Online Colleges for Working Adults

Online colleges are catering to nontraditional students. Find schools here and learn how to choose the best online college and program for working adults.

September 28, 2021

Online Colleges for Working Adults

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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Find Schools that Cater to Non-traditional Students

While the majority of college students are 18 to 24, an increasing number of students aged 25 and older are attending college. Colleges and universities recognize this growing number of nontraditional students. To meet the nontraditional student's demand for a more flexible education, many schools have started or expanded online college programs. Here’s why these programs are an ideal option for working adults.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 8.2 million college students were aged 25 and over in 2015.

The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce released a study in 2015 which found that 40% of the growth in college attendees between 2000 and 2011 came from students over the age of 25.

Online Colleges for Working Adults

  1. World Mission University - 95% of students 25 and over
  2. South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary - 91% of students 25 and over
  3. Averett University-Non-Traditional Programs - 91% of students 25 and over
  4. Faith International University - 88% of students 25 and over
  5. Apex School of Theology - 88% of students 25 and over
  6. Webster University - 81% of students 25 and over
  7. Holy Apostles College and Seminary - 80% of students 25 and over
  8. Southern New Hampshire University - 77% of students 25 and over
  9. Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion - 74% of students 25 and over
  10. Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale - 73% of students 25 and over

Why Adult Working Students Are Different

Working adult college students are different from the “traditional” college student in several ways, although three characteristics stand out the most.

This means they have more real-world experience, especially experiences from the workplace. Working adults bring a unique perspective to the college classroom and can help meld the theoretical learning often found on campus by sharing their real-world practices. Although college students have been working while in college for decades, most of these jobs were part-time. Many adults hold down full-time, demanding careers while attending classes. Consequently, attending a class that is held on a weekday during normal business hours is usually out of the question. Family responsibilities for adult students could mean a spouse, or children, or both. This means the time to attend college is much less, given a more limited schedule. It’s not easy to attend a class while a child needs to get picked up from kindergarten.

Online College Courses for Working Adults

Online colleges offer scheduling flexibility that allows class attendance while also allowing the student to work and take care of their family. Each online program is different, with its own unique course delivery methods and academic policies. However, most online college programs are set up so that busy working adult students can attend class on their own schedule, after their family and professional obligations have been taken care of for the day. Additionally, most online programs allow students to complete their coursework at an accelerated or slower pace – whatever is right for them.

What Should Adult Learners Look for in an Online School?

Most schools with online programs share similarities regarding the flexibility in the timing and rate at which a program can be completed. However, there are a variety of factors to consider when choosing the right online program for a nontraditional college student.

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Featured Online Programs

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

The Best Online Colleges for Working Adults

Most colleges these days are ready and excited to welcome working adults into the student body, and many even cater to this group. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best nonprofit schools for working adults based on several factors, including:

