Category Archives: Frequently Asked Questions

Do The Easiest, Accredited Online Colleges Provide A Good Education?

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You’ll likely knee-deep in the confusing choice of where to study and are tempted by talks of the easiest, accredited online colleges. It’s human nature to want to finish tasks as easily and quickly as possible. Especially when that task is a degree that can greatly uplift your résumé. After all, the Washington Post reported that nearly 70 percent, or five in seven, jobs now require college education. The median salary for bachelor’s grads in the Class of 2017 was $66,097 according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. High school graduates only make an average of $35,256 yearly in comparison. Slaving over papers, tests, and textbook readings can hard enough for nontraditional students alone without adding time-consuming campus commutes though. So let’s explore whether the easiest, accredited online colleges actually provide good education that’s worth its salt.

What Makes Some Online Colleges “Easy”

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Easy can be a subjective descriptor because what’s simple for one might be hard for another. For instance, maybe you excel at writing papers for English but scientists find lab research easier. There are several characteristics that the easiest, accredited online colleges share though. They usually have open-enrollment policies for acceptance rates at or near 100 percent. Many have test-optional admission to avoid the painstaking ACT or SAT exam process. Quicker routes to degree completion are common. Easy online colleges often condense material into five to 10 weeks to concentrate on one course at a time. Most have liberal transfer rollovers to waive up to 90 credits on a 120-credit bachelor’s. The easiest, accredited online colleges also offer free tutoring, keep classes asynchronous, and reduce projects or practica.

The Quality of the Easiest Online Colleges

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Easy online colleges can deliver good education since none of the above adjustments affect their quality. Tweaking the mode of instruction simply makes learning more convenient; you’ll still need to put the work in. Your education won’t be Ivy League, but it still can be valuable and fast. The easiest, accredited online colleges that have nonprofit status are generally the best. That’s because some might be biased against for-profit, online-only institutions like DeVry, Webster, Ashford, and Walden that have faced lawsuits. The NCES College Navigator found that 5.75 million students take online courses now, so employers will usually recognize them. Online schools with brick-and-mortar campuses frequently omit the word “online” from diplomas anyway. The easiest, accredited online colleges aren’t gimmicks because they really offer an opportunity to sharpen vocational knowledge with plus time management, collaboration, computer, and thinking skills.

How to Find Good Online Colleges That are Easy

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Research from the U.S. Department of Education in 2009 found that online classes produce stronger student learning outcomes than face-to-face ones. However, that’s only if you carefully shop for institutions that don’t throw up red flags for diploma mill practices. Employers Choice reports that over 370 fake schools still award 200,000 unemployable degrees yearly. Your first safeguard against becoming prey is accreditation. The easiest, accredited online colleges can be validated for quality by six regional agencies: the NEASC, MSCHE, SACS, HLC, NWCCU, and WASC. Others might have national accreditation from bodies like the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), but they’re not as widely accepted. The U.S. News & World Report online rankings are an excellent place to find good education. The Open Education Database and Better Business Bureau can also let you know how online schools fare.

Great Examples of the Easiest Online Colleges

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The Guide to Online Schools currently lists 555 non-profit colleges that range in level of difficulty, but easy options abound. Let’s dive deeper into a few U.S. examples available from literally anywhere. Oakwood University is a test-optional, SACS-accredited school offering 18-month completion for the B.S. in General Studies and B.S. in Church Leadership. Lewis-Clark State College is publicly funded to deliver easy, eight-week Blackboard courses for the RN to BSN and Early Childhood Development B.A.S. Patten University starts WASC-accredited online courses every Monday for debt-free degrees like the B.A. in Law Enforcement and B.A. in Entrepreneurship. Midway University in Kentucky easily connects to eight-week, Moodle courses for the BA Interdisciplinary Studies and BA Psychology. Wayland Baptist University also has 100 percent admission into SACS-accredited, 11-week online modules for the Bachelor of Applied Science and Bachelor of Business.

