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Academics, Flexibility, Affordability

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Our rankings are independently researched and conscientiously compiled from public data. That means all of the data we use is open access, and that none of the online courses or degree programs you see depend for their place in our rankings on payments to us, or the outside opinions of other colleges and universities. They earn their place by offering affordable degree programs with flexible completion options and a prestigious reputation for all their learners. And because they often come from a strong pool of innovators, they also tend to be quite forward thinking. Through our research, we've seen that the best online courses and degree programs emerge when flexibility, affordability and academic prestige are well balanced. We've found that when programs reach such balance, they rise to the top for their ability to offer life-altering educational opportunities that can shape the future of their learners.

Academic Quality means possessing a reputation for holding learners to a set of high academic standards, which can help guarantee a quality education and ensure that online learners get a job once they leave with their degree.

Flexibility means providing learners with the opportunities they need to complete their coursework with transfer credits from a previous institution, at accelerated or self-paced rates, as well as from remote locations around the globe.

Affordability means bucking the trend of inflated pricing for a higher education and offering courses and degree programs at a reasonable cost per credit hour, especially for working adults and lifelong learners.

While there are very few fully online universities (though there are some), many students these days have experiences at traditional universities that are fully online. This often includes the full range of student services expected of a university: tutoring services, a library, career counseling, office hours, and student clubs, all online! Furthermore, online delivery offers enhanced flexibility. For our purposes, "online universities" are universities that offer the full range of online support services as well as degrees at the graduate and undergraduate level that are fully online.

Perhaps no other subset of students lend themselves quite so well to online learning as students in technology fields. Many of these students will go on to spend a great deal of time on computers or related information technology, and are likely already greatly at home on computers. Unsurprisingly, many technology degree programs were also early adopters of online education, allowing for years of experience to be culimated into online pedagogy and delivery methods. Check out our rankings of technology degree programs to the right!

Widespread adoption of online education methods for health care fields is relatively new. With that said, there are few fields that can benefit as much from the additional flexibility of online education as health care providers. Particularly for those already working in health care who might want to return for a more advanced degree, there are many flexibile online degree options to choose from. We've started our coverage of online health care degree programs with the most popular health care degrees: RN to BSN programs, Masters of Science in Nursing Programs, and Health Care Administration.

Education degrees have long been central to the online education landscape. With years of experience, many online education degree programs have honed their ability to fit into busy educators lives. Education is also one of the largest types of careers in which many professionals obtain advanced degrees, leading to a wide range of degree programs. We've already highlighted many of the most common online education degree types, and will add to our catolog in the future. Check out our online education degree rankings to the right!

Business degrees were some of the very first to find mainstream adoption in distance education. Back in the day many MBA programs were offered via cassettes, VHS, or corrospondence. As soon as the internet became a viable option for delivering online business education, programs were early adopters. And as with most educational disciplines, the more time they've spent focusing on distance education, the more they've been able to refine their processes and provide quality, flexible, and affordable online degree options.

At Online Course Report we do more than cover degrees by tackling the breadth of online education opportunities. Many of these opportunities involve open education, or are centered around the acquisition of particular skills rather than degrees. To the right we've highlighted a number of our other rankings and review content on online education opportunities. For more information on these "other" offerings at Online Course Report, check out our features page.