Online colleges have changed the face of history. History often involves creative destruction. Universities in the 11th century were undoubtedly different than those of the 21st. The 11th-century ancestor of our modern universities featured a few areas of study for a select group of people. That model has been creatively destroyed, leading the way to the 21st-century university.

Today, there are hundreds of degrees available to almost anyone. This begs the question, what will our universities be like in the 22nd century? Though no one knows the answer to that question, people wouldn’t be crazy if they said that schools will be fully digital, rendering the traditional brick-and-mortar school to the dust-bin of history.

What is online education?

Whatever the prophetic powers you may have, we can see that online education is here to stay, and it continues to grow and develop. Communication technology now allows fully live interactions between faculty and students spread across the globe. Colleges and universities use Learning Management Systems such as Blackboard, Canvas, or Renweb for assignments, discussions, forums, enrollment, faculty-student interaction, and video lectures. Technology has opened up e-learning opportunities for millions of working people to earn a degree while continuing to work. Individuals can literally learn when and how they want—at a coffee shop at noon, at a park at three o’clock, or at home at midnight. The flexibility and accessibility are incredible.
Not only has online learning made degrees accessible to more people, but they also offer education at a more affordable price.

What are the advantages of online education?

Think about why traditional brick-and-mortar education costs what it does. The price schools charge includes the cost to educate, house, administer, and maintain the campus. With online learning, technology renders the campus and costs less important; it also means more students per teacher. So then, online education boasts three key advantages over traditional education: accessibility, flexibility or convenience, and affordability. Even quality, which is often cited by skeptics, can be disproven (see our FAQs for cited studies). Online learning has led to new models of learning: flipped classrooms, mastery learning, and project-based learning, to name a few. What then are some cons? The chief con, and this is arguable depending on the degree and school, is that online programs involved less personal contact, and hence, the learning is not as good. Another con is online flexibility requires self-motivation and discipline, and some students don’t have it. Though there is indeed less face-to-face, real-world personal contact, many find online degrees attractive and effective. All in all, if you’re looking for a degree and want to continue working, there isn’t a better way than a quality, accredited, online degree.

What is your Methodology?

With such a broad topic, selecting only 15 online colleges amongst hundreds was difficult. We began by compiling a list of colleges and universities that had at least 20 online degrees at under $500 per credit hour. After this master list was compiled, we weeded out schools that were for-profit or were not accredited. Lastly, we gathered statistics on the existing colleges and each school was given a score out of 100. Statistics were gathered from school websites, U. S. News and World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and Payscale.com. The schools were scored based on the following percentages:

  • Cost per Credit Hour – 40%
  • Return on Investment (ROI) – 30%
  • Reputation – 10%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio – 10%

 

1
University of Florida

The University of Florida is a powerhouse in online education with over 200 programs to choose from. The sheer number of programs available at this acclaimed institution, combined with one of the most affordable costs of only $212 per credit hour, leaves no doubt that UF belongs at the top of the list. There are bachelors, masters, doctorate, and certificate programs available online as well as some specialist degrees.

Students can be assured that they are receiving a rigorous education even though they are learning from the comfort of their own homes as the University of Florida is a member of the prestigious American Association of Universities (AAU). It is worth noting that the University offers one of the lowest tuition rates amongst colleges who are members of the AAU. Ranked at number five by U. S. News and World Report for “Best Online Colleges,” the University of Florida has everything you are looking for in an online college – affordable price, a high ROI, an abundance of options, and an excellent reputation.

About the University of Florida

Located on 2000 acres in Gainesville, Florida, the University of Florida is a pubic land-, sea-, and space-grant institution. It was founded in 1853 and today it has grown into an academic powerhouse and is the senior member of the State University System of Florida. Looking forward to a greener future, the University has more LEED-certified buildings than any other American university.

  • Location: Gainesville, FL
  • Retention Rate: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 90%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

2
Brigham Young University - Idaho

Brigham Young University – Idaho has the second most affordable tuition on the list at only $156 per credit hour. Combine the low cost with the highest ROI’s on the list, and you have a golden combination. There are nearly 40 online degree and certificate programs available through BYU – Pathway Worldwide.

