Best Online Schools and Unviersities
Many of the country’s top-ranked colleges and universities offer online programs. Many students choose online college because of the schedule flexibility. Rather than commuting to class on campus, online schools let students complete coursework from anywhere. In many cases, this makes online programs a more accessible pathway to a degree. Students can enroll in the best schools online without needing to relocate or quit their jobs.
The best online colleges are the ones that build the knowledge and skills necessary for career advancement and offer student services especially for online learners, including online tutoring, career services, and academic advising. The top online programs also offer strong alumni networks and connections with prospective employers.
This page covers the basics of online education and ranks the best online schools. You can use it to find the right program to help you reach your professional goals.
Common Questions About Online Colleges
How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Degree Program?
Four years for a bachelor’s degree and two years for a master’s. Some online schools offer accelerated programs, allowing students to graduate sooner.
What Can I Do With an Online Degree?
Graduates with an online degree can pursue careers in fields like business, education, and healthcare. An online degree from an accredited institution meets the same licensure and certification requirements as an on-campus degree.
How Is Online College Different From On-Campus College?
Online courses let students complete coursework on their own schedules, though some online programs still have set class times. However, the material, instructors, and requirements are often the same in online and on-campus programs.
Are Online Courses Harder?
No, they cover the same material as in-person classes. However, students who have trouble focusing or staying self-motivated may find it harder. Many online schools offer resources to help students transition to an online learning format. Best Online Colleges in Texas 2022
Are Online Degrees Recognized?
Yes. Online degrees earned at an accredited online college meet the same academic standards as on-campus programs. They also meet the same licensure requirements, unless otherwise stated.
Are There Year-Round Online Programs?
Yes. Many online schools have classes all year, including summer terms. Most online colleges offer multiple start dates.
Do My Credits Transfer to an Online College?
Yes. Credits earned from a regionally accredited institution usually transfer to online colleges. Some online colleges also offer credit for work experience or military training.
What Is an Online College?
Online colleges let students earn degrees through an online learning format, including associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and graduate degrees. Online students can pursue degrees in areas like business, education, healthcare, or engineering. During an online degree, learners complete coursework by watching recorded lectures, participating in discussion boards, and taking online examinations.
Attending an online program is a great way to build your skills or change careers while still working full time. You can plan coursework around your schedule. Students with family obligations may also prefer the flexibility of an online college. What Is a Bachelor of Applied Science Degree?
Often, online degrees are offered through the same institutions as regular degrees and carry the same weight as an on-campus degree. So long you earn it through a regionally accredited school, your online degree will be taken seriously.
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Campus vs. Online Programs
The biggest difference between online programs and on-campus programs is the schedule flexibility. In an asynchronous online course — meaning it doesn’t have set class times — students can finish classwork whenever it is convenient for them. This flexibility appeals to working professionals and students who need to balance school with other responsibilities. Many learners can also save on transportation costs by choosing an online degree.
Some learners prefer the face-to-face experience of on-campus programs. But online programs allow students to connect through discussion boards, group projects, and other interactive elements. Plus, online programs with lab or practicum requirements often let students do those classes locally. For example, online nursing programs often use local health clinics. It’s also common for online colleges to have on-campus orientations or residencies.
Choosing an Online Program
There are several factors to consider when evaluating an online college. For example, students should research the total cost of the degree, any on-campus requirements, and concentration options to find a program that fits their goals and needs. Learn more about how to choose an online degree below.