications, Computer Science, Mathematics, Psychology, Data Science, Nuclear Engineering, Nursing, Accounting, Finance, Healthcare Management, and Human Resources.  

Online classes at TESU are delivered through the Moodle learning management platform. Coursework is asynchronous and includes weekly deadlines. Students are required to complete assignments, take examinations, produce final projects, and participate in discussions. TESU offers students multiple avenues to earn credit for what they already know: TECEP (Thomas Edison Credit-By-Exam Program) allows students to earn credits without taking the course and passing a final exam; a portfolio assessment enables students to demonstrate their knowledge in multiple areas to earn college credit; previous licenses, certifications, professional and military training are also eligible for credit. To help prepare students for careers after graduation, the university provides a self-directed career resources page and Alumnifire, a professional networking and student mentoring tool. 

The undergraduate admissions process at TESU requires that students have a high school diploma (or equivalent) and be at least 20 years old (18 years old if in the military). To apply, students must submit an online application with fee and official transcripts. 

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 10,140
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Program Count: 44
Admissions
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED; 20 years or older, or 18 years or older and an active member of the military

#9 Rider University

  • Annual Tuition: $45,120
  • Locations: Lawrenceville (NJ)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The professors teaching it had a genuine interest and love for the topics being taught, making the entire learning experience much more easier. Rider University as a whole was a great school as well.

Rider University offers a total of ten online bachelor’s degree programs. Students can choose to major in Liberal Studies, Organizational Psychology, Psychology, Allied Health Studies, Nursing, and Business Administration. Many students can earn a bachelor’s degree online in as little as two years with transfer credits.

Students at Rider University will use the Canvas learning management system to access their course materials. Learning is typically conducted asynchronously and may involve watching videos, reading course materials, completing projects, writing papers, interacting with other students, and taking tests. Rider University accepts up to 90 transfer credits toward an online bachelor’s degree. Financial aid may also be available in the form of federal student loans. Alumni have access to an online community and leadership opportunities. 

This institution offers six start dates throughout the year. Applicants must submit an online application and transcripts of past college coursework. Students who have less than 30 college credits should submit high school transcripts as well. Specific programs may have additional admission requirements. All students are assigned a dedicated academic advisor to support their success during the program.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 79
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Program Count: 10
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Average SAT Scores: 1000 - 1190
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED, letter of recommendation, personal essay

#10 Colorado State University Global

  • Annual Tuition: $10,500
  • Locations: Greenwood Village (CO)
  • Accreditation: HLC

This school provides you with weekly module materials to review, you take part in a weekly discussion, take a mastery test and complete a critical thinking paper with proper APA format... I had no issues with professors at CSU-Global, advisors were helpful and you can call them if you really need to take care of an issue.

Students who enroll in an online bachelor’s degree program at Colorado State University Global can choose from 28 Bachelor of Science programs. Students can choose to focus on Accounting, Communication, Computer Science, Criminal Justice, Cybersecurity, Finance, Human Services, Marketing, and Project Management. Most bachelor’s degree programs at this institution require students to complete at least 120 credits.

Colorado State University Global utilizes the Canvas learning management system. Students can use this system to access course materials, including readings, lectures, discussions, and other assignments. Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans. This institution accepts up to 90 transfer credits and guarantees that tuition rates will remain the same from the first term to graduation. CSU Global Alumni have access to a variety of career resources, including networking opportunities.

Prospective students can earn a bachelor’s degree online at Colorado State University by completing an online application and submitting all required documentation. Non-traditional students may not need to meet the same requirements as other applicants. Colorado State University Global provides a wide variety of resources, including 24/7 tech support, a writing center, tutoring services, and access to a student success counselor.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 8,054
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $350.00
  • Program Count: 27
Admissions
  • Application Fee: $25
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED, ACT of 18 or higher or SAT of 980 or higher, and GPA of 2.80 or higher

#11 Drexel University

  • Annual Tuition: $23,850
  • Locations: Philadelphia (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Drexel University is a great school both for undergrad and graduate programs... Overall the fast paced quarter system is something you have to consider before attending the University since it has a very rigorous course work.

I would definitely recommend Drexel University to any student looking for a fast paced college experience. The ten week quarters keep the classes moving quickly so everything you learn at Drexel University is relevant and important.

Drexel University offers 20 online Bachelor of Science programs. Students can pursue a degree in Psychology, Nursing, Health Sciences, General Studies, Education, Criminology, Computing, Security Technology, Communication, Business Administration, and Behavioral Health Counseling. Most bachelor degree programs at this institution take four years to complete with a standard full-time course schedule.