In order to qualify for admission, students must be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or “have a close tie with the church.” Additional eligibility requirements include agreeing to live by the CES Honor Code, a high school diploma, a GPA of 2.0 or higher, and in good academic standing. Although the requirements restrict who will be able to enroll, those students who meet the requirements will not be disappointed with the degree options and outstanding education they receive.

Bachelor degree options include Applied Business Management, Applied Technology, Marriage and Family Studies, and Professional Studies. There are numerous certificate options as well as five different associate degrees available.

About Brigham Young University – Idaho

Founded in 1888, Brigham Young University–Idaho is a private university located in Rexburg, Idaho. The university is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and was formerly known as Ricks College. Organized into thirty-three departments within six colleges, students graduate with degrees in the sciences, engineering, agriculture, management, and the liberal arts.

  • Location: Rexburg, ID
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 22 to 1

3
University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas offers nearly 80 online degree programs at the lowest cost on the list. Through the Self-Paced Online Course program, the University offers over 20 start dates throughout the year with courses running approximately 12 weeks in length. This ultimate flexibility allows students to set their own pace and not be locked into the traditional semester schedule. This program may not be the right answer for everyone, as there are restrictions. Students who don’t fit into these qualifications can still enroll in the plethora of online courses available.

The online degrees at U of A were developed to mirror the on-campus program, ensuring students are receiving the same excellent education as those attending on campus. There are over 3,000 students who are enrolled exclusively online, but over 12,000 students are taking online classes, showing the scope of this effective program.

About the University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas is the only institution in Arkansas to be classified as having the highest research status by The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. This academic recognition places the University among the top 2 percent of universities nationwide. Located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the University of Arkansas is the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas System and the largest university in the state.

  • Location: Fayetteville, AR
  • Retention Rate: 84%
  • Graduation Rate: 66%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

4
Oregon State University

The ECampus at Oregon State University is consistently ranked among the “Top 10 Online Colleges” by U.S. News and World Report. With over 70 undergraduate and graduate degrees available 100 percent online, there are plenty of options for those looking for online education. Not only is there an abundance of online degree options, but Oregon State also boasts the fourth-highest annual ROI’s on the list at 9.4 percent, which is no surprise considering the cost per credit comes in at under $300 per credit hour.

Oregon State University is known for its agricultural and natural resource degrees, and the online college is no exception. There are few universities around the nation that offer an online B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, Crop and Soil Sciences, or an Undergraduate Certificate in Organic Farming Systems, but you will find these options at Oregon State. With over 1300 online course options available, students will not be disappointed.

About Oregon State University

Located in Oregon’s scenic Willamette Valley, Oregon State University is a public research university. OSU is a land-, sea-, space-, sun-grant university, making it one of only four American institutions to hold all four designations. It is the largest university in the state of Oregon with over 28,000 total students.

  • Location: Corvallis, OR
  • Retention Rate: 84%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1

5
Utah State University

A leader in online education, Utah State University launched its online program in 1997, and today offers over 500 online classes. Regularly ranked by outside ranking services, Utah State University is simply one of the best. Not only is it affordable, but it also has the second-highest annual ROI on the list at 9.9 percent. With the soaring cost of higher education, students can be assured that their investment is worth it at Utah State. The retention rate of 73 percent shows that once enrolled, students stay with this excellent university.

Online options range from associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, graduate degrees, both undergraduate and graduate certificates, and professional education and licensure options. With nearly 40 fully online programs, it is difficult to focus on one. Unique online degree options include a B.S. in Agribusiness, M.S. in Aviation Science, M.P.S in Horticulture, and a Deafblind Intervener Training Certificate.

About Utah State University

Utah State University is a public research university located in Logan, Utah. As the largest public university in the state of Utah, there are nearly 30,000 students attending. It was founded as an agricultural college in 1888 and today has grown into a broad institution of higher learning offering degrees in engineering, business, economics, liberal arts, natural resources, and education.

  • Location: Logan, UT
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1

6
Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg State University offers the second-lowest tuition on the list at only $136 per credit hour for their online degrees. There are 20 fully online degree options including several online MBA programs, two M.S. in Education programs, an RN to BSN program, several undergraduate options, and several certificate options. Although the number of options are not as plentiful as some of the larger universities, students who are looking for one of these degrees won’t be disappointed in the low cost and high annual ROI of 7.5 percent.

