Author Archives: rebecca genter

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

Website

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

Website

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.

The Different Online Learning Modes for Online Degree Programs

modesoflearningApproximately 27 percent (over 5.5 million) of U.S. college students are taking at least one course online. Many mistakenly believe that all of these online courses have the same format. Technology advancements of the Digital Age have allowed online education to take several shapes. Online programs at accredited colleges could blend learning styles together to appease each student’s unique needs. One of the biggest benefits of online courses is their flexibility to train non-traditional students with the same quality curriculum at a distance. Online education is more attainable for learners who are balancing life and work too. If you’ve chosen to study online, here’s an overview on the different online learning modes you could encounter.

Asynchronous Online Courses

Fully online programs most often are delivered in an asynchronous format, which simply means learning doesn’t take place live. Asynchronous online courses don’t have set class meeting times. Instead, students are given lecture material and assignments to complete within a broad window, such as one week. Online learners can access coursework 24/7 whenever their busy schedules allow. Asynchronous learning relies heavily on email, discussion boards, and wikis to foster student connection in delayed time. Although there are syllabus deadlines, asynchronous online classes largely let students establish their own pace. Project-based majors like marketing, computer science, creative writing, and public affairs work well asynchronously.

Synchronous Online Courses

Synchronous literally translates to “at the same time.” Therefore, online courses in synchronous format require students do the opposite and attend live sessions. These online programs create times for professors and enrolled students to log onto the virtual classroom concurrently. Similar to webinars, synchronous online courses invite learners to interact through video conferencing, audio calls, chat rooms, and Internet podcasts. Many will require online students purchase headsets for communication via VoIP rather than simply text. Taking synchronous online courses can be more intrusive on your schedule, even though there’s no commute required. But it’s ideal for speaking-based majors like public relations, counseling, education, and Spanish.

Hybrid or Blended Courses

An alternative to fully online programs is hybrid distance learning. Hybrid learning integrates both face-to-face and online coursework to maximize peer interaction. Students pursuing hybrid or blended courses must attend on-campus residencies a few times during the semester. These campus trips could be for laboratory work, service projects, clinical practicum, or seminars. Most will be during evenings or weekends to accommodate professionals. Living near the college is important to ensure travel expenses aren’t extensive. Between the in-person meetings, students will complete class assignments online asynchronously. Blended courses are suitable for applied majors requiring practice like nursing, engineering, visual art, and social work.

Massive Open Online Courses

Online courses usually charge tuition and carry credit as their traditional counterparts do. Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are the exception. These open-enrollment courses are accessible for free by anybody with an Internet connection. MOOCs have become popular for helping students learn from elite universities without high prices. In 2015, there were over 500 colleges offering 4,200 MOOCs for 35 million students. Massive open online courses provide continuing education, but they lack transferable credit for finishing your degree. MOOC students receive content electronically and interact with hordes of diverse peers. These courses are typically presented by a higher education consortium like Coursera.

Flipped or Inverted Online Courses

During the last few years, the flipped model has been entering the online collegiate classroom. Sometimes called inverted, flipped online courses reverse what occurs during synchronous sessions. Students are given content to read and video lectures to watch individually. Then, online classes meet to focus wholly on case analysis and projects. Completing lectures as homework frees precious conferencing time for problem-solving in teams. Instructors will act as advisors to address any misconceptions from the readings. Active, student-centered learning is a major benefit from inverted courses. Online programs applying the flipped philosophy are often in mathematics, sciences, and humanities.

Web-Enhanced Courses

It’s common for prospective online students to think Web-enhanced courses belong among the above five online learning modes. However, these are just like traditional classes. Web-enhanced courses still meet on-campus at a specific location and time. The only difference is certain content components will be available online 24/7. Web-enhanced courses generally use Blackboard, Canvas, or other systems to supplement what’s learned in class. Students may post to discussion boards, review audio files, or even submit homework online. Web-enhanced courses bring technology into lecture halls to make accessing material and grades easier, but they won’t replace your physical seat time.

How Does Accreditation Affect Financial Aid?

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Higher education costs money that most students don’t have out-of-pocket. In the United States, the average undergraduate tuition charges $21,003 per year. Prices rise even higher at private, nonprofit universities where the average annual bill is $35,987. That’s why 85 percent of full-time students at four-year colleges rely on financial aid. The U.S. Department of Education offers federal assistance programs that awarded over $185 billion in 2013 alone. Financial aid is a valuable lifeboat for many college students to afford sailing towards their post-secondary dreams. Accreditation is one of the stipulations that affects your ability to claim funds though. Let’s review everything you should know about how accreditation affects financial aid.

