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The 30 Best Online Universities

The 30 Best Online Universities

If you work full time and are looking to go back to school to earn a graduate degree, start an undergraduate program or complete a degree you began but were unable to finish, you face significant challenges. How will earning a degree fit your lifestyle and responsibilities? Luckily for you, each year there’s a rapidly expanding pool of degrees that can be earned partially or entirely online. To sweeten the pot, more and more people are going back to or beginning school online, leading all sorts of universities and colleges to expand their offerings, fine-tune their delivery methods and generally cater to online students, who in many ways are lower maintenance than on campus students. You don’t have to be a provost to see which way education is heading.

If you want to find an online university, it can be overwhelming. You’ll want to find a program that fits your career goals that has a mixture of academic prestige, flexibility, affordability and more. That’s why we made this ranking with 30 top online universities. This ranking was based on the following methodology:

  • 1/4 affordability (defined as total cost and percentage of first-time undergraduate students receiving financial aid)
  • 1/4 selectivity (defined by acceptance rate and student’s standardized test scores)
  • 1/4 online academic quality (student-to-faculty ratio, retention rate for full time students, percentage of students taking some online courses and the 6-year graduation rate for undergraduates)
  • 1/4 support services (amount of programs offered online, virtual library support services and its book and media collection)

Schools that were considered “online universities” were those offering multiple undergraduate and graduate degrees fully online by the Department of Education’s IPEDs database. Schools were also assessed for their national, regional and program rankings by organizations like U.S. News & World Report. One note is that every program’s requirements and delivery methods are different, and subject to change, so make sure you have the credits and abilities to succeed in any program or school that catches your attention. Without further ado, here are the top 30 online colleges:

1) Liberty University

Liberty is a private, non-profit Christian doctoral research university based out of Lynchburg, Virginia. The school was founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell, a Baptist leader. It now serves over 75,000 students worldwide, and offers a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It conveys 290 bachelors, 315 masters, and 32 doctoral degrees through 17 distinct colleges. Over 85% of Liberty students take classes online. It has been classified as a doctoral research university by the Carnegie Classification. According to LU, it’s the nation’s largest nonprofit online university, and has pioneered distance learning since 1985. There are over 300 different degrees and certifications offered through Liberty’s online wing.

Liberty’s online programs offer an even smaller student-to-faculty ratio (17:1). The total price for out-of-state students living off campus in 2015-16 was $36,119. They also offer one of the broadest online catalogs available. These include 12 distinct Associate degrees, 121 Bachelor’s degrees, 125 Master’s degrees, 41 Doctoral degrees, 28 distinct certificate specializations, and even a high school program. Liberty’s online programs were ranked 5th on BestColleges.com’s “Top 50 Online Colleges of 2018.” It has consistently been ranked highly for its Online Bachelor’s Programs, MBA program and other graduate business programs, graduate Criminal Justice programs, graduate Education programs and graduate Nursing programs. For students looking for an online higher education experience that is conservative and fundamentalist Christian, Liberty is it.

2) University of Florida

UF is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. It was founded in 1853, and operates from Gainesville, Florida. Over 52,300 students attend the school, which offers a 20:1 student-to-faculty ratio. It’s a public, sea-grant, space-grant, and land-grant research school with a splendid reputation. Some of the degree topics offered include: environmental management in agriculture and natural resources, health education, biology, entomology, industrial and systems engineering, and Latin. Students also can pursue doctoral degrees in education, audiology, philosophy, classical studies, nursing practice, and pharmacy. The University of Florida is also consistently ranked as one of the top-value schools in the country by sources like Princeton Review and Smart Money Magazine. In 2018 it was ranked the ninth best public university in the country by USNR.

The University of Florida offers an online division. It builds off a tradition that goes back to 1919 (when UF first began offering distance learning). Currently 2,240 students attend, and it offers a 49:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The cost in 2015-16 for students living off campus was $42,939. It offers over 200 distinct Master’s, Bachelor’s, Doctorates and Certificates entirely online. Standouts include Bachelor’s in Computer Science, Anthropology, Criminology, Geography, Master’s in Business Administration, Computer Engineering, Biostatistics, and Doctorates in Nursing, Educational Technology, Pharmacy, and much more. In 2016, USNR ranked UF’s online Bachelor’s program #11 in the country.

