Author Archives: rebecca genter

Where Can I Find The Easiest Accredited Online College Program?

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Searching out the easiest, accredited online college program sounds like a simple enough task, given the vast information resources available on the Internet. But that’s the challenge isn’t it? How do you know where to start or what to look for? What are the parameters you should set for the search? What’s most important to you as you search? And what should you filter out? Easy can mean many things. For most students, it’s about quick acceptance into a college program. Or it might mean finding schools that offer a fast track to a degree. But no matter what institution you choose, you need to maintain a balance between cost and academics. And above all, make sure the school is accredited.

An ideal choice for some students are “open enrollment” schools that offer open admissions. These schools accept any applicant who holds a high school diploma or GED, regardless of past grades. Open admissions colleges mean that students no longer have to stress over that burning question of “What if I don’t get in?” The admission process is unselective and non-competitive. However: Understand that most colleges with Open Admission policies are community colleges or colleges which grant Associate degrees.

The easiest schools to get into quite often are the best places to get an education. By that we mean even universities and vocational schools that accept students with 2.0-GPAs (or lower) can still produce graduates able to compete with high academic achievers in the workforce.

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The Search

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of sponsored websites that purport to guide high school students to the college that will most appropriately match up with their career aspirations. Watch out for those: While they aren’t necessarily deceptive, they are sponsored for a reason, and that is to drive prospective students to a particular school or program. A good place to start any research effort is the college navigator, a service of the National Center for Educational Statistics. Most researchers begin with NCES. Putting aside schools with open enrollment policies, some high school advisors will talk about applying to a “safety” school as a backup to your top pick. You can start your search to find that easy-to-get-into school by going to U.S.News and World Report rankings. Once you’re on that page set up your own search parameters after clicking on the word “acceptance.” If you don’t feel like making the search yourself for schools with the highest acceptance rates, U.S. News does the work for you here. Consider colleges out of your area, or even outside the country. Many schools in the USA actively seek to diversify their student populations with people from various geographical areas. That’s why out-of-state schools are sometimes easy universities to get into for students who may not necessarily have the best academic records but who are willing to move somewhere new. Meanwhile, if you opt to go outside the USA, some schools are not just easy to get into, but free. Find out more from Consumer Reports. One caveat: make sure at least some classes in your major are taught in English. Look for test-optional schools. Not all colleges use standardized tests in deciding whether to admit a new student. Some schools don’t even require students to submit test scores with their application. In fact, according to Fairtest.org , more than 900 4-year colleges have . For more advanced degrees, our site, The Top 20 Easy Accredited Online PhD Programs will lead you in the right direction as you continue your education.

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Other Research Tools

You’ll also want that easy-to-get-into school to be affordable. Look for options that have excellent reputations, good graduation rates, are well-established, have a quality faculty, ease of use, and offer flexibility.

Here are some trusted sites to visit:
Peterson’s College Search
College Raptor
College Stats
College Affordability Guide

Are There Easy, Accredited Online College Programs Where I Can Get My PhD?

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Waving a wand to make PhD magically appear after your name isn’t possible; however, online universities are making it easier to finish doctoral courses in a busy work schedule. Online PhD programs welcome advanced scholars into virtual classrooms to discuss their topics of expertise and share their individual research findings. A Doctor of Philosophy is the highest possible degree awarded in non-medical and law fields after extensive research in a dissertation phase. Each year, the United States grants around 52,750 PhDs to high-achieving experts who’ve satisfied the degree’s extensive commitment. As a payoff, graduates with PhD degrees reap an average lifetime earnings total of $3.25 million. If you’re on the PhD hunt, here are six easy, accredited online college programs delivering legitimate doctorates.

Regent University

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Originally called the Christian Broadcasting Network University in 1977, Regent University has expanded into a private, nonprofit doctoral-granting institution with SACS accreditation that’s educating over 3,900 post-grads online with brief residencies in Virginia Beach. Ranked America’s 66th “Best Online College” on Niche, Regent is recognized by the U.S. News for the 56th best online graduate education. Christian scholars easily access 20 PhD program options online, such as the PhD in Communication, PhD in Counseling & Psychological Studies, and PhD in Adult Education. Charging $650 per hour, the doctorates range from 51 to 60 credits with virtual mentoring throughout the dissertation research.

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Regent University here.

Walden University

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Educating over 48,900 working professionals from 155 countries, Walden University is a private, HLC-accredited for-profit corporation managed by Laureate Education Inc. that’s located in Minneapolis-St. Paul for predominantly online education. Deemed America’s 73rd “Best Online College” on Niche, Walden was ranked the 19th best U.S. college for adult learners by the Washington Monthly. Advanced students can research topics they’re passionate about with ease in 27 doctoral programs, including the PhD in Criminal Justice, PhD in Nursing, and PhD in Developmental Psychology. Currently charging $585 per quarter hour, the programs allow 55 transfer credits in the accelerated “Fast Track.”

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Walden University here.

Liberty University

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Belonging to the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), Liberty University is a private, nonprofit evangelical Christian institution with a $1.05 billion endowment, 12,500 online post-grad students, and R3 research status in Lynchburg, Virginia, and beyond. Applauded as America’s 12th “Best Online College” on Niche, Liberty houses the 174th best online graduate education according to the U.S. News. The SACS-accredited university awards 25 different doctorates like the PhD in Counselor Education, PhD in Theology & Apologetics, and PhD in Worship Studies online for $595 per credit. Through Blackboard, Liberty Flames can make their 45-70 credit degree easier with life experience credits.

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Liberty University here.

Hampton University

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Headquartered in Virginia’s Hampton Roads Metro along the Chesapeake Bay, Hampton University is a private, historically black doctoral-level MEAC institution that’s accredited by the SACS to educate over 4,600 Pirates on a $263.2 million endowment. Ranked America’s 8th “Best HBCU” on Niche, Hampton is deemed the 18th best college and 13th most veteran-friendly university in the South by the U.S. News. Offering professional life experience credits, HamptonU Online has four accelerated PhD options. Advanced scholars could easily finish the PhD in Business Administration, PhD in Educational Management, or PhD in Nursing online in as few as 36 months.

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Hampton University here.

Nova Southeastern University

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Regionally accredited by the SACS, Nova Southeastern University is a private, nonprofit RU/H doctoral-granting institution led by President George L. Hanbury II to educate nearly 20,100 post-grad Sharks online from its headquarters in Fort Lauderdale. Picked as America’s 91st “Most Diverse College” on Niche, NSU is acclaimed for the 84th best online graduate education by the U.S. News. Online courses are easily accessed 24/7 for 11 doctorates, including the PhD in Health Sciences, PhD in Conflict Analysis & Resolution, and Post-Professional PhD in Occupational Therapy. Doctoral candidates pay $895 per credit to study via Blackboard and attend The Summer Institute.
Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Nova Southeastern University here.

Keiser University

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Generating an economic impact of $3 billion yearly, Keiser University is a private, nonprofit SACS-accredited Level VI institution sold to Everglades College Inc. in 2010 that boasts 67,000 alumni from its 18 Florida campuses and Fort Lauderdale Online Division. Declared America’s 30th “Best Online College” on Niche, Keiser was placed 11th nationally by the Online Education Database (OEDb). Conveniently in English or Spanish, Keiser Seahawks select from 11 easy online PhD programs, including the PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, PhD in Business Administration, and PhD in General Psychology. Logging into Blackboard for doctoral courses coasting $2,097 each leads to dissertation research.
Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Keiser University here.

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Careful investigation is needed when searching for online colleges offering easy PhD programs. Search results can turn up diploma mills where gimmicks are used to sell PhD scams that won’t be respected. Therefore, always check the U.S. Department of Education accreditation database to ensure high-quality doctoral training. We also suggest looking for good job placement, low student-faculty ratio, tuition aid, dissertation support, and high-tech peer interaction along with ease of completion. Some honorable mentions to our above accredited online PhD programs include Northcentral University, Concordia University, East Carolina University, Troy University, Capella University, and University of Florida.

Related Links

The Top 20 Easy Accredited Online PhD Programs

How Do I Find Accredited Online Colleges With No Application Fee and Low Tuition?

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Accredited online colleges are highly convenient for busy non-traditional students to access lectures, assignments, and discussions anytime 24/7 from home or on-the-go. Online degrees are typically less expensive than their campus-based counterparts because paying for dorm housing, meal plans, transportation, and perhaps childcare isn’t necessary. Getting the best bang for your buck is still imperative to maximize your financial resources though. The College Board reports that U.S. undergraduate programs had an average yearly tuition of $9,650 at public and $33,480 at private nonprofit colleges in 2016. College graduates finish their diploma with a mean loan debt burden of $30,100. Reduce the sticker price for your online college experience with these helpful tactics.

Check Accreditation Status Online

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Searches for online colleges should always begin with verification of accreditation. This is a third-party certification process conducted on higher learning institutions to determine their credibility and competency for collegiate teaching. Regional accreditation from one of six agencies recognized by the CHEA is preferred for credit transfer, financial aid, and corporate reimbursement. National accreditation is also accepted for practical, career-oriented online training that doesn’t lead to licensure. The U.S. Department of Education offers a user-friendly accreditation database for searching by college or accrediting agency. All legitimate online colleges will be listed, which means you can avoid diploma mills where tuition leaves you with a degree dud.

Finding Free Online College Applications

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Applying to college can be a surprisingly costly endeavor for online students. Applications can range from $20 to $90 each, so waiving this expense can broaden your prospective college pool. Niche publishes an exhaustive ranking of the “Best Colleges with No Application Fee in America” each year. Many schools from this list, such as Case Western Reserve and Trinity University, have online programs. Take notice that many universities set the application fee at $0 for Internet-savvy students who file online applications. If a prospective school still charges, financially needy students can file the NACAC request for an application fee waiver.

Hunting for Low-Cost Online Bargains

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Landing a low tuition price isn’t about winning the lottery; it’s all about doing your homework. The Internet gives us plentiful resources for searching up-to-date tuition prices. For example, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) runs the College Navigator database to keep colleges transparent. Within the advanced search feature, you can insert your desired degree or major, check the box for distance education, and select the maximum tuition rate for your state. The College Choice website is another good college search option that allows you to easily find online schools where tuition is less than $10,000. Compare your results to the U.S. News online rankings to find top-performing colleges for cheap.

