Search Accredited Online Colleges by Degree, State and Affordability

Technological advancement and increased course availability have thrust online learning into the mainstream. Accredited online degrees are accepted today as being of equal quality to their classroom counterparts. Students can now earn their degrees online from many types of institutions and in a variety of formats, as well as part-time or full-time.

The Babson Survey Research Group, in conjunction with Pearson and the Sloan Consortium, has been gathering data and reporting on distance learning in the United States for the past 11 years. According to its latest report, Grade Change: Tracking Online Education in the United States, 2013, 7.1 million, or 33.5 percent, of higher education students took at least one online course in 2012. The study also shows that 74 percent of academic leaders rate the learning outcomes in online education as the same or superior to those of face-to-face instruction.

Online education delivers instruction to students who are not physically present in a traditional classroom setting, using telecommunication technologies, such as the Internet and video conferencing. The goal of most online learning providers is to create user-friendly online classroom environments that make learning interactive and enjoyable. Students do need to be familiar with using a computer and the Internet, but they certainly don't need to be computer experts.

Learning communities are created virtually with students and faculty communicating via email, bulletin boards, forums and chat rooms. Course materials take the form of video lectures, narrated slide shows, visual demonstrations, animation and even web field trips. Assignments are submitted electronically and testing is done online, although sometimes students take tests at a proctored location.

Online learning offers students convenience and accessibility. In most instances, there's no need to attend class at a specific time. Students can go online when it best suits their schedules. This is particularly beneficial to parents and students who work while attending school. Online learning is accessible to all, anywhere in the world. There is no need to travel to a campus. Students who live far from a school that offers a program they want, can still enroll without needing to move to a new location. Students who need to travel for business don't worry about missing class when they're in a different city.

Online schools and degree programs offer students the same types of guidance and academic resources as traditional schools offer. Academic advisors, tutoring, assistance with technology, access to an alumni network and online student clubs are available. Some programs even provide opportunities for internships and practicums through which students may acquire real-world experience. This is particularly important when it comes to degree programs, such as teaching, which require classroom experience for certification.

Students interested in online learning can choose from three basic modes:

Synchronous online learning requires all students to be online at a specific time for a live class with an instructor. Instead of going to a classroom, however, students log in from home at the predetermined time. While the least flexible of the online learning modes, synchronous learning comes the closest to recreating the traditional classroom experience.

Asynchronous online learning is the most flexible of the options. It allows students to access class lectures and materials at any time and complete them at their convenience. Students who are already familiar with some of the material can move ahead without having to wait for their classmates to catch up. This enables some students to earn their degrees more quickly than if they had to go to campus every week. Students who need extra time, however, can re-watch lectures and learn the material at their own pace.

Hybrid or blended learning programs offer some of the content online and some in a traditional classroom setting. This approach will require students to live or work close to the school and is best for courses that require some sort of hands-on practical learning. Alternatively, some courses require students to be on campus for a specific time period that can range from one weekend to several weeks. The percentage of classroom versus online learning time varies, depending on the subject matter and the school. The online portion of hybrid programs can be delivered in a synchronous, asynchronous or mixed format.

Every type of traditional institution of higher learning today, from Ivy League colleges to large state universities to small private schools, offers some sort of online learning program. According to the Babson Grade Change Report, 66 percent of chief academic leaders say online learning is critical to their institution's long-term strategy. This means there is focus on and investment in taking online programs to new levels. So much so that traditional schools are standing by the quality of their programs and are awarding the exact same diplomas to online students as they do their classroom counterparts.

Students can also choose to earn a degree from any one of a variety of for-profit online colleges. These are the schools which first blazed the trail of online learning and tend to have the broadest offerings of degrees, certificates and courses. While traditional colleges have stepped up their online offerings, for-profit online colleges have broadened their student support efforts to mimic those of traditional schools. They aim to offer high quality education along with as much of the traditional collegiate experience as possible.

Traditional colleges and universities -- public and private not-for-profit -- seek accreditation from one of six regional agencies active in the United States. Recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, these privately run bodies visit and vet institutions for quality curricula, faculty and a host of other criterion. Many of these colleges include their online programs in their accreditation application, signifying that they possess the same academic rigor as their campus-based counterparts. Therefore, distance learning opportunities at traditional schools often carry regional accreditation. In addition, the institutions may seek accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), a national agency dedicated solely to online learning.

For-profit online schools tend to have a slightly different accreditation profile. Many earn accreditation from national agencies only, which specialize in examining and approving "non-traditional" institutions and programs. The most applicable being the aforementioned DETC. However, for a school's degree programs to receive DETC accreditation, the online school must be accredited for Title IV purposes, meaning the institution and its students qualify for federal funding. Furthermore, specific programs can also be accredited by specialized agencies, such as the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

Read More
An Online Guide TO AccreditedColleges & Universities

Quality higher education remains a critical step to career success. Students with degrees from respected institutions have solid footing when they hit the job market after graduation. But how do students, parents and employers gauge "quality", especially when every post-secondary institution has different faculty, curricula, resources and long-term goals?

