About Affordable Colleges Online

What We Do

Affordable Colleges Online (ACO) 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 all students should enjoy access to affordable, high-quality educational opportunities.

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 type of program. 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 share our content with readers worldwide.

Contact Us: Contact@AffordableCollegesOnline.org

FAQs About Affordable Colleges Online


  • Do ACO 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 it if you would include us as a resource on your website, but request that you include a link to our content.

  • How Does ACO Make Money?


    We partner with online schools that offer programs of interest to students. In exchange for student referrals to these programs, we receive compensation. The sponsored schools on ACO 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 to be on the referral form.


  • How Does ACO 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 education experts 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 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 Rankings?


    No, schools and programs are not permitted to pay to be included in our rankings.

  • Have Additional Questions About ACO?


    Please Contact Us.

Advertisement AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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