Building a Satisfying Financial Aid Package

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Even low tuition can be too difficult for some online scholars to afford. Therefore, it’s important to harvest several financial aid opportunities for covering your online degree. Accredited colleges will qualify for federal aid like the Pell and FSEOG Grants, so file the FAFSA form before June 30th. Look into state-based programs, such as the Minnesota Achieve Scholarship or Georgia HOPE Grant. Across the United States, private scholarships award over $7.4 billion annually for campus and online students. Online schools generally don’t accept Federal Work-Study (FWS) due to distance, but institutional awards are available. Reach out to your college financial aid office to calculate even cheaper tuition.

Now that we’ve covered the ways to find accredited online colleges with no application fee and low tuition, let’s apply them for some great examples. Brescia University is a Kentucky-based school with SACS accreditation that’s accepting free applicants for 14 online programs with affordable tuition at $425 per credit. As an HLC-accredited system in West Virginia, American Public University has a free application for 200+ online programs starting at only $270 per credit. Point Park University is a Philadelphia college accredited by the MSCHE with no application fee that awards 20 online degrees for $412 per credit.

Related Links:

Accredited Online Degree Programs – The Advantages

Why Are Colleges Dropping (Or Entirely Eliminating) Application Fees?
How Does Accreditation Affect Financial Aid?

Top 20 Easy Accredited Online PhD Programs

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The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is a terminal degree at the pinnacle of higher education that certifies students’ scholarly research expertise.  Earning a PhD is a difficult process but as we all know, some degree options are easier than others.  Working towards a PhD is an excellent idea for academically talented students with a love for research and innovation. An easy PhD sounds like an oxymoron because years of time-consuming dissertation work is required, but some online colleges are making doctorates less taxing.

Since a PhD is required for many university-level faculty, laboratory, behavioral health, and management positions, we researched the easiest PhD programs known to modern man. oing beyond the master’s degree for a doctorate can pay off with average lifetime earnings of $3.3 million. Demand for post-secondary professors is growing faster-than-average by 13 percent to spawn 177,000 openings nationwide too.

Top help you select the Best Accredited Online PhD Program to suit your individual needs, we’ve created the following list of the Top 20 Easy Accredited Online PhD Programs for advanced students. We searched for online universities that significantly reduce residency requirements, accelerate courses, allow credit transfers, and integrate dissertation colloquium. Each prospective school had to be approved by one of six regional accrediting bodies. At least one Doctor of Philosophy program had to be available 100 percent online. Preference was given to traditionally easier majors, such as education, humanities, and social sciences. We consulted with college rankings like the U.S. News and Forbes to survey online programs’ prestige. Affordability was judged from doctoral tuition prices published on each school’s website. Other important factors were cohort size, scheduling flexibility, faculty mentoring, student support, exam requirements, residency length, and ease of online technology.

Here are our selections for the Top 20 Easy Accredited Online PhD Programs:

1. University of Florida

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Endowed for $1.46 billion, the University of Florida is a regionally accredited public, sea-grant RU/VH institution educating over 16,200 post-graduates in Gainesville and online. The U.S. News recognized Florida as America’s 50th best university with the #1 top online graduate education. Gator Nation chooses from 11 online doctoral programs, including a PhD in Classical Civilization and PhD in Latin and Roman Studies, that conveniently offer distance test proctoring and dissertation research.

Tuition: $3,876 (in-state) or $16,580 (out-of-state) yearly

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programws at University of Florida here.

2. University of Missouri

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Belonging to the AAU, the University of Missouri is a public, land-grant RU/VH institution enlightening nearly 6,000 post-graduates in Columbia, Kansas City, St. Louis, and online. The U.S. News named Mizzou the 111th top university with the 61st best online graduate education. Doctoral candidates select from 10 primarily online programs, such as the PhD in Art Education and PhD in Architectural Studies. The PhD in Nursing has a simplified, fast-track route for MSN graduates too.

Tuition: $18,745-$49,046 total

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at the University of Missouri here.

3. Colorado State University

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Established under the Morrill Act in 1870, Colorado State University enrolls over 7,400 post-graduates in Fort Collins and online as a public, land-grant RU/VH institution. According to the U.S. News, CSU is America’s 129th best university with the 31st best online graduate engineering education. With 95 percent average retention, doctoral students pursue the Systems Engineering PhD or Higher Education Leadership PhD online. Online interactions allow candidates to work full-time during the 72-credit programs.

Tuition: $882-$1,035 per credit

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Colorado State University here.

4. University of North Dakota

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Based in the Flickertail State’s third-largest city, the University of North Dakota is a flagship public, space-grant RU/H institution educating over 2,800 post-graduate Fighting Hawks. The U.S. News crowned UND the 202nd best university with the 43rd best online graduate business education. With easy start dates anytime, there are four online doctorates, including the PhD in Higher Education and PhD in Nursing. The 90-credit programs are completed in three years with live Web classes.

Tuition: $410 per credit

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at the University of North Dakota here.

5. Nova Southeastern University

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Attracting over 24,100 Sharks who “Engage, Inspire, Achieve,” Nova Southeastern University is a SACS-accredited private, nonprofit institution teaching in Fort Lauderdale and online. The U.S. News applauds NSU as America’s 214th top college with the 84th best online graduate education. Mid-career practitioners can enroll in 10 online doctoral programs like the Conflict Analysis and Resolution PhD and Criminal Justice PhD. Online lectures and projects on Blackboard are supplemented with just two residential institutes.

Tuition: $635-$1,040 per hour

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Nova Southeastern University here.

6. Liberty University

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Regionally accredited by the SACS, Liberty University is a private, nonprofit Baptist institution enrolling around 5,800 post-graduates online and in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty is acclaimed for America’s 87th best online graduate nursing and 92nd top online graduate business education on the USNWR. There are 25 online doctoral programs available, including a PhD in Counselor Education and PhD in Theology & Apologetics. Graduate prior learning assessment credits can easily accelerate study for experienced scholars.

Tuition: $595 (full-time) or $650 (part-time) per hour

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Liberty University here.

7. Johnson University

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Affiliated with the Restoration Movement, Johnson University is a private, nonprofit Christian institution enrolling around 1,000 co-eds near Knoxville, Tennessee, and conveniently online. Forbes ranked Johnson 56th among the United States’ most financially fit private values. Online students could obtain the PhD in Leadership Studies with four concentrations like Educational Leadership or Missional Leadership. Grounded in the Gospel, the flexibly-designed, 60-credit program involves a candidacy paper and dissertation without comprehensive exams.

Tuition: $525 per credit or $31,500 total

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Johnson University here.

8. Grand Canyon University

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Started by the Arizona Southern Baptists in 1949, Grand Canyon University is a private, for-profit research institution matriculating over 60,700 online Antelopes. Graded A for diversity, GCU is ranked America’s 20th best online college with 65th best college with no application fee on Niche. The College of Doctoral Studies houses 14 online options, including a PhD in General Psychology and EdD in Organizational Leadership, with an integrated dissertation process.

Tuition: $640 per credit ($400 for active duty military)

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Grand Canyon University here.

9. Keiser University

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Within the ICUF, Keiser University stands as a private, nonprofit teaching institution with nearly 17,000 Seahawks studying from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach and online. The U.S. News crowned Keiser the South’s 23rd top college and 11th best value school. Holding SACS accreditation, the E-College offers 11 online doctoral programs, such as the Industrial and Organizational Psychology PhD and Instructional Design PhD. There’s also an Administracíon de Empresas DBA for Spanish speakers to easily comprehend.

Tuition: $2,097-$2,796 per course

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Keiser University here.

10. Southern New Hampshire University

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Founded by Harry A.B. Shapiro in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit NEASC-accredited institution serving over 60,000 students online from Manchester. SNHU is ranked the North’s 101st best college and most innovative school by the U.S. News. Doctoral candidates can choose from the International Business PhD or Educational Leadership EdD program. Flexible, self-tailored curriculum easily guides online students to the doctoral dissertation colloquium with 24/7 mentoring access.

Tuition: $1,570 per credit

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Southern New Hampshire University here.

11. Walden University

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Owned by Laureate Education Inc., Walden University is a public benefit, for-profit institution in Minneapolis that’s attracting over 49,000 online students from 29 global countries. Washington Monthly honored Walden as the 19th best college for adult learners nationally. With an average age of 39, doctoral candidates pursue Walden’s 27 HLC-accredited programs, including the PhD in Management and PhD in Health Promotion. Up to 53 credits can transfer to shorten the standard 66-month timeline.

Tuition: $590 per quarter hour

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Walden University here.

12. University of Maryland University College

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Given the CCME Institution Award, the University of Maryland University College is one of the largest public, state-related online learning providers with more than 17,400 post-graduates. Based in Adelphi, UMUC was named third among Forbes’ great colleges for adults returning to school. Online doctoral candidates benefit from 24/7 flexibility, short campus residencies, and virtual dissertation support. Offerings include a 48-credit PhD in Management and PhD Community College Policy and Administration.

Tuition: $52,176 total

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at the University of Maryland University College here.

13. Faulkner University

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Since 1942, Faulkner University has been a private, nonprofit institution affiliated with the Churches of Christ to provide SACS-accredited education to over 3,500 in Montgomery, Alabama, and now online. Niche ranked Faulkner as America’s 77th most conservative college and 309th best Christian university. Adult learners choose from two accelerated, affordable doctoral programs, the PhD in Biblical Studies and PhD in Humanities. The 54-credit degrees involve three independent tutorials, seven courses, and two dissertation semesters.

Tuition: $600 per hour

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Faulkner University here.

14. Trident University International

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Led by CEO Travis Allen, Trident University International is a WASC-accredited private, nonprofit online education provider in Cypress, California, with over 6,100 students. Included in Victory Media’s “Best for Vets” five times, Trident is deemed America’s 82nd best online university on Niche. Exceptional research mentoring and flexible webinars accompany Trident’s four online doctoral programs. Consider pursuing the 56-credit PhD in Business Administration or PhD in Health Sciences degrees.

