The Best Online Schools 2022

Online college is a great way to earn a degree. Learn more about the top online colleges and the costs of an online degree.

February 10, 2022 , Modified on June 30, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Edited by Veronica Freeman
The Best Online Schools 2022

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.

Are you ready to find your fit?

Best Online Colleges and Unversities

More than seven million college students took online classes in 2019, and nearly 3.5 million enrolled in fully online colleges. Online programs offer students a flexible, convenient way to further their education.

Online enrollees can pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in many fields. Common areas include business, healthcare, and education. Some programs require students to attend virtual classes at set meeting times. Others allow learners to complete coursework at their convenience. Most programs allow online learners to complete any in-person requirements locally.

Our list ranks the best online colleges. Prospective students can use this list to find the right fit for their budget and goals.

View Our Rankings List Here

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.

Featured Online Bachelors Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges

How much does online college cost?

Cost varies by program and school. Students enrolled at public, in-state schools usually pay the most affordable tuition. As of August 2021, in-state tuition for an online bachelor's degree averages $38,500. Tuition averages $54,180 at out-of-state colleges.

Can I go to college online for free?

Eligible students can apply to tuition-free online colleges. Learners can also research financial aid such as scholarships and grants to lower out-of-pocket costs.

Is it cheaper to get a degree online?

Earning a degree online can help students save money since they do not need to commute to campus or relocate to attend the most affordable program. Many online programs run asynchronously. This delivery format allows students to continue working while earning their degrees.

Why Get a College Degree Online?

Earning a degree online offers flexibility. Learners can complete coursework from anywhere while managing work and family responsibilities.

An online learning format can also save students money. Many colleges offer tuition breaks for fully online students. They may charge a flat tuition rate regardless of learners' residency.

How Much Does an Online Degree Cost?

Degree costs vary by program and school. Bachelor's programs generally cost more than associate programs. Private schools usually charge more than public schools.

Students earning a bachelor's degree online pay an average of $9,350 per year in tuition and fees at public, in-state colleges, according to 2019-20 data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Learners at private colleges pay $32,770 in tuition and fees. Scholarships and grants can help enrollees pay for their degree.

Additional Online College Student Fees

Online learners should budget for additional fees, such as upgrading their internet or buying a new computer. Some online colleges charge distance-learning and graduation fees. Students also need to buy books and class materials, which cost an average of $1,240 per year.

Some online programs include on-campus components. Learners should reserve money for travel and lodging. Before choosing an online college, prospective students can ask advisors about a degree's total cost.

Available Online College Degrees

Colleges and universities offer online programs in popular fields like business, healthcare, and education. Students can pursue degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Online programs help build strong critical thinking and analytical skills. They also hone problem-solving, research, writing, and communication skills.

Learners pursuing an online bachelor's degree complete general education courses, major courses, and electives. Master's programs include advanced coursework and specialization options. See below for information on three common online degrees.

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.

Featured Online MBA Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

The Best Online Colleges 2022

  1. University of Arkansas at Little Rock
    Location

    Little Rock, AR

    Tuition

    $13751

    Fast Facts

    School Type: Public
    Concentrations Available: Business, communications, criminal justice, education, health and social sciences, information sciences, interdisciplinary, writing

    Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission
    Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

    UA Little Rock enrolls more than 9,000 students. The school offers undergraduate and graduate online college degrees at reduced tuition. UA Little Rock's online courses combine face-to-face learning with the flexibility of studying at home. Most courses post weekly deadlines for submitting work. Some classes require occasional onsite attendance.

    Online learners can access the same academic resources as on-campus students. These resources include a library, academic advising, and technology support. Undergraduate applicants should submit high school transcripts and test scores. Prospective graduate students need a bachelor's degree and a 2.75 GPA or better.

    Available Scholarships: Fall 2022 Scholarship: 50% off Freshman Tuition & Fees

  2. Franklin University
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Fast Facts

    School Type: Private
    Concentrations Available: Analytics, business, education, finance and accounting, healthcare, management, marketing and communications, nursing, public and social sciences, technology

    Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission
    Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

    Nearly 80% of Franklin's students attend college online. The school also runs a campus in Columbus, Ohio. Learners can pursue certificates and degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.

    Franklin accepts up to 94 undergraduate transfer credits and 12 graduate transfer credits. The school welcomes associate degree-holders. Graduate applicants do not submit GRE scores. Once enrolled, these degree-seekers can complete their programs in 12 months. Applications take about 20 minutes to complete.

    Available Scholarships: Community College Transfer Scholarship

  3. Brenau University
    Location

    Gainesville, GA

    Fast Facts

    School Type: Private
    Concentrations Available: Education, autism endorsement, human resource management, liberal studies, communication, accounting, business, finance, marketing, organizational leadership, psychology

    Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

    Founded as the Georgia Baptist Female Seminary, Brenau offers more than 40 degree and certificate programs online. Options include an associate in elementary education, a bachelor's in marketing, and a doctorate in elementary education.

    Classes last seven weeks. Brenau counts online students as full-time enrollees. The school offers test-optional admission. Applicants learn their acceptance status within two weeks of applying. Brenau provides discounted tuition to members of the military, their spouses, and civil servants.

    Available Scholarships: The Brenau Scholars Program

  4. Franciscan University of Steubenville
    Location

    Steubenville, OH

    Fast Facts

    School Type: Private
    Concentrations Available: Dual enrollment, theology, philosophy, management, clinical psychology, Catholic studies, education, business administration, catechetics and evangelization

    Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission
    Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

    Founded in 1946 by Franciscan friars, Franciscan offers graduate and undergraduate online degrees. These programs help form students in the Catholic tradition. The university also offers online courses for students who want to earn college credits while still in high school.

