Online College and University Reviews
When choosing a school that best fits their needs and goals, prospective students may find it helpful to read online college reviews written by former students and graduates. Our partner site, GradReports.com, has collected reviews of more than 2,400 colleges. Students often provide positive feedback about the quality of their online degree programs, including factors like flexible course options, helpful professors, and the cost of tuition. Complaints tend to revolve around student support resources like career counseling, job placement support, and financial aid services.
Based on their feedback and other factors, we've put together a comprehensive list of schools offering online degree programs. We've also provided summaries of some of the best online colleges, plus answers to frequently asked questions.
Student-Recommended Online Schools
The 10 online schools on this list are highly recommended by current students and alumni. Ratings are based on student reviews collected since 2008, totaling thousands of reviews of more than 2,400 schools. Keep in mind that the relatively small sample size of online school reviewers for any given school, as well as personal reviewer biases, can skew a school's rating positively or negatively. However, every review is vetted to ensure authenticity before being published.
Western Governors University
One of the largest fully online, private, non-profit colleges, Western Governors University (WGU) offers a wide range of bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as certificates. Some of the school's most popular degrees include nursing, business management, cybersecurity, education, IT, and healthcare management. Online learning is asynchronous, and new classes begin every month.
Rather than a per-credit tuition fee, WGU charges a flat rate for six months of courses, enabling students to save money by completing as many courses as they can in each six-month period. The school also offers federal financial aid, institutional scholarships, and discounts for active military members and veterans. Various resources are available to students, such as career development services, faculty mentors, and learning resources.
Southern New Hampshire University Online
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers more than 200 associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees through its online programs. Some of the more popular subjects of study at this large, private, non-profit university include business, English, software engineering, and healthcare administration. Students access course materials through the Desire2Learn Brightspace online learning system.
SNHU offers financial aid for qualified students, and military members and veterans may be eligible for a discount of up to 30%. New enrollees may also be able to transfer credits for previously completed coursework, and some may receive credit for prior work or military experience. All students are paired with academic advisors and can take advantage of other student resources, such as career services.
University of Phoenix
The University of Phoenix is a large, private, non-profit university offering more than 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Students can opt for a variety of programs in seven categories — business, education, criminal justice, psychology, nursing, healthcare, and technology — and may begin at any of the 18 start dates each year.
In addition to federal financial aid, the University of Phoenix offers two school-sponsored scholarships of $1,000 for incoming bachelor's students and $3,000 for incoming master's students. Current students and alumni are entitled to use the school's Career Services for Life for assistance with career development and job searches. Students also have access to other support services, such as a counseling center and an alumni association.
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University (GCU) offers online programs at all levels, from associate degrees through doctorates, as well as certificate programs. At this large, private, non-profit university, students can earn one of more than 200 degrees in nine subject areas, such as teaching, business, healthcare, digital arts, and theology.
GCU charges the same tuition fees for in-state and out-of-state residents. In addition to federal financial aid programs, the school offers scholarships for eligible new students. GCU is also a Yellow Ribbon participant and provides tuition discounts for military members. Newly enrolled students may be able to earn credits for prior work and military experience, and they may be able to transfer credits for previously completed college coursework.
A large, private, non-profit college, Liberty University is an Evangelical Christian institution where students can earn degrees at every level. Programs include business, education, communication, law, behavioral sciences, and religion, and all courses are grounded in biblical concepts. Liberty students and instructors use the Canvas online learning management system to share course materials and communicate with each other.
Liberty's Experience Plus program allows incoming students to earn credit for previous experience, and the school also welcomes transfer credits from other accredited institutions. Financial aid and tuition discounts for military members may help learners save money on their college education. Student services include an online library, IT support, online study aids, and writing tutorials.
Strayer University is a medium-sized, private, non-profit college that offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees, as well as certificate programs. Strayer's programs are consolidated in a few key subject areas, primarily business, information technology, and criminal justice. The school provides online courses through the Blackboard learning system.
Strayer offers a number of cost-saving options for eligible students. For example, some students may be eligible for a new free laptop, and some associate and bachelor's students may be able to take up to 10 general education courses at no cost. Strayer's SOAR program gives learners 24/7 access to student support resources and experts, and the Career Center assists students in finding jobs.
A medium-sized, private, non-profit college, Walden University offers fully online bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, as well as certificates. Newly admitted students can opt for one of approximately 90 programs in 10 major areas of interest, including nursing, business, psychology, social work, and public policy. Walden's distance learning system is designed for use on multiple types of devices, including mobile.
Walden sponsors many scholarships for students majoring in specific subjects, and it also offers a 15% tuition discount for military members, veterans, and military spouses. Incoming students who have completed some coursework at other accredited institutions may be able to transfer credits for undergraduate or graduate degrees. Students have access to several support services, including academic advisors and career counselors.
University of Maryland Global Campus
At the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), which is a large, public university, students may enroll in a wide range of bachelor's and master's degree programs in education, business, healthcare, cybersecurity, and more. Primarily asynchronous online classes are hosted on the Learning Experience Online platform, and most courses include no-cost digital resources instead of requiring additional textbooks.
UMGC offers federal scholarships, grants, and loans, as well as an interest-free monthly payment plan to help make tuition more affordable. Qualified students can also apply for veteran education benefits and employer tuition reimbursement. UMGC offers various support services for enrolled students, including access to library resources, the writing center, and online tutoring.
American Public University System
AThe American Public University System — a large, private, non-profit institution — offers online programs at all levels, from associate degrees through doctorates, as well as certificate programs. Students can select from more than 200 degree programs in business, nursing, education, engineering, global studies, and more. Classes begin every month and are delivered on the Brightspace learning management system.
Students may be able to transfer credits from previous college coursework and earn credit for prior work and military experience, reducing the number of courses required to complete a degree online. Students do not have to pay an application fee, and all reading materials are provided free of charge. Student resources include academic advising and career services.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University (ASU), which is a large, public institution, offers fully online bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, as well as certificates. With more than 300 programs to choose from, students can study any one of dozens of subjects, including nursing, healthcare administration, engineering, history, forensic science, and more. Students and faculty access course materials, engage in class discussions, and take exams through the Canvas learning system.
Online students are eligible for financial aid. ASU students gain access to a wide range of student support services, including counseling, tutoring, personal and time management coaching, and job search and career development assistance.