The 10 Best Nationally Accredited Online Colleges

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href=”http://www.accredited-online-college.org/accredited-online-degree-programs-the-advantages/”>Online education is the preferred method for non-traditional students to obtain a degree at their own pace, place, and convenience. Educational technology platforms have made the number of online colleges staggering. Unfortunately, diploma mills have also sprouted to lure students into illegitimate programs for money. Accreditation is a saving grace that protects students’ investment by ensuring online colleges implement good practices. Although it’s not as transfer-friendly, national accreditation is recognized by the CHEA for online, career-oriented education. Nationally accredited colleges are often more affordable, relaxed on admission criteria, and focused on practical learning rather than liberal arts.

If you’re seeking college courses online, the following are the 10 Best Nationally Accredited Online Colleges to consider. We began by filtering out the approximately 15 percent of U.S.-based institutions holding national accreditation. Recognized agencies included the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), and Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Next, we narrowed the online schools down based on awards and rankings to judge degree reputation. Nationally accredited universities had to offer at least five degrees wholly online. Other factors were affordability, self-paced learning, class size, student support, financial aid, and technology.

Here are the Top 10 Best Nationally Accredited Online Colleges:

1. Stratford University

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Established in 1976, Stratford University is a public benefit institution headquartered in Fairfax, Virginia, that’s providing online adult education to approximately 3,000 students from 30+ countries. According to Niche, Stratford is America’s 24th “Best Online College.” Through Moodle, online learners can pursue 21 degrees, including a Digital Forensics M.S., Accounting B.S., and Health Information Management B.S.

National Accreditation: Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)

Average Tuition: $370-$495 per credit

Learn more about Nationally Accredited Online College programs at Stratford University here.

2. Full Sail University

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Based in Winter Park, Florida, Full Sail University is a higher learning for-profit owned by TA Associates to educate over 16,100 students in nearly 50 on-site and online programs. Full Sail is ranked America’s 43rd “Best Online College” by Niche. Accelerated online programs include the Creative Writing MFA, Audio Production Bachelor’s, and Game Design Bachelor’s.

National Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

Average Tuition: $467-$850 per hour

Learn moer about Nationally Accredited Online College programs at Full Sail University here./a>

3. Columbia Southern University

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Attracting over 20,100 learners, Columbia Southern University is an affordable for-profit college started in 1993 by Robert G. Mayes in Orange Beach, Alabama. On Niche, CSU stands as America’s 97th “Best Online College.” Nationally accredited online education leads to 27 degrees like the A.S. Fire Science, B.S. Psychology, and M.S. Organizational Leadership.

National Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

Average Tuition: $198-$350 per credit

Learn more about Nationally Accredited Online College programs at Columbia Southern University here.

4. Independence University

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For 37 years, Independence University has been the online, for-profit branch of Stevens-Henager College with a physical headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. Graded A- for diversity, Independence was ranked America’s 103rd “Best Online College” on Niche. Students choose from 30 online programs, such as the Graphic Arts A.A.S., Respiratory Care B.S., and Information Systems M.S.

National Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

Average Tuition: $16,968 per year

Learn more about Nationally Accredited Online College programs at Indepence University here.

5. Luther Rice College & Seminary

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Founded in 1962 by Robert Gee Witty, Luther Rice College & Seminary is a private, Baptist institution serving 1,300 students in Metro Atlanta and online. G.I. Jobs ranked Luther Rice in the top 15 percent of “Military Friendly” schools. Distance learners select from 10 degrees, including a Biblical Counseling B.A., Apologetics M.A., and Doctor of Ministry.

National Accreditation: Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE)

Average Tuition: $255-$298 per hour

Learn more about Nationally Accredited Online College programs at Luther Rice College & Seminary here.

6. Everest University

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Operated by Zenith Education Group, Everest University is a Florida-based, nonprofit career school established in 1940 that’s offering campus and online education. On Niche, Everest was deemed America’s 271st “Best College with No Application Fee.” Asynchronous online courses lead to six degrees like the Paralegal Associate, Business Bachelor’s, and Computer Information Science Bachelor’s.

National Accreditation: Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)

Average Tuition: $14,940 per year

Learn more about Nationally Accredited Online College programs at Everest University here.

7. Aspen University

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Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Aspen University is a private, for-profit online college that’s grown since 1987 to serve over 3,600 non-traditional students. According to OnlineU, Aspen is the United States’ third most affordable distance school. National accreditation covers Aspen’s 52 online programs, such as the A.A.S. Early Childhood Education, B.S. Medical Management, and M.B.A. Project Management.

National Accreditation:Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

Average Tuition: $150-$375 per credit

Learn more about Nationally Accredited Online College programs at Aspen University here.

8. Grantham University

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Conferring 40+ online degrees, Grantham University is a nationally accredited for-profit career school based in Lenexa, Kansas, that’s educating over 17,400 students. Grantham has earned “Military Friendly” status from Victory Media and the APSCU Innovative Best Practice Award. Available program offerings include the Medical Coding A.A.S., Electronics Engineering B.S., and Business Intelligence M.S.

National Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

Average Tuition: $250-$325 per hour

Learn more about Nationally Accredited Online College programs at Grantham University here.

9. California Coast University

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Located in Santa Ana near Huntington Beach, California Coast University is a private, for-profit institution founded in 1973 that educates approximately 8,000 students. The SR Education Group’s research placed CCU as America’s #4 most affordable online school. Learners select from 27 online degrees like the A.S. Business Marketing, B.S. Criminal Justice, and Ed.D. Educational Administration.

National Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

Average Tuition: $150-$290 per unit

Learn more about Nationally Accredited Online College programs at California Coast University here.

10. Ashworth College

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Opened in 1987, Ashworth College is a nationally accredited Georgia-based, for-profit school offering self-paced, 100 percent online career education to over 50,000 learners. Ashworth has obtained BBB accreditation with an “A-” and been noted for America’s #1 cheapest associate programs on Degree Query. Over 50 degrees are conferred, such as the Retail Administration A.A.S., RN-BSN, and International Business MBA.

National Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

Average Tuition: $58-$385 per hour

Learn more about Nationally Accredited Online College programs at Ashworth College here.