best Accredited Online Colleges 2022
Online education is no longer simply an option for many students; it has already become the norm. top Accredited Online Colleges 2022. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, virtual learning has become more prevalent. Even while universities want to restart on-campus training, analysts predict that colleges will increase the number of online degree programs they offer and create new ones in order to increase enrolment. Online learning is progressing thanks to improvements in technology, course design, high-speed internet accessibility, and other areas.
Students engage in online degree programs for a variety of reasons, including the freedom to study from any location. Students with obligations to their families or full-time careers could also be able to adjust their schedules. Online learners must be able to manage their time well and ignore outside distractions. Accredited schools typically provide specialized help for students to transition to online courses and plan their academic futures however they learn, even if online formats still provide students with distinct problems.
Online Degree Programs
A bachelor’s degree, whether earned in person or online, can lead to job chances. The employment rate among 25 to 34-year-old Americans in the U.S. with a bachelor’s degree or above was 86% in 2020, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Compared to people with merely a high school graduation, the employment rate is 69%. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost 7.3 million undergraduate students were enrolled in any distance education courses at degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the fall of 2019, while more than 3.4 million were enrolled solely in online courses. Most online students graduate with the same degree as their on-campus counterparts. The curriculum for an online bachelor’s degree at the same institution normally mirrors the on-campus program, and the diploma typically does not indicate whether a particular degree was obtained online or in person. This can allay concerns that hiring managers won’t consider candidates with online undergraduate degrees. If they haven’t already done so at another institution or university, many online bachelor’s programs require students to fulfill general education requirements in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Prospective students will probably have to choose between a degree in the liberal arts and one that is more career-focused; the latter is the path that many choose to change career areas or grow professionally. However, experts think some online students may benefit from majoring in a liberal arts field if They have a genuine passion for the subject. Academic advisors can advise you on the best course of action.
Pros and Cons of Online Degrees
Students can take classes virtually, allowing them to learn anywhere.
Students can pursue the best program for their field of study, even if the school is far from home.
Students can plan around busy schedules to complete their coursework.
Students need greater self-motivation, time management skills and discipline to complete coursework.
There’s no face-to-face interaction with an instructor.
Networking with classmates may be difficult.
For individuals who wish to further their education but only have an associate’s degree or no postsecondary education, an online bachelor’s degree program can be a terrific option. There are many different online bachelor’s programs available, so potential students should look into all of their possibilities before enrolling. A competency-based program or one with an accelerated timetable might be the best option for those who want to complete their online degree as quickly as possible. Most prospective online undergraduates have some college credits under their belt. This group of people should find out early on whether the potential online program will take those credits. With an undergraduate degree, students can also pursue a master’s entirely online. Working professionals who desire to advance in their careers might choose this route.
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How to Choose the Best Online College for You
The online school that best meets your demands is the best. Consider how each school’s research, resources, and reputation align with your career interests and ambitions as you compare programs. Other considerations include the accreditation, cost, and flexibility of an online program. The rankings of authorized online schools published by U.S. News are a fantastic place to start your search. Make sure the programs are offered in your preferred format, whether that is entirely online or a hybrid model, once you have narrowed down the universities you are interested in. Review the entry requirements, the application costs, and the financial aid options. Research the school’s extra expenditures, such as book, course, and online delivery fees, as well as its faculty and student services.
Check the Accreditation Status of the School or Program
Prospective students should make sure the institution is accredited by a body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or the independent Council for Higher Education Accreditation before enrolling in an online degree program. Every few years, these bodies review programs and educational institutions and renew their accreditation. Information from reputable accrediting organizations and state approval organizations that submitted reports to the U.S. Department of Education is included in the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. The website of a school frequently contains information on the accreditation status of an online degree program. An external organization will accredit a school or degree program if it meets specific requirements for quality and rigor, whether it is offered on-campus, online, or a combination of both.