This institution utilizes the Drexel LEARN learning management system to deliver course materials to students. The majority of Drexel University’s courses are asynchronous, although some courses may require synchronous learning activities. Other activities that may be included in coursework include papers, projects, reading, and tests. This institution accepts grants and loans. Students can also apply for payment plans to make the cost of tuition more affordable. Drexel University offers an employer reimbursement plan that allows students to defer tuition payments until 30 days after completing the term. The Drexel Alumni Network provides many continuing education benefits and learning resources.

To be admitted to a bachelor’s degree online program at Drexel University, prospective students can submit a free online application. Applicants must submit past transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal essays, and resumes. Some programs may also require applicants to submit standardized test scores. Distance learners can access academic advisors, as well as the institution’s award-winning library, career center, and writing center. In addition, Drexel provides 24/7 tech support.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 559
  • Graduation Rate: 74%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $530.00
  • Program Count: 20
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 79%
  • Average SAT Scores: 1170 - 1380
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED and ACT/SAT scores (must be no more than five years old)

#12 University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Annual Tuition: $14,970
  • Locations: Adelphi (MD)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

The school was convenient for me being an older student with a young family. I honestly did not know what to expect but after attending I noticed it was a decent education and most of the topics were relevant to trends in cyber security. ...The rare times I had problems the staff was really understanding and I had no problem getting advice from academic counselors.

I had some instructors who were slightly more difficult than others, but they all adhered completely to the standard that they specified prior to the start of the course... I frequently read or wrote 3-4 hours a night 7 days a week during my undergraduate program.

The University of Maryland Global Camps offers 50 online bachelor’s degree programs that include a Bachelor of Technical and Professional Studies, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Arts. Students can major in  History, East Asian Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Criminal Justice, Computer Science, and Social Science. Most online bachelor’s programs at this institution require 120 credits to complete.

Online classes are hosted on the Learning Experience Online (LEO) platform. Course activities vary but may include readings, videos, discussions, and exams. Scholarships, grants, and federal loans are accepted at this institution to help make learning more affordable. Students can also apply veteran education benefits and employer tuition reimbursement to help lower the cost of tuition. To further reduce overall education expenses, all textbooks are replaced with digital versions. UMGC's Alumni Association provides career resources that include alumni mentors, career search tools, and a career blog.

Students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree online at the University of Maryland Global Campus can apply online. Admission to an undergraduate program requires a high school diploma or equivalent. Prospective students must submit transcripts and additional documentation. This institution offers various supportive resources for enrolled students, including access to library resources, the writing center, and online tutoring.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 36,550
  • Graduation Rate: 15%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 53%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $499.00
  • Program Count: 46
Admissions
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED

#13 Concordia University - Saint Paul

  • Annual Tuition: $12,600
  • Locations: Saint Paul (MN)
  • Accreditation: HLC

This college has a great support team. they call and check up on you even when nothing is wrong. they love to help and do anything in their power to make sure you have the best education you can possibly receive. The teachers are amazing and the material is really easy to understand. Great college all around.

A total of 17 online bachelor’s degree programs are available from Concordia University - Saint Paul. Students can choose to focus on Human Resource Management, Healthcare Administration, Family Science, Exercise Science, and Psychology. Bachelor’s degree programs typically require 120 credits to complete.

Concordia University utilizes the Blackboard learning management system to connect students to their course materials, including lectures, videos, and readings. Students may be asked to complete a range of assignments, such as discussions, papers, or exams. Financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans is available. Online students may be able to receive a tuition discount. Concordia University's Alumni Association hosts virtual networking opportunities, career services, and alumni scholarships.

Prospective students can complete an online application, submit official transcripts, and write an essay. This institution has a minimum GPA requirement of 2.0. Once admitted, students receive ongoing support from academic advisors and faculty members.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 1,469
  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $420.00
  • Program Count: 17
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 55%
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED, minimum GPA of 2.0, and a personal essay

#14 Saint Joseph's University

  • Annual Tuition: $47,740
  • Locations: Philadelphia (PA)
  • Accreditation: MSCHE

Saint Joseph's University provides a great education and adequately prepares it's students for entering the work force. Not only do they provide the educational opportunities necessary for any career, they have an incredible advising team and are always working to help you improve your resume and marketability for your future career.

Students at Saint Joseph’s University (SJC) who want to earn a bachelor’s degree online can choose from eight programs. This institution offers a Bachelor of Business Administration, as well as several Bachelor of Liberal Studies degrees with concentrations in Autism, Humanities, Professional Studies, Social Science, Organizational Development, and Leadership and Psychological Studies. The bachelor programs typically require 120 credit hours. The time it takes to complete the degree depends on the pace of study.

