Campus & Online Catholic Colleges with High Starting Salaries for Grads

Once a questionable approach to teaching, online education has now earned the acceptance of many within higher education. Education leaders now see that distance learning has many benefits, which has led colleges and universities to not only adopt but also expand the virtual classroom. A growing number of online degree and course offerings are now available at all types of schools, from for-profit colleges to prestigious Ivy League institutions. Catholic-focused colleges have also followed suit. The following page explores Catholic-centered higher education and the role Catholic colleges play in distance learning.

According to the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), there are over 200 Catholic institutions of higher learning in the United States. These schools receive official designations by Catholic orders and institutions and are dedicated to a liberal arts core curriculum based on a centuries-old Catholic intellectual tradition.

U.S. Catholic colleges serve an estimated 950,000 students at undergraduate and graduate institutions. They span 40 states, and student bodies—which are not limited to Catholics—can range from under 1,000 to over 20,000 scholars. More than 40 distinct founding congregations and orders account for an exceptionally large range of schools, each with its own specific traditions. They may be founded as Benedictine, Jesuit, Augustinian, or Franciscan schools, or they may be independent Catholic institutions.

The precise meaning of a “Catholic education” has evolved and continues to change as colleges and universities promote diversity in their student body along with a modern curriculum. Today, Catholic education is holistic in nature, with an emphasis on values and service. The amount of theological participation required of each student depends on the spiritual and academic requirements established by the specific school. For example, some Catholic universities require a theological concentration within degree programs, while some colleges allow students to choose theology majors or minors. Other schools are post-Christian or only culturally Catholic and require students to take courses—such as sociology or history—that have incorporated theology lessons into the overall course.

The breadth of academic scope at many Catholic colleges and universities compares to that at non-Catholic institutions. Much like non-denominational institutions, Catholic colleges are home to major medical schools and hospitals, research laboratories, and business and law schools. Catholic colleges also offer traditional campus mainstays such as professional associations, fraternities and sororities, campus clubs, athletic teams, performing arts halls, and recreational facilities.

Students pursuing a life in the ministry will find a solid selection of undergraduate as well as master’s and doctoral studies that prepare students in magisterial, Sacred Scripture and Catholic traditions. Separate certificate programs are offered for students seeking a Catechetic specialization.

Much like non-denominational institutions, Catholic colleges have embraced distance learning to meet the needs of adult learners and others who need or simply prefer the flexibility of online programs. Saint Leo University, for example, offers online programs that are identical to the courses that are offered at their traditional Florida campus. With its robust online offerings—from associate degrees to doctoral programs—the school aims to provide the same high quality education as its physical campus so that graduates meet the demands of the job market for a variety of industries. Students can log in at anytime, from anywhere with an Internet connection, to review lectures, complete assignments and participate in discussions. Course material is delivered via video, audio and CD-ROM and students can purchase necessary textbooks from the school’s online store or from a local bookstore. All assignments, quizzes and exams are completed online and evaluated by professors.

Online students also receive the same kind of academic and career support as traditional students. Most online Catholic colleges have faculty and staff dedicated to career guidance, academic advising, professional tutoring and technical support to ensure that students meet their academic goals. Some Catholic colleges, such as Saint Leo University, also help connect students outside of the virtual classroom by offering online clubs and organizations, peer mentoring and school social media portals.

Catholic colleges tend to depend on tuition and fees for revenue, which means that their cost can run a little more than public non-denominational institutions. For many students, the cost of college plays an important factor in decision-making so finding a Catholic college that fits within your budget is key.

Cost, however, is not the only important thing. Available online course and degree options as well as online support services are also factors that online Catholic college students should consider. The following list highlights the most affordable Catholic colleges to help you determine which school is the best match to help you achieve your faith-based academic goals.

For many prospective college students, a university experience based in the Roman Catholic faith is of utmost importance. The oldest of the Christian denominations, the Roman Catholic Church traces its history back to the Apostles of Jesus Christ. The Catholic church is one of the truly global religions, led by the Pope in Rome.

If your ambition is to attend a college or university based on the teachings and beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church, with a strong academic education at an affordable price, which will also lead you to candidacy of a job opportunity with a strong starting salary, the following schools are for you. AC Online presents the Top 36 Most Affordable Roman Catholic Colleges with High Starting Salaries.