Although it has several advantages and ultimately verifies a curriculum to companies and other institutions, accreditation is a voluntary procedure. The two most common types of accreditation are regional and national. A school’s regional accreditation status is determined by designated regional organizations. This kind of accreditation is well-known. Regionally approved schools have seamless credit transfers. National accreditation is typically given to institutions of a similar sort, such as vocational or technical schools, and is less stringent. Online courses offered for profit are more likely to be nationally accredited. A regionally accredited college will not accept credits from a nationally accredited institution. To discover more about the kinds of accreditation that businesses in a particular career seek from employees, students can chat with their academic adviser. Employers may check to see if a candidate’s degree is from an approved program, particularly if they are not familiar with the name of the institution. A transfer-friendly school is more likely to accept course credits from an approved university if a student decides to switch programs.
Choose a College Major
Selecting a major for undergraduate study can be challenging. Consider your interests in areas and majors that may equip you for the occupations you wish to pursue as you investigate your alternatives. Make sure you are aware of how salaries may change over the course of a career depending on the sector. You can prepare for success in college and beyond by choosing the correct major. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that business, health professions and allied programs, social sciences and history, engineering, biological and biomedical sciences, and psychology were the six most popular majors for bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2018–19. Some of the highest starting wages go to graduates of particular engineering professions with a bachelor’s degree. The average beginning wage for students majoring in computer engineering, petroleum engineering, or industrial engineering is more than $65,000 per year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard on students who received federal financial aid. Students shouldn’t choose a field of study just because it is well-known or lucrative. The same is true for graduate students who are studying online; they should consider the potential advantages in the workplace. When choosing what to study, those with work experience should take their career aspirations into account.
Determine Which Online Learning Option Works for You
Online degree programs’ structures differ. Therefore, prospective students must do extensive research on a program to make sure it matches their requirements. However, most online courses demand that students sign in frequently to a learning management system, or LMS. Students can access pertinent course materials and track their learning progress on classes through this online classroom. Different forms call for various amounts of interaction with other students. Online learners can communicate with one another through a number of platforms, such as message boards, social media, video conferencing, phone calls, and emails. Because of the structure, students shouldn’t assume that an online course will be simpler than one held on campus. Programs may stipulate that participants must show up for what are known as synchronous class sessions. Through videoconferencing, these sessions are held in real time, which can facilitate interaction and foster relationships between the students and the teacher. The activities of this kind of program follow a predetermined schedule of lectures, classes, discussions, and assignments.
Asynchronous, or self-paced, instruction is a common feature in online courses. Students must adhere to weekly deadlines but may complete readings, hear lectures, and engage in class discussions at their convenience. Open-schedule classes allow students the flexibility to start whenever they like and finish tasks according to the start date. Regular semester dates are not always followed by students. Communication with other students may be limited in this format. The simplicity and flexibility of open-schedule courses may be particularly appealing to students who are full-time workers. Then there are fixed-time courses, where students must log in to attend class at designated times but can attend all lectures digitally without having to physically attend any sessions. The best arrangement for people who need the class to have structure and follow a regular schedule is this one.
Find an Online College
Use the filters below to search ranked online degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
How to Get Financial Aid for Online College
1. Submit the FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Help, or FAFSA, must be completed as the first and most crucial step in order to be considered for financial aid. Every year on October 1st, this becomes accessible online. Prospective students should check school and state grant deadlines and apply early to ensure they receive the most financial aid available. Applicants must complete the FAFSA by entering their basic information, including their name, address, and Social Security number, as well as their most recent federal income tax returns and bank records. Undergraduate students under the age of 24 who are single, unmarried, or in the military on active duty must file as dependents and disclose their parents’ financial information. Almost every student who applies for financial aid is eligible for some kind of aid.
2. Fill out other financial aid forms and apply for scholarships. Grants, scholarships, and loans are all forms of financial aid that many institutions give on their own. To get this help, you might need to fill out additional paperwork. A school’s website often has all of this information, including deadlines. Additionally, candidates might look online for scholarships offered by certain universities or by groups associated with their field of study. There may be additional scholarships available for adult or online learners, and online students may be qualified for the same scholarships that are offered to on-campus students.
3. Review and correct the FAFSA Student Aid Report. The Federal Student Aid office will send applicants a Student Aid Report a few days after they file their FAFSA online. This report summarizes the responses that applicants submitted along with other pertinent data, and it gives applicants the chance to fix any mistakes on the FAFSA, such as adding or removing colleges.