3) University of South Florida-Main Campus

USF is a public research university based out of Tampa, Florida. It’s a member of the Florida state system, and was founded in 1956. It conveys 80 undergraduate majors and more than 130 graduate, specialist, and doctoral-level degree programs through 14 colleges. USNR’s 2018 edition ranked USF 68th of Top Public Schools and 140th in National Universities. It’s especially known for its graduate programs in Public Health, Library and Information Studies, Education, and Criminology, which all rank in the top 5 in USNR’s graduate school rankings. Over 42,800 students attend USF, which offers a 22:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

USF offers online programs for students looking to earn a Bachelor’s Master’s, or just take individual online courses. It offers over two dozen online graduate degrees, including electrical engineering, public administration, global sustainability, instructional technology, undergraduate degrees, including criminal justice, public health, nursing, and a wealth of one-off online courses. USF set its website up so students can easily toggle any course and see if distance learning is offered. The cost for out-of-state students living on campus in 2015-16 was $32,024, but obviously far less if you just want to take a class or two.

4) Anderson University

Anderson is a private university affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention. It’s based out of Anderson, South Carolina, and was founded in 1911. Students at the school have access to Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in approximately 60 fields of study through schools of the Arts, Arts and Sciences, Business, Christian Studies, Education, Health Professions, Interior Design, Nursing, and Public Service & Public Administration. Over 3,400 students attend the school, which has a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. In 2016, the Chronicle of Higher Education called Anderson the 16th fastest growing regional college in the country.

Anderson has many online Bachelor’s, Master’s, and one Doctoral degree for students to choose from (a Christian Studies Doctor of Ministry). Most of the programs are through Anderson’s schools of Business, Allied Health, and Criminal Justice divisions. These include Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice with a focus on Homeland Security/Emergency Preparedness or Law Enforcement and several MBA’s (in Healthcare Leadership, a rapidly developing field, Human Resources, Marketing and Supply Chain Management). Anderson also offers unusual programs like a Master in Music Education and its Master of Ministry program. Another great program to consider is its Human Services Bachelor’s, which comes in a general and Behavioral Science focus. In 2015-16, Anderson cost $40,725 for out-of-state students living off campus.

5) North Carolina State University at Raleigh

NCSU is a public research university in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was founded in 1887. It’s one leg of the Research Triangle alongside Duke University and The University of North Carolina. Over 33,750 students attend the school, which somehow manages a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio. NCSU is known for its engineering, statistics, agriculture, life sciences, textiles and design programs. It offers over 100 bachelor’s degrees, 104 master’s degrees, and 61 doctoral degrees. In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked NC State 92nd among all national universities, tied for 38th of the public universities in the U.S., and 62nd as a ”best value” school. The Academic Ranking of World Universities put NC State in the 201-300 tier among 500 world universities in 2016 and 32nd best Engineering university worldwide in 2015. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance placed NC State 11th in its 2016 ranking of best value public colleges in America.

NCSU’s online and distance education wing offers undergraduate, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees, in addition to undergraduate and graduate certificates, plus a teacher licensure. Most of its programs are scheduled to allow students to do coursework at times that fit their lives. Standout Bachelor’s include Leadership in the Public Sector, with a general track and a military track. NCSU also has Bachelor degrees in engineering that do require some onsite tutelage. It offers Master’s in Aerospace Engineering, Animal Science, an MBA and a Biological and Agricultural Engineering program entirely online, among many other graduate offerings. The school also offers a Doctorate in Design that can be earned entirely online. In 2015-16, NCSU cost $38,749 for out-of-state students living off campus.

6) University of Central Florida

UCF is a public, research university that was founded in 1963. It’s based out of Orlando, Florida. Over 64,000 students attend the school, and has a 30:1 student to faculty ratio. It offers associate, bachelor, master, post-master, and doctoral degrees. In 2015, USNR ranked UCF as the third-best “up-and-coming” national university in the nation, 13th most innovative school, 91st among public universities, and 168th overall on the list of Tier I National Universities. In 2014, Kiplinger rated UCF 42nd among the “Best Values in Public Colleges” in the country. UCF has been ranked among the “50 Best Value Public Universities” by USA Today and The Princeton Review. It’s also frequently ranked as an extremely economically diverse school, and has received the Carnegie Foundation’s highest designations in community engagement and research activity.

UCF offers over 80 degree and certificate programs online, and has offered online degrees for 20 years. Its programs are designed to give students the highest quality education and flexibility in receiving it. In 2017, USNR ranked their online Bachelor’s programs among the best in the country, and found they were one of the best online colleges for veterans. Standout Bachelor’s programs include Political Science, History, Nursing, Psychology, Technical Education and Industry Training, among several others. Students may also combine an online major with an online minor (standouts including Middle Eastern Studies, Cognitive Sciences and Aging Studies). Master’s include Aerospace Engineering, Art Education, Digital Forensics, Research Administration, Social Work, and many, many more. UCF also offers certificates in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Corrections Leadership, Fundraising, Gifted Education, Juvenile Justice Leadership, Quality Assurance and much more. In 2015-16, UCF cost $38,321 for out-of-state students living off campus.