Tuition: $3,900 per course ($3,200 for active military)

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Trident University International here.

15. Capella University

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With enrollment surpassing 39,000 online, Capella University is a private, for-profit distance learning provider based in Minneapolis since 1993. Noted for winning the CHEA Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice, Capella is ranked America’s seventh best online school on Niche. Holding HLC-NCA accreditation, Capella offers 36 online PhD programs, including the PhD in Human Services and PhD in Information Technology. The competency-based curricula can culminate in a shorter, easier doctoral capstone instead of a dissertation.

Tuition: $2,800-$5,700 per quarter

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Capella University here.

16. Concordia University Chicago

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Headquartered in River Forest, Illinois, Concordia University Chicago is a private, nonprofit liberal arts institution of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod with 3,600 post-graduates. Niche lauded CUC as America’s 254th best Christian college 231st best college with no application fee. Master’s degree holders pick from 14 online doctoral programs, such as the PhD in Gerontology and PhD in Sports Leadership. Without on-site requirements, the quick, eight-week doctoral courses lead to an independent dissertation.

Tuition: $710 per credit hour

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Concordia University Chicago here.

17. University of Phoenix

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Established in 1976, the University of Phoenix is a for-profit, open-enrollment institution owned by Apollo Education Group Inc. that’s educating over 142,500 online scholars. Graded B for value on Niche, UOPX was ranked 17th nationally for online teaching by the Best College Reviews. The School of Advanced Studies produces scholar-practitioner-leaders online with nine doctoral programs, such as the EdD in Educational Technology or PhD in Organizational Leadership, and brief three-day residencies.

Tuition: $810 per credit ($175 resource fee)

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at the University of Phoenix here.

18. Northcentral University

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Owned by Falcon Investments LLC, Northcenral University is a virtual private, for-profit institution based in San Diego, California, with over 10,000 scholars. Placed in the nation’s top 5 percent on College Factual, NCU is ranked 29th on the OEDB. Boasting 52 weekly starts annually, Northcentral offers 10 online doctoral programs like the PhD in Business Administration and PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy. The WASC-accredited, one-to-one degrees range from 60 to 105 credits without a pesky entrance exam.

Tuition: $2,733-$3,591 per course

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at Northcentral University here.

19. Chicago School of Professional Psychology

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The Chicago School of Professional Psychology enrolls over 4,500 post-graduates as a private, nonprofit behavioral sciences institution with courses from Chicago to Los Angeles and online. Bestowed the NCSPP Advocacy Award, the Chicago School was included in Super Scholar’s 25 best online colleges. Maintaining WASC and APA accreditation, CSPP’s seven online doctoral programs allow easy, 24/7 access through Canvas. Open pathways exist for the Applied Behavior Analysis PhD, Business Psychology PhD, and more.

Tuition: $1,350 per hour

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology here.

20. University of the Rockies

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Regionally accredited by the HLC-NCA, the University of the Rockies is a private, for-profit member of Bridgepoint Education that’s educating over 1,300 in Denver and online. Specializing in social sciences, UoR was ranked among Best Value Schools’ top 30 online universities. Five online doctoral options exist, including a PhD in Human Services and PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership. Online courses have an accelerated, six-week format for easily completing the 62-credit degrees fast.

Tuition: $1,082 per credit ($950 technology fee)

Learn more about Accredited Online PhD Programs at the University of the Rockies here.

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.

Top 12 Accredited Online Colleges With Low Tuition

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Catching the online education wave can provide tremendous benefits. Studying online allows you to matriculate at top-notch colleges with diverse majors across the United States. Courses are easily accessible 24/7 through interactive online platforms while you satisfy your other work or life commitments. Online learning will also communicate to employers that you’re self-motivated and organized with requisite tech skills. Perhaps that’s why the Online Learning Consortium found that online enrollment increased by 3.9 percent to 5.82 million students in 2015. Despite popular belief, online colleges aren’t always cheaper than their traditional counterparts though. Careful degree shopping is necessary to maximize your schooling budget for good Return On Investment.

Therefore, we’ve outlined the Top 12 Accredited Online Colleges With Low Tuition below.  We used the NCES College Navigator database to narrow down four-year distance learning options with average undergraduate costs less than $10,000. Any online colleges charging considerably more for out-of-state students were nixed. We also eliminated all for-profit colleges that didn’t hold one of the six regional accreditations. Extra consideration was given for student-faculty ratio, freshman retention, published rankings, graduation rate, reputation with employers, financial aid, and online technology. Quality online colleges offering 10+ degrees were then arranged from least expensive to slightly more.

Without further introduction, here are our selections for the Top 12 Accredited Online Colleges With Low Tuition:

1. Great Basin College

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Regionally accredited by the NWCCU, Great Basin College is a public, state-funded member of the Nevada System of Higher Education serving over 3,400 students from its rural campus in Elko and beyond. Ranked America’s 116th “Best Online College” on Niche, GBC was named the #1 most affordable option by SR Education Group. For only $2,805 per year, students select from 13 associate, seven bachelor’s, and 10 Certificate of Achievement programs. Fully online offerings include the AAS in Early Childhood Education, AA in Graphic Communications, BAS in Land Surveying, and RN-BS in Nursing.

Average Tuition: $2,805

Learn more about the Great Basin College’s Accredited Online Programs With Low Tuition here.

2. Brigham Young University – Idaho

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Operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young University-Idaho is a private, nonprofit institution adhering to an Honor Code for educating over 17,500 in Rexburg, Island Park, Victor, and online. Crowned the West’s 10th best university by the U.S. News, BYU-Idaho was deemed the #2 “Most Conservative College” nationally on Niche. Affordable online learning leads to six associate, 11 bachelor’s, and 13 certificate programs. Consider earning the AAS in Computer Programming, AAS in Family History Research, BS in Public Health, or BS in Business Management for Entrepreneurship.

Average Tuition: $3,830

Learn more about Brigham Young University – Idaho’s Accredited Online Programs With Low Tuition here.

3. University of Texas at Permian Basin

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Established in 1973 by oil industrialist Bill Noël, the University of Texas at Permian Basin is a public, fast-growing research institution enrolling around 6,050 Falcons on its Odessa campus and online from anywhere. According to the U.S. News, UTPB is the West’s 93rd best university and 37th top public school with the 92nd best online bachelor’s nationwide. The University of Texas Online Consortium (UTOC) presently offers 19 cheap degrees with accelerated, eight-week formats. Online students could pursue the Psychology B.A., Criminal Justice B.S., Special Education M.A., or Kinesiology M.S.

Average Tuition: $5,250

Learn more about the University of Texas at Permian Basin’s Accredited Online Programs With Low Tuition here.

4. Western Governors University

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Offering online competency-based learning for over 76,200 students, Western Governors University is a private, nonprofit NWCCU-accredited institution headquartered in Salt Lake City with six state-affiliated schools. Deemed America’s 33rd “Best Online College” on Niche, WGU earned the Sloan Consortium’s prized Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education. Low tuition and a 100 percent admission rate helps students pursue 58 degrees across four online colleges. Excellent options include the B.S. Marketing Management, B.S. Software Development, M.A. Teaching Science, and M.S. Nursing Education.

Average Tuition: $6,070

Learn more about Western Governors University’s Accredited Online Programs With Low Tuition here.

5. Thomas Edison State University

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With the motto “Learning Throughout Life,” Thomas Edison State University is one of New Jersey’s 11 public, state-funded teaching institutions focused on educating over 18,500 adults on-site in Trenton and online via Course Access. Graded “A” for value on Niche, TESU was selected for the 2011 NUTN Distance Education Innovation Award. Busy working professionals can choose from 55 online degrees holding MSCHE accreditation. Some noteworthy programs are the AAS in Nuclear Engineering Technology, BS in Homeland Security, MS in Hospitality Management, and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP).

Average Tuition: $6,135

Learn more about Thomas Edison State University’s Accredited Online Programs With Low Tuition here.

6. Chadron State College

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Positioned in one of Sports Afield magazine’s “Top 50 Outdoor Sports Towns,” Chadron State College is a public, co-educational higher learning institution founded in 1911 that’s educating over 3,000 face-to-face and online. Selected as Nebraska’s fifth top public university on Niche, CSC was ranked #5 nationally by the Guide to Online Schools. With an above-average retention rate of 67 percent, Chadron State has 20 affordable online degrees. Log-in to receive the B.S. in Geoscience, B.A. in Business Administration, B.A. in Family and Consumer Sciences, or Master of Organizational Management.

Average Tuition: $6,220

Learn more about Chadron State College’s Accredited Online Programs With Low Tuition here.

7. Minot State University

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Classified as a North Dakota’s third-largest public, co-educational Master’s I institution, Minot State University enrolls more than 3,400 Beavers with a 12:1 student-faculty ratio from “The Valley” and online. Chosen as the #38 “Best Online College in America” on Niche, Minot State is recognized by the U.S. News for the 191st best online bachelor’s and 78th best online graduate business degrees. Fully HLC-NCA accredited, MSU Online has 16 affordable programs on Blackboard. Online students could earn the B.S. in International Business, A.S. in Human Services, M.S. in Special Education, or M.S. in Information Systems.

Average Tuition: $6,390

Learn more about Minot State University’s Accredited Online Programs With Low Tuition here.

8. American Public University

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Boasting open-enrollment of over 98,400 Golden Eagles, American Public University is an accredited private, for-profit distance institution based in Charles Town, West Virginia, with six academic schools. Lauded for the nation’s 58th best online bachelor’s degrees by the U.S. News, APU was ranked the Southeast’s “Best Bang for the Buck” in Washington Monthly magazine. Nearly half of APU’s students are military members using G.I. Bill benefits and low tuition to finish 100+ academic programs. Consider the A.A. Military History, B.A. Reverse Logistics Management, B.S. Electric Engineering, M.S. Space Studies, and more.

Average Tuition: $6,880

Learn more about American Public University’s Accredited Online Programs With Low Tuition here.

