Which Online Colleges have High Acceptance Rates?

Online colleges that accept all applicants, learn about the benefits and how to apply to get your college education started today with open admission.

September 30, 2021

Which Online Colleges have High Acceptance Rates?

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Some aspects of students’ academic history don’t accurately reflect their academic and professional ability. Does the fact that one student has an SAT or GPA in the top 25th percentile mean they’re 25 percent smarter or have a 25 percent better chance of succeeding than students not in that group? Of course not. But it can often feel as though both traditional and online colleges treat their applicants that way.

Many of today's online colleges with high acceptance rates understand there’s more to professional and personal success than grades or standardized test scores. They also recognize that many students face unique challenges that the "typical" college applicant might not encounter — a family setback or financial windfall that made the first crack at college unsuccessful. As a result, some colleges, especially those with online programs, have less stringent requirements for admission. Read on to learn which online colleges have high acceptance rates, how it works, and what it could mean for you.

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What are the Benefits of Open Admission?

There are several benefits to open admission policies from the applicant’s perspective. Here are a few possible reasons to find a school with open admission:

Easy to apply

Applying to a college with an open admission policy is usually as simple as filling out an application and providing proof of a high school diploma or GED. Sometimes a minimum GPA or test score will be required to guarantee admission in an open admission institution. Compare this to the typical college application process – in addition to the above-mentioned items, most applications also require a high school transcript, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, interview and personal statement.

Cheaper to apply

Many schools who have open admission do not charge an application fee, or their application fees are lower than many other schools.

Cheaper to attend

Many open admission schools are community colleges. Compared to four-year colleges and universities, community colleges have a much lower tuition rate for students. Many schools offer online programs with open admissions as well. Going to school online is often cheaper than going to a traditional, on-campus school.

Guaranteed college opportunity

With an almost guaranteed acceptance, many students have the opportunity to obtain a college degree, even if they don’t have the best academic record or personal history. A low GPA or poor standardized test scores might otherwise prevent a student from attending college, despite the fact that they truly have what it takes to succeed. With open admission, anyone with the will to go to college will have the opportunity to get a college degree. Ironically, individuals with the greatest need for a college degree are those least able to get accepted to a college. Open admissions policies seek to address this problem.

Less stress

With an easier and less involved application process, students are under less pressure to get accepted or put forth the best college application possible. And once they enroll, the academic pressures to get the highest grades possible and surpass fellow classmates will be less. Students are still encouraged to get the highest grades possible, of course, but there is less of a “cutthroat” atmosphere among the students.

Stepping stone to a four-year college

Most community colleges have open admissions and serve as a transfer feeder school for nearby four-year colleges and universities. Many high school students who may not have the money or academic record to go straight to a nearby college after graduating high school can attend the local two-year community college for a lower tuition and obtain college credits. After two years, they can transfer to the four-year school, taking their credits with them.

More diverse student body

Since open admission colleges might accept students who don’t or can’t enroll in a traditional college, the student body tends to be more varied. It’s more likely to have students who are working, with children or come from more disadvantaged backgrounds.

Who Benefits from Online Universities and Schools Offering Open Acceptance?

Find Online Schools with Open Admissions & 100 Percent Acceptance

It’s not always easy to find out which schools have open admission policies. To help, we’ve compiled a list of schools offering online learning opportunities, open admissions and 100 percent acceptance with graduation rates of at least 20 percent.