Basics of Accreditation

Accreditation is a rigorous appraisal process initiated by colleges voluntarily to judge the overall educational quality provided to students. Two types of accreditation affect financial aid: regional and national. Regional accreditation is extended to two-year and four-year traditional or online institutions based on their geographic location. National accreditation is granted primarily to career-oriented vocational and trade schools across the U.S. Under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, the government requires colleges to be regionally or nationally accredited for funding. Attending an unaccredited college will automatically make you ineligible. Acceptable accrediting agencies include the:

• Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
• Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA)
• New England Associations of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)
• Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
• Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
• Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
• Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
• Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE)
• Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)

Federal Financial Aid Conditions

College students seeking assistance must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the Web deadline on June 30th. Information provided on this form will be used to calculate your basic eligibility for federal financial aid. You must demonstrate unmet financial need, which is calculated based on your expected family contribution (EFC). Selecting an unaccredited college is a surefire way to be rejected. Federal conditions require obtaining a college or career school education from an institution backed by accreditation. Other important requirements are:

• Being a U.S. citizen or eligible resident
• Possessing a Social Security number
• Enrolling in a degree or certificate program
• Taking college classes at least half-time
• Sustaining satisfactory academic progress
• Registering with Selective Service (males only)
• Having a high school diploma or GED
• Not being in loan default or incarcerated

Types of Aid Requiring Accreditation

Each type of Title IV federal student aid requires accreditation for eligibility. Federal grant programs offer free monetary help without creating debt. The Federal Pell Grant is perhaps the largest, awarding aid to 8.8 million students. Pell Grants can provide up to $5,815 each year for undergraduate and post-baccalaureate teacher credential students. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) offers up to $4,000 yearly for students with significant unmet need. Aspiring educators planning to teach high-need subjects in low-income schools could earn the TEACH Grant for $4,000. The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant is also awarded for $5,419 to students under 24 whose guardian died in the Armed Forces.

Borrowing low-interest loans for federal financial aid is possible for students at accredited U.S. colleges. The William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan program is the largest lender with three borrowing categories. First, Direct Subsidized loans are given to undergrads for $3,500 to $5,500 to cover financial need. Direct Subsidized loans may provide up to $20,500 for any students, undergraduate or graduate, enrolled half-time. Direct PLUS loans have no upward limit for students’ parents or independent graduate students. The Federal Perkins Loan program is a school-based alternative for exceptional needy learners. Remember that loans must be repaid starting six months after graduation. America’s student loan debt surpasses $1.2 trillion.

How to Check for Accreditation

Your school’s accreditation status not only affects federal loans and grants, but it can also disqualify you for certain private scholarships. During your college search, play it safe by double checking accreditation. The U.S. Department of Education maintains a convenient accreditation database to find accurate, up-to-date approval facts. Simply type in the college’s name or search across your state of residence. Note that state universities and private nonprofits are the most desirable because they’re regionally accredited. Title IV financial aid is available to lower your costs, and credits transfer to protect your degree investment.

Top 15 Accredited Online Colleges Offering Associate Degrees for 2016

associatedeDon’t fret if you lack time or finances to attain a bachelor’s degree. Two-year associate programs provide post-secondary credentials employers seek but at a much lower cost. Associate degrees can unlock many high-paying jobs like nuclear technician, registered nurse, and web developer with little to no debt. In fact, one study found that 28 percent of associate degree holders out-earn bachelor’s grads. Online colleges make it even more convenient for high school graduates to further education from the home or office. Credits obtained in accredited online associate degree programs can also transfer later for advancement.

To help you achieve your career aspirations, we’ve recognized the following Top 15 Accredited Online Colleges Offering Associate Degrees for 2016. We began by searching for online schools with regional accreditation accepted by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. Next, we used the NCES College Navigator’s Advanced Search to determine which online colleges offered associate degrees. Average annual undergraduate tuition was noted for each. We only selected accredited online colleges with at least two associate degrees. Extra points were given to universities boasting national rankings and awards. Other factors considered were financial aid, ROI, enrollment size, online learning technology, scheduling flexibility, and curriculum quality.

Here are the Top 15 Accredited Online Associate Degrees for 2016:

1. Pennsylvania State University

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Educating around 97,400 students, Pennsylvania State University’s World Campus was the nation’s first accredited public, land-grant institution to provide online education. With an 87 percent graduation rate, Pennsylvania State University has the #1 Best Online Undergraduate Programs according to the U.S. News and World Report. Asynchronous online courses are available for six associate degrees, including the A.S. in Business Administration, A.S. in Turfgrass Science, and A.S. in Human Development and Family Studies.