For more information on our ranking methodology, click here.

1
Holy Family University
Starting Salary: $49,900 Net Price: $14,369 Enrollment: 3,829 Website: www.holyfamily.edu

At Holy Family University, students can choose from a variety of online or blended degree programs, including bachelor of science in nursing. The university is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and students of online classes receive the same quality education as on-campus students.

2
Viterbo University
Starting Salary: $46,000 Net Price: $15,423 Enrollment: 12,601 Website: www.viterbo.edu

Viterbo University has a wide range of fully online and blended degree programs, including accounting, substance abuse counseling, health care management and more. These flexible programs allow busy, working adults to earn a respected degrees without interfering with personal and professional schedules. Viterbo is fully accredited and many of its degree programs hold programmatic accreditation.

3
Notre Dame of Maryland University
Starting Salary: $44,500 Net Price: $19,371 Enrollment: 3,815 Website: www.ndm.edu

Notre Dame of Maryland University offers a fully-online master of arts in contemporary communication degree as well as several online and hybrid electives to its students. This independent liberal arts college for women is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, allowing students to apply for federal financial assistance to help realize their academic and career goals.

4
Gannon University
Starting Salary: $44,400 Net Price: $18,875 Enrollment: 4,996 Website: www.gannon.edu

Gannon University is dedicated to open communication and excellence in its online degree programs in nursing, business administration, public administration and education. Students can attend virtual open houses and other online events so they don’t miss a thing. Gannon is fully accredited and the school ranks among the nation’s top colleges and best values, according to U.S. News & World Report.

5
Caldwell College
Starting Salary: $43,200 Net Price: $16,349 Enrollment: 2,692 Website: www.caldwell.edu

Recently ranked as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report, Caldwell College offers several 100 percent online bachelor’s and master’s programs. The school is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and provides support and resources to its online students comparable to what traditional students receive. Online programs are delivered in an accelerated mode, allowing students to complete their degrees quickly.

6
Our Lady of the Lake University-San Antonio
Starting Salary: $42,300 Net Price: $10,565 Enrollment: 2,963 Website: www.ollusa.edu

Our Lady of the Lake University provides quality online master’s programs to busy professionals in social work, organizational leadership, business administration, nursing and accounting. Students can also earn an RN to bachelor of science in nursing. This fully accredited liberal arts and sciences institution strives to provide individual attention to each of its students.

7
Christian Brothers University
Starting Salary: $41,900 Net Price: $9,735 Enrollment: 2,194 Website: www.cbu.edu

Christian Brothers University is a private university accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is ranked among the top colleges by U.S. News & World Report and Forbes magazine. The school’s College of Adult Professional Studies provides accelerated degree programs comprised of online coursework and occasional face-to-face meetings.

8
University of Mary
Starting Salary: $41,700 Net Price: $13,483 Enrollment: 3,934 Website: www.umary.edu/

University of Mary’s online programs allow students to complete a degree in as little as 20 months, with programs in business, nursing, leadership and more. Academic advisors and financial aid officers provide individualized assistance so students can rest assured that they are on the right track. An accredited university, 98 percent of graduates find work post-graduation.

9
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Starting Salary: $41,700 Net Price: $19,439 Enrollment: 8,656 Website: www.smumn.edu

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota provides nine online master’s degree programs to busy working professionals, including programs in special education, accountancy, and health and human services. Online students use handy course management and content-sharing tools to access classes and the library 24 hours a day. The school is a member of the North Central Association and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

10
Lewis University
Starting Salary: $41,400 Net Price: $17,332 Enrollment: 7,740 Website: www.lewisu.edu

The online programs at Lewis University allow professionals to connect and interact with peers from all over the world. Business administration, aviation and transportation, information security, nursing and public safety administration are just a few of the virtual programs offered by Lewis. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is a member of the North Central Association, and holds many programmatic accreditations. Students may apply for federal aid to help pay for their education.

11
Madonna University
Starting Salary: $40,700 Net Price: $13,892 Enrollment: 6,383 Website: www.madonna.edu

Madonna University offers its online certificate training programs and online courses through a partnership with Ed2go, an international provider of some of the most popular online courses. Students can earn certificates in areas like healthcare and fitness, hospitality, media and design, information technology and skilled trades. The accredited school also has 300 online enrichment and professional development courses students can take.