Allen University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 28.2% Total Price $20,300 State SC Size 640 Sector Private not-for-profit
Atlantic University College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 34.5% Total Price N/A State PR Size 1,132 Sector Private not-for-profit
Baker College of Owosso 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 20% Total Price $20,100 State MI Size 2,079 Sector Private not-for-profit
Bellevue University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 29.4% Total Price N/A State NE Size 5,521 Sector Private not-for-profit
Benedict College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 31% Total Price $30,458 State SC Size 2,484 Sector Private not-for-profit
Boricua College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 50% Total Price N/A State NY Size 1,050 Sector Private not-for-profit
Briar Cliff University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 46.8% Total Price $38,726 State IA Size 913 Sector Private not-for-profit
Cameron University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 23.4% Total Price $15,337 State OK Size 4,179 Sector Public
Chadron State College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 36.2% Total Price $16,440 State NE Size 1,992 Sector Public
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 25.7% Total Price $21,716 State PA Size 1,136 Sector Public
College America-Colorado Springs 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 31.1% Total Price N/A State CO Size 322 Sector Private not-for-profit
College America-Flagstaff 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 26.7% Total Price N/A State AZ Size 209 Sector Private not-for-profit
Columbia College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 37.6% Total Price $21,833 State MO Size 11,627 Sector Private not-for-profit
Concordia College Alabama 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 20.5% Total Price $18,330 State AL Size 562 Sector Private not-for-profit
Criswell College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 33.3% Total Price N/A State TX Size 170 Sector Private not-for-profit
Dalton State College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 20.4% Total Price $13,970 State GA Size 3,701 Sector Public
Dixie State University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 22.4% Total Price $19,743 State UT Size 6,227 Sector Public
Faulkner University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 29.8% Total Price $31,010 State AL Size 2,074 Sector Private not-for-profit
Georgia Gwinnett College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 26.6% Total Price $21,686 State GA Size 7,794 Sector Public
Granite State College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 21.4% Total Price N/A State NH Size 1,186 Sector Public
Great Lakes Christian College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 25% Total Price $25,705 State MI Size 160 Sector Private not-for-profit
Harrisburg University of Science and Technology 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 21.2% Total Price $37,800 State PA Size 277 Sector Private not-for-profit
Heidelberg University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 47% Total Price $38,154 State OH Size 1,072 Sector Private not-for-profit
Humphreys College-Stockton and Modesto Campuses 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 77.4% Total Price N/A State CA Size 520 Sector Private not-for-profit
Idaho State University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 29.8% Total Price $21,068 State ID Size 8,483 Sector Public
Kent State University at Salem 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 20.6% Total Price N/A State OH Size 1,083 Sector Public
Lincoln University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 24.6% Total Price $16,421 State MO Size 2,213 Sector Public
Lindsey Wilson College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 34.2% Total Price $36,613 State KY Size 2,134 Sector Private not-for-profit
Martin Methodist College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 44.9% Total Price $33,472 State TN Size 1,059 Sector Private not-for-profit
Mayville State University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 41.6% Total Price $16,445 State ND Size 737 Sector Public
Miami University-Hamilton 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 26.4% Total Price N/A State OH Size 2,888 Sector Public
Mid-America Christian University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 38.5% Total Price $27,418 State OK Size 2,084 Sector Private not-for-profit
Miles College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 20% Total Price $22,318 State AL Size 1,607 Sector Private not-for-profit
Missouri Western State University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 34.7% Total Price $18,025 State MO Size 4,502 Sector Public
Montana State University-Billings 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 23.6% Total Price $17,835 State MT Size 3,596 Sector Public
Montserrat College of Art 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 52.5% Total Price $39,670 State MA Size 383 Sector Private not-for-profit
Morris College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 30.8% Total Price $21,481 State SC Size 819 Sector Private not-for-profit
National University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 46.2% Total Price N/A State CA Size 5,841 Sector Private not-for-profit
Nebraska Christian College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 21.1% Total Price $23,450 State NE Size 134 Sector Private not-for-profit
New Hampshire Institute of Art 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 52.5% Total Price $35,060 State NH Size 432 Sector Private not-for-profit
Ohio State University-Lima Campus 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 33.3% Total Price N/A State OH Size 934 Sector Public
Ohio State University-Mansfield Campus 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 41.6% Total Price $22,036 State OH Size 1,030 Sector Public
Ohio State University-Marion Campus 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 42.8% Total Price N/A State OH Size 1,047 Sector Public
Ohio State University-Newark Campus 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 39.2% Total Price $22,036 State OH Size 2,010 Sector Public
Ohio University-Eastern Campus 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 40% Total Price N/A State OH Size 664 Sector Public
Ohio University-Lancaster Campus 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 20.1% Total Price N/A State OH Size 1,680 Sector Public
Ohio University-Zanesville Campus 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 28% Total Price N/A State OH Size 1,271 Sector Public
Pennsylvania College of Technology 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 40.3% Total Price $30,193 State PA Size 5,075 Sector Public
Peru State College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 36.7% Total Price $16,556 State NE Size 1,510 Sector Public
Philander Smith College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 38.6% Total Price $24,986 State AR Size 534 Sector Private not-for-profit
Ranken Technical College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 37.9% Total Price $25,239 State MO Size 1,574 Sector Private not-for-profit
Salish Kootenai College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 25.6% Total Price $16,779 State MT Size 744 Sector Private not-for-profit
Shawnee State University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 26.5% Total Price $21,451 State OH Size 3,842 Sector Public
Sierra Nevada College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 45.9% Total Price $45,759 State NV Size 494 Sector Private not-for-profit
Sojourner-Douglass College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 20% Total Price N/A State MD Size 699 Sector Private not-for-profit
Southern Nazarene University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 46% Total Price $32,844 State OK Size 1,670 Sector Private not-for-profit
Stevens-Henager College-Logan 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 28.7% Total Price N/A State UT Size 140 Sector Private not-for-profit
Talladega College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 44.3% Total Price $21,296 State AL Size 877 Sector Private not-for-profit
Tennessee State University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 40.5% Total Price $17,693 State TN Size 5,890 Sector Public
The University of Montana-Western 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 54.2% Total Price $15,386 State MT Size 1,282 Sector Public
The University of Texas at Brownsville 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 26% Total Price $13,842 State TX Size 7,616 Sector Public
United States Merchant Marine Academy 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 71.9% Total Price N/A State NY Size 958 Sector Public
University of Alaska Anchorage 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 27.6% Total Price $18,620 State AK Size 10,579 Sector Public
University of Alaska Fairbanks 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 42.3% Total Price $16,484 State AK Size 5,099 Sector Public
University of Arkansas at Monticello 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 25.1% Total Price $16,427 State AR Size 2,887 Sector Public
University of Maine at Presque Isle 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 45.7% Total Price $18,276 State ME Size 900 Sector Public
University of Northwestern Ohio 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 31.3% Total Price $22,015 State OH Size 3,794 Sector Private not-for-profit
University of Rio Grande 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 24.9% Total Price $35,008 State OH Size 1,936 Sector Private not-for-profit
Urbana University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 35.8% Total Price $31,686 State OH Size 1,031 Sector Private not-for-profit
Utah Valley University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 24.8% Total Price N/A State UT Size 20,624 Sector Public
Vincennes University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 26.5% Total Price $17,741 State IN Size 10,160 Sector Public
Virginia University of Lynchburg 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 39.1% Total Price $22,657 State VA Size 337 Sector Private not-for-profit
Warner Pacific College Adult Degree Program 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 40.9% Total Price N/A State OR Size 857 Sector Private not-for-profit
Washburn University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 34.5% Total Price $17,403 State KS Size 4,774 Sector Public
Wayne State College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 48.5% Total Price $15,500 State NE Size 2,820 Sector Public
Weber State University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 34.9% Total Price $19,242 State UT Size 15,419 Sector Public
Welch College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 38.1% Total Price $26,444 State TN Size 269 Sector Private not-for-profit
West Virginia University at Parkersburg 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 29.5% Total Price N/A State WV Size 2,572 Sector Public
Western New Mexico University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 22.3% Total Price $20,803 State NM Size 1,956 Sector Public
Wiley College 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 20% Total Price $21,598 State TX Size 1,347 Sector Private not-for-profit
Wilmington University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 28.3% Total Price N/A State DE Size 5,210 Sector Private not-for-profit
Wright State University-Lake Campus 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 33.3% Total Price $16,010 State OH Size 851 Sector Public
Wright State University-Main Campus 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 38.9% Total Price $22,438 State OH Size 10,923 Sector Public
Youngstown State University 2014 6-Year Grad Rate 33.5% Total Price $20,343 State OH Size 10,337 Sector Public