7) Florida State University

Florida State is a premier public school for sea-grant and space-grant research (Florida is a magnet for those fields). It was founded in 1851, and operates out of Tallahassee. The school is made up of 16 colleges and over 360 programs of study that convey all degrees from Associates through Doctorates. It’s known for its programs in law, business engineering, medicine, social policy, film, music, theater, dance, visual art, political science, psychology, social work, and more. In 2017 USNR ranked Florida State as the 33rd best public university in the United States. Over 41,000 students attend FSU, which has a 24:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

FSU’s distance learning program offers students undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates, in addition to online electives. Its online graduate degrees in business, education, and nursing have multiple concentrations, with 2-4 areas of emphasis. It also offers four different majors for online bachelor’s students, including public safety, criminology, computer science, and interdisciplinary social science. Students are often expected to have 60 or more credit hours that are transferrable into the program they choose. One of the major perks of choosing FSU, Office of Distance Learning is the access to academic coordinators, who track students’ progress, make course recommendations, and help students tailor their education to their goals. In 2015-16, UCF cost $37,237 for out-of-state students living off campus.

8) University of Memphis

U of M is a public research university operating from Memphis, Tennessee. It was founded in 1912. The school is comprised of thirteen colleges and schools, including Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Communication and Fine Arts, Education, Engineering Nursing, Law, Music, and more. It also is home to several centers for advanced research in technology, earthquakes, intelligent systems, distributed learning, and business and economic research. U of M offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees, in addition to graduate certificates. Over 21,300 students attend the school, which offers a very low 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Washington Monthly has ranked it 40th in the nation.

U of M’s online division, U of M Global, offers 60 separate degree programs in Business, Education, Engineering, Health Professions, Humanities and Social Science. All of its programs are entirely online. Students can take Master’s in History, English (with a concentration in ESL), Business Administration, Sport Commerce, Leadership, Educational Psychology, and much more, including several graduate certificates. Undergraduate degrees include Accountancy, Business Information and Technology, Sport and Leisure Management, Public Relations, Philosophy, and much more. U of M Global helps you with an advisor as soon as you choose a degree program you’re interested in. In 2015-16, U of M cost $35,558 for out-of-state students living off campus.

9) Creighton University

Creighton is a private, Roman Catholic university that was founded in 1878. It’s based out of Omaha, Nebraska. It is one of 28 members of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, and Nebraska’s largest religious university. Creighton offers undergraduate and graduate degrees through colleges of Arts & Sciences, Business, Nursing, Dentistry, Medicine, Pharmacy & Health Professions, Law, and more. In 2017 it was ranked first in its region by USNR, and in 2016, Washington Monthly ranked it 3rd among National Universities’ Master’s. 14% of Creighton’s Class of 2020 said they’re the first generation in their family to go to college.

Creighton’s online programs are intended to provide full-time working adults the convenience and flexibility they need to attend school. Degrees conferred online include Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorates and Graduate Certificates. They come in Business & Leadership, Education, Health & Medicine and Spirituality. Standouts include graduate degrees in Business Intelligence & Analytics, and MBA, Educational Leadership, Emergency Medical Services, and more. Undergraduate degrees include Healthy Lifestyle Management, Leadership, and Nursing. It also offers several graduate certificates as well. In 2015-16, Creighton cost $50,716 for out-of-state students living off campus.

10) University of New England

UNE is a private university based out of Biddeford, Maine. It also has campuses in Portland and Tangier, Maine. UNE is the largest private university in the state. USNR named UNE one of the best colleges among north regional universities for 2017. Over 8,200 students attend the school, which offers a snug 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The school confers certificates, Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees, and Doctoral degrees through colleges of Arts and Sciences, Health Professions, Osteopathic Medicine, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy, and Graduate and Professional Studies. It also has several center of excellence for research and scholarship in Health Innovation, Education Collaboration, Neurosciences, Global Humanities, Marine Sciences, Teaching & Learning, Pain and Sensory Function and Aging and Health.

UNE’s online program is made up of Master’s, Doctorates, and Graduate Certificates. The programs are in Education, Health Informatics, Applied Nutrition, Public Health, and Social Work. UNE also offers single online courses to fill Science Prerequisites for the Health Professions courses. Standouts include Master’s in Social Work, Public Health, Health Informatics, Applied Nutrition and several Education Master’s. They also offer a Doctorate in Education Leadership and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study. Its online education programs were recognized by USNR for their excellence in 2017, and they’ve been cited for their affordable Master’s degree programs. In 2015-16, UNE cost $49,510 for out-of-state students living off campus.