Don’t ever expect earning a degree to be a walk in the park. Online schools offering the chance to buy diplomas with little time spent on actual courses can’t be trusted. Fortunately, the easiest, accredited online colleges are checked regularly by third-party agencies to students get the good education they deserve. Other outstanding online institutions, such as Wayne State College, Charter Oak State College, Concordia University, Becker College, Limestone College, Post University, and Eastern Kentucky University, also simplify learning with non-competitive admission, test waivers, easy majors, and shorter spans.

Where Can I Get My Graduate Degree From An Accredited College Online?

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Online graduate degrees are attractive options increasingly offered by accredited colleges to support post-bachelor’s adults seeking professional advancement with less fuss. The SR Education Group has counted nearly 600 schools housing over 12,500 graduate programs online in wide-ranging fields. Studying on the World Wide Web from home lets you keep working full-time, resolve scheduling conflicts, attend universities afar, get personalized mentoring, and avoid campus overhead costs. Making graduate school more accessible is crucial since the Georgetown CEW predicts that 6 million jobs will require a master’s or higher by 2020. Graduate degrees also provide median lifetime earnings that are $1.5 million higher than high school diplomas according to the Social Security Administration. Let’s look at some great examples of where you can get a graduate degree from an accredited college online.

Adams State University

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Adams State University, the West’s 184th best bang for the buck in Washington Monthly, is a public, Hispanic-serving liberal arts school founded in 1921 by Governor Billy Adams that’s educating 3,467 Grizzlies at its Colorado campus and on Blackboard. The Extended Studies Division offers 12 HLC-accredited graduate programs online, including the Master of Arts in Music Education, Master of Arts in Humanities with U.S. History Emphasis, Master of Business Administration, and Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision.

Canisius College

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Canisius College, Forbes’ 246th top private university in America, is a private, Jesuit liberal arts AJCU member named for St. Peter Canisius in 1870 that’s carrying a $110.5 million endowment to serve 3,900 Golden Griffins both in Buffalo’s Hamlin Park and on Desire2Learn. The School of Graduate Studies grants 12 rigorous, MSCHE-accredited online programs, such as the Master of Science in Respiratory Care, Master of Science in Sport Product Management, Master of Science in Anthrozoology, and Master of Education in Literacy.

Illinois Institute of Technology

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Illinois Institute of Technology, the 99th best U.S. value in Money Magazine, is a private, STEM-centric research institution opened in 1890 that’s endowed for $235 million under president Alan Cramb to enroll 7,266 Scarlet Hawks online and on-site in Chicago’s Bronzeville district. The Office of Digital Learning confers 23 HLC-accredited programs like the Master of Science in Biology, Master of Food Process Engineering, Master of Chemistry in Analytical Chemistry, and Master of Intellectual Property Management on Blackboard.

Winthrop University

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Winthrop University, America’s 43rd best standout college on Niche, is a public, coeducational civic-engaged Big South member that’s endowed for $42.8 million to employ 304 faculty who instruct 6,073 Eagles face-to-face at its Charlotte Metro campus or online. On Blackboard, the Graduate School delivers seven-week, SACS-accredited courses to complete four master’s offerings: the Master of Arts in Arts Administration, Master of Social Work, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Education in Special Education Intervention.

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Accreditation is the first step to finding the right online graduate school fit and steering clear of diploma mills. Utilize the Council on Higher Education Accreditation directory to double check colleges’ claims of regional or national approval. Access databases like the NCES College Navigator or Peterson’s to locate online master’s and doctorates in chosen fields. Review online rankings from the U.S. News & World Report to learn which colleges are the best of the best. For each prospective school, evaluate curricular features like accelerated courses, internships, and capstone projects. Remember that financial aid, student-faculty ratio, job placement, salary potential, and admission selectivity are other important factors when looking to get a graduate degree from an accredited college online.

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The 30 Top Fastest Accredited Online Graduate Colleges

Are There Easy, Accredited Online College Programs Where I Can Get My Master’s Degree?