There are multiple start dates throughout the year, and most online degree programs at Fitchburg can be completed in as little as 12 months. Admission requirements depend on which program you choose, but in general, they include an application, official transcripts, and either a high school diploma or an accredited bachelor’s degree. It should be noted that a GRE score is not required for graduate program admission.

About Fitchburg State University

Fitchburg State University is home to approximately 5200 students. The medium-sized public university started as a Normal School, or a school dedicated to teacher education, in 1894. Nowadays there are 56 undergraduate majors and concentrations and 40 graduate degrees and certificates available at the University.

  • Location: Fitchburg, MA
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1

7
Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University offers over 25 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs that are 100-percent online. The affordable tuition of only $189 per credit hour makes the University worth considering. Undergraduate programs include Business Administration and Law, Criminal Justice, RN to BSN, Emergency Medical Care, and several others. Graduate students won’t be disappointed in the options either—choices range from Construction Management to School Administration.

Acceptance into the Distance Learning Program is a two-stage process. Students must first be admitted to the college by meeting the university admission requirements. Once you are admitted, you must be accepted into the program. Each program has different requirements and applications so be sure to check these out. It’s important to note that WCU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the online quality remains on-par with on-campus learning. WCU is recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the Top 100 Online Colleges. All in all, WCU is certainly worth consideration.

About Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University is a public university located in Cullowhee, North Carolina. Recognized as the fifth oldest university in the University of North Carolina system, WCU has students from 48 states and 35 countries. It was founded to provide an education to the residents of the western North Carolina mountains. Today, the University is one of three schools that are a part of the NC Promise Tuition Plan, which is a commendable plan focused on making higher education more affordable.

  • Location: Cullowhee, NC
  • Retention Rate: 80%
  • Graduation Rate: 62%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1

8
CUNY School of Professional Studies

Consistently acknowledged as one of the top online universities in the nation, CUNY School of Professional Studies offers affordable tuition and excellent academic credentials. Not only is the tuition extremely affordable, but the annual ROI at CUNY is also six percent, making your investment worth it long-term. The online programs at CUNY provide students many opportunities to connect with their peers and instructors through email, discussion boards, ePortfolios, blogs, and instant messaging. Students have access to full online support anywhere they have internet accessibility.

Online masters degree programs include Psychology, Applied Theatre, Data Science, Business Management and Leadership, Disability Studies, Disability Services in Higher Education, Nursing, and Research Administration and Compliance. Online undergraduate degree programs are available for students who have 24 or more credits from a previous institution. Programs include Communication and Media, Business, Disability Studies, Human Relations, Psychology, Information Systems, Nursing, Sociology, Liberal Studies, and several others. There are also online certificate programs and non-degree programs available.

About CUNY School of Professional Studies

Founded in 2003, CUNY School of Professional Studies was started to provide programs that meet the needs of adults who need to complete a bachelor’s degree or earn a masters degree. Degrees are available both on-campus and online and 97 percent of CUNY SPS students are enrolled in online education. Also worth noting is that eight out of 10 graduates are debt-free due to the low cost of a CUNY education!

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Retention Rate: 83%
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 14 to 1

9
West Texas A&M University

West Texas A&M University provides over 30 online degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. The University is one of the few to offer a fully online doctorate program. Those who are looking for an Educational Leadership Ed.D., West Texas A&M is a great choice. With an annual ROI of seven percent and the low cost of only $305 per credit hour, it is no wonder that the University ranks among the “Top 20 Online Schools” by U.S. News and World Report.

Online courses are offered through two formats suited to fit different needs. For those on a more traditional schedule, there is a classic semester-based format, while those students who are looking for a more flexible approach can enroll in the Education on Demand program. Knowing that West Texas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools also assures national standards are being met. With each program offering different options, it is important to fully read about your program of interest as some are hybrid programs, while others include the option to attend face to face classes. Regardless of your choice, West Texas A&M provides high-caliber education at an affordable price.