In the United States, private, non-governmental entities spearhead quality assurance at the post-secondary level. While they do receive official endorsement from the Department of Education, these agencies act independently and develop their own processes and criteria with which to vet colleges, universities and degree programs. The institutions and programs that navigate the processes successfully and meet the necessary criteria become accredited, one of the most important (badges) they can earn.

Students can only receive federal loans if they'reenrolled at an accredited institution?

While a primary goal of accreditation is to measure educational quality against pre-determined, semi-universal standards, accreditation can (and does) vary. For example, some agencies work on a regional basis, others national, and even more assess colleges and programs dedicated to a single subject only. The following guide serves as a comprehensive resource for all things accreditation. It explains the numerous reasons why accreditation matters, explores chief accrediting agencies, breaks down the process, and looks at how online learning fits into the equation. Most importantly, it provides clarity to the confusion that often surrounds accreditation.

Why Accreditation Matters

Beyond the "quality" argument, accreditation means opportunity. For students entering college for the first time, accreditation opens doors to a wider variety of funding options - both public and private. It also allows students to more easily take their hard-earned credits from one institution to another. And finally, for graduates, it can expedite finding a job and building a career. However, truly understanding why accreditation matters calls for a deeper dive into each of these points:

Financial Aid

From January 1 - March 31, 2013, nearly nine million students applied for aid via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (Source: https://studentaid.ed.gov/about/data-center/student/application-volume/fafsa-school-state). Federal student loans fund a bulk of college educations in the United States at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In order to qualify for federal aid, however, a student must be enrolled at an accredited institution. Many states have the same requirement.

Transferability

Thousands of college students transfer to new schools each year, either vertically (from a community college to a university) or horizontally (between institutions on the same academic level). If the school a student transfers from doesn't have proper accreditation from a regional or national agency, the student could lose credits and need to retake certain courses. This can lead to elongated times to graduation and, ultimately, to a more expensive academic journey.

Employability

Not all candidates are created equal, but potential employers do need to know their degrees come from properly vetted schools. Some companies even require applicants to possess credentials from a school or program with a specific type of accreditation - usually regional or specialized, depending on the occupation. Students interested in a specific career path may want to talk to employers in the field to better understand the qualifications they look for, and then use that information to chart a targeted educational path that leads to the career they want.

Who Accredits Colleges?

When it comes to accreditation, both the process and the criteria can be extensive. The former takes years to complete, and the latter often includes dozens of items that each institution must meet or exceed. This rigorous combination requires agencies with decades of collective experience visiting campuses, assessing curricula and reviewing faculty credentials. Before examining how the accreditation process works in full, we need to take a closer look at who accredits schools and the areas in which they preside.

Regional Accreditation

Regional accrediting agencies concentrate on more academically oriented institutions, such as large public universities, state colleges and other non-profit four-year schools. As a result, their standards tend to be more stringent, with some states requiring regional accreditation for an institution to use the words "university" or "college" in its name. In Tennessee, for example, only schools accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools can use degree titles such as Associate of Arts or Bachelor of Arts.

The Department of Education endorses six regional accrediting bodies, each with its own benchmarks and set of states over which it presides:

Commission on Institutions of Higher Education: Part of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), the commission focuses on the accreditation of post-secondary schools and programs in New England's six states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. Its mission is to "assess and promote the quality of education through the accreditation of its members." The related Commission on Technical and Career Institutions, also part of NEASC, concentrates on accreditation for two-year schools with a vocational slant.

Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools: The higher learning commission of NCACS oversees the largest collection of states, including Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming. In addition to academic and teaching excellence, the association places heavy emphasis on encouraging healthy relationships between the institutions that have earned accreditation.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education: A part of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, this higher education commission accredits post-secondary schools throughout Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico and American institutions in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. It focuses on a wide range of institutions, including:

  • Four-year colleges & universities
  • Two-year community and junior colleges
  • Online learning programs
  • Technical & vocational schools

The association's stated mission is to "provide the highest quality accreditation through peer evaluation."

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities: The NWCCU began in 1917 and has a membership of 163 post-secondary institutions in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Like its peers, the NWCCU pushes for educational and resource quality, but they also promote institutional self-assessment so colleges can prepare themselves for the rigorous process of initial and continuous accreditation.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools - Commission on Colleges: Headquartered in Decatur, Georgia, SACS's commission on colleges accredits colleges and universities at various levels in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. SACS-CC updates its principles of accreditation periodically (generally every two years) to ensure standards remain consistent with the evolution of higher education.

Western Association of Schools and Colleges: WASC accredits higher educational institutions in California, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, Micronesia, Palau and the Northern Marianas Islands - as well as American colleges throughout Asia. They do so under two separate bodies: the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities (four-year schools) and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (two-year schools).

National Accreditation

National accrediting bodies can have a less (stringent) set of standards than their regional counterparts. This is due in large part to the nature of the institutions they accredit. While regional associations focus on academically oriented colleges, national accrediting bodies usually cover non-traditional schools such as vocational schools, career schools, technical schools and other training centers. Higher learning with a religious focus, or distance learning, can fall under the national umbrella, as well. Three national accrediting agencies of note include:

Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges: The ACCSC focuses on the accreditation of certificates, diplomas, associate degrees, bachelor's degrees and master's degrees in the occupational, trade and technical spheres. Headquartered in Arlington, VA, the ACCSC emphasizes integrity, accountability, continuous improvement and community.

