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Top 10 Online Catholic Colleges & Universities of 2017

For those seeking a Catholic education online, the options can be overwhelming. As online education continues to grow in popularity and credibility, more and more Catholic colleges and universities are offering online college degrees. Whether you want to earn an online Catholic theology master’s degree or a bachelor’s in education, these universities offer unparalleled variety and integrity.

Why Use Our Online Catholic College & University Rankings

We’ve put together this list of the top 10 online Catholic colleges and universities for 2017, all of them accredited, high-quality institutions with a serious commitment to their student’s spiritual and academic growth. We’ve done all of the legwork for you in identifying the best of the best Catholic online schools.

How To Use Our Online Catholic College & University Rankings

That said, you are the only one who can decide which online Catholic college or university is the best fit for you. Our rankings of the top online Catholic schools is meant only as a guide, a starting point for your journey in Christian education.

How We Generated Our Online Catholic College & University Rankings

Considering only those Catholic online colleges and universities accredited by recognized and respected accreditation agencies, we investigated which online Catholic schools are serious about providing a high quality online education experience rooted in the Catholic tradition. From there we relied on the following criteria to generate our Catholic online colleges and universities rankings for 2017: student satisfaction (as measured by graduation and retention rates), peer and instructional quality (as measured by acceptance rate and student-teacher ratio), affordability (as measured by tuition costs and availability of financial aid), and credibility (as measured by years of accreditation, reputation and awards).

Data was gathered from objective, independent sources like The National Center for Education Statistics and College Results Online, as well as from school websites and direct conversations with school representatives.

Note: Statistics were calculated using the lowest representative tuition per credit hour and assuming full-time status. Tuition may vary depending on the degree program and full-time vs. part-time status. Where a difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition costs exist, the out-of-state tuition cost was used. Only schools that offer undergraduate degrees were considered.

GRA=Graduation Rate
RET=Retention Rate
S/T=Student-Teacher Ratio
ACC=Acceptance Rate
AID=Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid

Top Online Catholic Colleges & Universities of 2017

1

St. Leo University OnlineSaint Leo, Florida

Founded in 1890 by the Order of Saint Benedict, St. Leo University is a Catholic, liberal arts based university ranked #4 in our list of the Top Online Criminal Justice Degrees of 2017, #5 on our list of the Top Online MHA and Healthcare Management Degree Programs of 2017, and #7 on our list of the Top Online Colleges for Accounting Degrees for 2017. While offering many degrees in business and other career-oriented fields, St. Leo University also offers online degrees in sociology, psychology, liberal studies, and religion -- including an online Catholic theology master's degree.

GRA RET S/T ACC AID
43% 68% 15:1 76% 99%

2

Regis University OnlineDenver, Colorado

A Jesuit school with over 130 years in existence, Regis University Online, located in Colorado, ranks #5 for the Top Nine Online Master of Criminal Justice Degree Programs of 2017. Offering over 25 different online degree programs in business, communications, education, administration, computer science, and other areas, Regis University Online boasts the lowest student-teacher ratio of any of the schools on our list. While it doesn't rate very high in terms of affordability, if a quality online Catholic degree is what you're looking for, it's hard to do better than Regis University Online.

GRA RET S/T ACC AID
65% 71% 8:1 80% 62%

3

Benedictine University OnlineLisle, Illinois

Benedictine University is a Catholic university in Chicago founded by Benedictine monks in 1887, and it currently ranks at #8 on our list of the Top Online Master of Science in Nursing Degree Programs of 2017. Benedictine University Online offers one of the widest selections of undergraduate and graduate online degrees and certificates among all online Catholic universities.

GRA RET S/T ACC AID
54% 74% 16:1 80% 97%

4

Saint Joseph's University OnlinePhiladelphia, Pennsylvania

Saint Joseph's is a Jesuit university with a strong 150 year history and outstanding academic reputation. Although Saint Joseph's currently only offers three online bachelor's degree (Associate in Business Administration, Bachelor of Business Administration, and Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies), they have a number of online master's degree programs in business, criminal justice, education, and healthcare. Though tuition is steep, over 90% of students receive financial aid, and the strong student satisfaction and instructional quality indicators suggest students get what they pay for at this institution.

GRA RET S/T ACC AID
77% 86% 14:1 82% 92%

5

Duquesne University OnlinePittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"A Catholic university in the Spiritan tradition," Duquesne University is the largest, most comprehensive Catholic university in the state of Pennsylvania, and it is ranked as one of the top 50 Best Value National Universities by U.S. News & World Report, as well as #8 on our list of the Top Online Colleges for Public Administration for 2017. Duquesne University's online learning program offers a number of undergraduate and graduate online degrees in education, nursing, leadership, business, and a variety of other professional fields. Tuition is high, but so are the student satisfaction and instructional quality indicators, as well as the percentage of students receiving financial aid.

GRA RET S/T ACC AID
76% 86% 14:1 76% 99%

6

Assumption College OnlineWorcester, Massachusetts

Assumption College is a Catholic college in Massachusetts founded by the Augustinians of the Assumption in 1904. Assumption College offers associate and/or bachelor degrees in business, humanities, human services and rehabilitation, and social sciences as well as several certificate options. These can be done either online or as "blended" programs that allow students to take some classes online, but requires other classes to be taken on campus. Assumption College's satisfaction and quality indicators are very strong.

GRA RET S/T ACC AID
66% 81% 12:1 79% 95%

7

Lewis University OnlineRomeoville, Illinois

Lewis University is a comprehensive Catholic and Lasallian university founded in 1932 and based in Illinois. Lewis University's online degree program offers online bachelor's and master's degrees in aviation, information security, organizational leadership, nursing, and public safety administration. Student satisfaction and instructional quality indicators cannot be overstated.

GRA RET S/T ACC AID
59% 79% 14:1 74% 98%

8

Saint Joseph's College of Maine OnlineStandish, Maine

Saint Joseph's College of Maine is a Catholic liberal arts college founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy. In 2016, it was also our #1 pick for the Top Online Master's in Marketing Degrees, and this year, St. Joseph's College of Maine Online is #6 on our list of the Top Online Master's in Healthcare Management Programs. Saint Joseph's Online offers a broad range of online undergraduate and graduate degrees in everything from business and accounting to its online Catholic theology master's degree and an online Catholic theology degree for undergraduates. In addition to offering one of academia's widest selections of online Catholic degrees, Saint Joseph's Online has the distinction of being the most affordable online Catholic school among our top ten.

GRA RET S/T ACC AID
59% 81% 15:1 81% 100%


To determine the best online Catholic colleges, we looked at the most important factors prospective students, mainly common predictors of future success and a school’s commitment to online programs. This boils down to admissions rate, student loan default rate, retention rate, graduation rate, and the percent of students enrolled in online classes. All data points are taken from information provided by colleges and universities to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Each factor is weighted evenly in order to give an objective view and determine the 10 best online Catholic colleges. To calculate our rankings, we looked at a school’s ranking when organized by a single factor, and then averaged each category’s ranking to find an overall score: Admissions Rate (20%) + Default Rate (20%) + Retention Rate (20%) + Graduation Rate (20%) + Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes (20%) = Final score.

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