About West Texas A&M University

West Texas A & M University is a public university nestled in the Texas panhandle, just south of Amarillo, Texas. The University is considered a selective university with an acceptance rate of only 67.4 percent. There are approximately 60 undergraduate programs, 35 master’s programs, and two doctoral programs available at West Texas A & M.

  • Location: Canyon, TX
  • Retention Rate: 67%
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1

10
University of Massachusetts - Lowell

The University of Massachusetts – Lowell is considered a powerhouse of online education with approximately 70 online degree programs and good repute in the online learning community. It doesn’t matter what program you are looking for, chances are, UMass – Lowell has it. Online degrees include Business and Finance, Criminal Justice, Cybersecurity, Education, Engineering, Health Informatics, Graphic Design, Information Technology, and Psychology. Even though the cost per credit hour is one of the highest on our list, it is still very low considering the average cost of higher education. Combine the cost with a high annual ROI of 7.2 percent, and the online courses at UMass Lowell can be worth the investment.

The reputation of UMass Lowell is well-deserved. It has one of the largest selections of online programs available through a traditional university. Students can rest assured they are receiving valuable instruction as courses are taught by faculty who are experts in their fields. Online students have access to technical support 24×7, as well as readily available academic advisors.

About University of Massachusetts – Lowell

The University of Massachusetts Lowell is the second-largest institution in the state of Massachusetts. It is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges with several programs holding national accreditations. The large, public University offers 122 bachelor’s, 43 master’s and 36 doctoral degree programs.

  • Location: Lowell, MA
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 63%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 17 to 1

11
Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University offers excellent online degree programs in business, education, and healthcare at both the undergraduate and graduate degree level. Flexible and affordable – those words characterize every online program at Georgia Southern. Programs can be completed from the comfort of your own home and without ever having to set foot on campus. Additionally, there are blended options for those who want to attend some classes on campus.

The online programs at Georgia Southern are primarily for graduate students, though there are three undergraduate degree programs: Interdisciplinary Studies, Information Technology, and RN to BSN. Although there aren’t many undergraduate options, options abound for those looking for graduate online education. Computer Science, MBA, Reading Education, Teacher Leadership, and many others are all available at the graduate level. Georgia Southern has been named one of “Top 20 Most Popular Universities” by U.S. News & World Report.

About Georgia Southern University

Founded in 1906, Georgia Southern University is a public research university is located in charming Statesboro, Georgia. There are over 140 different degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. Approximately 27,000 diverse students attend Georgia Southern and they come from 50 states and 85 countries around the world.

  • Location: Statesboro, GA
  • Retention Rate: 78%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 20 to 1

12
Central Washington University

With approximately 65 undergraduate, graduate, certificates, and minor online program, Central Washington University has superb e-learning options. Attending CWU is economical at only $230 per credit hour, and the annual ROI is 5.9 percent, making your investment worth it. Online classes are conducted via the Canvas learning management system. Conveniently, there are four start dates throughout the academic year, and online classes follow the same general schedule as their on-campus counterparts.

Undergraduate majors include Aviation Science, Business Administration, English, Cybersecurity, Project Management, Psychology, Public Health, and several others. Graduate programs include School Psychology, Professional and Creative Writing, and numerous Masters of Education degrees. Additionally, there are many minors that can be added on to either an undergraduate or graduate degree. It is clear with so many options available at Central Washington University, combined with the price and quality, it’s worth a look.

About Central Washington University

Located approximately 110 miles east of Seattle, Central Washington University is a public university in Ellensburg, Washington. The University is divided into four colleges: the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Business, the College of Education and Professional Studies, and the College of the Sciences. Interestingly, Central Washington University is considered an emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution with 15 percent Hispanic students.

  • Location: Ellensburg, WA
  • Retention Rate: 69%
  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1

13
Ohio State University

This ranking would not be complete without mentioning Ohio State University’s first-rate online programs. A true powerhouse in online higher education, Ohio State University offers over 30 online degree-granting programs along with many other classes, certificates, and minor options. Recognized as one of the greatest and most expansive universities in the nation by multiple ranking sources, Ohio State University demands attention. OSU is an economically sound option offering in-state tuition rates for all online students and waives the campus fee.