Council on Occupational Education: The Council concentrates on occupational education in career and technical fields. It covers non-degree granting programs, as well as those at the associate degree level, both on-campus and distance learning.

Distance Education and Training Council (DETC): The DETC is the primary accreditor of programs and courses for fully (or near fully) online schools. They accredit non-degree programs and degree programs from associate through the professional doctorate. Although some may view national accreditation as a notch below regional, the DETC has an extensive 28-page accreditation handbook that breaks down all its eligibility requirements, processes and timelines.

Other national accrediting agencies:

Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training

Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools

Association for Biblical Higher Education, Commission on Accreditation

Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools, Accreditation Commission

New York State Board of Regents and the Commissioner of Education

Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, Accreditation Commission

Programmatic Accreditation

Some accrediting agencies work with specific degree programs only. For example, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education accredits programs in pharmacy that lead to the PharmD credential. Many colleges and universities (and their appropriate departments) seek programmatic accreditation in addition to regional or national. This gives both the college and the department an extra level of quality assurance to tout.

Active programmatic accrediting agencies, according to the Department of Education, include the following:

  • Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education
  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
  • American Dental Association, Commission on Dental Accreditation
  • American Occupational Therapy Association, Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education
  • American Optometric Association, Accreditation Council on Optometric Education
  • American Physical Therapy Association, Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education
  • American Psychological Association, Commission on Accreditation
  • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology
  • American Veterinary Medical Association, Council on Education
  • Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., Accreditation Commission
  • Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
  • Commission on Opticianry Accreditation
  • Council on Education for Public Health
  • Council on Naturopathic Medical Education
  • Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology
  • Kansas State Board of Nursing
  • Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • Maryland Board of Nursing
  • Missouri State Board of Nursing
  • Montana State Board of Nursing
  • National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health, Council on Accreditation
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
  • New York State Board of Regents, State Education Department, Office of the Professions (Nursing Education)
  • North Dakota Board of Nursing
  • Teacher Education Accreditation Council, Accreditation Committee

How Accreditation Works

Accreditation could be the most arduous process in the world of higher education. And rightly so. Assessing the quality of a college or university needs to be taken seriously, especially with the number of college students enrolled an institutions reaches the millions on a yearly basis. We already know that accrediting bodies examine curricula, faculty, resources and missions, but what do they look for specifically? What questions do they ask and how do they gauge answers? How long does it take? Let's explore both the criteria and the process in further detail.

Criteria

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities breaks up its accreditation criteria into five distinct categories or "standards". The first covers mission, themes and expectations. For example, when visiting a college (or even before), the NWCCU looks for a mission statement that communicates a clear purpose to the greater community, complete with guidance on "verifiable indicators of achievement". For an even more detailed rundown of the NWCCU's mission requirements, visit its Standard One page.

Resources and academics comprise a second category of accreditation standards. With resources, this means human, material/educational, financial and technological. With human resources, everything begins with leadership. Does the institution have qualified administrators who plan, organize and manage on multiple levels? Do they work collaboratively with various departments to develop academic policies and practices in line with the institution's mission and core themes? This extends to faculty, as well. Professors need to have the proper educational credentials, teaching experience and are available to help students for certain times each week.

Although some agencies separate academics and resources, for the NWCCU, resources also mean educational offerings. Specifically, a set of undergraduate or graduate programs with proper rigor and that follow the school's overall mission. Key questions poses include: Does the institution have the services necessary to support students and foster academic success? A career center, help desk and library with quality materials?

From a financial resource standpoint, this covers financial planning, budget development, infrastructure and other cost-related elements. Are spending practices organized? Does the budget foster growth? Is there a proper accounting system in place to make sure finances (both simple and complex) run smoothly?

Planning and implementation also take center stage in accreditation. Agencies want to know if colleges and universities plan comprehensively and with direction and flexibility. Administrators should be engaging in systematic data collection and analysis to identify pros and cons, and then working with fellow administrators and departments to craft primary and secondary plans that capitalize on the pros and address the cons. For some regional accrediting agencies, this step falls under the umbrella of improvement or adaptation. In other words, turning self-assessment into actionable items for the institution to follow.

Of course, the full list of criteria involved in the accreditation process runs as long as the average bill on the Senate floor. To see the complete set of standards for any regional accrediting agency, visit their website and read through the Accreditation Standards section.

Evaluation

In addition to the criteria, accreditation commissions must have a set process for institutions and themselves to follow. Colleges and universities without accreditation need to know how to begin the journey and what to do both during and after the process completed - pending the outcome. Although each agency handles things a bit differently, enough similarity exists to get a general yet accurate picture of progression from start to finish.

Step 1: Initial Candidacy

This is how a college, university or schools becomes affiliated with an accrediting commission. Candidacy lasts between four and five years and involves on-site evaluation. A team of peer reviewers visits the institution to see if it meets basic eligibility requirements, and to gauge its ability to meet full accreditation standards at the end of the term. The team then submits its findings for assessment by council. If their report is favorable and the council agrees based on its own evaluation, the institution receives candidacy.