Tuition: $13,516

Learn more about Pennslvania State University’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

2. Florida Institute of Technology

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Located in Melbourne just 50 miles from the Kennedy Space Center, Florida Institute of Technology is a private, non-profit research institution serving over 6,300 students. The U.S. News and World Report ranked Florida Tech the 161st best national university with the 92nd best online undergraduate programs. Associate students can choose 10 online degrees, such as an A.A. Criminal Justice, A.A. Aviation Management, or A.S. Computer Information Systems.

Tuition: $12,240

Learn more about the Florida Institute of Technology’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

3. American InterContinental University

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Backed by Higher Learning Commission – North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA) accreditation, American InterContinental University is a for-profit, distance learning institution located in Schaumburg, Illinois, to educate over 15,500 students virtually. Ranked second nationally in awarding associate degrees to minorities, American InterContinental University is lauded for the 30th Best Online Undergraduate Programs nationally by the U.S. News and World Report. Through the M.U.S.E. platform, AIU Online provides an A.A. in Business Administration and A.S. in Criminal Justice.

Tuition: $11,004

Learnmore about American InterContinental University’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

4. Ashland University

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Rooted in Judeo-Christian values, Ashland University is a private, non-profit Brethren institution educating approximately 6,000 students from its campus in north-central Ohio. Declared the 156th Best Value in the ETC College Rankings Index, Ashland is the 199th top national university in the U.S. News and World Report survey. With Higher Learning Commission – North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA) accreditation, Ashland provides an online Associate in Business, Associate in Criminal Justice, and Associate in General Studies.

Tuition: $20,242

Learn more about Ashland University’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

5. American Public University System

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Established in 1991 by Major James P. Etter, American Public University System is a regionally accredited for-profit, distance institution in Charles Town, West Virginia. Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for America’s 58th Best Online Undergraduate Programs, American Public University Sysytem is a “Military Friendly” school with over 98,400 students. The Online Learning Consortium offers 22 affordable associate degrees, including an A.A. in Counterterrorism Studies, A.S. in Web Publishing, and A.S. in Paralegal Studies.

Tuition: $6,880

Learn more about American Public University System’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

6. Saint Leo University

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Affiliated with the Holy Name Monastery, Saint Leo University is a private, Catholic liberal arts institution enlightening over 16,200 students from its rural Florida campus and online. Ranked 71st regionally, Saint Leo is noted for the 43rd Best Online Undergraduate Education Nationwide by the U.S. News and World Report. With eight-week terms, online students can pursue the A.A. Business Administration, A.A. Criminal Justice, A.A. Information Technology, or A.A. Liberal Arts.

Tuition: $20,830

Learn more about Saint Leo University’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

7. Colorado Technical University

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Owned by Career Education Corporation, Colorado Technical University is an accredited private, for-profit higher learning in Colorado Springs educating over 25,700 campus and online students. Granted the 2015 NUTN Distance Education Innovation Award, CTU has America’s 63rd Best Online Undergraduate programs. At the associate level, online learners can earn the A.S. in Health Administration Services, A.S. in Accounting, A.S. in Business Administration, and A.S. in Management.

Tuition: $11,656

Learn more about Colorado Technical University’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

8. Eastern Kentucky University

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Regionally accredited by the SACS, Eastern Kentucky University enrolls 16,500+ students in Richmond, Kentucky, and beyond as a public, co-educational research institution. Ranked #2 in Military Times’ “Best for Vets” schools, Eastern Kentucky University ties for the 63rd Best Online Undergraduate degrees according to the U.S. News and World Report. Available online associate programs include the A.A.S. Paralegal Science, A.A.S. Paramedicine, and A.A. Police Studies.

Tuition: $8,150 (in-state) or $17,640 (out-of-state)

Learn more about Eastern Kentucky University’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

9. Liberty University

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Following the motto “Knowledge Aflame,” Liberty University is a private, non-profit Baptist institution educating 100,000+ online students from its suburban headquarters in Lynchburg, Virginia. Given a Forbes financial grade of B, Liberty is distinguished for America’s 100th Best Online Undergraduate Degrees by the U.S. News and World Report. Currently, 12 associate degrees like the A.A. in Psychology, A.A. in Religion, and A.A. in Education are available 100 percent online.