11) University of Nebraska-Lincoln

UNL or NU is a public research university known for its value, graduation rates and programming quality. It was founded in 1869, and is the oldest university in Nebraska. Over 25,000 students attend UNL, which offers a 21:1 student-to-faculty ratio. UNL offers an immense catalog, with over 150 undergrad majors, 20 pre-professional programs, 100 graduate programs and 275 programs of study through nine colleges including agricultural sciences, architecture, arts and sciences, business administration, education, engineering, performing arts, journalism and law. Princeton Review and Kiplinger’s named it a best value for a public university in 2014 and 2016 respectively. It was cited by U.S. Dept. of Education for having low costs and a high graduation rate, and USNR ranked it among “A-Plus Schools for B Students.” Over 30 of its students have been either been named Rhodes Scholars, or awarded Nobel/Pulitzer prizes.

UNL has been providing distance education for over 100 years. UNL’s online programs have been ranked among the best by USNR for its Bachelor’s, MBA progams, Graduate Education and Graduate Engineering. Its undergraduate programs are degree completion, minors or certificates, so it behooves undergraduate students to have necessary credits for them. Master’s highlights include Agronomy, Deaf Education, Community Development, the MBA and Dietetics. UNL also offers doctorates in Educational Leadership and Higher Education, and P-12 School Leadership, and a wealth of graduate certificates like Behavioral Specialist, Business Analytics, Youth Development and Public Relations and Social Media. In 2015-16, UNL cost $35,782 for out-of-state students living off campus.

12) University of Massachusetts-Amherst

UMass Amherst is a public research university based out of its namesake. It was established in 1863. It offers Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral degrees in 111 undergraduate, 75 master’s and 47 doctoral programs through nine schools and colleges. It’s a member of the prestigious Five College Consortium in Massachusetts. UMass Amherst has been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a university with the highest level of research activity. Over 30,000 students attend the school, and it has a 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio. USNR ranked it 74th among National Universities and 117th among Global Universities in 2017. It’s ranked especially highly for its graduate programs in Sociology, Public Health, Education and Psychology.

Due to its membership in the Consortium, UMass Amherst is able to offer a gargantuan array of online degrees, 150 of which can be taken entirely online. Just some of the areas their degrees cover include Finance, History, Graphic Design, Global Affairs, Environmental Studies, Information Technology (and security), Human Services, Journalism, Marketing, and much, much more. Degree levels conferred include Doctorates, Master’s, Bachelor’s, Associate’s, and a number of certificates and professional programs. In 2015-16, UMass Amherst cost $44,407 for out-of-state students living off campus.

13) University of Massachussets-Lowell

The University of Massachusetts Lowell is a public research university that serves approximately 18,000 students. It’s the second largest public university in the state behind UMass Amherst. The school offers 122 bachelor’s, 43 master’s and 36 doctoral degree programs, with esteemed courses in engineering, criminal justice, education, music, science and technology. U.S. News & World Report ranked UMass Lowell at 152 among top-tier National Universities list in 2016. UMass Lowell is one of only six schools to rank higher on that list each year since 2010. It gained 27-spots in the past five years, second-fastest in the nation. USNR also ranked it 78th among top public universities and second in the state. Forbes rated UMass Lowell the 10th best value among all universities and colleges nationwide in 2013, and fourth in value among non-military academies.

UMass-Lowell is known for its top-ranked online education and its affordability. It offers a plethora of online undergraduate and graduate degree. Its Bachelor offerings include Information Technology (with an optional Business Minor), Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Nursing completion, and Psychology. It also offers Associate degrees in Information Technology and Management. Finally, the school offers a number of specific graduate certificates in communications, computer science, paralegal studies and more. Among its graduate programs, standouts include Master’s in Information Technology, Business Administration, Security Studies (with several focuses, Finance, Engineering Management and more. Unusual graduate certificates include Domestic Violence Prevention, Victim Studies and Plastic Engineering Fundamentals. In 2015-16 UMass-Lowell cost $37,401 for out-of-state students living off campus.

14) University of Alabama at Birmingham

UAB is a public university that was established in 1969. Over 19,500 students attend the school, which has a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Over 110 countries are represented in its student body as well. The school offers 140 programs broken into 12 academic divisions leading to bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees. Top areas of study include social and behavioral sciences, the liberal arts, business, education, engineering, and health-related fields such as medicine, dentistry, optometry, nursing, and public health. In 2016, UAB tied for 159th best national university by U.S. News & World Reports rankings. It’s exceptionally funded, receiving more funding than all other Alabama universities combined.