Admission Requirements for High Acceptance Schools

To attend an open admission school, a prospective student may still need to do certain things besides completing an application, including:

  1. Provide proof they have a high school diploma or GED. An official high school transcript or official copy of GED test scores should work just fine.
  2. Depending on the school, taking placement exams to measure the status of their current academic ability and knowledge. Schools require these exams to see if students need to first take remedial classes before they can take college level courses. Even though a student may have a high school diploma, it may have been several years or more since they last took algebra or wrote a paper.
  3. Adherence to deadlines. Unless the specific school has rolling admissions, there will be a deadline by which a completed application must be submitted. Open admission schools will be very strict about enforcing these deadlines because of the often-high number of applicants who apply to their school.
  4. If a student is not a US citizen, a school may require additional documentation to prove the student is a legal resident or student visitor in the country. To prove they possess a requisite level of English proficiency, they might have to take a special exam.
  5. Once in school, the student may have to maintain a certain level of academic progress to take certain courses or enter specific programs.

Achieving Academic Success at an Open Admissions College

Where to Get Help to Succeed

Many schools have resources available to help students overcome these challenges. Mentoring or tutoring programs, developmental classes, professor office hours, career services and on-campus childcare are just a few things available to students to help them learn and succeed in college.

Are Open Admission Colleges Bad?

One of the perceived drawbacks of open admission colleges is that they allow students to enroll in college when they have no realistic chance of completing a college program. This is one reason why traditional colleges and universities have admission standards; they want to make students will be able to meet the academic requirements of that school.

When schools have admission, anyone can enroll – even students who aren’t ready for the rigors of college courses. While this has its drawbacks, remember that traditional academic standards for college acceptance often inadvertently stop students from attending a school where they might excel.

To avoid enrolling in college but being unable to meet the academic standards required, students need to understand what they’re getting into. Just because a school allows everyone to be accepted doesn’t mean everyone will be able to finish their chosen program. They still need to expect a great deal of hard work and put forth the effort to meet their course requirements.

Remember, just because a student has a GED or high school diploma does not mean they automatically have the academic training to succeed in college. Incoming students must understand that a sheet of paper or credential doesn’t help them get a college degree. Rather, it’s their hard work, dedication and ability to perform at the necessary academic level that will help them graduate from college.

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