Saint Joseph’s University uses Canvas to deliver online course materials. Learning may be synchronous or asynchronous, although many programs are designed to be flexible. Online students can apply for grants, loans, and scholarships. SJU alumni have access to library and career resources, networking opportunities, and more. 

Prospective students should complete an online application and submit official transcripts from all institutions attended. Prospective students with a GPA below 2.0 must submit one letter of recommendation, and students with a GPA below 2.5 must submit a personal statement. Most programs have multiple start dates throughout the year. After being admitted, students can receive support through the Office of Learning Resources, which offers college transition coaching, learning strategy consultations, peer tutoring, and supplemental online instruction.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 166
  • Graduation Rate: 80%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Program Count: 8
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 77%
  • Average SAT Scores: 1120 - 1290
  • Application Fee: $35
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED, personal essay, and a letter of recommendation if GPA is below 2.0

#15 Brandman University

  • Annual Tuition: $15,000
  • Locations: Multiple Locations
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

I wholeheartedly recommend Brandman University to anybody and have even gotten many of my friends started on their educational journeys at Brandman. Brandman has been nothing short of a great experience. My counselor and the one stop team always stay on top of my journey and have always been so helpful with financial aid or deciding how to go about my path in obtaining my bachelors.

Brandman University offers 40 online bachelor’s degree programs, including Psychology, Nursing, Marketing, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Social Work, Communications, and Sociology. The majority of bachelor’s degree programs at this institution require at least 120 credits to complete.

Brandman University utilizes the Blackboard learning management system to deliver online course content. Online classes are designed to be flexible and suitable for adults with full-time jobs, so most learning is asynchronous. Coursework may include reading assignments, lectures, projects, and exams. Financial aid is available to students in the form of grants, loans, and scholarships. This institution also offers credit for military experience. Alumni resources include access to an alumni network and career development tools. 

Prospective students must have earned 12 college-level credits from an accredited institution with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Applicants must submit an online application and official transcripts. Some programs may require additional documentation. Brandman University offers comprehensive student support services for its enrolled students, including academic advising and technical assistance.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 6,616
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 80%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $500.00
  • Program Count: 29
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 68%
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Requirements: At least 12 transferable baccalaureate-level credits from a regionally accredited college or university and a minimum GPA of 2.0

#16 Bellevue University

  • Annual Tuition: $13,600
  • Locations: Bellevue (NE)
  • Accreditation: HLC

In my opinion these classes are set up to be filled with "busy work" only. You are looking at least 4 assignments a week per class...if you are already a programmer and just want to receive your degree as quickly as possible and you dont mind a bunch of busy work then this would be perfect for you...

Bellevue University was a great experience for me. The class content was challenging and very informative. ...The instructors explain the content well and give professional critical feedback on your assignments to help you understand the material.

Bellevue University offers 97 bachelor’s degree options for online students. Students can choose to focus their degree in Behavioral Science, Professional Psychology, Mathematics, Health Communication, or Liberal Studies. Most online bachelor’s degree programs at this institution have a 127-credit hour requirement.

Bellevue University uses the Cyberactive online classroom, which is powered by Blackboard. Learning is typically asynchronous and includes assigned readings, lectures, and assignments. This institution offers financial aid and generous credit transfer opportunities, including credit for prior life and work experience. The Bellevue University Foundation and Alumni Office provide various resources, including career services, continuing education opportunities, and access to library resources. 

To begin earning a bachelor’s degree online, students must complete an online application and submit past transcripts. The application fee may be waived in some circumstances. Application deadlines are ongoing so that students can apply anytime. Enrolled students have access to various resources, including academic advising, library services, continuous tech support, and online tutoring.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 5,052
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $425.00
  • Program Count: 85
Admissions
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED

#17 Miami University-Oxford

  • Annual Tuition: $10,850
  • Locations: Oxford (OH)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Miami University is a great school and they are really passionate about being there to help their students with their goals.... The professors would always make sure that I was navigating Miami well and that my mental health was intact.

Miami University is a great place to earn your degree while growing as an individual. The classes are challenging, yet engaging. It is evident that the professors care about their students' success.

Miami University at Oxford offers three online bachelor’s degree programs. Students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Applied Communication, a Bachelor of Science in Commerce, or a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Technology. Bachelor’s degrees at Miami University typically require four years of study. However, online programs, which are offered through the university's Regionals E-Campus, allow students to set their own pace by choosing to study full-time or part-time.

