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If you are a student seeking a college degree, you are no longer bound by the constraints of the traditional brick-and-mortar university. There are many highly accredited degree programs you can obtain by a study program conducted entirely online for two-year technical degrees, bachelor degrees and graduate schools. There are several advantages to obtaining your degree online, including lower tuition costs in some cases, the convenience of a flexible study environment, no commuting and the ability to take classes from the comfort of your own home. All of the following schools come highly recommended and are good choices to consider when making a decision on which online college to attend.
Best for Affordability: Northern Arizona UniversityCourtesy of Northern Arizona University Buy on Nau.edu
Northern Arizona University (NAU) was founded in 1899 and offers more than 150 degree programs. Students at NAU receive more than $325 million each year in financial aid through scholarships, grants and other means. For campus students, student employment opportunities are also available to NAU students through federal-work study programs and the Handshake program which is a recruiting platform where local employers are able to hire NAU students, new graduates and alumni for part-time, full-time jobs and internships. The university has made this promise to incoming students, “Each incoming class will pay the same annual tuition throughout his or her four years in attendance.” NAU recently had three students chosen as “Goldwater Scholars” which is a prestigious award given to undergraduate students studying natural sciences, mathematics or engineering. NAU online offers flexible degree programs including bachelor's, master's, graduate certificates and personalized learning courses. Employer reimbursement is available for some online degree programs.
Best or Financial Aid Assistance: Flint Hills Technical CollegeCourtesy of Flint Hills Technical College Buy on Fhtc.edu
Flint Hills College was established in 1963 and is located in Emporia, Kansas. It is a public college and offers two-year technical degree programs, including dental programs accredited by the American Dental Association. There are 22 degree programs in all. Flint Hills is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Students can choose from a variety of degree programs, including business, dental hygiene, graphic arts, emergency services technology and more. There are also technical and healthcare certificates available, as well as high school classes online. Students are able to obtain a comprehensive financial aid package, including Pell Grants, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Work Study, Direct Loans and a number of other local and foundation-funded scholarships. Nearly 90 percent of students receive some type of financial aid to help pay for tuition.
Best Overall Value: Fort Hays State UniversityCourtesy of Fort Hays State University Buy on Fhsu.edu
Fort Hays State University offers accredited degree programs that are also very affordable. You can obtain a variety of degrees from Associates Degrees to Graduate Degrees. Distance education students receive full technical support and an education resource center online. Several distance learning degree programs are available, including criminal justice, computer science, agricultural business, education and more. Fort Hays has a 95 percent job placement rate. The school recently opened its new Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP). It is the first doctorate program in the school's history. FHSU has one of the lowest tuition rates offered through the Kansas Board of Regents, making it an extremely good overall value in online college education.
Best for Graduation Rates: Villanova UniversityCourtesy of Villanova University Buy on Villanova.edu
Villanova University was ranked by U.S. News among the Top 50 best colleges and also ranked No. 3 by The Economist for graduate earnings. The college is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and noteworthy alumni include Cardinal John O'Conner, musician Jim Croce and former football Hall-of-Famer, Howie Long among others. The undergraduate graduation rate is 90 percent. Villanova is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Several degree programs are available, including associate's, bachelor's, doctorate's and certificate programs. Four fully online bachelor degree programs are available, including Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (general studies degree); BA Public Service and Administration; BA Leadership Studies and BS Nursing. Professional development certifications (non-credit courses) are available for dozens of professions to help students advance in their careers.
Best for Graduate School Programs: Georgia Institute of TechnologyCourtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology Buy on Gatech.edu
Georgia Tech has graduate engineering and graduate computer science programs that have consistently been ranked in the top ten graduate programs by U.S. News and World Report. The degree programs are also very affordable. It is one of the leading research universities in the United States. Many undergraduate and graduate programs are available in engineering, computing, sciences, business, design and liberal arts. Georgia Tech is ranked as the No. 1 university in Georgia by Schools.com and has awarded more engineering degrees to women than any other school according to the American Society for Engineering Education. There are multiple online degrees to choose from that allow you to advance in your career with flexible classes and study options.
Best for Out-of-State Students: Valley City State University (ND)Courtesy of Valley City State University (ND) Buy on Vcsu.edu
Valley City State University in North Dakota was founded in 1890. It is a public university that ranks in the top 50 regional colleges in the Midwest. It is also ranked by U.S. World & Report as No. 36 out of 100 in the best value and a tie for No. 1 in top public schools with the University of Minnesota (Crookston). VCSU has been ranked as one of America's best colleges for 20 consecutive years by U.S. News and World Report. Some of the most popular majors include elementary education, fish and wildlife science/management and business administration. VCSU offers full online degrees in 48 states and in two states, California and Massachusetts, it is approved for only 100 percent online coursework/programs.
For most out-of-state students, they will find a program to suit their educational needs readily available especially for those with an education major. Online degree programs are available for business education, business process integration management, career and technical education, English education, history education, master of education, music, online professional communication and technology education.
There are also other online minor programs and certificates available, including the customer relationship management certificate and the enterprise applications certificate. For education majors, once you have your degree you can keep up your certification with graduate professional development credits through online courses you can complete at your own pace. VCSU is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Best Online College for Nursing Graduate Programs: St. Xavier UniversityCourtesy of St. Xavier University Buy on Sxu.edu
St. Xavier University is located in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of only nine in the U.S. designated for excellence in nursing education by NLN. St. Xavier University's graduate nursing program allows nurses busy with the careers to pursue a graduate degree online. SXU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and its Nursing Programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). St. Xavier University has a long list of accolades to its name. Students may gain financial assistance while attending St. Xavier University through many different forms, including federal, state and institutional aid in the form of grants, scholarships, loans or work-study. Some employers also offer tuition assistance reimbursement. SXU has the following nursing degree programs available: Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Dual Master of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Business Administration along with Post-Master's options.