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Easy master’s programs seem like an oxymoron because achieving an advanced, second-cycle degree for professional leadership should never be simple. However, accredited online colleges are increasingly easing the burden of master’s curricula by offering 24/7 access, waiving GRE scores, condensing course lengths, shrinking credit requirements, and exchanging tests for theses. That’s welcome news because reports that 27 percent of employers are hiring workers with master’s credentials for previous bachelor’s jobs. The NCES reports that U.S. graduate schools granted 759,000 master’s degrees in 2015, mostly in business, education, and health care fields. Investing in master’s-level education typically leads to average salary bumps of $22,000 to $39,000 yearly according to Quartz. If you’re unsatisfied with a baccalaureate, let’s look into seven accredited online colleges delivering relatively easy master’s degrees.

Mercer University

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Endowed for $256.9 million, Mercer University is Georgia’s oldest private, nonsectarian SACS-accredited Atlantic Sun Conference member that’s educating 4,783 Bears across 12 colleges in Macon and online. Mercer is ranked America’s 185th best research college in Forbes and 14th best master’s institution by Washington Monthly. Using Moodle, Mercer University offers eight-week online courses for completing nine, non-thesis master’s degrees, including the Health Informatics M.S., Early Childhood M.Ed., and Software Systems M.S., in 12 months.

Learn more about Easy, Accredited Online Master’s Degree Programs at Mercer University here.

St. Bonaventure University

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Established by Nicholas Devereaux in 1858, St. Bonaventure University is a private, coeducational Catholic institution endowed for $60 million to educate 550 post-grad Bonnies in New York’s Diocese of Buffalo and online. SBU was crowned America’s 216th best small college on Niche and 165th top master’s institution in Washington Monthly. For $733 per credit, St. Bonaventure University offers five easy master’s programs, such as the M.A. in Strategic Leadership, M.A. in Integrated Marketing, and MBA in Finance, with 12-month timetables.

Learn more about Easy, Accredited Online Master’s Degree Programs at St. Bonaventure University here.

Notre Dame College

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Attracting 2,250 Falcons from 19 countries, Notre Dame College is a private, Catholic nonprofit MEC member founded in 1922 by Mother Mary Evarista Harks that’s now endowed for $6.2 million to teach in South Euclid, Ohio and online. NDC is declared America’s 417th most conservative school on Niche and 105th best value by The New York Times. Easy, eight-week online courses let post-grads tackle Notre Dame College’s M.S. in Nursing, M.A. in National Security and Intelligence Studies, and M.Ed. in Special Education within 33 credits.

Learn more about Easy, Accredited Online Master’s Degree Programs at Notre Dame College here.

Lynn University

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Since launching its iPad Mini initiative in 2013, Lynn University has grown to serve 2,100 Fighting Knights as a private, SACS-accredited ICUF member that’s endowed for $21.2 million under president Kevin Ross in Boca Raton. Lynn was named America’s 266th best private college in Forbes and third most diverse institution on Niche. For $740 per credit, Lynn University Online offers accelerated, seven-week terms for easy, one-year master’s programs like the Entrepreneurship MBA, Social Innovation MBA, and Sports Management MBA with GMAT-optional policies.

Learn more about Easy, Accredited Online Master’s Degree Programs at Lynn University here.

Everglades University

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Granted a 2016 Green Arrow Education Award, Everglades University is a nonprofit, SACS-accredited teaching school led by president Kristi Mollis that’s putting its 1,498 students first at the Boca Raton, Sarasota, Tampa, and online campuses. Everglades was designated America’s 104th safest college on Niche and 182nd most diverse university by College Factual. Charging $2,100 per course, Everglades University confers four easy master’s programs online, such as the MPH in Functional Nutrition, MBA in Construction, and MS in Aviation, within 48 weeks.

Learn more about Easy, Accredited Online Master’s Degree Programs at Everglades University here.

University of New England

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Approaching its 190th year, the University of New England is a private, NEASC-accredited learning institute of the Commonwealth Coast Conference that’s endowed for $36.5 million to teach 4,897 post-grads from Biddeford, Maine. UNE is lauded as America’s 28th best online school on Niche and 343rd top university overall by Times Higher Ed. Taking just 12 months online, the University of New England has six easy non-GRE, 30-credit master’s degrees, including the M.S. in Education, M.S. in Health Informatics, and Master of Social Work.