4. Compare awards. To determine an applicant’s eligibility for financial aid, each institution will compute their financial need. An award letter informing the student of the financial aid awarded will be given to them. Based on the aid they are qualified for, the cost of attending the school, and other expenses, students can compare their reward packages.
5. Reapply for financial aid each year. For as long as they intend to be students, applicants must submit the FAFSA every year to continue receiving financial aid. Financial aid helps lessen the financial strain of high tuition costs, which can be a significant investment in a degree. Online students can receive financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and even government work-study positions, just like their on-campus counterparts. Given that many online students already have full-time jobs, certain degree programs may not offer work-study options. Getting financial help for a degree earned online is frequently the same as getting it in person. Similar, if not identical, criteria must also be met by online students in order to be eligible for financial aid at a given school. Additionally, a student’s eligibility for financial aid may differ depending on whether they are enrolled full- or part-time. Many online programs demand that students fulfill specified credit-hour criteria in order to be eligible for certain amounts or types of help. The process of requesting financial aid is difficult. In a poll of online students conducted in 2021 by Wiley Education Services, 17% of respondents stated figuring out how to pay for school was the most challenging aspect of the enrollment process, while 15% said filling out financial aid applications was the most challenging. Fortunately, approved online universities frequently have financial aid counselors on staff to address queries and guide applicants through the application process. Read U.S. News’ article about paying for college to discover more. There are resources and advice from experts to guide you through the process.
How to Apply to Online College
The admissions process for online college is usually similar to that of on-campus programs.
You must initially complete the application. More than 900 colleges, including several abroad, accept the Common Application for bachelor’s degree programs. It’s probable that a student seeking a degree online will also have to complete this application. The type of application that students must submit may vary because master’s degree applications are sometimes linked to a particular program within a university. Both categories of applicants will probably need to submit some sort of essay. Experts advise online students to highlight their professional abilities as part of their application and explain how their experience has prepared them for online schooling because many of them have some prior work experience. Online graduate and undergraduate programs frequently demand letters of recommendation.
These can come from current or former employers who can comment on a student’s work ethic, in addition to professors and guidance counselors. At the graduate level, an employer’s letter of recommendation is more typical. It’s possible that applicants will need to include their exam results with their application. Many undergraduate online students already have some college courses under their belts, so if enough of their credits transfer, they could be able to forego submitting a SAT or ACT entrance exam score. The school and field of study determine whether the GMAT or GRE is necessary for graduate-level admission. Some might not demand test results. The website of a program is usually where you may find this information. To learn the precise requirements, speak with an admissions representative at the colleges you’re interested in. Students may also be required to provide their academic records, prior employment history, and credit hours that they have already achieved, depending on the demands of the program. Keep in mind that simply because a program is available online does not mean that admission will be simpler. Be sure to carefully read all instructions and keep track of the due dates for submitting your test scores, financial assistance application, and admissions application to the school. The websites of each school provide information about deadlines for prospective students. The deadlines for these applicants may vary since the academic calendars for online programs may be arranged differently from those for on-campus options.
How to Avoid Online College Scams
Beware of diploma mills, which provide students with fake degrees online. Making ensuring an online degree program is accredited by a body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the U.S. Department of Education is among the most crucial measures a prospective student can take. Additionally, it’s critical to scan the program’s website for warning signs. Anything that sounds too good to be true, such as receiving a degree in a very short amount of time or for a very low price, should serve as a red flag. The inverse is also true: if a program appears to be unusually pricey, do more study. A program that doesn’t provide a school or company address online, a website with a lot of grammatical errors.
For-Profit Online Colleges
A potential student may come across both for-profit and nonprofit colleges when researching programs. Students may believe that attending for-profit online institutions is a riskier financial decision, but experts advise students to be skeptical of what they read or hear in the media and from others. In the late 1990s, for-profit online schools started to proliferate. These colleges accepted the majority of applicants at the time, even those who weren’t ready for college. Due to this, for-profit colleges gained a bad reputation and had lower graduation rates and higher debt. However, it has altered recently as a result of these schools emphasizing student support services more and forcing some students to take entrance exams to determine their readiness for college. For-profit and nonprofit schools, according to experts, are growing more comparable, although there are still some significant disparities. For starters, according to experts, admissions at for-profit institutions are sometimes less selective. Compared to nonprofit institutions, these online colleges are more likely to have rolling admissions and academic calendars that don’t follow the conventional semester system. Institutions that are for profit typically have national rather than regional accreditation. When selecting an online degree program, experts advise going beyond the nonprofit and for-profit categories. They advise putting more emphasis on faculty, support services, tuition, and accreditation. In order to gain a sense of what previous students have experienced, prospective students might also read evaluations of various for-profit programs.