9. Amridge University

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Following the Church of Christ’s tradition, Amridge University is a SACS-accredited private, nonprofit Christian institution attracting around 750 students to its Montgomery campus off Interstate 85 and online division. Distinguished as Alabama’s #2 most affordable college by BVS, Amridge was graded “B” for value on Niche. Amridge’s four colleges confer 35 online programs via Blackboard with a 10:1 student-faculty ratio. Available offerings include the Associate of Arts in Web Development, Bachelor of Science in Management, Master of Arts in Old Testament Studies, and Doctor of Ministry in Family Therapy.

Average Tuition: $6,900

Learn more about Amridge University’s Accredited Online Programs With Low Tuition here.

10. West Texas A&M University

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Endowed for $71.79 million, West Texas A&M University is a public, co-educational research institution tracing back to 1910 that’s educating around 9,400 Buffs from the Amarillo Metro and beyond. Graded B+ for diversity on Niche, WTAMU is declared the West’s 91st best college and 35th top public university with the 11th best online bachelor’s programs nationwide by the U.S. News. With SACS accreditation, the Distance Education division confers 19 online and hybrid programs via the SREB Electronic Campus. Low tuition accompanies the BBA in Economics, B.A. in Criminal Justice, Healthcare MBA, and M.S. in Finance online.

Average Tuition: $7,041

Learn more about West Texas A&M University’s Accredited Online Programs With Low Tuition here.

11. Bellevue University

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Based in Nebraska’s Sarpy County with satellites in West Omaha and online, Bellevue University is a private, nonprofit teaching institution established in 1966 that’s endowed for $28 million to educate over 10,300 Bruins. Given Military Friendly Gold Status by Victory Media, Bellevue is acclaimed for America’s 72nd best online bachelor’s and 141st top online MBA programs by the U.S. News. The HLC-NCA accredited university offers small, low-cost courses for 77 online degrees. Cohorts could attain the Digital Marketing B.S., IT Operations Management B.S., Clinical Counseling M.S., and Organizational Performance M.S.

Average Tuition: $7,050

Learn more about Bellevue University’s Accredited Online Programs With Low Tuition here.

12. University of Maine at Fort Kent

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Located just six minutes from Clair, New Brunswick, the University of Maine at Fort Kent is a public, co-educational liberal arts border institution teaching over 1,500 students in French and English. Named the 468th “Best College that Accepts the Common App in America” on Niche, UMFK is ranked the North’s 13th top public school with the 120th best online undergraduate majors nationally by the U.S. News. Through Blackboard, enrolled Bengal tigers can pursue 19 NEASC-accredited degrees online. Consider the A.A. Conservation Law Enforcement, A.S. Allied Health, B.S. Healthcare Administration, or B.S. Rural Public Safety Administration.

Average Tuition: $7,575

Learn more about the University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Accredited Online Programs With Low Tuition here.

Why Are Colleges Dropping (or Entirely Eliminating) Application Fees?

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For decades, part of the college application process has been paying a non-refundable fee. The fee is designed to cover the costs of processing and reviewing candidates’ application materials. According to the U.S. News, the average application fee is $41. Yet application fees can range from $20 up to $90 at prestigious universities like Stanford. College-bound hopefuls can spend hundreds to thousands in application fees applying to multiple schools where acceptance isn’t guaranteed. As worries over America’s $1.3 trillion student loan debt mount, more colleges are making changes for a fee-free application policy. In this article, we’ll review why post-secondary schools are dropping or entirely eliminating application fees and how you can benefit.

Expanding Equal Access to College Admission

Cutting application fees is a significant loss of revenue, but many university officials across the United States view the policy shift as a favorable investment. Reducing or eliminating these fees can help expand the number of qualified students applying. That’s because a significant number of high-achieving high school seniors from poor families have been discouraged by fees. One survey from the Low Income Housing Authority found that up to 25 percent of low-income students didn’t apply for higher education despite good grades. Dropping the application fee helps eradicate monetary barriers and prioritize equality in college admission. Schools who forgo fees can attract more low-income, first-generation, and immigrant students who will benefit from financial aid and contribute to the academic community.

Excellent Colleges Removing the Application Fee

Several institutions have made national news by saving students the added stress of application fees. In 2014, the University of Maine at Farmington became the system’s first campus to completely eradicate its $40 fee. Reed College, a selective liberal arts school, joined the movement by cutting its $50 application fee. Since the 2013 decision, Reed announced that received applications have increased by a whopping 40 percent. In September 2016, Bowdoin College followed the pattern by automatically eliminating application fees for students applying for need-based aid. Mayor Bill de Blasio also abolished the $65 CUNY application fee for New York City students receiving reduce-priced lunch. Other top-notch colleges without an undergrad application fee include:

• Carleton College: Northfield, MN
• Colby College: Waterville, ME
• Grinnell College: Grinnell, IA
• Smith College: Northampton, MA
• Tulane University: New Orleans, LA
• Case Western Reserve University: Cleveland, OH
• Trinity University: San Antonio, TX
• Illinois Wesleyan University: Bloomington, IL
• Marquette University: Milwaukee, WI
• Augustana University: Sioux Falls, SD
• Florida Institute of Technology: Melbourne, FL

Other Ways to Apply to College for Free

Are your prospective school favorites still charging an application fee? Don’t sweat it because there are potential loopholes. Web-savvy students who apply online rather than by mail can eliminate incurred fees at schools like Millikin University. Having connections could help cut fees. For instance, Western New England University gives free applications to parents and grandparents of alumni. Another option is to physically travel to the college’s campus. At McDaniel College, official campus visits leave attendees with the prize of a free application. Financially needy students can also file waiver requests through the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC). If you’ve already taken the SAT exam with a fee waiver, you automatically qualify!

Everyone knows that college tuition comes with a hefty price tag. According to the College Board, the average published undergraduate tuition is $9,650 at public and $33,480 at private four-year institutions annually. Tuition rose approximately 2.4 percent from 2015 to 2016. But costs can begin accruing well before students reach the college classroom. Application fees are cumbersome expenses that are commonly charged to each potential new freshman or transfer. Fortunately, desire to improve equal access for students from diverse, low-income backgrounds is giving colleges momentum to make applications more affordable.

Related Link

The Top 15 Accredited Online Colleges Without An Application Fee

Engineering Degree Basics

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Engineering is a broad STEM discipline that’s concerned with applying scientific theories to the design and formation of technical solutions. According to PayScale, 11 of the 15 highest-paying bachelor’s degrees belong to the engineering field for strong ROI. Engineering is a very diverse major with over 40 sub-specialties to choose from. Whether you’re starting a bachelor’s or finishing a doctorate, the following are popular types of engineering degrees.

Mechanical Engineering – From airplanes and automobiles to generators, mechanical engineering degrees build the skills to manufacture and test complex machinery.

Electrical Engineering – As the field’s largest sub-specialty, electrical engineering degrees teach students to design wiring systems and circuits that transmit power.

Civil Engineering – Degrees in civil engineering prepare engineers to develop construction projects for sound roads, buildings, dams, and other vital infrastructure.

Computer Engineering – In today’s digital world, computer engineering degrees are important for producing engineers who design and develop high-tech hardware or software.

Petroleum Engineering – Studying petroleum engineering will equip graduates to design innovative strategies for extracting oil and gas from underground wells for energy.

Biomedical Engineering – Projecting rapid growth by 23 percent, biomedical engineering trains students to design medical innovations that improve patient quality of life.

Engineering Management – At the master’s level, engineering management degrees instill the leadership traits needed to plan and coordinate projects with technical personnel.

These are just a few of the engineering degree types available at ABET-accredited schools across the United States. Consider taking this quiz to determine what type of engineer you should become.

Top 15 Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs

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Accredited online colleges provide the perfect opportunity for non-traditional accounting degree students to learn about the “language of business” from home or the office. Online accounting degrees are typically granted at the associate, bachelor’s, or master’s level for in-depth insights on how organizations communicate their finances. Accounting majors benefit from gaining highly marketable analytical and problem-solving skills for virtually any industry. The U.S. News and World Report recognizes accounting as America’s #3 best business job with above-average, 10-year growth projected at 11 percent. Accountants bring home a healthy average yearly salary of $75,280. Plus, CPAs who fulfill the 150-hour education requirement can unlock a $1 million lifetime advantage.

Separating the good and bad online schools can be a chore. Therefore, we’ve handled the research by highlighting the Top 15 Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs for you. We began by surveying universities holding distinguished accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The agency’s approval represents quality B-schools placed among the world’s top 5 percent. Next, we consulted with the U.S. News and World Report rankings to find colleges excelling in online business education. Preference was given to online universities offering undergraduate and graduate accounting degrees. Other factors included were class size, financial aid, job placement, student services, technology, flexibility, and CPA exam pass rates.

1. Pennsylvania State University

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Established in 1855 as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania, Penn State is a preeminent public, research-intensive institution endowed for $3.64 billion to operate 19 Commonwealth locations and a World Campus. Boasting the world’s largest alumni association with 177,000 members, PSU is ranked the 50th Best National University and 14th Top Public School by the U.S. News and World Report. The AACSB-accredited Smeal College of Business is further recognized for America’s #1 best online bachelor’s and #7 top online graduate business degrees. In 2012, Penn State earned the Shirley Davis Award for Excellence in Synchronous Distance Learning and Sloan Consortium Online Education Award too.

Online Penn State students can select from three accounting programs to find business success. The 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Accounting is available online to develop basic accountancy skills for certifications like Certified Internal Auditor (CIA). Those working towards the CPA credential can fulfill the 150-hour requirement with the online Master of Professional Accounting. This 30-credit option furthers financial reporting and statement analysis skills before a capstone in forensic accounting. The 48-credit Master of Business Administration can be completed online with one of seven concentrations, including Accounting. MBA students solely need to complete one five-day orientation residency in University Park.

Online Tuition: $542 (bachelor’s) or $930 (master’s) per credit

Learn more about Pennsylvania State University’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

2. Syracuse University

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With enrollment surpassing 21,200 students, Syracuse University is an elite private, non-sectarian RU/VH research institution occupying a 683-acre physical campus in Central New York and online extension. Since its founding in 1870, Syracuse has grown a $1.16 million endowment to become placed #13 among the Princeton Review’s “Top Schools of Entrepreneurship.” According to the U.S. News and World Report, SU is the 60th Best University and 44th Top Value Nationally. Forbes magazine also recognized Syracuse University for America’s 200th Most Grateful Graduates. Holding AACSB accreditation, the Martin J. Whitman School of Management offers America’s 73rd Best Online Graduate Business Degrees.

