Choosing An Online School

Our mission at The Best Colleges is to help you get the best education possible, whether through a traditional brick-and-mortar college or university, or an online degree program. There are advantages and disadvantages to both paths and determining which one is best for you depends on your particular life situation and learning style. On this page you will find a regularly updated listing of the best accredited online colleges and universities around.

Earning a college degree online requires a significant investment of time, energy, and money. That’s why it’s important to make a thorough investigation of your options before making a decision about which online school is right for you. Online colleges and universities, like their traditional brick-and-mortar counterparts, vary widely in reputation, quality, and value. As you move forward in your journey towards choosing the online school that is right for you, take a look at our ranking of the top online colleges and universities, or some of our online degree program rankings by subject.

In making your decision about which online school is best for you, here are some questions to ask:

Is the school accredited?

An accredited school is one that has been approved by an independent system of accountability and quality control. When checking out online schools, be sure to find out if they are accredited, what kind of accreditation they have, and which agency or agency they are accredited by. The best form of accreditation comes from regional accrediting agencies. Some of the most respected regional accrediting agencies are Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, New England Association of Schools and Colleges, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges, Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, and Western Association of Schools and Colleges. All of the school’s on our list have been accredited by reputable accrediting agencies and you can find their accreditation information by clicking on the links below.

Does the school have a good reputation?

When you go out on the job market, or start trying to get into graduate school, the reputation of your alma mater will be very important. If an employer or graduate school admissions committee doesn’t recognize the school on your resume, or it has a bad reputation, your chances of getting an interview or being admitted could be jeopardized. Surveying potential employers or graduate programs in your area of interest is one way to find out which schools have a good reputation in your area of interest. It’s also a good idea to check out an independent ranking of online colleges and universities to get a sense of which online schools are performing the best according to objective criteria.

Is the school honest and transparent in its marketing and recruiting?

Some online schools are more up-front than others about things like tuition costs, fees, accreditation, job placement record, etc. Be wary of schools that make you jump through too many hoops to find these things out. Online schools that are confident in their quality and their value will be forthcoming about these things because they recognize that they are selling points for their program and want prospective students to make an informed decision.

Does the school have a good track record?

Nothing tells you more about the quality and value of an online college or university than a history of retaining, graduating, and placing students in good jobs or quality graduate programs. That’s why graduation and retention rates are weighted so heavily in our ranking of the top online colleges and universities. If a large percentage of students aren’t graduating or are dropping out or transferring after the first year, be skeptical. Perhaps the school just happens to enroll a lot of really bad or hard to please students. It’s more likely, though, that the school or the program is low-quality and/or isn’t investing what it should in helping students succeed and graduate.

List of online schools:

A.T. Still University of Health Sciences

Abilene Christian University

Academy of Art University Online

Advanced Colleges of America Online

Allied Schools Online

American College of Education

American Sentinel University

Anna Maria College

Antioch University New England Online

Antonelli College Online

Argosy University

Arizona State University Online

Arkansas State University

Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online

Assumption College Online

Azusa Pacific University Online

Baker College Online

Ball State University Online

Bay Path College

Bellevue University Online

Benedictine University Online

Bethel University Online

Boise State University Online

Boston University Online

Bowling Green State University Online

Brandeis University Online

Brandman University Online

Brookline College Online

Bryant & Stratton College Online

Cal State East Bay Online

California Coast University

California InterContinental University

California State University, Bakersfield

California State University, Monterey Bay

California State University, Northridge

California University of Pennsylvania

Capella University

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Carrington College California Online

Carrington College Online

Champlain College

Chicago School of Professional Psychology Online

City University of Seattle Online

Cleveland Institute of Electronics Online

College for Financial Planning Online

Colorado Christian University Online

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Colorado Technical University Online

Columbia Southern University Online

Concord Law School Online

Concordia University-Portland Online

Corban University Online

Creighton University Online

Crown College Online

CUNY School of Professional Studies

Dallas Baptist University Online (DBU Online)

Darton College Online

DeVry University Online

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Dickinson State University Online

