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 InterContinental University



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



Ashford University



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



Carrington College California Online



Carrington College Online



Chamberlain College of Nursing



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



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



Dickinson State University Online



Drexel University Online



Duquesne University Online



Eastern Kentucky University Online



ECPI University Online



Erikson Institute Online



Everest College Phoenix 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



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



Rasmussen College 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



Strayer 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



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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