Linked with Big Four firms like Deloitte and KPMG, Syracuse University’s online Master of Science in Professional Accounting offers top-notch advancement training. This online degree follows three different tracks based on background. The Accelerated Accounting Schedule is ideal for bachelor’s in accounting graduates to graduate in 12 months. The Professional Accounting Schedule allows working professionals to take two courses per term over 15 months. Finally, the Foundational Accounting Schedule helps non-accounting majors catch up on previous coursework for two or more years. Syracuse also provides an Online MBA with six specializations, including Accounting. Each online option satisfies the 150-hour requirement for Certified Public Accountants.

Online Tuition: $1,443 per credit

Learn more about Syracuse University’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

3. University of Connecticut

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Belonging to New England’s Knowledge Corridor, the University of Connecticut is a flagship public, land-grant RU/VH research institution located on 4,400 sprawling acres in Storrs. In addition to its over 26,200 residential students, UConn educates another 5,000+ at satellites in Stamford, Groton, Hartford, and online. The U.S. News and World Report ranked UConn as America’s 60th Best National University and 36th Best School for Veterans. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named the “Public Ivy” the nation’s 28th Top Value. Attaining AACSB accreditation, the School of Business was distinguished by Financial Times for the 46th Best Global MBA. The University of Connecticut also has the second Best Online Graduate Business Degrees nationally.

Through the eCamps, UConn students could pursue the Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program online. Its student-driven, asynchronous courses have been recognized by the USDLA for Best Practices in Online Learning. Online learners develop the critical skills for public, private, and nonprofit accounting careers with CPA designation. Full-time faculty members guide students through designing their own accounting degree based on interests. Courses extend from tax code and auditing to forensic accounting and corporate finance. The 30-credit program requires 10 courses and one four-day residency in Storrs. Students could also finish the Accounting Certificate Program (ACP) online.

Online Tuition: $825 per credit ($2,475 per course)

Learn more about the University of Connecticut’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

4. University of Massachusetts – Amherst

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Endowed for $307 million, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is a flagship public, land-grant research institution in the Five College Consortium that’s enrolling approximately 29,200 Minutemen and women. According to MSN, Amherst’s beautiful 1,463-acre suburban campus in located within the #1 U.S. college town, but extended learning is accessible anywhere. The U.S. News and World Report ranked UMass Amherst as the 74th Best National University and 27th Top Public College. With a 76 percent graduation rate, UMass Amherst claims the 211st spot in Money magazine’s value-based rankings. The AACSB-accredited Isenberg School of Management also stands out for the 12th Best Online MBA and 68th Best Online Graduate Business programs.

Undergraduates studying at the University of Massachusetts Amherst could pick the online Bachelor of Business Administration with an Accounting Major. Requiring no campus trips, this 120-credit program requires transferring at least 27 accredited credits. Isenberg accounting courses utilize an innovative online platform to study taxation, auditing, business law, financial statement analysis, and more. For graduates, there’s a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) available online to appease CPA requirements. Flexible start dates in spring, summer, and fall allow completing the 30-credit curriculum in as little as eight months. Online courses include an Excel boot camp and business decision-making capstone.

Online Tuition: $525 (bachelor’s) or $750 (master’s) per credit

Learn more about the University of Masschusetts – Amherst’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

5. Auburn University

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Devoted to the “Advancement of Science and Arts,” Auburn University is Alabama’s third largest public, polytechnic space-grant research institution with enrollment exceeding 27,200 students. In addition to Auburn Online, there’s a spacious 1,843-acre urban campus just 36 miles from Columbus, Georgia. The U.S. News and World Report selected Auburn as America’s 99th Best National University and 43th Top Public School. According to the Princeton Review, Auburn University ranks #4 for “Happiest Students.” The AACSB-accredited Raymond J. Harbert College of Business offers America’s seventh Best Online Graduate Business Programs. European CEO magazine also recognized Auburn for the “Best Executive Remote Learning Program in North America.”

Several high-quality choices exist for online learners who become Tigers. First, the Bachelor of Science in Accountancy is structured for second-degree students who are changing career paths. The five-semester undergraduate program features video-streaming lectures for completing 30 accounting credits online. After a bachelor’s degree, consider Auburn’s Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program. This rigorous, online program involves taking two classes per term over two years while working full-time. Aspiring CPAs only need to complete three days of on-campus residency. Non-business undergraduates can fulfill all prerequisites online. It’s possible to pursue the Online Graduate Certificate in Accounting without GMAT scores too.

Online Tuition: $775 (bachelor’s) or $850 (master’s) per credit

Learn more about Auburn University’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

6. Colorado State University

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Featuring a main 586-acre urban campus in Fort Collins with extensions in Pueblo and Global, Colorado State University is a system of public, state-funded research institutions tracing back to 1870 as Colorado Agricultural College. Enrolling over 32,200 students in 160+ academic areas, CSU has ranked #1 on the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index. The U.S. News and World Report crowned Colorado State the 129th Best University and 61st Top Public College nationwide. According to Sierra magazine, CSU is the 11th “coolest” school for environmental sustainability. With AACSB accreditation, the College of Business confers the 50th Top Online MBA and 37th Best Online Graduate Business Degrees in America.

Colorado State University’s Global Campus provides two 100 percent online accredited accounting degrees. At the undergraduate level, the Bachelor of Science in Accounting program offers self-paced training for assembling and analyzing financial reports. Students can select from 18 specializations, such as Criminal Forensics or Information Technology Management, with five upper-division courses. Online graduate students transform into Certified Public Accountants by pursing CSU’s Master of Professional Accounting. This 30-credit online program can be completed in 12 months, including the Wiley CPAexcel Video Gold Medal Course. Online learning culminates with a capstone project to test leadership, planning, and teamwork skills.

Online Tuition: $350 (bachelor’s) or $500 (master’s) per credit

Learn more about Colorado State University’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

7. Washington State University

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Opened in 1890 under the Federal Morrill Act signed by President Lincoln, Washington State University is a public, land-grant research institution endowed for $868 million to educate over 29,600 students. Along with the Global Campus opened in 2012, WSU occupies a 640-acre rural campus in Pullman with extensions in Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver. The Carnegie “Community Engaged” university is ranked the 143rd Best Overall and 71st Top Public College by the U.S. News and World Report. Washington Monthly also placed WSU as the 32nd Best University for “contribution to the public good.” The Carson College of Business maintains AACSB approval for America’s 34th Top Online Bachelor’s and 22nd Best Graduate Master’s Programs.

Online students attending Washington State University’s Global Campus can prepare for the in-demand financial services sector through the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with an Accounting Concentration. This flexible, online program is accelerated with seven-week business courses. Accounting majors take courses in auditing, taxation, statistics, business ethics, macroeconomics, cost accounting, and more. Emphasis is placed on technological innovation to produce 21st century accounting leaders. The 120-credit program also has an international experience requirement for mastering a foreign language or studying abroad. For CPA licensure, WSU students can continue into the “Military Friendly” Online MBA.

Online Tuition: $492 (bachelor’s) or $587 (master’s) per credit

Learn more about Washington State University’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

8. University of Alabama – Birmingham

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Maintaining SACS and AACSB accreditation, the University of Alabama Birmingham is a public, doctoral-granting research institution that’s attracted over 18,500 students from 110 countries. Located on a 275-acre urban campus in Alabama’s most populous city within the Appalachian foothills, UAB holds a $424 million endowment for on-site and online education. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Birmingham is the country’s 159th Best Overall University and 83rd Top Public College. Forbes magazine lauded UAB as the 194th Top Research Producer nationwide with the Southeast’s fourth highest NIH funding. The Collat School of Business offers students the 51st Best Online Graduate Business Programs in the United States.

University of Alabama Birmingham’s eLearning Division capitalizes on new technology to provide engaging, collaborative online courses. One degree available 100 percent online is the Bachelor of Science in Accounting. Over four years full-time or longer part-time, online undergraduates learn from award-winning faculty to earn the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation. Electives can be tailored for interests in auditing, forensic accounting, taxation, or governmental accounting. Graduate students can climb the career ladder with tangible skills gained in the Online Master of Accounting (MAc) program. Seasoned faculty who consult for Fortune 500 companies deliver the 30-credit curriculum for young CPAs.

Online Tuition: $544 (bachelor’s) or $626 (master’s) per credit

Learn more about the University of Alabama – Birmingham’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

9. St. John’s University

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Named after Saint John the Baptist in 1870, St. John’s University is a private, co-educational research institution grounded in Catholic and Vincentian values to enlighten the spirit of over 21,200 students. From its 105-acre urban campus off Utopia Parkway in the Queens borough of New York City, SJU operates extensions from Manhattan to Italy and online. Students joining the Red Storm are entering America’s 164th Best National University according to the U.S. News and World Report. Distinguished in BusinessInsider.com’s “Most Underrated Colleges,” St. John’s ranks 137th Nationally for mid-career salary at $88,900 on PayScale. The AACSB-accredited Peter J. Tobin College of Business designed the 43rd Best Online Master’s Business Degrees too.

St. John’s University may not grant an undergraduate accounting major online, but there are two top-notch graduate options. Ranging from 30 to 33 credits, the Online Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) prepares students for taking the Uniform CPA exam in New York. Wide-ranging concentrations are available, including Enterprise Risk Management, Internal Auditing, Controllership, Fraud Examination, and Assurance. Online learning culminates with the capstone project and required one-hour workshop. Another option is the 31-credit Online Master of Science in Taxation. Here accountants can leverage specialized knowledge on Internal Revenue codes and regulations. Rigorous online courses are taught primarily by CPAs holding legal degrees.