Adelphi University View School Profile Garden City, NY Unconfirmed
Albertus Magnus College View School Profile New Haven, CT Unconfirmed
Alvernia University View School Profile Reading, PA Unconfirmed
Apex School of Theology View School Profile Durham, NC Unconfirmed
Ashland University View School Profile Ashland, OH Unconfirmed
Augsburg College View School Profile Minneapolis, MN Unconfirmed
Aurora University View School Profile Aurora, IL Unconfirmed
Averett University - Non-Traditional Programs View School Profile Danville, VA Unconfirmed
Avila University View School Profile Kansas City, MO Unconfirmed
Baker University View School Profile Baldwin City, KS Unconfirmed
Bay Path University View School Profile Longmeadow, MA Unconfirmed
Belhaven University View School Profile Jackson, MS Unconfirmed
Benedictine University View School Profile Lisle, IL Unconfirmed
Bethel University View School Profile Mckenzie, TN Unconfirmed
Cabrini University View School Profile Radnor, PA Unconfirmed
Caldwell University View School Profile Caldwell, NJ Unconfirmed
California Baptist University View School Profile Riverside, CA Unconfirmed
California Lutheran University View School Profile Thousand Oaks, CA Unconfirmed
Calvary University View School Profile Kansas City, MO Unconfirmed
Carlow University View School Profile Pittsburgh, PA Unconfirmed
Cedar Crest College View School Profile Allentown, PA Unconfirmed
Centenary University View School Profile Hackettstown, NJ Unconfirmed
Central Michigan University View School Profile Mount Pleasant, MI Unconfirmed
Champlain College View School Profile Burlington, VT Unconfirmed
Christian Brothers University View School Profile Memphis, TN Unconfirmed
Clarke University View School Profile Dubuque, IA Unconfirmed
Clarks Summit University View School Profile South Abington Township, PA Unconfirmed
Clarkson College View School Profile Omaha, NE Unconfirmed
College of Our Lady of the Elms View School Profile Chicopee, MA Unconfirmed
Concordia University - Irvine View School Profile Irvine, CA Unconfirmed
Concordia University - Wisconsin View School Profile Mequon, WI Unconfirmed
Cornerstone University View School Profile Grand Rapids, MI Unconfirmed
Crown College View School Profile St. Bonifacius, MN Unconfirmed
DePaul University View School Profile Chicago, IL Unconfirmed
DeSales University View School Profile Center Valley, PA Unconfirmed
Drexel University View School Profile Philadelphia, PA Unconfirmed
Edgewood College View School Profile Madison, WI Unconfirmed
Endicott College View School Profile Beverly, MA Unconfirmed
Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus View School Profile Teaneck , NJ Unconfirmed
Faith International University View School Profile Tacoma, WA Unconfirmed
Fontbonne University View School Profile Saint Louis, MO Unconfirmed
Fordham University View School Profile Bronx, NY Unconfirmed
Fresno Pacific University View School Profile Fresno, CA Unconfirmed
George Fox University View School Profile Newberg, OR Unconfirmed
Gwynedd Mercy University View School Profile Gwynedd Valley, PA Unconfirmed
Hamline University View School Profile Saint Paul, MN Unconfirmed
Holy Apostles College and Seminary View School Profile Cromwell, CT Unconfirmed
Holy Family University View School Profile Philadelphia, PA Unconfirmed
Immaculata University View School Profile Immaculata, PA Unconfirmed
Indiana Wesleyan University - Marion View School Profile Marion, IN Unconfirmed
Johnson University View School Profile Knoxville, TN Unconfirmed
Judson University View School Profile Elgin, IL Unconfirmed
Kean University View School Profile Union, NJ Unconfirmed
Keiser University - Ft. Lauderdale View School Profile Fort Lauderdale, FL Unconfirmed
Keuka College View School Profile Keuka Park, NY Unconfirmed
LeTourneau University View School Profile Longview, TX Unconfirmed
Lesley University View School Profile Cambridge, MA Unconfirmed
Lewis University View School Profile Romeoville, IL Unconfirmed
Lincoln Christian University View School Profile Lincoln, IL Unconfirmed
Lipscomb University View School Profile Nashville, TN Unconfirmed
Madonna University View School Profile Livonia, MI Unconfirmed
Malone University View School Profile Canton, OH Unconfirmed
Manhattanville College View School Profile Purchase, NY Unconfirmed
Maryville University of Saint Louis View School Profile Saint Louis, MO Unconfirmed
MidAmerica Nazarene University View School Profile Olathe, KS Unconfirmed
Midway University View School Profile Midway, KY Unconfirmed
Misericordia University View School Profile Dallas, PA Unconfirmed
Montreat College View School Profile Montreat, NC Unconfirmed
Mount Mercy University View School Profile Cedar Rapids, IA Unconfirmed
Mount Saint Joseph University View School Profile Cincinnati, OH Unconfirmed
Nebraska Wesleyan University View School Profile Lincoln, NE Unconfirmed
Neumann University View School Profile Aston Township, PA Unconfirmed
Northwest Christian University View School Profile Eugene, OR Unconfirmed
Northwood University View School Profile Midland, MI Unconfirmed
Notre Dame of Maryland University View School Profile Baltimore, MD Unconfirmed
Nyack College View School Profile Nyack, NY Unconfirmed
Ohio University View School Profile Athens, OH Unconfirmed
Old Dominion University View School Profile Norfolk, VA Unconfirmed
Olivet Nazarene University View School Profile Bourbonnais, IL Unconfirmed
Pace University View School Profile New York, NY Unconfirmed
Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Harrisburg View School Profile Middletown , PA Unconfirmed
Thomas Jefferson University View School Profile Philadelphia, PA Unconfirmed
Point Park University View School Profile Pittsburgh, PA Unconfirmed
Queens University of Charlotte View School Profile Charlotte, NC Unconfirmed
Regis University View School Profile Denver, CO Unconfirmed
Robert Morris University View School Profile Moon Township, PA Unconfirmed
Sacred Heart University View School Profile Fairfield, CT Unconfirmed
Saint Joseph's University View School Profile Philadelphia, PA Unconfirmed
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota View School Profile Winona, MN Unconfirmed
Saint Peter's University View School Profile Jersey City, NJ Unconfirmed
Shenandoah University View School Profile Winchester, VA Unconfirmed
South Florida Bible College and Theological Seminary View School Profile Deerfield Beach, FL Unconfirmed
Southern New Hampshire University View School Profile Manchester, NH Unconfirmed
Spring Arbor University View School Profile Spring Arbor, MI Unconfirmed
St. Catherine University View School Profile Saint Paul, MN Unconfirmed
St. Joseph's College - New York View School Profile Brooklyn, NY Unconfirmed
Temple University View School Profile Philadelphia, PA Unconfirmed
Texas State University View School Profile San Marcos, TX Unconfirmed
The College of Saint Scholastica View School Profile Duluth, MN Unconfirmed
The Master's University and Seminary View School Profile Santa Clarita, CA Unconfirmed
The New School View School Profile New York City, NY Unconfirmed
Touro College View School Profile Los Alamitos, CA Unconfirmed
Trevecca Nazarene University View School Profile Nashville, TN Unconfirmed
Union University View School Profile Jackson, TN Unconfirmed
University of Central Missouri View School Profile Warrensburg, MO Unconfirmed
University of Cincinnati - Main Campus View School Profile Cincinnati, OH Unconfirmed
University of Detroit Mercy View School Profile Detroit, MI Unconfirmed
University of La Verne View School Profile La Verne, CA Unconfirmed
University of Mary View School Profile Bismarck, ND Unconfirmed
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities View School Profile Minnesota, MN Unconfirmed
University of Oklahoma - Norman Campus View School Profile Norman, OK Unconfirmed
University of Redlands View School Profile Redlands, CA Unconfirmed
University of Saint Francis View School Profile Fort Wayne, IN Unconfirmed
University of Saint Joseph View School Profile West Hartford, CT Unconfirmed
University of San Francisco View School Profile San Francisco, CA Unconfirmed
University of Scranton View School Profile Scranton, PA Unconfirmed
University of Sioux Falls View School Profile Sioux Falls, SD Unconfirmed
University of St. Francis View School Profile Joliet, IL Unconfirmed
University of Utah View School Profile Salt Lake City, UT Unconfirmed
University of the Incarnate Word View School Profile San Antonio, TX Unconfirmed
Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology View School Profile Flushing, NY Unconfirmed
Virginia Baptist College View School Profile Fredericksburg, VA Unconfirmed
Viterbo University View School Profile La Crosse, WI Unconfirmed
Webster University View School Profile Saint Louis, MO Unconfirmed
Westminster College View School Profile Salt Lake City, UT Unconfirmed
Wheeling Jesuit University View School Profile Wheeling, WV Unconfirmed
Widener University View School Profile Chester, PA Unconfirmed
Wilkes University View School Profile Wilkes-Barre, PA Unconfirmed
William Woods University View School Profile Fulton, MO Unconfirmed
World Mission University View School Profile Los Angeles, CA Unconfirmed

