Top 75 Online Community Colleges

When faced with decisions regarding your higher education, there are a lot of different options to consider. Will you go to a two-year or four-year school, for example? Will you attend classes online or in person? These are choices that could potentially impact every facet of your life for the foreseeable future, including your personal finances, academic and social calendar, and yes, career opportunities.

If your search for answers regarding how exactly to pursue higher education has landed you here, then you’re probably considering attending a two-year community college online. If so, you’re certainly not alone. According to recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 15% of students enrolled in public two-year schools choose to take courses exclusively online.

To help you find a fully online community college program suited to your personal, academic, and career goals, our editors have compiled the following ranking of the 75 best online community colleges in America.

Rating and Ranking the Best Online Community Colleges in the U.S.

To develop this ranking of the nation’s best online community colleges, our editors began with an initial pool of just over 100 accredited online community colleges ranked by Niche. We then applied our universal ranking methodology for trade schools in order to prioritize our top schools. To deal with ties as they occurred, we considered the college’s undergraduate tuition and awarded the higher ranking to the more affordable online community colleges.

Types of Fully Online Community Colleges Mentioned in this Ranking:

  • Online Associate of Arts (AA)
  • Online Associate of Science (AS)
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
  • Online Associate of Applied Arts & Sciences (AAAS)
  • Online Associate of General Studies (AGS)
  • Online Associate of Applied Business (AAB)

#75—Murray State College

Tishomingo, Oklahoma

Website

 Points: 12

Murray State College

Among Oklahoma’s open enrollment colleges online, Murray State College is also one of the country’s best online community colleges. The school is home to fourteen distinct fully online associate’s degree programs, including the following options:

  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Enterprise Development
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Child Development
  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Behavioral Sciences
  • Online AS in Computer Science

While AAS programs are considered terminal degree plans, AA and AS degrees are transferable to a four-year college or university and can be applied to a bachelor’s degree program. The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited Murray State College to offer online community college courses and degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,231

#74—North Hennepin Community College

Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

Website

Points: 13

North Hennepin Community College

North Hennepin Community College is one of the Midwest’s top open enrollment colleges online. It is also one of the best online community colleges in the nation, offering numerous degree and certificate programs to distance learning students. For those students seeking an associate’s degree, options include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business Computer Systems and Management
  • Online AAS in Accounting Technology
  • Online AAS in Finance Management
  • Online AAS in Marketing

An Associate of Arts (AA) in Liberal Arts, as well as an Associate of Science (AS) in Accounting transfer pathway, is also available. North Hennepin Community College is institutionally accredited to offer online community college courses and programs by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,596

#73—Redlands Community College

El Reno, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 14

Redlands Community College

As a contender for one of the best online community colleges in the United States, Redlands Community College has recently expanded its fully online community college programs. Currently, distance education students can pursue the following credentials entirely online:

  • Online Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Criminal Justice
  • Online AAS in Child Development
  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Criminal Justice
  • Online AA in General Studies

An online certificate in Child Development is also available. This community college’s online degrees are possible through its accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. Niche has recognized the school as one of the country’s top online community colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,360

#72—Neosho County Community College

Chanute, Kansas

Website

Points: 14

Neosho County Community College

Ranked among the top 100 community colleges in America, Neosho County Community College boasts an impressive online division. The school offers distance learning opportunities for students with various academic and career goals. In addition to university transfer programs, this community college’s online degrees include career and technical credentials like:

  • Online Associate’s in Health Information/Medical Records Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Business Administration and Management
  • Online Associate’s in Registered Nursing
  • Online Associate’s in Administrative Assistance and Secretarial Science

The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited Neosho County Community College to offer these online community college courses and programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,032

#71—Carl Albert State College

Poteau, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 14

Carl Albert State College 75 Best Online Colleges

Among the best online community colleges for affordability, Carl Albert State College offers all of its general education courses online, and a dozen different associate’s degree programs are also available entirely via distance education. Examples include:

  • Online AA in Pre-law Criminal Justice
  • Online AA in History and Political Science
  • Online AAS in Computer Technology
  • Online AS in Enterprise Development

Several online certificate programs can also be pursued in vocational areas such as:

  • Social Services
  • Hospitality and Event Management
  • Organizational Leadership

Carl Albert State College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Niche has listed the school among the top online community colleges in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,818

#70—Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Fergus Falls, Minnesota

Website

Points: 15

Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Minnesota State Community and Technical College is one of the top online community colleges in America in terms of the number of online options it offers its distance education students. The school is home to over 200 different online courses and more than 30 fully online academic programs. Two-year degree programs available entirely online include:

  • Online Associate’s in Information Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Human Resources
  • Online Associate of Applied Science: Paralegal
  • Online Associate of Applied Science in Digital Marketing
  • Online Associate of Arts: Social Science

Minnesota State Community and Technical College is accredited to offer these fully online degrees by The Higher Learning Commission. Niche has ranked the school among the 25 best community colleges in America and the top 20 best online colleges in the U.S.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,560