Online Tuition: $1,180 per credit

Learn more about St. John’s University’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

10. Florida Institute of Technology

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Located on a 130-acre urban campus in Melbourne near Palm Bay, Florida Institute of Technology is a private, doctoral-granting STEM research university with over 6,600 students. Since launching its first off-campus program for the Navy in 1972, Florida Tech has expanded its SACS-accredited Online Division with 50+ programs. The U.S. News and World Report honored FIT as America’s 171th Best National University with the 92nd Best Online Bachelor’s and 107th Top Online MBA Programs. The Florida Institute of Technology landed on the publication’s list of “A-Plus Schools for B Students.” In particular, the accredited Nathan M. Bisk College of Business was chosen as the Brookings Institution’s 94th Best Value.

Online accounting education is available on three degree levels at Florida Tech. Lower-division undergraduates can begin their training with the Online Associate of Arts in Accounting. This 100 percent online option opens careers like audit associate, junior accountant, and bookkeeping clerk with 64 credits. The Bachelor of Arts in Accounting offers career-specific concentrations in Cost Accounting, Auditing, and Compensation and Benefits for CMA credentials. There’s also a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration online. Graduate students intending to take the Uniform CPA exam for senior positions could earn the Online MBA with an Accounting Specialization.

Online Tuition: $510 (bachelor’s) or $896 (MBA) per credit

Learn more about the Florida Insitute of Technology’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

11. University of South Dakota

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Affiliated with nine Rhodes Scholars, the University of South Dakota is a top-tier public, co-educational research institution established by the Dakota Territory in 1862 with a 274-acre urban campus in Vermillion. USD’s over 9,900 enrolled students attend face-to-face, online, and hybrid classes for 260+ degrees. With a 17:1 student-faculty ratio, South Dakota is ranked America’s 202nd Best National University and 110th Top Public School by the U.S. News and World Report. The “Best for Vets” school was named the Midwest’s 99th Best College on Forbes. The AACSB-accredited Beacom School of Business was included in the Princeton Review’s “Best 296 Business Schools” for the 41st Best Online Master’s Business Programs.

Online learners attending the University of South Dakota have two stellar degree choices. The Bachelor of Business Administration program is available online for undergraduates holding 45+ credits with an optional accounting emphasis. This degree completion option is suitable for working adults who wish to study cost accounting, auditing, statistics, business law, banking, and more. Meeting the 150-hour prerequisite for CPA licensing will require continuing to USD’s Online Master of Professional Accountancy (MPA). Graduate students broaden their judgmental ability for producing and analyzing financial data. The 30-credit, 12-month can be completed entirely online or with mix and match campus courses in Vermillion.

Online Tuition: $333 (bachelor’s) or $442 (master’s) per credit

Learn more about the University of South Dakota’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

12. Old Dominion University

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Derived from the nickname given by King Charles II of England, Old Dominion University is a public, sea-grant research institution educating over 24,600 students as one of America’s largest distance education providers. Endowed for $213 million, ODU operates a 251-acre urban campus in Norfolk, Virginia, with satellites in Hampton Roads and online via TeleTechNet. Included among the Princeton Review’s “Best Southeastern,” Old Dominion is ranked the 210th best national university and 118th top public college by the USNWR. Times Higher Education even placed ODU among the globe’s best 400 universities. The Strome College of Business holds AACSB approval for the 49th best online bachelor’s and 58th top online MBA.

Within the School of Accountancy, ODU students could pursue the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration for Accounting online. This degree completion program is reserved for students possessing 30+ transferrable credits. Guaranteed admission is extended to associate graduates from the Virginia Community College System. Online accounting courses require live, regularly scheduled sessions from any location to develop knowledge from auditing to financial planning and environmental accounting. Online learners selecting another major could add the Accounting Minor Online too. For graduates, there’s an Online MBA with a unique specialization in Public Procurement and Contract Management. Graduate courses offer accelerated, eight-week sessions for 45 total credits.

Online Tuition: $325 (bachelor’s) or $478 (master’s) per credit

Learn more about Old Dominion University’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

13. Florida Atlantic University

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Opened in 1964 on Boca Raton Army Airfield as southeast Florida’s first public, upper-division RU/H research institution, Florida Atlantic University has grown to educate over 30,800 students. Following the motto “Where Tomorrow Begins,” FAU encompasses a main 850-acre urban campus in Palm Beach County with extensions in Dania Beach, Jupiter, Fort Lauderdale, and online. Forbes magazine ranked FAU as America’s 208th Best Research University and 196th Top Public College overall. Florida Atlantic University is the state’s sixth top-performing university with a 45 percent graduation rate. The AACSB-accredited College of Business was also recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for the 26th Best Online Graduate Business Degrees.

Online FAU students earning the Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting will benefit from attending one of Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s “Best B-Schools.” This degree completion program is designed for undergraduates holding 60+ credits who wish to devote their third and fourth years to accountancy. Online courses in cost accounting, federal tax, assurance, business law, and international accounting lead to passing the Accounting Competency Exam. Florida Atlantic grants its Master of Business Administration online beginning every Fall and Spring. The asynchronous, 23-month program takes team-based cohorts through 46 advanced credits for CPA candidacy. There’s also an online Executive Master of Accounting concentrated in Forensic Accounting.

Online Tuition: $303 (bachelor’s) or $800 (master’s) per credit

Learn more about Florida Atlantic University’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

14. University of Scranton

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Founded by Irish-born Bishop William O’Hara in 1888 as St. Thomas College, the University of Scranton is a private, nonprofit Catholic research institution belonging to the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). The co-educational college enrolls over 6,000 students online and on-site upon its 58-acre urban campus in northeastern Pennsylvania. Picked for Kiplinger’s Top 50 Private Values, Scranton is ranked the North’s sixth Best College and second Most Military-Friendly School by the U.S. News and World Report. The Huffington Post also chose University of Scranton as the nation’s eighth Friendliest College. With the academic rigor of AACSB accreditation, the Kania School of Management delivers America’s 72nd Best Online MBA Program.

Firmly grounded in Jesuit tradition, Scranton’s eLearning Division encourages students to “Go Forth and Set the World on Fire” with two online accounting degrees. The Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program develops practical and soft skills online to produce strategic business leaders. The 30-credit degree’s flexible, asynchronous online format suits working professionals needing 24/7 support. Alumni are employed by regional and Big Four firms with CPA designation. Another degree alternative is the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Accounting. Online MBA students develop well-rounded business practices with convenient Flex courses limited to 20 peers. It’s also possible to add the Online Certificate in Enterprise Resource Planning.

Online Tuition: $895 (specialized master’s) or $965 (MBA) per credit

Learn more about the University of Scranton’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

15. Rider University

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Headquartered on a 303-acre suburban campus in historic Lawrenceville just 10 miles north of Trenton, New Jersey, Rider University educates over 5,400 students on-campus and online. As a private, non-sectarian higher learning institution, Rider maintains a $58 million endowment to provide MSCHE and AACSB accredited education. The U.S. News and World Report ranked Rider as the North’s 23rd Best Regional University and 12th Top College for Former Military. Forbes magazine recognized Rider University for producing the nation’s 320th Most Grateful Graduates in its 65+ academic majors. The College of Business Administration also landed in Leadership Excellence’s Top 25 with America’s 213rd Best Part-Time MBA.

Graduate students can access two online accounting programs via Rider University’s innovative technology platform. The Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program provides advanced analytical tools, industry connections, and education credentials for CPA licensure. Within the 30-credit curriculum, online learners choose wide-ranging electives from data mining to business valuation. Cohorts begin each year to complete 12-week semesters and graduate in 16 months. The Rider Online MBA also follows the same, rigorous on-campus curriculum for working adults seeking career advancement. The 33-credit curriculum offers breadth of business knowledge before a Forensic Accounting Concentration. Within 12 months full-time or 21 months part-time, graduates could become Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE).

Online Tuition: $1,020 per credit

Learn more about Rider University’s Accredited Online Accounting College Degree Programs here.

The Top 15 Accredited Online Colleges For 2016

2016acoOnline education has seen an enormous spike in the last decade. Approximately 13.1 percent of college students are taking exclusively online courses now. Innovative technologies have made it possible to finish a quality education with little more than a computer and Internet. Choosing an online college will provide unrivaled flexibility for fitting coursework into your busy work-life balance. Online learning platforms can wholly replace the traditional classroom to save you time and money on commutes. However, not all online colleges are created equal. Scary statistics show that nearly 200,000 fake degrees are granted by diploma mills yearly. One of the best ways to protect your investment is to look for accreditation.

In this article, we’ll outline the Top 15 Accredited Online Colleges for 2016 that are backed by regional accreditation recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Next to accreditation, our most crucial ranking factor was average retention rate. We selected only online colleges who retain more than 90 percent of students because this signals high satisfaction. Chosen universities had to offer at least 10 online programs to be deemed “online.” We consulted with several rankings from the U.S. News, Princeton Review, Forbes, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance to weigh academic reputation with value. We recorded each online college’s tuition rate from their individual website. Other important considerations were student-faculty ratio, student services, learning technology, flexibility, job placement, mobility, and financial aid.

1. University of Southern California

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Selectively admitting 16 percent of applicants, the University of Southern California is an elite private, nonprofit sea-grant and space-grant research institution for the Pacific Rim. Situated on a 308-acre urban campus in the University Park district of Los Angeles, the University of Southern California educates around 42,400 students both on-site and online. The U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Southern California as the 23rd Best University and 13th Most Innovative College. Within the Economist, the University of Southern California was recognized for the United States’ 64th Best New Career Opportunities. Forbes also recognized Trojans as the nation’s 31st Most Grateful Grads.

The University of Southern California grants exceptional professional education online through 55 master’s and two doctoral degrees. More than 20 graduate certificates and teaching credentials can be added for concentration. Available USC degrees include:

• Master of Science in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
• Executive Master of Health Administration
• Master of Science in Library and Information Science
• Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship
• Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership

The University of Southern California Online maintains the same all-important academic integrity standards to serve over 7,700 fully online. Before the Web existed, the dynamic university connected remote learners and pioneered the “Online Education Revolution.” Faculty maintain regular live, virtual office hours to guide students toward building online portfolios. Courses can even be accessed via mobile devices using the 2SC App for optimal flexibility.