Many of the online programs have rolling admission with numerous start dates throughout the year. Online programs at Ohio State use the same excellent faculty as the on-campus programs, and online students won’t feel alone with the easy access to their professors and the online student Facebook group. This collegiality is extended beyond graduation, as Ohio State has one of the largest alumni networks of any university with a half a million alumni around the world.

About Ohio State University

The third-largest university campus in the United States, Ohio State University is expansive in every way. OSU was founded in 1870 and originally known as the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College. Today Ohio State is a public research university of the highest caliber and is considered one of the top 12 research universities in the nation.

  • Location: Columbus, OH
  • Retention Rate: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 84%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 19 to 1

14
Fort Hays State University

Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, there are nearly 200 online degree and certificate programs available at Fort Hays State University. The sheer number of available online degrees puts Fort Hays State on the map, but when you combine the options with one of the lowest costs per credit of only $219 for undergraduate study, you have a recipe for success. The annual ROI is a little lower than some on the list, but the 4.7 percent return on investment is not too shabby. Recognized as being in the “Top 50 Online Colleges” by U. S. News and World Report, Fort Hays State has certainly earned its numerous accolades.

It is nearly impossible to list all of the degree options, but suffice it to say that Fort Hays offers online bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nearly any area of study. There is one online doctorate degree, a Doctorate of Nursing Practice. Admission requirements vary depending on your level of education, but in general require an application, minimum GPA, and an ACT or SAT score.

About Fort Hays State University

Founded in 1902 on the original grounds of Fort Hays, a frontier military outpost, today Fort Hays State University is home to approximately 15,000 students. The University was placed to serve the settler’s needs for educational facilities in the Kansas region, and the close military outpost was the perfect location. Today’s campus is still located on part of the former military reservation from the fort.

  • Location: Hays, KS
  • Retention Rate: 73%
  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 18 to 1

15
Florida International University

Florida International University was a pioneer in online education and has been offering online degree options for twenty years. There are nearly 54,000 students studying at Florida International University, making it one of the ten largest universities in the nation. This colossal university offers one of the least expensive online education programs available at only $263 per credit hour. The annual ROI is 5.7 percent and it is ranked #58 on U. S. News and World Report’s list of “Top Online Colleges.”

There are over 120 online degree options available at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, including undergraduate and graduate certificate options. Not only are there ample online opportunities, with such an extensive university, but there are also bound to be additional perks. For example, the Career Engage pilot program offers support for online engineering students to teach professional readiness, hone human relations skills, and provide industry-specific knowledge.

About Florida International University

Florida International University is a public research university located in Miami, Florida. It is classified as having the highest research activity by the Carnegie Foundation. There are over 190 programs of study with more than 280 majors through 23 colleges and schools. As for graduate degrees, the University offers 81 master’s degrees, 34 doctoral degrees, and three professional degrees.

  • Location: Miami, FL
  • Retention Rate: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Student to Faculty Ratio: 26 to 1

What is online learning?


Education has come a long way in the last hundred years. From mail-in distance education to correspondence courses, to courses taught via the telephone, the progress has occurred with advances in technology. In the 1980s the internet began transforming communication. Online learning is an education delivered through the internet and state-of-the-art communication technology. It is also called e-learning or distance learning (though not the snail mail variety!). Online education is essentially an extension of college and university programs through a Learning Management System (LMS). These include video conferencing, live digital classrooms, online forums, discussions, and portals to turn in and receive assignments.

Every year technology improves the online experience making it more accessible, convenient, and affordable. As technology makes live interactions higher quality the quality of online learning goes up too. There are many reasons for choosing online education, but perhaps the top two are price and convenience. Due to the fact that online students are not on-campus many of those costs are defrayed. As the costs of conventional education rise more and more people are finding online learning a valid alternative. In addition to price, the convenience is simply incredible, especially for working adults who wish to continue their job and earn their degree on their own time. This factor alone opens up educational worlds to millions—to find the right degree that works with their schedule and life.

How is online learning different than traditional brick-and-mortar education?