- Historically had a negative reputation due to lower graduation rates and high student debt.
- More likely to have national versus regional accreditation, which is preferred by employers.
- Less competitive in the application process than nonprofit schools.
- Have historically prioritized student support.
- Are more likely to be regionally accredited compared with nonprofit programs.
- Require students to demonstrate readiness through a more competitive application process.
Online Colleges Near Me
Even though online learning allows students to study from anywhere in the world, many still select a school with a campus close to where they live. Staying local is largely influenced by cost. In-state and out-of-state students frequently pay different tuition rates for online courses at public universities and colleges. For instance, the University of Florida charges inhabitants of the state of Florida $112 per credit hour for its online programs, compared to $500 per credit hour for residents of other states. For those living in Florida, that represents a sizable discount. Additionally, this in-state tuition is far less expensive than what citizens of Florida might have to pay to attend an online public school located in a different state, such as Texas or Ohio. You can save tens of thousands of dollars over the duration of your degree if you continue attending a public university in your state. To make it simple for you to visit the campus and interact with instructors or advisors, you can select a local online institution. You can join on-campus student clubs, take part in activities, and develop stronger connections with the school community by visiting the campus. Because they are already familiar with the institution’s culture and traditions or because they have family or friends who are affiliated with it, some students choose to enroll in a local online degree program. Additionally, local employers could be more familiar with the institution. Some online degrees contain residency or orientation requirements that require students to come to campus several times per term or during the program. A local program makes sense in this situation.
Online Colleges by State Near Me
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Frequently Asked Questions About Online College
How Much Does An Online Bachelor’s Cost?
Depending on the school you choose, an online bachelor’s degree might cost a variety of amounts. Similar to how they do for the majority of on-campus bachelor’s programs, most colleges make information regarding tuition and other expenses for online programs available online. Additionally, the bursar’s office, which is in charge of managing payments for college tuition, can provide you with information. Additionally, there are a number of options for students to lower the price of an online degree. For instance, individuals can enroll in an accelerated program or transfer previously acquired college credits. In a competency-based program, students must show that they have mastered particular skills in order to advance through the material they already know more quickly, spend more time on the new material, and pay a set fee per billing period. Scholarships for online students and employer tuition reimbursement, wherein an employer pays for some or all tuition, can also help lower the cost of earning a degree. To make sure they are on track with payments for each term, prospective students can speak with a financial aid adviser. Online programs typically accept payments via wire transfer, check or money order sent via mail, credit card, debit card, or electronic check payments. Additionally, the majority of online degree programs allow students to pay their tuition over several payments rather than all at once. Online students typically do not have to pay athletic, transportation, or activity fees, although on-campus students occasionally do. Nevertheless, a school has the right to impose a technology or remote learning cost. By institution, this varies.
How Long Does an Online Bachelor’s Take?
A lot of variables affect how long it takes to complete an online bachelor’s degree. The choice of a full- or part-time program is an important one. Although full-time students can enroll in more classes every term, a part-time program may be simpler to balance with other commitments. It’s important to keep in mind that the majority of online students do not begin their bachelor’s degree from fresh. Many already have college credits under their belts that they can apply toward their new degree, saving them time and money. Transcripts from the student’s former college are typically required so that the new institution can determine which credits will transfer.
How to Talk to Prospective Employers About Your Online Degree?