Average Retention Rate: 97 percent
Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Online Tuition: $1,666 per unit

Learn more about the University of Southern California’s Accredited Online College Degree Programs here.

2. Northeastern University

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Recognized for A+ academics by Niche, Northeastern University is an esteemed private, nonsectarian RU/VH research institution attracting over 24,900 students yearly. In addition to its 73-acre urban campus in Boston’s famed Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood, NU has satellites in Dedham, Nahant, Burlington, Seattle, Toronto, and online. Northeastern was ranked America’s 47th Best University and sixth Most Innovative college by the U.S. News and World Report. Best Value Schools crowned Northeastern University the 10th Best Up-and-Coming School for Return on Investment (ROI). Employing seven NSF Career Award recipients, Northeastern is the 100th Top Research University according to Forbes.

Northeastern University offers rigorous, regionally accredited online education for earning 10 bachelor’s, 35 master’s, and two doctoral degrees. Non-degree seeking students can also choose from 34 online certificate programs. Available Northeastern University degrees include:

• Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting Management
• Bachelor of Science in Information Technology
• Master of Education in Higher Education Administration
• Master of Science in Security and Resilience Studies
• Master of Science in Regulatory Affairs of Food and Food Industries

Online Northeastern University students access multimedia lectures via Articulate Presenter and interact in a virtual Blackboard classroom. Some courses feature synchronous conferencing with Collaborate. Online programs are taught by the same world-class faculty at a 14:1 ratio for excellent education without putting life on hold. Northeastern’s online courses offer affordable discounts, financial aid, and free tutoring.

Average Retention Rate: 96 percent
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
Online Tuition: $378 (bachelor’s) or $646 (master’s) per credit

Learn more about Northeastern University’s Accredited Online College Degree Programs here.

3. University of Florida

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Endowed for $1.5 billion, the University of Florida is the country’s eighth largest public, research institution holding land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant status to educate an enthusiastic Gator Nation of over 52,500. This prestigious AAU member is located on a sprawling 2,000-acre suburban campus in Gainesville for face-to-face or online education. The U.S. News and World Report ranked Florida as the 47th Best University and 18th Most Innovative School. Kiplinger’s crowned UF the second best public value. The University of Florida also claimed the #17 spot for the Princeton Review’s “Best Alumni Network.”

The University of Florida Online provides accredited academic excellence with 15 bachelor’s completion, 65 master’s, 10 doctoral, and three specialist degrees. Belonging to the SREB Electronic Campus, the University of Florida also confers four international programs. Available UF degrees include:

• Bachelor of Science in Fire and Emergency Services
• Bachelor of Health Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders
• Master of Science in Family, Youth and Community Science
• Master of Science in Veterinary Medical Sciences
• Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Online University of Florida students enter a highly diverse virtual classroom drawing students from 135 countries. The university is at least partially authorized in all 50 states. Most coursework is asynchronously delivered via the eLearning platform Canvas with video lectures posted on Mediasite. Learners also benefit from 24/7 access to the Help Desk and Disability Resource Center.

Average Retention Rate: 96 percent
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
Online Tuition: $448 (in-state) or $690 (out-of-state) per credit

Learn more about the University of Florida’s Accredited Online College Degree Programs here.

4. Stevens Institute of Technology

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Established by Edwin Augustus Stevens in 1868, Stevens Institute of Technology is the oldest private, co-educational technological institution dedicated to engineering. Enrolling more than 6,500 students on-site and online, Stevens Institute of Technology has three national Centers of Excellence on its 55-acre urban campus in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Stevens Institute of Technology is the 75th Best National University and 62nd Top School for Veterans. Graded B in Forbes, Stevens Institute of Technology is America’s 114th Top Research University. The Princeton Review also placed Stevens at #6 nationwide for “Best Career Placement.”

Stevens Institute of Technology operates a WebCampus to grant 18 fully online, tech-centric degree programs for graduate students. More than 40 graduate certificates can be added for specialized online education. Available SIT degrees include:

• Master of Science in Enterprise and Cloud Computing
• Master of Science in Information and Data Engineering
• Master of Business Administration in Project Management
• Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
• Master of Science in Systems Security Engineering

Since 2010, Stevens has continually won the USDLA’s 21st Century Award for Best Distance Learning Practices Award. Through Canvas, online students access user-friendly, engaged courses anytime 24/7. Each course has a web conferencing tool embedded for live discussions. Faculty also use the state-of-the-art Podcasting Studio to pre-record guest speaker interviews. Part-time graduate students who are members of co-sponsoring organizations qualify for 10 percent tuition rebates.

Average Retention Rate: 95 percent
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Online Tuition: $1,501 per credit

Learn more about the Stevens Institute of Technology’s Accredited Online Colleges here.

5. Lehigh University

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Divided into four colleges, Lehigh University is a private, nonprofit “Hidden Ivy” institution carrying a $1.2 billion endowment to serve approximately 6,900 students. Since its founding in 1865 by Asa Packer, Lehigh has occupied over 2,350 suburban acres around South Mountain in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The U.S. News has honored Lehigh as America’s 47th best university, 36th top value, and 38th best school for military. Lehigh University placed at #8 among the Princeton Review’s “Best Science Lab Facilities.” Forbes also recognized Lehigh as the 64th top public school nationwide.

Lehigh University’s Office of Distance Education offers top-tier academics for working adults with 11 online master’s degrees and seven graduate certificates. Two learning platforms are given for asynchronous or synchronous, live sessions. Available Lehigh degrees include:

• Master of Engineering in Healthcare Systems Engineering
• Flex Master of Business Administration in Marketing
• Master of Science in Molecular Biology
• Master of Science in Polymer Science and Engineering
• Master of Education in International Counseling

Using Course Site and Blackboard, Lehigh’s online programs make the same lectures available streaming on the Web. Named a “Preferred School Partner” of Boeing, the USDLA member gives accredited STEM-centric education with flexible schedules. No distinctions are made on transcripts between traditional and online learning. Lehigh University has a 10:1 student-faculty ratio for a collaborative, enriching academic environment.

Average Retention Rate: 95 percent
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Online Tuition: $925 to $1,420 per credit hour

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6. University of Georgia

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Named among Newsweek’s “Amazing but Overlooked Colleges,” the University of Georgia is public, state-chartered RU/VH research institution holding the unique sun-grant status. Among the rolling hills on UGA’s historic 762-acre campus in Athens and online, more than 35,100 students are enrolled across 17 schools. According to the U.S. News, UGA is the country’s 61st best university and 21st top public college. The University of Georgia took the #24 spot for the Princeton Review’s “Top Internship Opportunities.” The AAMC recognized UGA for producing the ninth highest percentage of medical school applicants.

The University of Georgia offers respected, accredited online programs taught by some of higher education’s brightest minds. Online learners select from two bachelor’s, one specialist, and 15 master’s programs. Available University of Georgia degrees include:

• Bachelor of Science in Special Education
• Master of Avian Health and Medicine
• Master of Fine Arts in Narrative Media Writing
• Master of Science in Financial Planning
• Specialist of Education in Educational Psychology

Online University of Georgia students can access course content anytime, anywhere with the e-Learning Commons platform. The average class size is 15 for engaged education that’s worth academic value. The University of Georgia is currently authorized across the United States. Online learners benefit from academic advising, disability accommodations, and free tutoring. The Career Services Center helps graduates reach a 94 percent placement rate too.

Average Retention Rate: 94 percent
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
Online Tuition: $354 (in-state) or $1,045 (out-of-state) per credit

Learn more about the University of Georgia’s Accredited Online College Programs here.

7. Villanova University

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Rooted in the values of “Truth, Unity, and Charity,” Villanova University is a private, nonprofit Roman Catholic research institution founded in 1842 by the Order of Saint Augustine. With a $564 million endowment, Villanova enlightens over 10,400 students from its 254-acre suburban campus outside Philadelphia in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania, and online. Listed as “more selective,” Villanova is ranked the North’s Best College and second Top Value by the U.S. News and World Report. Bloomberg BusinessWeek picked Villanova as America’s 24th Best School with an A+ teaching quality. Forbes also recognized Nova for the 53rd Best Private University nationally.

Villanova University confers accredited, industry-recognized education with four bachelor’s, 18 graduate, and 26 certificate programs 100 percent online. The College of Professional Studies also provides the nation’s broadest selection of non-credit online courses. Available Nova degrees include:

• Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies
• RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
• Master of Science in Sustainable Engineering
• Master of Business Administration in Analytics
• Master of Science in Church Management

Across six academic divisions, professionals can further their education conveniently through Blackboard and the University Alliance. Villanova is authorized in most states, excluding Alaska, Oregon, and Texas. Most programs will require being at least 22 years old and carrying 15+ accredited college credits. Nearly two-thirds of online Wildcats attend part-time while working.

Average Retention Rate: 94 percent
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Online Tuition: $590 (bachelor’s) or $925 (master’s) per credit

Learn more about Villanova University’s Accredited Online College Programs here.

8. University of Washington

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Established in 1861 by territorial governor Isaac Stevens, the University of Washington is a preeminent public, flagship RU/VH institution with a $1 billion research budget. Noted for employing 15 MacArthur Fellows, the University of Washington teaches over 45,200 students from its main 703-acre urban campus in the Pacific Northwest’s largest city of Seattle and online. The U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Washington the 52nd Best University and 16th Top Public School nationally. Washington Monthly recognized the University of Washington-Seattle as America’s seventh Best College for Civic Engagement. The University of Washington also has the sixth Best Salary Returns according to SmartMoney.

The University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Education Division offers the same respected, accredited credentials for two bachelor’s and 19 master’s degrees online. Students can also pursue in-depth subject exploration with 50+ online certificates. Available UW degrees include:

• Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood & Family Studies
• Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Social Sciences
• Master of Geographic Information Systems
• Master of Science in Applied Mathematics
• Master of Science in Computational Linguistics

Online programs the University of Washington can be delivered asynchronously online or with one synchronous evening session per week. For-credit online courses are hosted by the Canvas Network, but free MOOCs are accessible via Coursera too. Since 2001, UW has catered to career changers and the forever curious via the Internet with an 11:1 student-faculty ratio.