Online learning and traditional brick-and-mortar education can be compared in many ways. Both offer pros and cons depending on your life and perspective. Here’s how we break it down (and here’s a chart made by Johns Hopkins that helps). First, traditional brick-and-mortar, or on-campus, learning offers the college experience that has become a kind of rite-of-passage. The student life, leadership opportunities, sports mayhem, party life, and relationships with peers and faculty are powerful. The cost of on-campus education is becoming a huge problem. Student debt is on the news every election cycle with politicians offering ways to forgive the debt, make college free, and reform our university system.

Online learning is a different world than on-campus. You learn from home, a coffee shop, a city park, or anywhere with a wifi connection. The learning environment is what you make it. That being said, there’s no student hall, student life, time with faculty sitting in your favorite professor’s office, etc. Online learning especially appeals to working adults and professionals. The reason is simple: price and convenience. To quit a job to go to a campus with younger men and women in a different stage in life that costs a lot of money doesn’t make sense. Moreover, it makes less sense with the incredible options of so many online degrees nowadays.

Is it true that online learning is more affordable?


Take a moment to consider the differences between on-campus and online education. Campus versus no campus is the essential difference. The costs to administer, maintain, and manage all that goes into keeping a campus going, from student housing, sports facilities, and maintenance of the grounds and facilities, is considerable. Take away the campus and most of those costs no longer apply. Students don’t need to be housed, fed, and offered student recreation centers. So far this seems commonsensical.

In addition, faculty can disseminate lectures and learning to as many people as technology allows. In the case of Khan Academy, that means millions. This latter factor is what a study by ASU found in 2018. Namely, that larger classes and adjunct professors save the school money and hence is why online learning is more affordable. It’s important to note that in this same study, some schools report that savings are not due to technology, rather less costly faculty. Nevertheless, the debate goes on. What does seem clear is that when online learning advocates claim it’s more cost-effective there’s ample evidence to show that their claims are true. Though not always absolutely the case, and though the reasons may not be fully understood, it is accurate to say that online learning is more affordable.

Is online learning the same quality as on-campus learning?


This is perhaps the most controversial aspect of the online learning revolution. It is to be expected, as all changes of this magnitude are hard to comprehend during the change. It’s only with 20/20 hindsight we will see clearly. Is online education as good as on-campus learning? Is online learning missing the personal aspect of education, and hence, a key component in effective learning? Is there less collaboration in distance learning? Do different degrees work better on-campus or online? The jury is out on much of this, but right now there seems to be a consensus that online learning can be very effective.

Multiple studies are actually showing that online learning is outperforming traditional learning. This depends on the individual. It is true that online learning is more flexible, but with that comes the need for self-discipline and motivation. Without these traits, online learning will not be effective. On-campus learning provides structures and dates and times that many require. As the model of education changes, different methodologies have arisen such as collaborative learning through google applications, flipped classrooms, and project-based learning to name a few. These are now being used in combination with face-to-face and learning outcomes indicate their effectiveness. Some researchers believe this combination or hybrid model offers the best learning outcomes.

How do I choose the best online degree?


The best degree is what works for you in your life. If you are a working professional and want to earn a degree to move up in your company or land a new job, online education is a great option. You can find the degree you want at the cost you budget and complete it on your time and schedule. That being said, when you go to choose the college and program there are myriads and myriads of options. This can be overwhelming. That’s where we come in. We offer rankings of just about every degree to help people like you find what you need to succeed.

Here are a couple of ideas as you begin your adventure. Look for a combination of low price and high quality. Price is usually pretty easy to find and most schools make that information obvious. The quality though can be difficult. We use metrics based on statistics from the National Education Database along with reputation scores and program research. If you choose to search on your own, make sure your school of choice is accredited regionally, and for a bonus, the specific program is accredited by a national accrediting agency. This national recognition can be vital for employers sometimes require it, and if you transfer, without regional accreditation, you may have problems. Besides accreditation, you can determine quality by looking into rankings, student testimonies, and perusing their program. Best of luck on your adventure!

About the Author
Ambria Farid

In addition to her consulting work helping numerous NGOs in Asia, Ambria is currently working on her Master's degree in Economics and Institutions from the Universiat Marburg in Germany. Her passion is higher education, and has been actively writing on the topic for over 4 years.