Employers were less willing to recognize online degrees as authentic a few years ago because they believed that online learners didn’t acquire the same critical skills as those who attended regular campuses. However, that reputation has drastically altered in recent years as even the most prestigious universities have embraced online learning and introduced high-caliber degree programs. Despite the fact that some companies may still be wary about online degrees, many now see the value in allowing their staff to continue their education while working, in part because students may immediately apply what they learn to their professions. According to the Wiley Education Services survey, about 60% of online college students have access to employment reimbursement for their tuition. Typically, hiring managers and potential employers are more concerned with the degree itself than the method by which it was obtained. According to experts, it’s typically not required to mention on a resume that a degree was achieved online because the school’s reputation and accreditation will be far more significant. Candidates shouldn’t be afraid to talk about their online education or act defensively when a question about how they managed to work a full-time job and complete their degree is posed during an interview. For online learners, this might be an excellent chance to demonstrate their dedication to their topic of study and to talk about their time-management abilities.
What Are Some High Paying Online Degrees?
You can become ready for a variety of rewarding occupations with an online degree. Petroleum engineers, who create the machinery used to extract oil from reservoirs, are ranked No. 15 on the list of the 25 Best Paying Jobs by U.S. News, with a typical pay of $137,330 in 2020. An online engineering bachelor’s degree is necessary for this career path. Information technology managers at No. 13, with a median pay of $151,150, are listed before petroleum engineers. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees in IT are frequently offered online. Online programs in business and management can aid a worker in moving up the corporate ladder and obtaining a higher wage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for top executives was $185,950 in May 2020. General and operations managers made an average of $103,650 per year. Marketing manager, who will earn a median salary of $142,170 in 2020, financial manager, who will earn a median salary of $134,180, and sales manager, who will earn a median salary of $132,290, are all included on U.S. News’ list of the best paying jobs.
What Online Degrees Are In Demand?
Agents and business managers of artists, entertainers, and athletes, at a rate of 46% growth, and film and video editors and camera operators, at a rate of 33% growth, are the careers with the fastest predicted growth from 2020 to 2030 that require a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degrees in business and management or film and broadcasting, as appropriate, are suitable for these positions. Additionally, jobs in the health care and allied industries were among those with the largest predicted growth between 2020 and 2030. That’s fantastic news for online learners since this field offers many undergraduate and graduate programs. An aging population and an increase in people suffering from chronic illnesses are two factors contributing to this rising need. Nurse practitioners and occupational therapy assistants are two in-demand positions in the healthcare industry. There are online degrees that can help students get ready for these positions. The statistics agency states that some of the fastest-growing occupations involve computer and mathematical fields, for which an online engineering or information technology degree may be useful. For instance, it is anticipated that demand for statisticians will increase by 35% between 2020 and 2030. Concerns about online security are also increasing the need for workers with cybersecurity expertise. By 2030, employment for jobs like information security analysts is anticipated to increase by 33%.
Since 2013, U.S. News has published rankings exclusively for online degree programs, which it has been doing since 1983. U.S. News determines rankings at the undergraduate and graduate levels using a variety of variables, each of which has a different weight depending on the ranking category. The information that online programs submit to U.S. News in an annual survey is used to determine a program’s score for each factor, or ranking indication. Online programs are ranked using different criteria than U.S. News’ Best Colleges and Best Graduate Schools lists. Annual updates are usually made to ranking formulas. U.S. News evaluated online universities based on four broad factors while creating the rankings for the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The degree to which a degree program enables students to effectively connect with professors and classmates as they would in a campus setting makes up 35% of each school’s ranking.
With a focus on how programs utilize various technology to give students greater freedom to complete their education at a distance, services and technologies made up 25% of each school’s ranking. This area also considers the caliber of resources for financial aid, career counseling, and student support services. Faculty qualifications and training, which gauged how closely online instructors’ credentials matched those of on-campus faculty, accounted for 20% of each school’s ranking. The effectiveness of the tools used to prepare teachers to instruct remote students is also measured in this category. Another 20% of each school’s rating is determined by the professional judgment of high-ranking academic administrators who participated in surveys. These perceptions assist in taking into account variables that affect program quality but are missed by hard data. Similar approaches are used by U.S. News to determine rankings for online graduate programs, with the inclusion of a new category. The category of student excellence, which assesses the degree to which students who enroll in an online program have demonstrated aptitudes, aspirations, and accomplishments that enable them to handle the demands of online learning, is also taken into account.