Step 2: Midterm Evaluation

Some accrediting commissions require candidates to "re-prove" their commitment to achieve accreditation via a midterm evaluation, so to speak. In this case, another peer review team visits the institution to make sure it continues to move in the right direction. At this point, a viable candidate may seek full accreditation from the commission, although it may be asked to finish out the full four years.

Step 3: Applying for Accreditation

After the four (or five) years have been completed and all requirements fulfilled, an institution can apply for full accreditation. This step usually includes a self-evaluation, a visit from an official commission evaluation team and a hearing - with the final decision rendered by a Board of Trustees or similar administrative group.

Again, the process and the players can differ from agency to agency. The important thing to understand here is that accreditation takes time and involves dozens of professionals with years of experience in higher education.

Accredited Online Colleges

Distance learning, or online education, plays a somewhat interesting role when it comes to accreditation. For example, many not-for-profit colleges and universities have their online degree programs and courses accredited in conjunction with their campus-based ones. Many regional accrediting agencies have made this possible by amending criteria to include phrases such as "however courses may be delivered." The bottom line is, if a four-year college or university has regional accreditation, its online programs have been fully vetted.

Some institutions, however, especially those with national accreditation, may seek additional accreditation from the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). However, the DETC reserves accreditation for schools where online education is the primary learning method for a majority of students. For a school to qualify, it must have two years of academics under the current owners and be approved by its state educational authority to teach there.

With online colleges, programs or courses, accreditation means everything. Before embarking on any distance-learning endeavor, check the institution's accreditation in detail. Too many diploma mills exist out there for anyone to skip over this crucial and potentially money-saving step.

Affordability is always a concern when considering any degree program. The following list of 54 affordable online colleges comprises some of the premier universities in the country specializing in online education as a medium to deliver relevant coursework. It will set you on the path to choosing the online school that best fits your needs.

1
California State University-Dominguez Hills
Tuition and fees: $2,520 Enrollment: 15,909 Accredited: YES Website: www.csudh.edu

Founded in 1960, California State University, Dominguez Hills has the largest distance learning program in California, with more than 4,000 students enrolled worldwide. Named by “Forbes” magazine as one of the top online colleges, CSUDH offers students opportunities to complete their bachelor degrees, earn graduate degrees and professional certificates, advance their careers, and complete hundreds of courses broadcast on TV and streaming online. Online master’s degrees are available in humanities, business administration, public administration, negotiation/conflict resolution and peacekeeping, quality assurance, and nursing; bachelor’s degrees are offered in applied studies, nursing, and quality assurance.

2
Bellevue University
Tuition and fees: $7,047 Enrollment: 15,251 Accredited: YES Website: bellevue.edu

Bellevue University, founded in 1966, offers a Ph.D. in Human Capital Management along with a wide range of more than 50 undergraduate programs to a student body of 16,000. Bellevue’s online college programs were ranked among the Top 10 in the 2013 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report.

3
Cameron University
Tuition and fees: $7,208 Enrollment: 8,227 Accredited: YES Website: www.cameron.edu

Begun as a high school in In 1908, Cameron University grew into a diverse college offering more than 50 programs leading to associate’s, bachelor and master’s degrees — all with a focus on small class size. Online college degrees are offered in interdisciplinary studies and organizational leadership; online graduate degrees include an MBA.

4
Sam Houston State University
Tuition and fees: $7,736 Enrollment: 19,710 Accredited: YES Website: www.shsu.edu/

Founded in 1879, Sam Houston State University offers over 80 bachelor’s degree programs and 56 post-graduate degree (master’s and doctoral) programs. The university received top honors from U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 rankings for its online bachelor’s degree programs, online graduate Education programs, online graduate Computer Information Technology programs, and online graduate Business programs.

5
The University of Tennessee-Martin
Tuition and fees: $7,773 Enrollment: 9,865 Accredited: YES Website: www.utm.edu

The University of Tennessee at Martin, founded in 1900, is home to UT Online, offering distance undergraduate and graduate degrees for the University of Tennessee system. The university’s graduate secondary licensure program made the National Council on Teacher Quality Prep Review honor roll released in June by U.S.News & World Report. Also, U.S. News named the university’s online business program earlier this year as one of the top-10 best online graduate business programs in 2013

6
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Tuition and fees: $7,939 Enrollment: 11,688 Accredited: YES Website: www.nsula.edu/

Founded in 1884 as the Louisiana State Normal School, Northwestern State University of Louisiana serves its 9,000 students with more than 50 online college degrees. More than 30 fully accredited degree programs are offered online at the associate’s, bachelor, master’s and specialist levels.

7
University of South Alabama
Tuition and fees: $8,268 Enrollment: 17,544 Accredited: YES Website: www.southalabama.edu

Founded in 1963, the University of South Alabama is the only higher educational institution of the upper Gulf Coast, serving nearly 15,000 students. It is host to the Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions, Mitchell College of Business, School of Nursing and Auburn University School of Pharmacy. USA offers 250 online college courses each semester and degree programs in nursing, education, information technology and special education.