This institution uses the Canvas learning management system to connect students to course materials and provide a platform for submitting assignments. Class schedules are designed to be flexible, offering asynchronous learning in most cases. When working toward a bachelor’s degree online, students may participate in discussions, watch lectures, read materials, complete projects, and take quizzes or exams. Online students can use loans, grants, and scholarships to reduce the cost of study. Miami University also offers a tuition discount to students who attend programs online. Alumni resources include online events and webinars, and networking opportunities.

Prospective students can complete an online application. The same admissions process applies to both traditional and online students at this university. Students will be required to submit transcripts, essays, and other documentation. The specific requirements for admission may differ by program. To support online students, Miami University offers academic advising, library services, and technical support.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 42
  • Graduation Rate: 80%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 77%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Program Count: 3
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 68%
  • Average SAT Scores: 1200 - 1380
  • Application Fee: $35
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED

#18 Western Governors University

  • Annual Tuition: $6,450
  • Locations: Salt Lake City (UT)
  • Accreditation: NWCCU

Classes were an average level of challenge and I felt as if I learned a lot during my journey. Dealing with the financial aid department was super easy and I appreciated the support that I received from my program mentor. My program mentor encouraged me to push myself, he always believed in me and he gave great advice.

The textbooks, videos, and pre-assessments do not match the final assessments. ... Difficulty getting in touch with an accounting course instructor. ... Avoid WGU at all costs if you want to actually learn, absorb, and use accounting as a professional tool.

Western Governors University (WGU) offers 37 online bachelor’s degree programs in Education, Computer Science, Cloud Computing, Information Technology, Business Administration, and Health Services Coordination. The majority of graduates complete bachelor’s degrees within 30 to 36 months of study.

WGU uses its own learning management system to deliver content to students. Online learning is asynchronous, which means students can set their own schedule, but must still complete assignments by established deadlines. Students can apply for federal aid and institutional scholarships to reduce their education costs. Benefits may also be available to active military members and veterans. Various resources are available to students, including career and development services, the library, and learning resources.

To pursue a bachelor’s degree online at Western Governors University, students can complete an online application. All applicants will be required to submit their academic transcripts. Some programs may require additional admission requirements. Programs start are flexible and offered on the first of every month. Enrolled students will receive one-on-one faculty support to help them succeed in their online studies.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 88,921
  • Graduation Rate: 29%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Program Count: 37
Admissions
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED; other requirements vary by program

#19 American Public University System

  • Annual Tuition: $8,550
  • Locations: Charles Town (WV)
  • Accreditation: HLC

APUS was flexible, affordable and easy to work with. Directions for registration, class sign-in information and forum discussions were very straightforward and staff were always helpful with any questions.

From the helpful admissions people to the great teachers and advisors. I have received valuable support and encouragement the whole time.

The American Public University System has an extensive array of online bachelor’s degree programs, with more than 197 options. This institution offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Business Administration degrees. The amount of time it will take a student to complete the degree depends on the number of transfer credits (if any) and whether they choose to study part-time or full-time. 

This institution delivers course materials to students using the Brightspace learning management system. Online learning at this institution is asynchronous and may include watching videos, reading, participating in discussions, and completing projects. Students may also need to take exams. Students may be able to transfer credits for past life experience to reduce the amount of study required to complete a bachelor’s degree online. Also, this institution does not charge an application fee and provides all reading materials free of charge. Alumni resources include networking opportunities and career services.

The American Public University System offers monthly class start dates. Applicants can submit an online application and official transcripts. Students must also submit evidence to support any requested transfer or life experience credit. Students have continuous access to support through academic advising, technical assistance, and the financial aid office.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 37,746
  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • School Type: For-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $285.00
  • Program Count: 190
Admissions
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED and a government-issued form of ID

#20 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

  • Annual Tuition: $12,870
  • Locations: Daytona Beach (FL)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

Embry-Riddle offered challenging and enriching course curriculum that stimulated my mind, and kept me very busy during each class... The diversity of the classes also presented amazing opportunities to experience working with and interacting with my peers and instructors from all around the world. I would recommend ERAU to anyone who is pursuing an aviation related degree because the level of service and expertise I received from ALL agencies in the school (instructors, counselors, advisors, financial aid, etc.) was professional, respectful, and dignified.