Drexel University Online

Duquesne University Online

Eastern Kentucky University Online

ECPI University Online

Erikson Institute Online

Everglades University Online

Fisher College Online

Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences Online

Florida International University Online

Florida National College Online

Florida State University Online

Fordham University Online

Fort Hays State University Virtual College

Fortis College Online

Full Sail University Online

George Washington University Online

Georgetown University Online

Gonzaga University Online

Grace College Online

Graceland University Online

Grand Canyon University Online

Granite State College Online

Grantham University Online

Harrison College Online

Hawaii Pacific University Online

Henley-Putnam University Online

Herzing University Online

Hodges University Online

Hope International University Online

Huntington University Online

Immaculata University Online

Indiana State University Online

International Academy of Design and Technology Online

Iowa Central College Online

Ivy Bridge College Online

Jones International University Online

Kaplan University Online

Keiser University Online

Keller Graduate School of Management Online

Kendall College Online

Kent State University Online

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Kentucky Wesleyan College Online

Kona University Online

LA College International Online

Lancaster Bible College and Graduate School Online

Lasell College Online

Lehigh University Online

Lesley University Online

LeTourneau University Online

Lewis University Online

Liberty University Online

Lincoln College of Technology Online

Loyola University New Orleans Online

Lubbock Christian University Online

Malone University Online

Marygrove College Online

Marylhurst University Online

McKinley College Online

Michigan Technological University Online

Miller Motte College Online

National American University Online

National University Online

New England College of Business & Finance Online

New England College Online

New Jersey Institute of Technology Online

New York Chiropractic College Online

New York Medical College Online

New York University Online

North Carolina State Distance Education

Northcentral University Online

Northeastern University Online

Northwest Christian University Online

Northwestern College Online (Minnesota)

Northwestern University Online

Norwich University Online

Nova Southeastern University Online

Ohio Christian University Online

Ohio University Online

Oklahoma Wesleyan University Online

Oregon Institute of Technology Online

Oregon State University Online

Ottawa University Online

Our Lady of the Lake University Online

Pacifica Graduate Institute Online

Penn Foster College Online

Penn State University World Campus

Performance Training Institute Online

Philadelphia University Online

Pima Medical Institute Online

Post University Online

Quinnipiac University Online

Robert Morris University Online

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Online

Rosemont College Online

Rutgers University Online

Sacred Heart University Online

Saint Francis University Online

Saint Joseph’s College–New York Online

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine Online

Saint Leo University Online

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Saint Xavier University Online

Salem International University Online

San Diego Christian College Online

San Joaquin Valley College Online

Schiller International University Online

Sessions College for Professional Design Online

Seton Hall University Online

Sierra Nevada College Online

Southern New Hampshire University Online

Southwestern Christian University Online

Spring Arbor University Online

St. John’s University Online

St. Joseph’s College Online

Stetson University Online

Stevenson University Online

Stratford University Online

Sullivan University Online

Thomas Jefferson School of Law Online

Thomas University Online

Thunderbird School of Global Management

Tiffin University Online

Ultimate Medical Academy Online

UMass Online

Union Institute and University Online

University at Buffalo Online

University of Advancing Technology Online

University of California, Irvine Online

University of Central Missouri Online

University of Cincinnati Online

University of Colorado Denver Online

University of Florida Online

University of Kansas Online

University of Liverpool Online

University of Maryland – University College Online

University of Maryland, Baltimore County Online

University of Minnesota, Crookston Online

University of Missouri Online

University of Nebraska at Kearney Online

University of New England Online

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Online

University of North Dakota Online

University of Phoenix Online

University of Pittsburgh Online

University of Saint Mary Online

University of San Diego School of Business Administration Online

University of Scranton Online

University of Southern California (USC) Online

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University of the Rockies Online

University of the Southwest Online

University of Wisconsin-Superior Online

Upper Iowa University Online

Utica College Online

Vermont Law School Online

Virginia College Online

Walden University Online

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Washington State University Online

Western Governors University Online

Western International University Online

Western New England College Online

Western New Mexico University Online

Westwood College Online

Widener University Online

Wisconsin Lutheran College Online

Worcester Polytechnic Institute Online

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