Average Retention Rate: 93 percent
Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
Online Tuition: $1,135 (in-state) or $3,540 (out-of-state) per course

Learn more about the University of Washington’s Accredited Online College Degree Programs here.

9. George Washington University

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Classified for “very high research activity,” George Washington University is the District of Columbia’s largest private, nonsectarian R1 institution with over 26,200 students. Based on a 43-acre urban campus in Foggy Bottom, George Washington University operates satellite divisions in Mount Vernon, Virginia’s Loudoun County, and online from anywhere. For 2016, George Washington University was the 57th Best College and 46th Best School for Veterans according to the U.S. News and World Report. The Princeton Review ranked George Washington University the #1 “Most Politically Active” university. The Times Higher Education included George Washington University within the top 250 global universities.

George Washington University marries prestige with convenience by conferring two associate, eight bachelor’s, 47 master’s, and three doctoral degrees online. The Office of Online Learning also offers five open MOOCs for an international audience. Available online degrees at George Washington University include:

• Associate of Science in Health Sciences in Laboratory Technology
• Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences in Clinical Research Administration
• Master of Arts in Secondary Special Education & Transition Services
• Master of Professional Studies in Political Communication and Governance
• Doctor of Philosophy of Systems Engineering Management

Online programs at GWU are creatively produced by the eDesign Shop for optimal learning pedagogies. Through 2U, the digital classroom offers real-time video seminars, discussion boards, and customized projects. Online courses are offered every Fall, Summer, and Spring for rigorous, year-round experiences that ranked 27th nationally.

Average Retention Rate: 93 percent
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Online Tuition: $685 (bachelor’s) or $1,600 (master’s) per credit

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10. Union University

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Affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, Union University is private, evangelical Christian liberal arts institution tracing its history back to 1823 as Jackson Male Academy. Now enrolling over 4,200 co-educational students, Union is nestled on a 290-acre urban campus in Madison County’s largest city with other Tennessee locations in Germantown and Hendersonville. The U.S. News ranked Union as the 14th best college and 12th top pick for veterans in the South. As one of Templeton’s “Colleges That Encourage Character Development,” Union University was named the 68th best private value in Kiplinger’s.

Union University holds SACS accreditation to provide Christ-centered academics with nine fully online and four hybrid programs. The SREB Electronic Campus allows reciprocal agreements for students living in 16 Southern states. Available Union degrees include:

• Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership
• Bachelor of Science in Nursing for RNs
• Master of Education in Teaching & Learning
• Master of Business Administration in HR Management
• Master of Christian Studies in Ministry Leadership

Online Union University students never sacrifice close interaction for flexibility and accelerated learning with the 10:1 student-faculty ratio. Relevant coursework is presented from a Christian worldview at an affordable tuition. Bachelor’s degree completion programs can be finished in just 18 months. Course materials are easily purchased through the Online Textbook Store. Union University offers online programs the same access to Library Services.

Average Retention Rate: 92 percent
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
Online Tuition: $975 per hour or $14,660 per semester

Learn more about Union University’s Accredited Online College Programs here.

11. Pennsylvania State University

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Consistently winning the “Big Ten Challenge,” Pennsylvania State University is a multi-campus system endowed for $3.64 billion to operate public, land-grant research institutions. Along with its 5,448-acre main campus in Happy Valley and 24 locations across the Keystone State, Pennsylvania State University has an award-winning World Campus. According to the U.S. News and World Report, this Public Ivy is ranked America’s 47th Best University and 38th Top College for Veterans. Forbes magazine lauded Penn State as the 77th Top Research Iniversity nationwide. The Wall Street Journal recognized Pennsylvania State University as the #1 choice of corporate recruiters.

Pennsylvania State University offers flexible, career-focused online learning leading to six associate, 29 bachelor’s, and 46 graduate degrees. There are also 48 accredited online post-baccalaureate certificates for advancement. Available Pennsylvania State University degrees include:

• Associate of Science in Labor and Employment Relations
• Bachelor of Arts in Energy and Sustainability Policy
• Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness Management
• Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security
• Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

In 1998, PSU was one of the first major universities providing online education. Online students now hail from 60+ countries on six continents to learn from world-renowned faculty. Penn Staters enroll in online courses for 12 to 15 weeks and connect via Blackboard Collaborate. Each credit is academically equal to campus-based counterparts. The Sloan Consortium gave PSU the Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Education Award.

Average Retention Rate: 92 percent
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Online Tuition: $542 (bachelor’s) or $930 (master’s) per credit

Learn more about Pennsylvania State University’s Accredited Online College Programs here.

12. University of Delaware

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Opened in 1743 by Presbyterian minister Francis Alison, the University of Delaware is the Diamond State’s largest public, nonsectarian land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research institution. Enrolling over 22,800 diverse pupils, UD is headquartered on 2,311 suburban acres outside Newark with campuses in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes, Georgetown, and online. Delaware is ranked America’s 75th Best University, 62nd Top School for Veterans, and 29th Best Public College by the U.S. News and World Report. Niche graded the University of Delaware with an A for academics and value. Forbes noted UD as the 137th overall Best University Nationwide.

The University of Delaware promotes discovery-based, flexible online learning through its two undergraduate and seven graduate degrees. For professional development, there are also 16 leading-edge certificate programs online. Available UD degrees include:

• Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences
• Bachelor of Science in Nursing for RNs
• Master of Business Administration in Finance
• Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
• Doctor of Nursing Practice – Family Nurse Practitioner

The University of Delaware’s online faculty includes active practitioners who’ve designed curriculum on the forefront of their field. With a student-faculty ratio of 15:1, online programs blend on-demand video lectures with case studies and interactive assignments. Technical support is available 24/7 with essential digital resources. Students could also join the Delaware Innovation Fellows Program for entrepreneurial projects.

Average Retention Rate: 92 percent
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
Online Tuition: $481 (bachelor’s) or $780 (master’s) per credit

Learn more about the University of Delaware’s Accredited Online College Programs here.

13. Purdue University

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Endowed for $2.3 billion, Purdue University is a flagship public, co-educational RU/VH research institution founded in 1869 under the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act. Around 22 percent of Purdue’s 39,400 students are international, the fourth highest percentage in America. Purdue is located on a sprawling 2,600-acre urban campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, around 65 miles from Indianapolis. The U.S. News noted Purdue University as the 61st best college and 21st most innovative school nationally. Money magazine crowned Purdue the 51st top value with above-average starting salaries. QS World University Rankings placed Purdue at #89 too.

Purdue University captures top-quality, flexible education in an asynchronous online format with one undergraduate and 17 graduate programs. Five online graduate certificates can be completed in just 24 weeks too. Available Purdue degrees include:

• Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology
• Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics
• Master of Science in Construction Management
• Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology
• Master of Science in Electrical Computer Engineering

Online students master career-specific, marketable skills with cloud-based education. Through Pearson LearningStudio, students join a supportive community with world-class faculty for 15 to 20 hours weekly. The accredited, “Military Friendly” university holds a Virtual Open House to learn more. The Purdue NEXT program also offers corporate development programs from venture capital to pharmaceutical services.

Average Retention Rate: 92 percent
Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS)
Online Tuition: $347 to $1,108 per credit hour

Learn more about Purdue University’s Accredited Online College Programs here.

14. University of Miami

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Attracting $346 in research funding annually, the University of Miami is a premier private, nonprofit RU/VH institution separated into 12 schools for over 16,800 students. Based on 239 suburban acres, the University of Miami is located in Coral Gables, Florida, within Miami-Dade County for on-campus, online, and hybrid education. The U.S. News and World Report named the University of Miami the 51st Best National University and 41st Top School for Military and Veterans. According to the Princeton Review, Miami is America’s fourth best college for “Lots of Race/Class Interaction.” Globally, the Times Higher Education places the University of Miami among the world’s top 170 universities.

The University of Miami is regionally accredited to grant professional recognition with two bachelor’s and 11 master’s programs online. There are also 35+ certificate options and the free Entrepreneurship for Musicians MOOC. Available UM degrees include:

• Bachelor of General Studies
• Master’s in Sport Administration
• Master’s in Health Informatics
• Master of Business Administration
• L.L.M. in Real Property Development

Online students in the University of Miami’s Division of Continuing & International Education engage through the mobile-optimized UOnline learning platform. Thanks to the 12:1 student-faculty ratio, learners get a direct line to world-class professors. Among the “Best in the Southeast,” Miami offers flexible start dates without established class schedules for flexibility. Graduates of the outcome-based programs gain connections with its over 180,000 passionate alumni worldwide.

Average Retention Rate: 92 percent
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
Online Tuition: $1,900 per credit hour

Learn more about the University of Miami’s Accredited Online College Programs here.

15. Texas A&M University

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Formerly named the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas until 1891, Texas A&M University is a public, co-educational state research institution enrolling more than 64,300 students. As Texas’ largest school, TAMU stands proudly on a 5,500-acre urban campus in College Station in the Brazos Valley with extensions in Galveston, Corpus Christi, Fort Worth, Commerce, and online. According to the U.S. News, Texas A&M is the 70th best national university and 26th top public college. Offering a $628,000 20-year net Return on Investment (ROI), Washington Monthly crowned Texas A&M University third in America for social mobility.

Texas A&M University participates in the SREB Electronic Campus to deliver reliable, yet flexible online education with 46 graduate degrees. Another 15 graduate-level certificates are delivered online for one to two in-depth semesters. Available TAMU degrees include:

• Master of Science in Agricultural Systems Management
• Master of Education in Cognition and Creativity
• Master of Engineering in Petroleum Engineering
• Executive Master of Public Service and Administration
• Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction

Online students receive institutionally issued accounts for Blackboard to access Web-based weekly class sessions. Joining the Aggie Network allows students to receive lectures, discussions, and assignments anytime with like-minded peers. Texas A&M requires learners sign an Honor Code for good “Netiquette.” Graduate students will access 24/7 Help Desk services, remote library literature, and TTVN WebMeeting for conferencing.

Average Retention Rate: 91 percent
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
Online Tuition: $394 (in-state) or $799 (out-of-state) per credit

Learn more about Texas A&M’s Accredited Online College Programs here.