Learn more about Easy, Accredited Online Master’s Degree Programs at the University of New England here.

Avila University

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Affiliated with the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cardondelet, Avila University is a private, HLC-accredited Catholic institution organized by president Ronald Slepitza to educate 1,710 Eagles upon its 13-building Kansas City campus and online. Avila was picked for America’s 140th best free application school on Niche and 206th best master’s institution in Washington Monthly. Accelerated, easier eight-week courses make up Avila University’s 30-39 credit online master’s degrees like the Project Management M.S., Psychology M.S., and Teaching English M.A.

Learn more about Easy, Accredited Online Master’s Degree Programs at Avila University here.



Remain cautious when searching Google for “easy master’s degrees” because it could attract unsavory schools. Don’t fall for scams from diploma mills making ludicrous claims about course-free master’s programs only a credit card away. Even the easiest master’s degrees will still take months with 30+ credits of coursework and some form of capstone. Protect your pocketbook by always taking the time to search the U.S Office of Postsecondary Education’s Accreditation Institution System. Other easy, accredited online master’s colleges to consider include Champlain College, Fort Hays State University, West Texas A&M University, Northeastern University, and Regent University.



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The Top 20 Easy Accredited Online Master’s Degrees

Do the Cheapest Accredited Online Colleges Provide a Good Education?

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Tuition dollars are increasingly a determining factor in where college students study. The U.S. News reports that tuition has risen by 179 percent at private and 296 percent at public, in-state institutions since 1995. Time Magazine shows that the published sticker prices reached all-time highs of $24,610 at public and $45,370 at private colleges in 2016. Since shrinking financial budgets don’t mix well with schools’ mushrooming costs of attendance, students are looking to cut expenses by learning online. Ranked online bachelor’s programs have a mean price of $286 per credit. Virtual college courses can also cost much less by slashing campus fees, housing, meal plans, parking, and transportation. Some learners may worry that the cheapest accredited online colleges won’t provide a good education, so let’s relieve this fear.

How Cheap Online Colleges Compare

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Cheap online colleges certainly won’t have the prestige of Ivy League schools like Dartmouth, but they can still deliver great degrees if they’re regionally accredited. Regional accreditation from one of six CHEA-recognized agencies certifies that the online school meets the quality standards stipulated by the U.S. Department of Education. However, nationally accredited online colleges are less desirable because they often won’t qualify for federal financial aid, credit transfer, or certification exams. For-profit online colleges also receive a bad reputation for putting investors before students and hiring less experienced instructors to execute predetermined lesson plans. According to the NCES, for-profit schools have a low graduation rate of 23 percent. Regionally accredited online colleges operating on a nonprofit model generally provide the best education cheap.

Examples of Accredited, Affordable Online Schools

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We don’t believe in sacrificing quality for affordability, so let’s review some of the cheapest accredited online colleges providing good education for cost-conscious learners. Each of the following tuition rates was recorded based on 2016-17 averages from the NCES database. Our favorite online schools where well-respected degrees cost less dough are:

Brigham Young University-Idaho – Opened in Rexburg by the LDS Church in 1888, Brigham Young University-Idaho is ranked the West’s 13th best college by the U.S. News and America’s 34th best online college on Niche. For $3,920 yearly, online BYU students could pursue 19 degrees, including the B.S. Software Engineering, A.A.S. Family History Research, and B.S. Healthcare Administration.

Alcorn State University – Enrolling 3,720 as a public, land-grant HBCU in Mississippi’s Claiborne County, Alcorn State University is ranked the South’s 95th best college by the U.S. News with America’s 200th best professors on Niche. For $5,269 annually, Alcorn students choose from good online degrees from the M.S. Workforce Education Leadership to the Master of Business Administration.

West Texas A&M University – Located in the Amarillo Metro since 1910 with a $138 million budget to educate 9,901, West Texas A&M University is ranked the West’s 81st best school by the U.S. News and America’s 232nd top public university on Niche. For $7,699 per year, online WTAMU students pursue 13 fully online degrees like the RN-BSN and Criminal Justice B.S.