UAB offers fully online programs, programs that are mostly online but may require some on-campus meetings, distance accessible (online combined with periodic on-campus intensives) and blended, which a equal mix of campus and online work. For this we’ll focus on its completely online programs, but make sure to check the full catalog to see if there’s another program and/or delivery method that works for you. Undergraduate degree standouts at UAB include Finance, Accounting, Industrial Distribution, Information Systems, Management, Marketing and Health Care Management. It also offers Master’s in Accounting, an MBA, Structural Engineering, Nutrition Sciences and Information Systems, among many others. In 2015-16 UAB cost cost $34,4549 for out-of-state students living off campus.

15) Ohio University-Main Campus

Ohio is a large public research university based out of Athens, Ohio, with a number of regional campuses. It’s the oldest university in Ohio, and was established with the state’s approval in 1804. It offers undergraduate programs in 250 areas of study, and graduate degrees in most of its departments, which include Arts and Sciences, Business, Communication, Education, Engineering and Technology, Fine Arts, Health Sciences and Professions, Leadership and Public Affairs, Medical and Graduate Studies, among others. Over 29,500 students attend the school, which has a 18:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Ohio’s eCampus offers free online tutoring services, and a survey that allows students to assess their readiness to being an online program at the school. It offers Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s and professional programs. Standout undergraduate programs offered include Criminal Justice, Psychology, Nursing, Customer Service, Applied Management and more. It also offer Master’s in English, Financial Economics, Social Science, Sports Administration, Organizational Communication, Reading Education, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Management. In 2015-16 it cost $37,401 for out-of-state students living off campus.

16) Ashford University

Ashford University is a for-profit, online university that is based in San Diego, California. Formerly Mount St. Clare College in Iowa, the University was purchased in 2005 by Bridgepoint Education Inc., who changed the name to Ashford University and opened a campus in San Diego. The Iowa campus was closed in 2016, and now Ashford University hold all of its classes online, offering associates, bachelors, and masters degrees in more than 50 different majors. The university is broken down into five different colleges: Forbes School of Business and Technology; College of Education; College of Health, Human Services and Science; College of Liberal Arts; and Honors College. Over 41,300 students attend Ashford, which has a 15:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Ashford University has a total enrollment of 41,361 students, with 35,870 of those students being undergraduates. The tuition for a year of full time online classes is $11,032, which placed Ashford University on the National Center for Education Statistics 2015 list of most affordable four year colleges, with a tuition that was 33% lower than the national average. The online curriculum is tailored to working professionals who have other responsibilities, as they offer 5-week courses so that you can take one class at a time and still be considered a full time student. They also allow students to transfer up to 90 approved credits from other accredited institutions. Ashford University is therefore one of the most practical school choices for online learners. In 2015-16 Ashford cost $23,131 for out-of-state students living off campus.

17) Campbellsville University

Campbellsville University is a private university based in Campbellsville, Kentucky. Originally founded in 1906 as Russell Creek Academy and associated with the Baptist Church, the University has grown to enroll 5,200 students, ending its affiliation with the Baptist Church in 2014. Tuition costs for the 2016-2017 calendar year came out to $24,596, but 89 percent of full-time undergraduate students receive need-based scholarships, which cuts costs by an average of $16,723 per student. This makes Campbellsville University highly affordable, as student tuition usually comes out to less than $10,000.

Campbellsville University has a sizable catalog for online learners to choose from, as it offers five online associate degrees, seven online bachelor degrees, and nineteen online graduate degrees, including an online MBA program. The student-to-faculty ratio is 13:1, allowing online learners to connect to their professors instead of feeling alienated at a distance. Campbellsville University is a good safety school for many students, as 76% of applicants are admitted. While Campbellsville University has an active campus life with sports teams competing in the NAIA, the 68% of their students take online courses, which means that the professors are comfortable with the online learning interface. All of these factors make Campbellsville University a good choice for distance learners looking to retain some of the intimacy of a small liberal arts college while studying at an online university. In 2015-16 Cambellsville cost $32,701 for out-of-state students living off campus.

18) University of Mary

The University of Mary is a private university that was established in 1959 and is associated with Christian, Catholic and Benedictine religious sects. Its campus is located about four miles south of Bismark, North Dakota, and it is the only private Catholic university in the state. The university has a total enrollment of 3,260, with 2,218 of students being undergraduates. The tuition for the 2016-17 academic year was $17,445, though 99% of students receive some form of scholarship or financial aid. The University of Mary is a good safety school for many prospective students, as it admits 96% of applicants, while still boasting a 13:1 student to faculty ratio.