Students at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University have 46 online bachelor’s degree programs from which to choose. All of the online bachelor’s degrees at this institution are categorized as Bachelor of Science. A variety of different concentrations are available, including Aeronautics, Aviation Maintenance, Emergency Services, Engineering, Safety Management, and more. Bachelor’s degree programs at this institution usually require at least 120 credits to complete.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide uses the Canvas learning management system to facilitate online programs. Learning at this institution may be synchronous or asynchronous. A live virtual classroom experience is provided through EagleVision for some courses. Students may also participate in discussions, complete lab work, work on projects, and take tests. Many students will qualify for transfer or life experience credit toward their degree. Financial aid is available to online students in the form of federal student loans, grants, and scholarships. Members of the military may also qualify for tuition discounts. Alumni benefits include continuing education, networking opportunities, and career resources.

Students interested in earning a bachelor’s degree online from this institution can begin the process by completing the online application. Students will also be required to submit official transcripts. Once a student is enrolled in a program, support will be available in the form of academic advising and career services. Students can also reach out to teachers for one-on-one assistance.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 8,803
  • Graduation Rate: 20%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 60%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $429.00
  • Program Count: 40
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED and a minimum GPA of 2.5

#21 University of Northwestern - St. Paul

  • Annual Tuition: $14,080
  • Locations: Saint Paul (MN)
  • Accreditation: HLC

Teachers know you and want to help you (good for letters of recommendation).

The University of Northwestern - St. Paul offers three online bachelor’s degree programs, including a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical and Theological Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Business Management, and a Bachelor of Science in Health Psychology. All three of these degrees can be completed with a minimum of 125 credits.

The University of Northwestern - St. Paul uses Moodle as its learning management system to deliver course materials to its students. Courses at this institution consist of lectures, discussions, projects, papers, and interactions with peers. Students may also interact directly with faculty members. Students at this institution can reduce education costs by applying for scholarships, grants, and student loans. Alumni benefits include career coaching, access to library resources, and tuition discounts.

To apply to an online bachelor’s degree program at the University of Northwestern - St. Paul, students must complete and submit the online form. Transcripts to show evidence of past studies are also required. Beginning in Fall 2021, ACT and SAT scores are optional but can be submitted if desired. Dedicated admissions counselors are available to help online students complete this process. Students enrolled in online courses will have access to academic advising, tech support, and the online learning office.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 1,256
  • Graduation Rate: 63%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $440.00
  • Program Count: 4
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 93%
  • Average SAT Scores: 1053 - 1248
  • Application Fee: $30
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED, 21 years or older, three years of work experience, and a minimum GPA of 2.0

#22 Trident at AIU

  • Annual Tuition: $12,150
  • Locations: Cypress (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The university Course TUI 101 course work was instrumental in helping me navigate all the programs to make my Course assignments easy to access books, newspapers and periodicals. The assignments and grading system was fair and critique of work was meaningful. Access to professors was surprisingly easy. They were very professional, and gave feedback on assignments when we needed it. I was very impressed with my experience.

Trident like most other schools is simply guided self learning. The courses require a lot of writing and you develop a great understanding of the material... All professors were responsive and offered detailed feedback. Advisers and financial aid office were very open and helpful. Advisers will call you during courses just to check in and see how you are doing.

Trident at AIU offers 27 online Bachelor of Science degree programs. Students can choose to focus on Computer Science, Health Administration, Health Sciences, Business Administration, Homeland Security, Human Resources Management, Information Technology Management, or Leadership. All online bachelor’s degrees at this institution require 120 credit hours. The time it takes to complete the program will vary based on the student’s pace.

This institution uses its own learning management platform accessed through the Trident Learning Community Portal. Students can move through courses on their own schedule, as programs are designed to be asynchronous. Online classes emphasize real-world applications. Students can apply for financial aid to lower their cost of attendance. Discounts are also available to military families, and some students may qualify to receive credit for prior learning. Alumni have access to Alumnifire, a networking platform offered through the Trident Alumni Association.

Applicants should complete an online application and submit official transcripts with a minimum 2.0 GPA. International students must also submit proof of English language proficiency. This institution offers individualized student support from advisors and faculty members and dedicated virtual support services. 

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 4,409
  • Graduation Rate: 13%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • School Type: For-Profit
Program Overview
  • Program Count: 27
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 96%
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED and a minimum GPA of 2.0 if transferring coursework

#23 The University of Texas Permian Basin

  • Annual Tuition: $10,620
  • Locations: Odessa (TX)
  • Accreditation: SACS COC

My academic adviser as well as various professors were very supportive.

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin provided a great teacher to student ratio which made learning from instructors a more personal and sincere experience.

A total of 19 online bachelor’s degree programs are available at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. Students can pursue studies in Criminal Justice, Business Administration, Psychology, Sociology, Political Science, and Humanities. Most of these programs require 120 credit hours.