Financial Aid for Cheaper Online Study

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America’s cheapest, accredited online colleges can become even more inexpensive when you pursue financial aid. Before the FAFSA deadline of June 30th, apply for federal funds like the Pell Grant, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant, or William D. Ford Direct Loan. Search your state’s education department for programs, such as the Michigan Educational Opportunity Grant and Georgia HOPE Scholarship. Some online schools, including SUNY Empire State College, let students receive Federal Work-Study jobs off-campus. Plus, here are a few scholarships reserved for students studying online.

SR Education Group Scholarship for Women – Worth $5,000, the SR Education Group Scholarship for Women is granted annually to female undergrads and post-grads who are attending nonprofit online colleges for a degree or certificate. Online applications must be submitted by September 30th with 500-word essays to two open-ended prompts.

Jane Ireland Student Fund Scholarship – Ranked #1 by the USNWR, the Penn State World Campus created the Jane Ireland Student Fund Scholarship to support online undergrads who’ve completed 24+ credits of their bachelor’s or associate degree. Those with an overall GPA above 3.2 and unmet financial need can apply until September 22nd. Online College Scholarship – Called the “Diploma Mill Police,” offers the $1,000 Online College Scholarship twice yearly to enrich financial aid for students at distance schools in the USA. Before October 15th or March 15th, applicants with a minimum 3.0 GPA can submit their 500-word goals essay and FAFSA form.

Shopping Checklist for Good Online Colleges

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High prices don’t guarantee high quality, while cheap tuition won’t mean cheap quality. Begin your online college search by eliminating unaccredited diploma mills that don’t have legitimate approval from regional agencies. Narrow down online schools offering your chosen major with ample technical and advising support. Inquire about financial aid packages that will lower published tuition rates. Scrutinize online student reviews for insider’s information about their experience. Consider online degree rankings to ascertain which schools are the best of the best. Ask important admission questions about the program length, college history, graduate employment, credit transfer, and course platform. Putting in research time will boost your chance of getting great online education cheap.

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The Top 15 Accredited Online Colleges Without An Application Fee

What Are The Cheapest And Easiest Accredited Online College Programs For Graduate Degrees?

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Heated competition for career promotions is making many working professionals hit the Web to find some of the easiest and cheapest accredited online colleges for graduate degrees. Finishing a graduate program helps you upgrade outdated skills, get employer recognition, find teaching opportunities, and maximize your earning power. On average, master’s graduates are saddled with $37,000 in graduate school debt though. Avoiding high-priced options while saving money by living at home, skipping campus commutes, and continuing to work full-time is essential for strong ROI. If you’re planning to study beyond your baccalaureate, here are six affordable, accredited graduate schools where online tuition is less than $5,000 each year.

1. Western New Mexico University

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Established in 1893 by Colonel John W. Fleming, Western New Mexico University is a public, co-educational regional institution that won the Quality New Mexico Zia Award for delivering high-quality education to 3,500 Mustangs in Silver City and online. College Value Online ranked Western New Mexico fifth nationally with average yearly graduate tuition at $3,026. WNMU Online offers 200+ courses via Canvas with an 18:1 student-faculty ratio. Five easy master’s programs, including a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership, Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, and Master of Business Administration, are available online.

Learn more about the Cheapest and Easiest Accredited Online College Programs for Graduate Degrees at Western New Mexico University here.

2. Fort Hays State University

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Affiliated with noted alumni like Kathryn McCarthy, Les Miller, and Nola Ochs, Fort Hays State University is Kansas’ third-largest public, co-educational regional institution budgeting $155.5 million to serve 14,210 Tigers in the Smoky Hills region and online. Named America’s 48th best online school by Niche, FHSU is recognized by the U.S. News for the 77th best graduate teaching programs online. The Virtual College charges average yearly graduate tuition of $3,398 for cheap Blackboard courses. Post-grads select from 19 online degrees, including a Master of Arts in Public History, Master of Science in School Psychology, and Master of Science in Health and Human Performance.

Learn more about the Cheapest and Easiest Accredited Online College Programs for Graduate Degrees at Fort Hays State University here.