Tuition: $20,109

Learn more about Liberty University’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

10. Columbia College

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Chartered by the Missouri Legislature in 1851, Columbia College is a private, non-profit liberal arts institution nestled in the Ozark Mountains to enroll over 2,100 co-ed students. Crowned a GetEducated.com “Best Buy,” Columbia is recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for the 106th Top Online Undergraduate Degrees. Online students can choose from eight associate programs like the Associate in Arts, A.S. in Human Services, and A.S. in Environmental Studies.

Tuition: $8,240

Learn more about Columbia College’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

11. California University of Pennsylvania

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In the PASSHE system, California University of Pennsylvania is a public, state-funded teaching institution enrolling over 9,400 students on campuses in California, Canonsburg, and online. Named among the Princeton Review’s “Best Northeastern” schools, California University of Pennslyvania has the country’s 111th Best Online Undergraduate Degrees. Online students can attain the Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies or Associate of Science in Technical Studies.

Tuition: $9,936 (in-state) or $14,069 (out-of-state)

Learn more about the California University of Pennsylvania’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

12. Southern New Hampshire University

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Endowed for $16.7 million, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, non-sectarian institution educating around 64,000 campus and online students from Manchester. Named Fast Company’s 12th Most Innovative Business with Apple and Google, Southern New Hampshire Uniniversity is the North’s 131st Best Regional University. Online learners can pursue eight associate degrees, such as the A.S. Fashion Merchandising, A.A. Digital Photography, and A.S. Information Technologies.

Tuition: $30,386

Learn more about Southern New Hampshire University’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

13. Keiser University

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Since 2011, Keiser University has been an Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) accredited private, non-profit Level VI institution in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, serving upwards of 18,500 students. Conferring the nation’s 2nd most healthcare associate degrees, Keiser is ranked the 36th Best College in the South by the U.S. News and World Report. The Online Division grants 10 associate degrees, including an A.A. Health Services Administration, A.A. Homeland Security, and A.S. Medical Assisting.

Tuition: $17,664

Learn more about Keiser University’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

14. Post University

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Featuring an A+ BBB rating, Post University is a regionally accredited private, for-profit institution offering career-driven evening and online education to over 7,300. Based in Waterbury, Post won the 2015 Connecticut Quality Improvement Award and was ranked #7 nationally for return on investment by PayScale. Online learners can select from six associate degrees, including the A.S. in Marketing, A.S. in Early Childhood Education, and A.S. in Accounting.

Tuition: $16,510

Learn more about Post University’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

15. Kaplan University

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With enrollment over 37,000, Kaplan University is a regionally accredited for-profit, non-competitive online institution headquartered in Davenport, Iowa, since 1937. Boasting a student-faculty ratio of 17:1, Kaplan offers the 137th Best Online Undergraduate Programs according to the U.S. News and World Report. Among its 13 online associate degrees is an A.A.S. in Fire Science, A.A.S. in Nursing, A.A.S. in Legal Support and Services, and A.A.S. in Public Safety and Security.

Tuition: $14,241

Learn more about Kaplan University’s Accredited Online Associate Degrees here.

How to Know If an Online Program Is Offered by a Reputable School

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The market for online college courses has grown to the point where students have more choices than ever. For the most part, this is great news for degree-seekers looking to find a convenient online program that’s on par with a traditional campus education. However, not all institutions may be as reputable as they seem. The online education marketplace is rife with “diploma mills” that misrepresent their accreditations and academic standards. To avoid investing in a trivial degree from a poor institution, students should do a bit of homework before enrolling in any classes.

Early Clues

Right off the bat, there are some easy ways to tell if the program you’re interested in is legit. If the university has a traditional campus and offers an established “brand” of education, then you can trust its online degrees. For example, most state schools and renown private institutions like Northwestern or the University of Southern California all offer reputable online programs. Lesser-known schools and for-profit colleges may require a little more investigation. Red flags include strong marketing tactics, easy course loads and offers that seem too good to be true. The best way to verify such schools is to research their accreditations.

Accreditation is Key

By getting accredited, colleges and universities can say they offer reputable degrees and a quality education. Accreditation is a voluntary process that should be handled by a legitimate outside authority that evaluates quality. Unfortunately, bogus schools manage to find weak accreditation bodies that will put their stamp of approval on almost anything. These groups could have misleading names that sound more authoritative than they really are.