While the University of Mary has an active campus life with teams competing in NCAA division II, 33% of its undergraduate students are enrolled in online courses, and 58% of its graduate students are online as well. The university offers ten online bachelors programs including accounting, information technology management, and criminal justice; and twenty different online master’s programs including business administration, early childhood education, and healthcare administration. The University of Mary is a versatile option for online learners who prefer the environment of a smaller online university. In 2015-16 Mary cost $27,561 for out-of-state students living off campus.

19) University of Southern Mississippi

The University of Southern Mississippi is a public research university that was founded in 1910 and is located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The University of Southern Mississippi is a large school, with a total undergraduate enrollment of 11,799, as well as 2,680 graduate students, bringing total enrollment to 14,552 students. The out-of-state tuition for 2016-17 was $16,529, but 98% of full-time undergraduates receive scholarship or financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $4,995. The university is fairly selective, as 58% of applicants are admitted, making it a good target school for prospective students. The university boasts athletic prowess, as it competes in NCAA division I, giving it worldwide name recognition.

43% of students at the University of Southern Mississippi take online courses, and the university has a large online catalog for students to choose from. They offer 14 different online bachelor degree programs, and 26 online graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in International Development. The University of Southern Mississippi is one of very few schools that is accredited in both business and accounting by the AACSB International Association for Management Education. For distance learners looking for a large state school that has prestigious academics and name recognition, the University of Southern Mississippi is a great choice. In 2015-16 it cost $37,401 for out-of-state students living off campus.

20) Azusa Pacific University

Azusa Pacific University is a private, evangelical Christian university that was founded in 1899, and is located in Azusa, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. Azusa Pacific is a large University with 5,344 undergraduates and 4,676 postgraduates enrolled. Despite its size, it maintains a surprisingly intimate student-to-faculty ratio of 1:11, giving students more connectivity with their professors than traditional state universities. While the tuition and fees for the 2016-17 academic calendar came out to $36,120, 97% of their students received help via financial aid and scholarships. The university is a good bet for applicants, as 81% of students are admitted.

Azusa Pacific University is comprised of three colleges and seven different schools: Honors College; College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; College of Music and the Arts; Leung School of Accounting; School of Adult and Professional Studies; School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences; School of Business and Management; School of Education; School of Nursing; and School of Theology. Their online offerings include 11 different bachelor degrees, as well as two associate degrees, and a Pre-Nursing Health Science Certificate. For online graduate studies, Azusa Pacific University offers 17 different masters programs, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Azusa Pacific University is unique in offering a wide range of academic paths like large universities, while maintaining a student-to-faculty ratio of a smaller liberal arts school. In 2015-16 Azusa cost $52,655 for out-of-state students living off campus.

21) Regis University

Regis University is a private Jesuit university founded in 1877 and located in Denver, Colorado. The university is highly regarded as U.S. News & World Report ranked it 23rd among regional universities in the western United States. Total enrollment at Regis is 11,411, and their 1,947 part-time and full-time academic staff allows them to maintain a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. Annual tuition for the 2017-18 academic calendar totaled $34,450, though 67 percent of full-time undergraduates received financial aid, with the average scholarship coming out to $17,582. Regis University is used to accommodating distance learners, as 48% of its undergraduates and 51% of its graduate students are enrolled in online courses.

Regis University is divided into five different colleges: Regis College; The Rueckert-Hartman College for Health Professions; the College of Contemporary Liberal Studies; the College of Computer and Information Sciences; and the College of Business and Economics. Regis University offers 30 different online bachelor degrees, including Accounting, Computer Science, and Nursing. The university also offers 42 different online graduate degrees including a masters of Information Assurance, a masters of Business Administration, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The wide range of online courses, as well as its stellar reputation, and financial support make Regis University a great choice for distance learners. In 2015-16 Regis cost $48,078 for out-of-state students living off campus.

22) University of Illinois at Springfield

The University of Illinois at Springfield is a public university that was founded in 1969 as Sangamon State University, but became part of the University of Illinois system in 1995. The university serves 5,341 students, with 3,437 of them being undergraduates, and offers a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The out-of-state tuition and fees for the 2017-18 academic year came out to $20,948, as it is a state school, in-state tuition is considerably lower, coming out to $11,423 for 2017-18, though 65% of their full-time undergraduates receive scholarships averaging $10,563, which makes the University of Illinois at Springfield extremely affordable for qualified students.

The University of Illinois at Springfield has been offering online degrees since 1999. The university has consistently been recognized as a great online school, as it was awarded the 2007 Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Teaching and Learning, and the 2008 Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education. They offer 9 different online bachelor degrees including Business Administration, Computer Science, and Philosophy, as well as 13 online master degrees including Data Analytics, Legal Studies, and Public Administration. Their exceptional online reputation as well as their financial aid packages make the University of Illinois at Springfield a great choice for many online learners. In 2015-16 UMass-Lowell cost $11,444 for out-of-state students living off campus.