8
New Mexico State University-Main Campus
Tuition and fees: $8,492 Enrollment: 21,692 Accredited: YES Website: www.nmsu.edu/

New Mexico State University is known for academic excellence and diversity, offering a wide range of undergraduate and graduate degrees. The school holds the distinctions of a being a Hispanic-serving institution and a NASA Space Grant College. The university is ranked in the top-tier of Best National Universities by U.S. News and World Report. NMSU online college degree programs run throughout the calendar year.

9
Columbus State University
Tuition and fees: $8,761 Enrollment: 10,321 Accredited: YES Website: www.columbusstate.edu

Columbus State University, founded in 1958, has been ranked among the Top Universities in the South by US News & World Report, and is a top choice for online college. Its online graduate education programs were ranked best for 2013 and were recognized for arts, education, business and nursing. The music department received the Regents Teaching Excellence Award for Departments and Programs.

10
American Public University System
Tuition and fees: $8,782 Enrollment: 88,029 Accredited: YES Website: www.apus.edu

The American Public University System, founded in 1991, received national accreditation by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council in 1995. Today it offers over 1,500 courses comprising 70 majors for undergrad and graduate students. Online college degrees are offered through the School of Arts and Humanities, School of Business, School of Education, School of Public Service and Health, School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, and School of Security and Global Studies.

11
Florida International University
Tuition and fees: $9,225 Enrollment: 56,288 Accredited: YES Website: www.fiu.edu

Florida International University was Miami’s first public research university and remains the only one, offering undergraduate, post-graduate and professional degrees to its more than 50,000 students. Hallmarks include FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and the School of Computing and Information Sciences’ Discovery Lab. Online college degrees are available in communication, business administration, criminal justice, education, and nursing.

12
University of West Georgia
Tuition and fees: $9,414 Enrollment: 13,314 Accredited: YES Website: www.westga.edu

Cited by the Princeton Review as ‘one of the best overall bargains – based on cost and financial aid–’, the University of West Georgia offers online degrees in education, nursing, criminology, computer science, and business. With low student-teacher ratios, UWG offers degrees entirely through online college or in a hybrid setting. Graduate online degree programs feature majors in education/media, music, applied computer science, nursing, and an MBA.

13
East Carolina University
Tuition and fees: $9,514 Enrollment: 31,334 Accredited: YES Website: www.ecu.edu

East Carolina University awards bachelor, master’s and doctoral degrees, offering small class sizes and an 18/1 student-faculty ratio for undergraduates. The university is home to the largest nurse education program in the state and the online nursing program is among the top online college degrees in the country.

14
Troy University
Tuition and fees: $9,813 Enrollment: 36,806 Accredited: YES Website: www.troy.edu

Troy University, founded in 1887 as the Troy State Normal School, was a teacher’s college for 30 years, and finally became Troy University in 2006. Students can choose among 46 bachelor degree majors and 22 master’s degrees from its online college. The university’s eTROY system offers an associate degree program in general education, 12 majors leading to a bachelor degree, and 14 master’s degree programs.

15
North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Tuition and fees: $9,847 Enrollment: 40,165 Accredited: YES Website: www.ncsu.edu

North Carolina State has garnered an international reputation for excellence in mathematics, technology and engineering. Founded in 1889, NC State spends more than $325 million each year on sponsored faculty and graduate student research. Fifty online college programs are available for undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees, teacher licenses and certifications.

16
Southeast Missouri State University
Tuition and fees: $9,986 Enrollment: 13,426 Accredited: YES Website: www.semo.edu

Founded as the Southeast Missouri State Normal School in 1873, Southeast Missouri State University currently serves its 10,800 students with more than 200 study areas, including programs at its specialized campus for music and theatre, dance and art. Popular online college programs lead to undergrad degrees in business, technology, nursing, criminal justice, with graduate degrees in business administration, technology management, elementary education and criminal justice.

17
Pittsburg State University
Tuition and fees: $10,072 Enrollment: 8,900 Accredited: YES Website: www.pittstate.edu

Students can choose among more than 100 academic programs offered at Pittsburg State University‘s Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Technology colleges. With a student/faculty ratio of 19-to-1, PSU provides excellent mentoring opportunities to its 7,000 students. Online college degree programs are offered in engineering technology, health science, history, nursing, teaching, and workforce development.

18
University of Memphis
Tuition and fees: $10,111 Enrollment: 26,312 Accredited: YES Website: www.memphis.edu

University of Memphis was founded in 1912 as West Tennessee State Normal School. Today, more than 22,000 students pursue bachelor degrees in more than 250 fields, master’s degrees in 55 majors, and in 23 disciplines leading to a doctoral degree. Popular online college degree fields include business, communications and information technology.

19
Wayne State University
Tuition and fees: $10,295 Enrollment: 36,749 Accredited: YES Website: www.wayne.edu

Detroit’s Wayne State University was founded in 1868. Today it offers its 29,000 students more than 370 undergraduate and graduate degree programs at 13 schools. Minorities comprise more than 41 percent of the student body. Students can earn online college degrees from the School of Business Administration, College of Education, School of Library and Information Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the School of Social Work.