The best way to find out if an accreditation body is legitimate is to see if it’s featured on the Council of Higher Education’s list of Recognized Accrediting Organizations. Any program that has been accredited by one of the six recognized regional bodies will be in good standing. Colleges can also get national accreditation from faith-based or career-related organizations; however, the council recognizes less than a dozen of these bodies. Prospective students should beware of schools that boast of “international” accreditation, which is often an indication of a sham. The council does not recognize international accrediting bodies.

In addition, there are many recognized programmatic organizations that provide accreditation for individual programs. Students should check their specific program to see if it has been accredited by a recognized association.

Most colleges will list their accreditations online. If you can’t find a list, call the school and ask for its credentials.

The Importance of Attending a Reputable School

Enrolling in higher education is a major investment. Not only will you be paying tuition, you’ll be investing a lot of time and effort toward graduating. A student’s worse nightmare is to receive a diploma that isn’t taken seriously. Sadly, many online college graduates have gone through this scenario. A degree from an unaccredited school won’t do much for a resume or during a job interview.

Non-reputable institutions pose other problems as well. Tuition costs could be hazy and most colleges won’t take transfer credits from schools that aren’t regionally accredited. In addition, your state education agency may not offer financial aid if you attend an unaccredited school.

There are plenty of excellent online programs available from both non- and for-profit institutions. With a little bit of research, you’ll be able to weed out the bad schools and save yourself from potential heartache.

Accredited Online Bible College Programs

biblecollegesHow Online Bible Colleges are Accredited
Reputable Bible colleges or organizations of religious study maintain high educational standards to achieve accreditation from nationally recognized educational entities. Agencies, organizations, and other authorities which accredit schools must be recognized as legitimate institutions themselves. The two main approving bodies that recognize accrediting agencies are the US Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Accreditation awarded to schools is validated when it comes from agencies that are approved by either of these groups since these national accrediting agencies oversee all aspects of accreditation. Special purpose institutions, including those offering religious or theological programs, are no exception.

In recent years, many online courses in the field of religious studies have appeared; unfortunately, not all of them are accredited. For those students and adult learners seeking to attend a Bible college, accreditation is an important consideration when choosing a program. Prospective students should always verify a potential online Bible college’s accreditation status. To help in that process, we’ve created the following list of reputable organizations well recognized for their accrediting authority in the field of Bible Colleges:

Accrediting Associations for Online Bible Colleges

The following associations are recognized by the USDE and CHEA as being legitimate agencies for accrediting Bible colleges and their online programs:

  • The Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), formerly The Accreditating Association of Bible Colleges (AABC): Founded in 1947, the ABHE has been in the forefront of accrediting Bible colleges. ABHE accredits approximately 200 seminaries, theological schools and Biblical/ministerial programs offering undergraduate and graduate programs throughout the US and Canada. It also endorses select online distance learning programs. For a list of institutions that offer distance learning programs accredited by ABHE, you can email them at info@abhe.org. For more information visit their FAQ section. ABHE FAQ
  • The Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools (AARTS): This faith based organization provides educational standards for religious schools of the Jewish faith granting post-secondary degrees. It also offers accreditation to a few online school distance learning programs. AARTS provides no website and asks to be contacted via phone (212-363-1991) or email Keith Sharfman, Director at k.sharfman.aarts@gmail.com.
  • The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS): ATS is an accrediting agency for over 270 Christian (including non-denominational)and Jewish graduate schools offering post-baccalaureate programs in ministry and other theological disciplines, including qualifying online distance learning programs. A list of online programs accredited by ATS can be accessed here. ATS Online Distance Education List
  • Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS): This is a national organizing agency that accredits post-secondary Christian institutions offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in religious education. It also approves online distance learning programs that meet its criteria. To see a list of the programs TRACS accredits, see the information at the following link. TRACS Members
  • The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC): Accredits online programs including those from religious institutions and colleges.

Remember, reputable online college websites will always specify their accreditation credentials from one or more of the aforementioned agencies.

Online Bible College Programs

Online distance religious programs are outgrowths of traditional Bible colleges or religious institutions. They allow the learner to experience more flexibility to earn a religious studies degree while working around personal, family and job schedules. Coursework will cover the history, surrounding culture, development, theology and impact of the religion being studied.