3. Chadron State College

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Led by President Richard R. Rhine, Chadron State College is a public, co-educational NSCS constituent founded in 1911 on the Nebraska Panhandle that’s now retaining 67 percent of its 3,000 Eagles in Chadron and online. Graded B+ for diversity as America’s 98th best online college on Niche, CSC is ranked the 11th best for vets university in Military Times. On Blackboard, the Online Learning Division charges post-grads $3,600 yearly on average. Easy, eight-week courses lead to 17 online degrees, including a Master of Organizational Management in Natural Resources, Master of Education in Reading Specialist PK-12, and Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling.

Learn more about the Cheapest and Easiest Accredited Online College Programs for Graduate Degrees at Chadron State College here.

4. Texas A&M University-Commerce

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Located on Gee Lake in East Texas just an hour’s drive from Dallas with a 1,800-acre farm, Texas A&M University-Commerce is a public, co-educational research institution led by President Ray Keck with 603 academic staff and 12,385 Lions. Declared America’s 107th best college with free applications on Niche, TAMUC was ranked fifth for its Online MBA by the U.S. News. With average yearly tuition at $3,630, the eCollege offers 22 graduate programs 100 percent online. Logging into the myLeo portal is essay for online degrees like the Master of Science in Finance, Master of Science in Applied Criminology, and Doctor of Education in Educational Administration.

Learn more about the Cheapest and Easiest Accredited Online College Programs for Graduate Degrees at Texas A&M University – Commerce here.

5. Cameron University

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Passing its 100th anniversary, Cameron University is a public, co-educational member of the Lone Star Conference that’s carrying a $16.1 million endowment to educate 5,589 Aggies under President John M. McArthur’s leadership in Lawton, Oklahoma, and online. Applauded for the 145th best online MBA by the U.S. News, Cameron has the state’s third lowest median student loan debt with average post-grad tuition at $4,296 yearly. Cameron’s five easy online master’s, including the Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, Master of Business Administration in Economics, and Master of Education in Special Education, are available everywhere except California, Florida, or Massachusetts on Blackboard.

Learn more about the Cheapest and Easiest Accredited Online College Programs for Graduate Degrees at Cameron University here.

6. Arkansas State University

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Following the motto “Educate, Enhance, Enrich,” Arkansas State University is a flagship public, co-educational research institution opened by Pastor Robert W. Glover in 1909 that’s now endowed for $54.2 million to serve 21,976 Red Wolves in Jonesboro and online. Deemed America’s 54th most conservative college on Niche, A-State is congratulated for the 10th best online MBA by the U.S. News. Using the SREB Electronic Campus platform, A-State Online bills $4,626 for average graduate tuition yearly. Students can easily access 16 online graduate degrees, including the M.S. in Sport Administration, Master of Public Administration, and Ed.S. in Educational Leadership.

Learn more about the Cheapest and Easiest Accredited Online College Programs for Graduate Degrees at Arkansas State University here.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for? The NCES College Navigator is an excellent online tool for post-graduates to conduct advanced searches for degree specifics while limiting annual tuition to the maximum $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000 marks. When shopping for inexpensive online graduate degrees, be cautious about scams that seem too good from diploma mills by checking for regional or national accreditations. Some more of the easiest, cheapest accredited online graduate degrees are found at New Mexico Highlands University, University of Texas Permian Basin, Wayne State College, Amberton University, Southern Arkansas University, and Henderson State University.

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The Top 20 Easy Accredited Online PhD Programs

Where Can I Find The Easiest Accredited Online College Program?

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

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

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

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The Search

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

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Other Research Tools

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

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

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

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

Regent University

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

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

Walden University

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

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

Liberty University

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

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

Hampton University

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

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

Nova Southeastern University

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

Keiser University

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

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

Related Links

The Top 20 Easy Accredited Online PhD Programs

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

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

Check Accreditation Status Online

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

Finding Free Online College Applications

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

Hunting for Low-Cost Online Bargains

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

Building a Satisfying Financial Aid Package

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

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

Related Links:

Accredited Online Degree Programs – The Advantages

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

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

How Does Accreditation Affect Financial Aid?


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.