20
Utah State University
Tuition and fees: $10,373 Enrollment: 33,517 Accredited: YES Website: www.usu.edu

Forbes ranked Utah State University first in the state and in the top five nationally in its list of America’s Best College Buys (2011). Founded on March 8, 1888, USU’s science programs draw students from around the globe and the Space Dynamics Laboratory has rocketed more student experiments into space than any other university program. The university offers 18 online college degrees and programs.

21
Fort Hays State University
Tuition and fees: $10,549 Enrollment: 14,698 Accredited: YES Website: www.fhsu.edu

Fort Hays State University, located mid-way between Denver and Kansas City, offers associate, bachelor, master’s degree and certificate programs to its 13,000 students. Popular online college programs offered through the Fort Hays State Virtual College include bachelor degrees in business, education, information technology, justice studies, management, and nursing; with master’s programs including business (MBA), counseling, education leadership, nursing, and special education.

22
Arizona State University
Tuition and fees: $10,599 Enrollment: 79,274 Accredited: YES Website: www.asu.edu/

Arizona State University is ranked in the top-100 world universities by the Academic Ranking of World Universities and 45th in the nation for contribution to the public good by Washington Monthly. More than a third of all students are first-generation scholars. ASU offers online college degree programs in fields including the arts, business, communication, criminal justice, engineering, social sciences, health sciences, IT, nursing, foreign languages, and education.

23
Old Dominion University
Tuition and fees: $10,755 Enrollment: 29,176 Accredited: YES Website: www.odu.edu

Old Dominion University was founded in 1930 as the Norfolk Division of The College of William and Mary. Ranked the Best Southeastern College by The Princeton Review, ODU offers 66 bachelor programs and 97 graduate and post graduate degrees. ODU also offers online college degree programs in business, communications, computer science, education, engineering, nursing and social sciences.

24
Park University
Tuition and fees: $10,909 Enrollment: 22,678 Accredited: YES Website: www.park.edu

Founded in 1875, Park University serves more than 22,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. Students can complete degrees by attending classes at the flagship campus in Parkville, Mo., at one of its 39 other campus centers across the country or online. Park’s undergrad online college majors include business administration, management, education studies, interdisciplinary studies, information and computer science, organizational communication, geography, criminal justice administration, public administration, psychology, social psychology and sociology.

25
Emporia State University
Tuition and fees: $10,964 Enrollment: 7,771 Accredited: YES Website: www.emporia.edu

Founded in 1863 as Kansas State Normal — the state’s premier institution to educate teachers — Emporia State University offers 42 undergraduate and 27 graduate degrees in the School of Business, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Library and Information Management and The Teachers College. SLIM also offers a Ph.D. program. Emporia State is ranked as a Tier 1 Top 100 Regional University in the 2013 edition of “Best Colleges” compiled by U.S. News & World Report. The publication also cited the School of Business as a best value for both in-state and out-of-state students and ranked the online graduate education program in the Top 100 programs in the nation, making it a top online college choice.

26
Western Kentucky University
Tuition and fees: $11,077 Enrollment: 25,273 Accredited: YES Website: www.wku.edu

Serving more than 21,100 students across four campuses, Western Kentucky University has been recognized for its programs in education, engineering, business and communications. WKU Online offers more than 60 online college degree programs for undergraduate and graduate students, with 1,000 web-based courses each year.

27
Stony Brook University
Tuition and fees: $11,107 Enrollment: 29,576 Accredited: YES Website: www.stonybrook.edu

Stony Brook University is renowned for co-managing the Brookhaven National Laboratory in partnership with Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Princeton and the University of California. Founded in 1957, Stony Brook is ranked in the top one-percent of world universities by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

28
Northern State University
Tuition and fees: $11,224 Enrollment: 3,893 Accredited: YES Website: www.northern.edu

Located in Aberdeen, SD, Northern State University was established in 1857. Northern offers 19 certificate programs, eight associate degrees, 41 bachelor degrees, and nine graduate degree programs to its 3,580 students. For online college students, NSU provides two associate’s degrees, six bachelor degrees, and six master’s degree programs.

29
Stephen F Austin State University
Tuition and fees: $11,506 Enrollment: 14,939 Accredited: YES Website: www.sfasu.edu

Stephen F. Austin State University was founded as a teachers’ college in 1923 and today has grown to offer online college degree options in more than 80 undergraduate majors, 60 graduate fields, and three PhD programs. SFA is an independent public university in Texas with a 20:1 student/faculty ratio. Online programs are available at the undergraduate level in education, nursing, and agriculture, with graduate degree programs in education.

30
University of Florida
Tuition and fees: $11,579 Enrollment: 58,082 Accredited: YES Website: www.ufl.edu/

Founded in in 1906, the University of Florida today is home to nearly 50,000 students spread across 16 colleges and 900 buildings. Its distinguished faculty includes 28 members who have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, or the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Online college degrees are offered at the bachelor, master’s, doctorate and specialist levels through the College of Education, College of Public Health, College of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, College of Business Administration, and College of Veterinary Medicine.