For those concerned about the cost of college programs, Bible college students are eligible for the same financial aid opportunities as other post-secondary students. Students should check with financial aid advisors at prospective schools about available grants and scholarships. Overall, an online degree can cost much less than one obtained through traditional college programs. Following is a sampling of available accredited programs offered at Bible colleges and religious institutions:

  • Catholic Distance University, based in Virginia. Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees offered in Theology or Catholic Studies. Catholic Distance University
  • Grace Bible College, based in Michigan. Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees may be earned in business, leadership or ministry. Grace Bible College Online
  • Hebrew College, based in Massachusetts. Master of Arts degrees offered in Jewish Studies or Jewish Liberal Studies. Hebrew College Online
  • Hope International University, based in southern California and Seattle, Washington. A variety of degree programs are offered, including those in Christian ministry or Biblical studies. Hope International University
  • Johnson University Online, associated with Johnson University in Florida and Tennessee. Online programs offer various degrees in Biblical studies or ministry. Johnson University Online

Interested students should check out the links provided for more information.

List of American Psychological Association (APA) Accredited Programs In Alabama

americanpsychoassThe American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest psychological association in the United States. It is also the national accrediting authority for training and education in psychology. It accredits doctoral graduate programs, intern programs and postdoctoral residency programs. Three universities in Alabama are accredited by the APA. Additionally, three facilities offer internship programs that are accredited by the APA.

1. Auburn University

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Auburn University was established in 1856 and today, is one of the largest universities in the South, with roughly 20,000 undergraduate and 4,000 graduate students. Students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree that’s accredited by the APA can earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology or a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology.  This program follows a scientist-practitioner model that allows students to explore the science of counseling and gain experience as a practitioner who is equipped to meet an individual’s mental health needs. Although the program doesn’t have any formal specializations, students can informally pursue a track that emphasizes the scientist or practitioner aspect of training that appeals to them most.  Students may also participate in the Association of Counseling Psychology Students as well as offerings through the College of Liberal Arts.   Course cover social psychology, cognitive behavior therapy, experimental design in psychology and ethical issues. To complete the degree, students must participate in an internship and pass the general Doctoral Examination, which includes both a written paper and oral defense of their thesis. PhD Candidates must also complete an internship in counseling or clinical psychology.  Although the university doesn’t offer any specialization options, students are able to take additional courses in any area that interests them in order to focus their studies.

For more about Auburn University’s APA Accredited Program, go here.

2. University of Alabama at Birmingham

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham began as an extension school. In less than forty years, it’s become an academic medical center and a doctoral research university. The university offers an APA-accredited Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology as well as an accredited internship program available through the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology. Students interested in pursuing the Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology can select from a specialization in behavioral neuroscience, lifespan development psychology or medical clinical psychology. The medical clinical psychology specialization is approved by the APA. Through the degree program, students have the opportunity to conduct research, teach and provide psychological services. The hospital has a Center for Psychiatric Medicine, where students can acquire real-world experience working with patients and applying their skills as practitioners.  Students must also complete a written paper and oral defense in order to complete the degree process.

For more about the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s APA Accredited Program, go here.

3. University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa

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The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa is the state’s flagship university. It’s student-centered and emphasizes research. Founded in 1831, it was the first public college in the state. Students who are interested in pursuing APA-accredited psychology programs can earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology. The program has been accredited since 1959. The clinical psychology degree program prepares graduate for the research and the practitioner aspects of clinical psychology. Students can select from four specializations: psychology and law, clinical child, clinical health and clinical geropsychology. Through the course of their studies, learners have the opportunity to participate in the university’s psychology clinic and community training facilities. Together, these allow students to meet the required hours of supervised psychology work to become licensed psychologists. Students begin their clinical coursework their first year and complete research and practicums in subsequent years to attain their goal of completing their PhD.

For more about the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa’s APA Accredited Program, go here.

4. Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System

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Located in Montgomery, Alabama, the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System also offers an APA-accredited internship. Eleven full-time psychologists are accepted into the internship program every year. Any individuals who’ve completed an APA-accredited doctoral degree program are eligible. Students complete pre-doctoral training that allows them to acquire experience in several specialized settings. Psychology rotations are available in post traumatic stress disorder, primary care, neuropsychological testing, sexual trauma therapy, outpatient mental health clinic, rehabilitation psychology and Veteran’s industries. The Psychology Service also provides practicum training to students at Auburn University who are earning their doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology.

For more about Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System’s APA Accredited Program, go here.

5. Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center

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The Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center offers an internship program that’s accredited by the APA. Located only a short distance from the University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, it has a has a Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Program that allows veterans to receive rehabilitation and treatment. The center is also affiliated with the University of Alabama Birmingham, allowing students from both universities are able to complete the required internships.

For more about Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center’s APA Accredited Program, go here.