12
Benedictine University
Starting Salary: $40,000 Net Price: $18,508 Enrollment: 10,152 Website: www.ben.edu

At Benedictine University, students can choose from a number of associate, bachelor’s and master’s programs as well as graduate certificate degrees in disaster management, health policy, health education and internet marketing. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and several of its online programs were ranked among the best by U.S. News & World Report.

13
Barry University
Starting Salary: $39,700 Net Price: $18,257 Enrollment: 11,200 Website: www.barry.edu

Barry University’s online programs were designed for nontraditional learners, enabling them to collaborate and exchange ideas virtually. The school offers a bachelor’s in emergency management and master’s programs in administration and public administration. Open-enrollment undergraduate online courses are also available for traditional students looking to accelerate their degree.

14
Siena Heights University
Starting Salary: $39,600 Net Price: $15,026 Enrollment: 3,207 Website: www.sienaheights.edu

The distance learning programs at Siena Heights University allow students to complete a bachelor’s degree from anywhere with an internet connection. The college has programs in applied science, multidisciplinary studies, business administration and health care management. The College of Professional Studies and the graduate college also have evening, weekend and blended online programs available.

15
Georgian Court University
Starting Salary: $39,100 Net Price: $18,681 Enrollment: 3,280 Website: www.georgian.edu

Online programs such as the holistic health studies master’s program and certificates in early childhood education and holistic health at Georgian Court University are all delivered in an accelerated format, allowing students to finish in as little as one year. Instructors are all experts in their fields and because GCU is an accredited university, students may apply for federal aid to help pay for their higher education.

16
Saint Leo University
Starting Salary: $38,900 Net Price: $16,441 Enrollment: 26,033 Website: www.saintleo.edu

Saint Leo University’s unique take on adult and online education allows students the opportunity to connect with peers through its own social network, iRoar. Students participate in clubs and online organizations as well as peer mentoring sessions as they build professional networks. Saint Leo offers a wide variety of associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree programs as well as graduate certificates.

17
College of Mount St. Joseph
Starting Salary: $38,200 Net Price: $17,985 Enrollment: 2,947 Website: www.msj.edu

At the College of Mount St. Joseph, students can earn an RN to BSN degree, a master of arts in reading science, or any one of several health care and education-related certificates online. Courses are offered in both an asynchronous and synchronous manner, adding to the program flexibility, and in some cases students can earn their degree in an accelerated format. The Mount is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and is recognized by G.I. Jobs magazine as being military-friendly.

18
Wheeling Jesuit University
Starting Salary: $37,200 Net Price: $17,978 Enrollment: 1,616 Website: www.wju.edu

Aspiring teachers and administrators and practicing nurses will find online programs to further their careers at Wheeling Jesuit University. The school’s quality online programs provide real-world, field-based experience to learners and accommodate the busy schedule of working professionals. WJU is accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and is also a member of several academic organizations.

19
Carlow University
Starting Salary: $37,000 Net Price: $14,794 Enrollment: 3,483 Website: www.carlow.edu

At Carlow University students can also choose from six fully online master’s degrees and two certificate programs offered in both web-based and hybrid formats. With accreditations from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the American Psychological Association, the Council on Social Word Education and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, students can be confident they are earning a well-respected degree.

20
University of the Incarnate Word
Starting Salary: $36,700 Net Price: $16,631 Enrollment: 9,153 Website: www.uiw.edu

University of the Incarnate Word’s online degree programs were developed with the busy adult learner in mind, but the quality of education still matches any traditional program. Faculty members are specially trained to understand the relationship between academics and the workforce. With degrees in business administration, human resources, organizational development, criminal justice and more, there is sure to be a program for everyone.

21
Canisius College
Starting Salary: $35,700 Net Price: $18,133 Enrollment: 6,047 Website: WWW.Canisius.edu

Canisius College has a variety of online master’s degree programs that hold students to the same rigorous standards expected from on-campus students. A specially-designed website prepares learners for the challenges of online education while tutorials, resources and additional support are available at any time. Canisius was named one of the region’s best colleges by U.S. News & World Report and a “Catholic College of Distinction” by the annual Colleges of Distinction guidebook.