    Franciscan's online degrees include an associate in philosophy, a bachelor's in management, and a master's in Catholic studies.

    Admission requirements vary by program. In general, applicants need a high school transcript with a 2.4 GPA or better. They also need either an ACT score of 21 or an SAT score of 1000. Graduate applicants need a bachelor's degree.

    Available Scholarships: Chancellor's Scholarship

  5. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis
    Location

    Indianapolis, IN

    Tuition

    $9807

    Fast Facts

    School Type: Public
    Concentrations Available: Applied science, business, computing and technology, design, education, general studies, health and health sciences, humanities, informatics, labor studies, library science, mathematics, music, parks and recreation, philanthropy, physical education and tourism management, public affairs and administration, public health, science, social work

    Accredited By: Higher Learning Commission
    Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? No

    IUPUI enrolls more than 27,000 students. The school offers online programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Some courses run entirely online. Others require in-person campus visits. Online learners may need to participate in synchronous live video classes.

    Each program establishes its own admission requirements. Undergraduate applicants may transfer up to 64 credits from community college or up to 90 credits from a four-year college or university. IUPUI follows a traditional calendar. Students can begin in the fall, spring, or summer term.

    Available Scholarships: THRIVE

  6. Campbellsville University
    Location

    Campbellsville, KY

    Fast Facts

    School Type: Private
    Concentrations Available: Business administration, criminal justice, Christian studies, education, general studies, communication, liberal arts and science, social work, nursing, English, computer science, accounting, sport management

    Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

    Located in Campbellsville, Kentucky, CU began in 1906 as a Christian university. The school maintains its focus on developing Christian leaders while welcoming diverse perspectives. The school offers 71 college degrees online. Learners can also explore 13 certificates or endorsements.

    Programs include a bachelor's degree in social work, a master's in justice studies, and a specialist in educational administration.

    Admission requirements vary by program. CU accepts up to 72 transfer credits toward a bachelor's degree. New students can begin at one of six annual start dates.

    Available Scholarships: Academic Scholarship Award

  7. Liberty University
    Location

    Lynchburg, VA

    Fast Facts

    School Type: Private
    Concentrations Available: More than 100 online programs, including business, criminal justice, education, nursing, and counseling

    Accredited By: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
    Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

    A Christian university located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty enrolls more than 100,000 students. Learners can pursue more than 100 online degrees at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Liberty also offers online certificate programs. Most courses run fully online and last eight weeks.

    Liberty's online college degrees cover academic disciplines such as nursing, counseling, and business. Applicants submit official transcripts. Admission requirements vary by program. Students can begin at one of eight annual start dates.

    Available Scholarships: Middle America Scholarship

  8. Southern Utah University
    Location

    Cedar City, UT

    Tuition

    $14879

    Fast Facts

    School Type: Public
    Concentrations Available: Accounting, arts administration, business administration, communication, criminal justice, cybersecurity, education, family studies, history, interdisciplinary studies, library media, management, music education, music technology, nursing, online teaching, political science, public administration, sports conditioning and performance

    Accredited By: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
    Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

    Located in Cedar City, Utah, SUU began in 1897 as Branch Normal School. Learners can explore more than 140 online undergraduate degrees. SUU also offers 21 graduate and certificate programs. The school features a 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. SUU owns a farm and ranch in addition to its 133-acre main campus.

    SUU offers online degrees in fields such as aviation administration, communication, and cybersecurity. Online students can take advantage of the Finish Line Scholarship. This award covers 100% of undergraduate learners' tuition for four semesters. Applicants can contact their admissions representative to learn program requirements.

    Available Scholarships: Finish Line Scholarship

  9. City University of Seattle
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Fast Facts

    School Type: Private
    Concentrations Available: Leadership, education, business and management, computer and information sciences, health and social sciences, project management

    Accredited By: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
    Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

    A nonprofit institution affiliated with the National University System, CityU offers degrees at all levels. Students can pursue their degrees online, onsite, in a hybrid format, or in a performance-based program. Online degrees include a doctorate in leadership, a bachelor's in data science, and a graduate certificate in data analytics.

    New terms begin quarterly. Applicants submit all admissions documents at least 30 days prior to the quarter's start date. CityU can translate qualifying non-academic experiences into college credits. Prospective students with work or military experience should submit a prior learning assessment form.

    Available Scholarships: Community College Transfer Scholarship

  10. Alfred State College
    Location

    Alfred, NY

    Tuition

    $15596

    Fast Facts

    School Type:Public
    Concentrations Available: Business leadership, construction management, court reporting, healthcare information, healthcare leadership, human services leadership, imaging field specialization, individualized studies

    Accredited By: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
    Do Distance Learners Pay In-State Tuition? Yes

    A career-focused college enhanced with liberal arts coursework, Alfred State offers more than 80 majors. Online college degrees include a bachelor's in business administration, a bachelor's in construction supervision, an associate in court and realtime reporting, and an RN-to-BSN program. Learners can enroll part time or full time.

    Students can take advantage of online tutoring in subjects such as math, biology, and chemistry. Prospective enrollees submit an application and a postsecondary activity form. Students may begin in the summer, winter, spring, or fall semester.

    Available Scholarships: Excelsior Scholarship

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.

Featured Online Nursing Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Related articles that may interest you

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.

Do this for you

Explore your possibilities- find schools with programs you’re interested in and clear a path for your future.