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin uses the Canvas learning management system to connect students to peers, teachers, and course materials. Most learning is asynchronous and may include lectures, readings, exams, projects, and discussions. Students at this institution may be eligible for financial aid in grants, loans, private scholarships, or institutional scholarships. Texas residents may also be eligible for a tuition discount. Payment plans are available as well. Alumni can join the Falcon Alumni Network, which includes 18,000 members around the world. 

Students can begin their journey to earning a bachelor’s degree online at this institution by completing an online application. Students must submit transcripts and have a minimum GPA of 2.0. SAT or ACT scores may also be required for some students. Online students at this institution have access to many different supportive resources, including online academic advising, online tutoring, and technical support.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 2,165
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $354.02
  • Program Count: 19
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Average SAT Scores: 970 - 1130
  • Application Fee: $40
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED and SAT and/or ACT scores

#24 University of Bridgeport

  • Annual Tuition: $17,250
  • Locations: Bridgeport (CT)
  • Accreditation: NECHE

I am really proud to be a student of this great learning institution because I have improved academically, mentally, and psychologically. it is a diverse school which gives me the opportunity to meet and interact with other students from across the world.

A total of 11 online bachelor’s degree programs are available at the University of Bridgeport. All of the degrees available at this institution are categorized as Bachelor of Science degrees. Some of the concentrations available to students include Professional Studies, General Studies, Dental Hygiene, Criminal Justice, Business Administration, Psychology and Nursing. These programs usually require students to earn at least 120 credits.

The University of Bridgeport uses Canvas to help students pursue a bachelor’s degree online. This learning management system connects students to their professors, peers, and course materials. Courses usually involve a range of activities, from lectures to exams. The majority of learning activities are asynchronous. Students can reduce the cost of attendance with loans, grants, and scholarships. Connecticut residents may be eligible to receive state funding to help further reduce the cost of tuition. The Alumni Association provides alumni mentors, job shadowing opportunities, and more. 

Online students can apply by submitting an electronic application. The application fee is waived for students who plan to study online. Students must also submit official transcripts and two letters of recommendation. Test scores and a personal statement are optional. The University of Bridgeport provides every online student with a dedicated academic advisor who will provide continuous support throughout their program.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 406
  • Graduation Rate: 42%
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $575.00
  • Program Count: 11
Admissions
  • Acceptance Rate: 54%
  • Average SAT Scores: 900 - 1090
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED, two letters of recommendation, and some programs require SAT or ACT scores

#25 National University

  • Annual Tuition: $16,650
  • Locations: La Jolla (CA)
  • Accreditation: WSCUC

The staff is very helpful and communication is amazing. The staff was with me 100% throughout my program. The online programs are easy to navigate and all online classes are 4 weeks long.

This school makes it easy to work around your work schedule.

Students at National University can choose from 69 online bachelor's degree programs. The types of degrees available include a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Bachelor of Science. Students can pursue undergraduate studies in Management, Information Systems, Accountancy, English, Spanish, Sociology, and more. These programs typically require at least 180 quarter units to complete.

National University uses Blackboard to facilitate online learning. Students enrolled in online courses will listen to lectures, complete projects, and engage in discussions with peers.  Students can lower the cost of tuition with federal aid and scholarships. National University describes itself as a “military-friendly” school and accepts veteran education benefits. Transfer credits may also be accepted. National's Alumni Association provides career resources, networking opportunities, and access to an online library. 

Prospective students can complete an online application, submit transcripts with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Individual programs may also have additional admissions requirements. National University encourages one-on-one interactions with faculty members and academic advisors to support the success of its students. Students can also receive technical assistance or other services by phone or email.

School Overview
  • Undergraduate Online Enrollment: 3,130
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
Program Overview
  • Cost per Credit: $370.00
  • Program Count: 68
Admissions
  • Application Fee: $0
  • Requirements: High school transcript or GED and placement exam scores

Overview of Online Bachelor's Degrees

Can You Earn a Bachelor's Degree Online?

Yes, you can earn a bachelor's degree completely online. Public and private nonprofit schools started offering virtual courses in the late 1990s, but many people associated online learning with for-profit colleges for years. Today, all varieties of nonprofit and for-profit colleges provide accredited online degree options for undergraduate students.

Students might enroll in hybrid programs in which some of their courses are virtual and others are online. Others may enroll in exclusively online programs. The extent to which a degree can be completed entirely online depends on the particular program. Some majors, such as nursing, often feature in-person requirements. These can include internships in the student's local community, on-campus orientations or intensive sessions with a student's cohort, or lab hours at a college or other professional laboratory for science students. Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees typically require more than 100 clinical hours at a location near the student's home.