Online Program Spotlights

Temple University

Temple University offers a top notch web-based course delivery method. By utilizing Blackboard and WebEx, students will have access to collaborative learning methods that provide the most engaging learning possible, short of being in an actual classroom. With over two dozen graduate degree and certificate programs available, along with its Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree program, students have plenty of choose from. And for those who don’t need a formal degree or academic credential, Temple University offers non-credit courses. These are ideal for students who simply need the requisite knowledge, such as when preparing to sit for a licensing or certification exam.

The University of Florida

The University of Florida has been offering courses online since 2001. This means they have plenty of experience with ensuring students get the same high quality education online as they do on campus. But what helps make the University of Florida great for working adults is the flexibility. From a rolling admission process to over 100 online undergraduate and graduate degrees offered to the availability of non-degree courses (which do not require formal admission), students can find the right program or class for them. Most courses are fully online and 100% self-paced, which is perfect for working adults. After completing their program, graduates can take full advantage of the University of Florida’s alumni network, which is 330,000+ strong and located in every US state and 135 countries.

Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University is perfect for working adults for a variety of reasons. WKU offers a plethora of online education options, including more than 1,700 classes offered online, year-round registration and more than 100 program options to choose from. And for students looking to accelerate their learning, WKU offers online classes that can be completed in as little as 7 weeks. Finally, WKU is extremely affordable for online students, who are only charged the in-state tuition rate.

From an Online Student

Dan Frigo is a husband, father, and entrepreneur passionate about personal development and giving back. He owns Frigo Photography LLC, which specializes in wedding photography in and around Boston. He is an online education student.

true Q. Online education gave you a great opportunity to balance work and family obligations. What was your favorite thing about the classes or experience in general?

My favorite thing about taking classes online is the flexibility it allows me to study at my own time. The benefits of taking online classes far outweigh the challenges it presents. As a husband, father and working full-time while also working on a side part-time business of my own, my time is valuable and proper time-management is critical to achieving success with online education. I was able to still spend valuable time with my family while continuing my education around my current lifestyle.

true Q. Was there anything that surprised you about taking online courses?

I was surprised about the level of engagement within the courses. Initially I expected the communication between students to be minimal and limited to solely the discussion question within the course. However, in my experience the discussions were far deeper than I expected. This was rewarding, knowing that I was able to connect with students all over the country while participating in the class from home, or the coffee shop or library (another perk of online courses, you can learn from anywhere).

true Q. Tell us a bit about the support you found through your online program.

The advisors were very receptive of communications and responded quickly. They were always eager to help and advise. I didn’t take full advantage of all that CSU-Global offered, but believe that they are invested in the success of their students and would be willing to help whenever possible.

true Q. Anything else you might like to add about online education?

In my experience, online education was an effective an appropriate education arrangement. I was able to balance my current work schedule along with my family obligations and still get the level of education that is important for my growth personally and for my career. It is not for everyone because of the self-discipline needed in order to schedule time to study and work on assignments. But if you are able to get over that, then online education may be a great alternative to the typical classroom environment.

Also, keep in mind that the level of verbal communication is limited and you can feel alone in the journey. Therefore, take advantage of any live calls or student groups to get better connected to fellow students and your professors.

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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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