23) St. Joseph’s College—New York

St. Joseph’s College is a liberal arts college in New York State that was established in 1916, and has campuses located in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, and in Patchogue, Long Island. The Long Island campus hosts a considerably larger student body, with 2,888 undergraduates and 649 postgraduates, while the Brooklyn campus has 990 undergraduates and 222 postgraduates. St. Joseph’s College maintains the small liberal arts college standard of a great 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The tuition and fees for the 2017-18 school year came out to $26,560, but 77 percent of full-time undergraduates were given financial aid, with scholarships or grants averaging $10,118.

While most of the students at St. Joseph’s College are based on campus, it still hosts an intimate community of online learners, with 28% of students enrolled in online courses. St. Joseph’s College offers eight different online bachelors degrees, including Organizational Management, Criminal Justice Practice and Policy, and General Studies. The college also offers nine different online masters degrees including an Executive Masters of Business Administration, Human Resources Management, and Health Care Management. The college allows 90 credits to be transferred from other institutions towards its online undergraduate degrees, making it a good choice for distance learners who are going back to school to complete their degree. In 2015-16 it cost $35,113 for out-of-state students living off campus.

24) Friends University

Friends University is a private Christian University that was founded in 1898 and is based in Wichita, Kansas. The campus was originally intended to be used for Garfield University with its main building constructed in 1887, but due to financial difficulty the Religious Society of Friends (also known as Quakers) took over in 1898. The university has 1,944 undergraduates and 838 postgraduates, giving it a total enrollment of 2,782, with an 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Tuition for the 2017-18 academic calendar totaled $27,565, with 78% of undergraduates receiving scholarships or grants at an average of $8,359.

While Friends University has an active campus life with their sports teams named the Falcons, competing in the NAIA, they also have an emphasis on online learning, as 53% of their students are enrolled in online courses, with 75% of their graduate students taking online courses as well. TheBestColleges.org ranked Friends University as the fourth best online colleges in Kansas, since it knows how to accommodate online learners. The university offers four different online bachelor degrees: Business Management; Human Resource Management; Computer Information Systems; and Organizational Leadership & Transformational Change. They also offer seven different online Masters degrees including Cyber Security, Business Administration, and Health Care Leadership. In 2015-16 Friends cost $38,785 for out-of-state students living off campus.

25) Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University is a private research university that is based in Baltimore, Maryland. The university was originally founded in 1876 with a donation from its namesake benefactor John Hopkins, an American entrepreneur, abolitionist and philanthropist. Johns Hopkins University is extremely well regarded as it is ranked 10th among global universities in U.S. News & World Report 2018 rankings. This prestige is reflected in its low acceptance rate, as it only accepts 14 percent of its applicants, making it a good reach school for most prospective students. The university is heavily geared towards postgraduate research and studies as it serves 14,848 postgraduates, and only 5,326 undergraduates with a great student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1. Due to its prestige, the tuition is also very high at $52,170 for the 2017-18 academic year, though 48% of its students receive financial aid packages that average $38,238, which considerably lowers the expense. The graduation rate at John Hopkins is also in the upper percentile, as 94% of its undergraduate students graduate in six years.

Johns Hopkins University offers its prestigious courses online as well, as 36% of students and 46% of graduate students are enrolled in online courses. The university offers six online bachelor programs: Civil Engineering; Computer Science; Electrical and Computer Engineering; Environmental Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; and Organizational Leadership. The online graduate catalog is substantial, offering 49 unique online master’s degrees, and 9 online doctoral degrees. For top of the line online academics, look no further than John Hopkins University. In 2015-16 Johns Hopkins cost $60,417 for out-of-state students living off campus.

26) University of Nebraska at Kearney

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is a public state school that was founded in 1905. The university has a history of producing educators, as it was named Nebraska State Teachers College from 1921 to 1963, and continues to offer the majority of its graduate courses in teaching. It is very affordable, as in-state tuition is $7,326 and out-of-state tuition is $14,106, with 64% of its full-time undergraduates receiving financial aid packages at an average of 7,846, as they give many of their accomplished applicants a free ride. The university has a total enrollment of 6,788 and has a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1.

While it has a campus community that consists mostly of undergraduates, The University of Nebraska at Kearney has a large online student body, with 93% of its graduate students taking online courses. For undergraduates the university offers 8 different online bachelor degrees including Business Administration, Early Childhood and Family Advocacy, and Social Work. The university offers 34 different graduate degrees, that are mostly in the education field, as graduate studies for teachers is the university’s online strong point. With an 85% acceptance rate, The University of Nebraska at Kearney is a good bet for prospective online students looking to gain professional qualifications to become educators. In 2015-16 it cost $27,561 for out-of-state students living off campus.