Today, all varieties of nonprofit and for-profit colleges provide accredited online degree options for undergraduate students.

Applying to an Online Bachelor's Program

The application requirements for an online bachelor's program are usually identical to the requirements for an on-campus program. In general, applicants must provide:

  • Official high school transcripts or their equivalent showing at least a 2.0 GPA
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers, counselors, coaches, or others
  • An entrance essay, usually personal and reflective
  • Official transcripts from postsecondary colleges (transfer students only)

Some online schools provide accommodations to students who do not meet the minimum GPA requirements, such as probationary admission or the opportunity to give supplemental information to add context.

The qualifications are a bit different for applicants to an online degree completion program. These degrees are designed for adult students who have started but not completed a four-year degree, and they offer a faster and less expensive way for students to finish without starting over again. Applicants must have earned a minimum number of academic credits from previous institutions, usually between 50 and 60, or else substantial career or military experience.

How Long Does It Take to Earn an Online Bachelor's Degree?

Online bachelor's degrees are typically designed to take four years of full-time study to complete, though many students take more time to finish. However, some online colleges offer several ways for students to fast-track their bachelor's degree. Accelerated programs feature shorter terms that run year-round to allow students to take more courses each year. Students may be able to shave a year off the time needed to graduate.

Check a school's credit transfer policy for another way to reduce the time spent earning your degree. Several schools offer credit for prior learning assessments that award academic credit to students with previous professional or military experience. Additionally, students can often demonstrate mastery in a subject by completing a portfolio or taking CLEP exams for credit that can be applied toward their degree.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor's Degree

Online bachelor's degree programs differ by institution and subject, but there are some general features that you're likely to find in many of them.

An average length of 120 credits. Most degree programs require students to complete at least 120 credit hours. Most courses are 3-4 credits and full-time students take 4-5 classes per term.

Asynchronous coursework. Online courses usually feature recorded lectures and discussion boards where a student can post at any time during the week. Live lectures or set class meetings are less common, but weekly assignments will typically have set due dates.

A culminating experience. Degree programs often lead to a final experience that reinforces concepts from previous courses. In many programs this is a capstone course in which students complete a comprehensive research project or exam. In others, it's a supervised internship or other subject-appropriate field experience (such as nursing clinicals at a health care facility).

Virtual support. Completing a degree requires support and resources. A good college demonstrates its care for students by providing academic advisors, tutoring and writing support, open access to online library resources, and nonacademic services such as counseling and career advising.

Will I Be Able to Work While Earning My Online Bachelor's Degree?

Flexibility is one of the main draws of completing your education online. According to a 2019 report on online college students, 51% of undergraduate students worked full time and 21% worked part-time. Most online bachelor's degree courses are delivered asynchronously to accommodate students' busy schedules. Asynchronous courses offer the most flexibility since students can view pre-recorded lectures and complete online coursework when it's convenient for them. In contrast, synchronous classes require students to log in at set times during the week.

Accreditation

Which Accreditation Is Best For Online Degree Programs?

When researching degree programs, consider schools with regional accreditation first. Regional accreditation is considered the most prestigious because it's based on the most rigorous academic standards; national accreditation tends to focus on technical and trade schools. Attending a regionally accredited school will allow you to:

  • Apply for federal financial aid
  • Transfer credits to another regionally accredited college in the future

The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is a national accreditor that certifies the quality of schools with online programs, so DEAC accreditation is another factor to consider. Finally, some major fields feature professional organizations that accredit individual programs, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) for engineering.

Is an Online Bachelor's Degree Legitimate?

Accredited online bachelor's degrees are legitimate. If a recognized agency has certified the quality of a school's online programs, then the credential is just as meaningful as a diploma earned through in-person learning. There are fraudulent accrediting agencies that give a stamp of approval to low-quality online colleges, so always check that all accreditors mentioned on a college's website are in the DAPIP or CHEA databases.

What Is the Easiest Degree to Get Online?

This question can't be answered in absolutes, because each person's strengths, weaknesses, and interests are different — research shows that students perform better in their favorite subjects. However, there are important factors beyond interest that can make a degree easier for an individual to obtain, including:

  • Admissions requirements. More exclusive colleges may have difficult programs and faculty who expect a higher level of performance.
  • Program length. You may stay motivated if you're on track to finish quickly.
  • Student support. Some schools or departments may provide better academic services such as tutoring or writing help.
  • Culminating projects or experiences. You may be better at writing long research papers than learning skills on the job at an internship, or vice versa.

It can be difficult to compare these factors using college's promotional materials and web pages alone. For less biased information, you can read reviews from real students and alumni of specific programs.