31
Bemidji State University
Tuition and fees: $11,609 Enrollment: 6,870 Accredited: YES Website: www.bemidjistate.edu

Bemidji State University is on western shore of Lake Bemidji, situated on a north woods campus. Named a top-tier Midwest university by U.S. News and World Report, BSU serves 5,000 undergrad and more than 300 graduate students. Its Center for Extended Learning, founded in 1973, offers online college degrees in fields that include accounting, technology, nursing, engineering, education, criminal justice, and business administration.

32
Lee University
Tuition and fees: $11,620 Enrollment: 4,913 Accredited: YES Website: www.leeuniversity.edu

Lee University was founded as a Christ-centered private college at Cleveland, TN in 1918. Students enjoy a student/teacher ratio of 17:1 and The Princeton Review has ranked Lee University in the “Top Tier — Best Colleges”. Online courses include history, pastoral studies, psychology, theology, general studies and computer information systems.

33
University of Southern Indiana
Tuition and fees: $11,650 Enrollment: 13,542 Accredited: YES Website: www.usi.edu

University of Southern Indiana, founded in 1965 in Evansville, serves its nearly 11,000 students by offering 70 majors for undergrads, 10 degrees at the master’s level and one doctoral program. The university offers continuing education, workforce development and non-credit courses online. Popular online education courses are in leadership, HR certification, project management, Six Sigma management, business, and paralegal studies.

34
Minot State University
Tuition and fees: $11,906 Enrollment: 4,810 Accredited: YES Website: www.minotstateu.edu

Minot State University, founded in 1913, offers undergraduate degrees from its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and College of Education. Post-graduate programs in criminal justice, management, and special education have produced the greatest number of graduates. The Minot State University Center for Extended Learning offers online courses in accounting, business administration, criminal justice, economics, education, and nursing.

35
University of North Dakota
Tuition and fees: $11,952 Enrollment: 16,882 Accredited: YES Website: und.edu

Founded in 1883, the University of North Dakota offers nearly 50 online college programs, including bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees as well as graduate certificates. For most online programs, students are charged the in-state tuition rate regardless of their actual residency status. Ranked in the 2012 Guide to Online Schools as one of the top military-friendly and top nonprofit online schools in the country, UND offers online programs in the areas of business, nursing, education, engineering, psychology, public administration, communication, social work and more.

36
Lamar University
Tuition and fees: $12,016 Enrollment: 18,537 Accredited: YES Website: www.lamar.edu

Founded in Beaumont in 1923, Lamar University currently serves over 14,000 students with more than 100 academic programs designed for bachelor, master’s and doctoral degrees. Programs are offered on campus and through Lamar’s nationally recognized online college. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has designated Lamar as a Doctoral Research University.

37
Westfield State University
Tuition and fees: $12,163 Enrollment: 6,881 Accredited: YES Website: www.westfield.ma.edu/

Westfield State University is called “The People’s College” in recognition of its commitment since 1838 to be a co-educational college without economic or cultural barriers to education. It is ranked in the Top Tier category in the latest US News & World Report’s 2013 “Best Colleges”. US News & World Reports also recognized Westfield’s PLATO online college learning system among the Top Online Programs for 2012.

38
Ball State University
Tuition and fees: $12,168 Enrollment: 25,777 Accredited: YES Website: www.bsu.edu

Ball State University has roots back to 1918, but today is known for its online master’s degree in nursing and campus programs in architecture, education, entrepreneurship, telecommunications, and landscape architecture. The university offers more than 180 undergraduate majors and over 100 major fields for graduate-degree students. Choose from online college and hybrid learning programs leading to degrees, certificates and professional licenses.

39
Florida State University
Tuition and fees: $12,464 Enrollment: 45,876 Accredited: YES Website: www.fsu.edu

Florida State University excels in arts and sciences across 16 colleges that offer 275 degrees at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral fields — as well hosting a medical school and law school. With educational roots dating back to 1823, Tallahassee’s FSU is recognized for its National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and marine research programs. More than 40 post-graduate degree and certification programs are available through its online college.

40
Colorado State University-Fort Collins
Tuition and fees: $12,465 Enrollment: 33,712 Accredited: YES Website: www.colostate.edu

Colorado State University in Fort Collins, a doctoral-granting research university, was founded in 1870 as the state’s land-grant institution. Colorado State has been consistently recognized as one of the top public universities in the United States for its outstanding education and affordability. CSU offers 5 undergraduate degree completion and more than 30 graduate degree programs online and at a distance through OnlinePlus, a division of the University that combines the academic excellence of CSU with high-quality, flexible learning. Online college programs are taught by CSU faculty and carry the same regional accreditation and reputation of the university’s world-class campus degree programs.

41
University of Illinois at Springfield
Tuition and fees: $12,781 Enrollment: 6,269 Accredited: YES Website: www.uis.edu

University of Illinois at Springfield serves its 5,000 students with 23 undergraduate, 20 master’s degree, and one doctoral degree program. The average class size is 15. Popular online college degrees include business, computer science, mathematics, English and history. Graduate major fields include computer science, environmental studies, public health, teacher leadership, legal studies and management information systems.

42
Central Michigan University
Tuition and fees: $12,918 Enrollment: 33,352 Accredited: YES Website: www.cmich.edu

Founded in Mount Pleasant in 1892, Central Michigan University has become a doctoral research university and the fourth-largest college in the state. It is renowned for its Global Campus unit, its online college, which has graduated 70,000 students from undergraduate, graduate and certification programs.