27) Saint Francis University

Saint Francis University is a Catholic liberal arts university in Loretto, Pennsylvania. The university has a religious background, as it was founded in 1847 by the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular. The university has a fairly modest enrollment, with 1,745 undergraduate students and 619 graduate students, and a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. 74% of applicants to Saint Francis University are admitted, making it a good safety school for online learners. The university is highly regarded, as US News & World Report ranked the university the 18th best Northern University, and they boast stellar professional placement as 98% of their graduates begin a job or start graduate school within nine months of graduation. The tuition for the 2016-17 academic calendar came out to $33,344 at Saint Francis University.

Though it is located in the farmland of Pennsylvania, Saint Francis University is technologically adept, as they promise to implement the latest e-learning innovations to offer students a great online experience. 55% of their graduate students are enrolled in online courses for four different master’s degrees: Health Science; Medical Science; Business Administration; and Resource Management. For undergraduate online learners they offer bachelor degrees in six different fields, and three different associates degrees, making Saint Francis University a good choice for online learners at all stages of their academic careers. In 2015-16 Saint Francis cost $50,678 for out-of-state students living off campus.

28) Northeastern University

Northeastern University is a private research university that was established in 1898 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts. The university is well regarded, as US News & World Report ranked Northeastern 40th among National Universities, and this is reflected in its extremely selective admittance rate of 28%, making it a reach school for most prospective students. Northeastern has a large enrollment, with a total of 24,944 students, about 18,000 of whom are undergraduates, while maintaining a solid student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. Tuition for the 2017-18 academic year totaled $49,497, though 37% of undergraduates qualified for financial aid at an average of $27,534.

While the majority of students take classes on campus, the size of Northeastern allows it to accommodate distance learners as well. Northeastern offers 10 different bachelor’s degrees that can be completed online, including Health Management, Information Technology, and Political Science. For graduates, the university offers 38 distinct online master’s degrees including Business Administration, Criminal Justice, and Finance, as well as two online doctoral degrees in Education and Transitional Physical Therapy. For prospective students who are willing to spend the money to acquire a prestigious online degree, Northeastern University is a great choice with many options to choose from. In 2015-16 Northeastern cost $62,800 for out-of-state students living off campus.

29) Concordia University Wisconsin

Concordia University Wisconsin is a private liberal arts university based in Mequon, Wisconsin. The university was founded in 1881 at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, and for its first 83 years it focused on theology education and had only male students. In 1964 the university became coed and expanded its curriculum to include more science and liberal arts courses. The school has an almost even split between undergraduates and postgraduate students, with around 3,800 undergraduates and 3,800 postgraduates, with 485 doctoral students. One of the university’s strong points is its School of Pharmacy, which is one of only two pharmacy schools in Wisconsin. Tuition for the 2017-18 academic calendar came out to $28,600, though 80% of undergraduates qualify for financial aid averaging $13,500.

Concordia University Wisconsin is organized into five different schools: the School of Education; the School of Business and Legal Studies; the School of Human Services; the School of Arts and Sciences; and the School of Adult and Continuing Education. The university offers three different online associates degrees, five bachelor degrees, seven master degrees, and three doctoral degrees in Nursing, Health Services, and Occupational Therapy. Concordia University Wisconsin is a solid choice for students at any stage of their academic career looking to obtain an online degree. In 2015-16 Concordia cost $41,320 for out-of-state students living off campus.

30) Regent University

Regent University is a private Christian research university that was founded as Christian Broadcasting Network University in 1977. The campus is suburban, and located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The university has a total enrollment of 8,630, with slightly more graduate students than undergraduate. The tuition for the 2017-18 academic year is $17,450, though 81% of their undergraduates receive scholarships averaging $7,610. While Regent University has a nationally recognized campus with buildings designed in the neo-Georgian style that sprawl out over 70 acres in the coastal city of Virginia Beach, 86% of their graduate students take classes online.

Regent University boasts a highly regarded online experience, as it was ranked by US News & World Report as the 11th best online undergraduate program in the nation in 2015, and its online MBA faculty were ranked 1st nationally in 2013. The university offers 128 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs, many of which are in areas that have high demand in the job market like cybersecurity, business, and public administration. Their online programs are geared towards professional placement and advancement, as they offer the flexibility of 8-week class schedules online. Regent University online is one of only 25 American universities to receive an “A” rating by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, as it is a university that has embraced online learning to its fullest extent, and would be a great choice for any online student. In 2015-16 Regent cost $31,263 for out-of-state students living off campus.