Cost of an Online Bachelor's Degree

Although there is wide variation between the most and least expensive choices, the average annual tuition for an online bachelor's degree is $14,993 according to data we've collected from school websites. In general, private colleges charge more than public colleges:

  • Average yearly tuition at a public school: $14,499
  • Average yearly tuition at a private school: $15,411

Tuition is the biggest portion of any degree's expense, but it's not the only cost associated with higher education. Schools charge fees that vary by institution. Many online students pay technology fees each term, and there are fees for applying to a college in the first place and for covering the cost of graduation in the final semester. Online students need reliable high-speed internet access, books or electronic books, and sometimes specific software.

You may want to consider future earnings in addition to the upfront costs of a degree. Our ROI scores show that the most expensive programs aren't necessarily the best investments in terms of future earning potential.

The average annual tuition for an online bachelor's degree is $14,993 according to data we've collected from school websites.

Financial Aid for Online Students

Financial aid can help online college students cover some or all of their education costs. The first step in the process is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which determines how much federal aid a student qualifies for. Federal aid includes gift aid that doesn't need to be repaid: grants based on financial need, scholarships based on merit or family background, and work-study programs that provide tuition waivers for students. The government also offers loans at interest rates that are generally more favorable than loans from private sources.

Most states and colleges also use the FAFSA to determine aid eligibility. They may offer grants and scholarships, and some states have work-study options similar to the federal program. According to a report by Sallie Mae, 71% of all undergraduates or their families completed a FAFSA for 2019-2020, and 73% received at least some scholarship or grant money. In the same year, the average family covered about 42% of total college costs using a combination of gift aid and borrowing.

Online students apply for financial aid in the same way as campus students and are eligible for most of the same funding. Some private scholarships endowed by an institution's alumni may only apply to campus students, so check with a school's financial aid office before applying.

Salary Outcomes for Online Bachelor's Graduates

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that earning a bachelor's degree leads to higher earnings and a lower chance of unemployment over the course of an individual's career. Bachelor's graduates earn a median $500 more each week than high school graduates and about $360 more than those with an associate degree. These positive salary and employment prospects improve with each degree a student attains. Alumni of terminal doctoral and professional degree programs earn a median $600 more each week than bachelor's graduates and experience less unemployment.

Median Weekly Earnings by Degree Level Bar Graph

Bachelor's degrees in general lead to higher wages, but the field of study can also make a difference in future earnings. BLS lists chief executive as the top job requiring a bachelor's degree for entry, and marketing and financial managers are also high earners. Other well-paying jobs include computer and information systems manager and engineer or engineering manager. To start down these career paths, you may want to study:

Note that reaching the top of these fields requires years, and usually decades, of work experience, but a bachelor's degree is a good place to start.

Is an Online Bachelor's Degree Worth It?

Study after study has shown the benefits of higher education for employment and earning potential, but you may be wondering specifically whether an online degree is worth the cost and effort. Though this is a subjective measure that will vary by individual, the answer is usually yes: Online degrees can confer the same benefits as on-campus degrees, and they may be more accessible and flexible than on-campus programs. Online students can access their classrooms from anywhere with an internet connection and complete assignments when it's convenient for them. We dive into further detail about why the savings may be worth it, what online learning means for employment, and some potential downsides of online learning that you should keep in mind.

Savings

Students can save time and money by pursuing an online bachelor's degree instead of attending on-campus programs. Online learners aren't required to pay additional campus-based fees, and they save on room and board and transportation costs. Many online programs also offer credit for previous schooling, professional experience, or military training, which can save money by reducing the time needed to finish. Our list of the best online bachelor's degrees shows that online degrees have the potential to provide worthwhile returns on upfront investment.

Employment

What's more, the stigma against online education seems to be eroding. Online college has long been associated with its early for-profit adopters, but now hundreds of accredited colleges in all sectors offer online degrees. In a 2018 survey of 750 HR specialists, 71% said they had hired an online-degree graduate in the previous year, and 61% said they believe that online degrees are as good as regular degrees. If you attend a school that offers both in-person and online degrees, employers usually won't know how you earned your degree because the diplomas and transcripts are identical. However, graduates of fully online schools may experience some hiring bias directed against online learners. Students should be aware of this and other potential downsides, as outlined below.

Downsides of Online Learning

There are some potential downsides to studying online. Data suggests that fully online students graduate at lower rates than in-person learners, although the cause is unclear. It may be that online institutions aren't providing the necessary academic or personal support that students require to succeed, or that many students enroll in distance learning without taking their personal learning styles into account.

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