43
University of Northern Colorado
Tuition and fees: $12,936 Enrollment: 15,503 Accredited: YES Website: www.unco.edu

Offering distance education since 1902, the University of Northern Colorado began providing its online college degree programs more than a decade ago. Unique online bachelor degrees are offered in American Sign Language, nursing, and sociology. An extensive online graduate degree program features majors in nursing, teaching, special education, sports coaching, educational leadership, and criminal justice.

44
Graceland University-Lamoni
Tuition and fees: $12,997 Enrollment: 3,367 Accredited: YES Website: www.graceland.edu

Founded in 1895, Graceland University is a private liberal arts university offering more than 50 undergraduate degrees and six master’s degrees. The university’s online Master of Education in Quality Schools program received the USDLA Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning Programming, encouraging the development of five online college Master of Education programs at the school.

45
Peirce College
Tuition and fees: $13,046 Enrollment: 2,722 Accredited: YES Website: www.peirce.edu

Peirce College began developing courses for working adults in Philadelphia back in 1865. Accelerated learning programs enable students to complete an associate degree in as little as 18 months and a bachelor degree in as little as two years. Top-demand online college degree programs in business, healthcare, information technology and paralegal studies can be completed without any in-person classes.

46
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Tuition and fees: $13,108 Enrollment: 27,443 Accredited: YES Website: www.unl.edu/

Founded in 1869, The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is a leading teaching institution listed five straight years in the top 50 public universities in U.S. News and World Report’s annual America’s Best Colleges. The first college west of the Mississippi to develop a graduate degree program, UNL today considers its PhD and professional degree programs a key component in fulfilling its educational mission. Online college programs lead to undergrad and graduate degrees and a special online program for high school students for college credit is among popular offerings.

47
Northern Arizona University
Tuition and fees: $13,131 Enrollment: 28,561 Accredited: YES Website: nau.edu/

The W. A. Franke College of Business draws many entrepreneurial and management students to Northern. NAU offers online college degrees in fields including business, communication, technology, engineering, health professions, mathematics and humanities.

48
University of Alabama at Huntsville
Tuition and fees: $13,155 Enrollment: 8,976 Accredited: YES Website: www.uah.edu

University of Alabama at Huntsville serves its 7,700 students with more than 70 online college degree programs for undergrads and post-graduate students at five colleges: Business, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Nursing, Science, and Graduate Studies. The College of Nursing online graduate program was selected among the top 20 in U.S. News’ 2013 America’s Best Online Education Programs.

49
Georgia Southern University
Tuition and fees: $13,465 Enrollment: 23,026 Accredited: YES Website: www.georgiasouthern.edu

Founded in 1906 in Statesboro, Georgia Southern University today serves students with 117 academic majors at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels. U.S. News & World Report’s Top Online Education Programs honored GSU’s online college programs in business, nursing, education, and information technology, ranking them among the nation’s best.

50
Brenau University
Tuition and fees: $13,812 Enrollment: 3,480 Accredited: YES Website: www.brenau.edu

Brenau University was founded in 1878 in Gainesville as the Georgia Baptist Female Seminary. Ranked among the 15-best college values in the South by US News & World Report (2012), Brenau offers undergraduate and graduate programs in campus and online formats. Online majors lead to degrees in accounting, business, gerontology, nursing, human resources management and organizational leaderships.

51
Madonna University
Tuition and fees: $13,892 Enrollment: 6,383 Accredited: YES Website: www.madonna.edu

A Catholic and Franciscan institution, Madonna University was founded in Livonia, MI in 1937. Today the university offers programs with 100 undergraduate majors, 35 master’s degree fields, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Its online offerings include certificate training programs in healthcare, business, IT, management, media and trades. There are 300 six-week online courses available all year.

52
Western Illinois University
Tuition and fees: $14,133 Enrollment: 14,649 Accredited: YES Website: www.wiu.edu

Established in 1899 as the Western Illinois Normal and Training School, Western Illinois University today serves more than 12,000 students with undergraduate, graduate, pre-professional and certificate programs and a doctorate in education. The student/faculty ratio is 15:1. Top online programs are a bachelor in general studies, masters’ of science in education and technology, and a national fire academy curriculum.

53
Oakland University
Tuition and fees: $14,440 Enrollment: 23,557 Accredited: YES Website: www.oakland.edu

Oakland University, founded in 1959, offers more than 130 bachelor degree programs and more than 120 graduate degree and certificates programs. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has ranked Oakland as a doctoral, research-intensive university. Blended and completely online programs are available at the undergrad, master’s, doctoral, education specialist and professional certification levels.

54
University of St Francis
Tuition and fees: $14,775 Enrollment: 4,344 Accredited: YES Website: www.stfrancis.edu

Established in 1902 in Joliet, IL, the University of St. Francis is a Roman Catholic Church-affiliated school serving 3,400 students with a uniquely small student/faculty ratio of 12:1. An online business class was first offered in 1998 and recently U.S. News & World Report ranked the university’s current 129 online courses among the best in the nation.