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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



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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