What We Do
Affordable Colleges Online (AC Online) began in 2012 with the goal of connecting students to affordable, high quality education. We aim to help students and parents identify colleges, programs, and scholarship opportunities that fit their academic and financial ambitions and needs. We believe that affordable, high-quality educational opportunities should be attainable for all students.
Our free, in-depth resources include comprehensive guidebooks, student interviews, user-friendly search tools, federal datasets, college rankings, and additional materials created and vetted by experts in education.
Our guidebooks help students navigate difficult decisions, such as choosing an online college, selecting the right financial aid program, or deciding on a major. We also help students make the most of the college experience by providing resources on topics like college safety, mental health, and staying fit on campus. Our easy-to-use search tools help students narrow down their school options by degree level, location, and types of programs. Our up-to-date college rankings help students find a school that best matches their budget, career goals, and lifestyle.
More than 1,300 colleges and government entities have shared our content with readers worldwide.
FAQs About Affordable Colleges Online
- Do ACO Online Resources Cost Money to Use?
No, all of the content, search tools, rankings lists, and other resources on our site are free for anyone to use or reference. We would love if you would include us as a resource on your website, but request that you include a link to our content.
- How Does ACO Online Make Money?
We partner with online schools that offer programs that may be of interest to students. In exchange for student referrals to these programs, we receive compensation. The sponsored schools on AC Online are clearly labeled with “Sponsored,” “Sponsored Schools,” or similar language.
Students will only be contacted by our clients if they choose to fill out a referral form and their information will only be sent to the school or program they choose on the referral form.
- How Does ACO Online Provide Accurate, Up-To-Date Information?
We use primary sources, including the U.S. Department of Education, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System to inform our content and our school rankings. We also work extensively with experts in the field of education to ensure that we provide accurate, trustworthy information. We update our rankings lists on a yearly basis. Our guides and student resources are reviewed on a regular cadence to keep information relevant and up to date.
- What Types of Schools are Included in ACO Online Rankings?
We only include nonprofit, accredited colleges and universities in our school rankings. Each rankings list may have a slightly different methodology, depending on the type of ranking. The methodology for each ranking list, including data sources, can be found on each page.
- Can a School Pay to Be Included in ACO Online Rankings?
No, schools and programs are not permitted to pay to be included in our rankings.
- Have Additional Questions About Affordable Colleges Online?
Please Contact Us.
Who Are We?
Our extended team has decades of combined experience in higher education and includes former teachers, subject matter experts, veterans’ education specialists, and more.