#69—Navarro College

Corsicana, Texas

Website

Points: 15

Navarro College

One of the larger online community colleges with open enrollment status in our ranking, Navarro College offers a long list of hybrid as well as fully online community college degrees. For distance learners seeking a two-year associate’s degree, options include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business Information Technology
  • Online AAS in Accounting
  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in General Studies
  • Online AA in Criminal Justice

Certificate programs are also available online and span vocational disciplines like:

  • Criminal Justice Corrections
  • Child Development
  • Administrative Professional

Navarro College ranks high among cheap accredited online colleges, thanks to its affiliation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,508

#68—Nicolet Area Technical College

Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Website

Points: 15

Nicolet Area Tech

In terms of community colleges’ online degrees, Nicolet Area Technical College offers some of the best. Technical degree and certificate programs are available through the school’s distance learning program and encompass nine distinct areas of study such as:

  • Business Administration
  • IT Computer Support
  • IT Web Development
  • Electromechanical Technology

Students can also take advantage of the school’s generous credit-for-prior learning policy as well as its competency-based education initiative. Nicolet Area Technical College is accredited to offer these online community college courses and credentials by The Higher Learning Commission. Niche has ranked the school among the top 100 community colleges in America.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,505

#67—Volunteer State Community College

Gallatin, Tennessee

Website

Points: 15

Volunteer State Community College

Volunteer State Community College is one of the South’s open enrollment colleges online. The school offers over three dozen online academic programs, including options for students who intend to enter the workforce as well as those who want to transfer to a university after graduation. Two-year associates degree programs available via distance education include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Teaching: K-5
  • Online AS in Information Systems
  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in General Studies

Alternatively, the school’s distance learning students can pursue technical certificates in vocational areas like:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Administrative Professional Technology
  • Fire Science
  • Sleep Diagnostic Technology

Volunteer State Community College holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,312

#66—Colby Community College

Colby, Kansas

Website

Points: 15

Colby Community College

In terms of cheap accredited online colleges, Colby Community College is one of the best. The school offers two fully online community college transfer degrees for students who intend to complete their studies at a four-year college or university:

  • Online Associate of Arts (Transfer)
  • Online Associate of Science (Transfer)

Students who plan to enter the workforce after graduation also have three additional options when it comes to the community college’s online degrees:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Renewable Energy
  • Online Associate’s in Veterinary Nursing
  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Equine Studies

The school also offers several online technical certificates. Colby Community College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Niche has ranked the school among the top 350 community colleges in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,934

#65—Northern Oklahoma College

Tonkawa, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 15

Northern Oklahoma College

Ranked among the top 30 online community colleges in America by Niche, Northern Oklahoma College offers its distance learning students a variety of options when it comes to their online education. Specifically, the school offers most general education courses online as well as major-specific classes for the following academic programs:

  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Child Development
  • Online AA in Enterprise Development
  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Arts and Science
  • Online AS in Business Administration

Many of the school’s online courses are Quality Matters certified, and the school itself participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA). Northern Oklahoma College has been accredited to offer online community college courses and degrees by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,648

#64—St. Clair County Community College

Port Huron, Michigan

Website

Points: 16

St. Clair County Community College

Fully online community college students will find several different courses of study to choose from at St. Clair County Community College, whether they want to earn a vocational credential or transfer to a university. In addition to Associate in General Education degrees for transfer, the school also offers stand-alone credentials such as:

  • Online Associate in Computer Information Systems
  • Online Associate in Marketing
  • Online Associate in Management
  • Online Associate in Accounting

Individual courses are also offered via distance education. St. Clair County Community College is fully accredited to confer online community college degrees by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,845

#63—Miles Community College

Miles City, Montana

Website

Points: 16

Miles Community College

Miles Community College has been identified by Niche as one of the top 200 community colleges in America. The school’s fully online community college degrees include two university transfer degrees:

  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in General Studies
  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in General Studies

Other non-transfer credentials include:

  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Business
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Accounting Technology
  • Online AAS in Small Business Management

Several online certificate programs are also available. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has fully accredited Miles Community College to offer these distance learning degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,910

#62—Western Oklahoma State College

Altus, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 16

Western Oklahoma State College

Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, Western Oklahoma State College offers seven fully online community college degrees, including standout options such as:

  • Online Associate in Science (AS) in Early Childhood
  • Online AS in Health, Physical Education and Recreation
  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Behavioral Science
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Criminal Justice

Several fully online community college courses, as well as blended and hybrid classes, are also available to the school’s distance learning students. Niche has recognized Western Oklahoma State College as one of the nation’s top 350 community colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,978

#61—Holmes Community College

Goodman, Mississippi

Website

Points: 16

Holmes Community College

One of the very best online community colleges in the Southeast, Holmes Community College offers two different types of fully online associate’s degree programs via distance education:

  • Associate of Arts (AA)
  • Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

This community college’s online degrees encompass subject areas such as:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Paralegal Technology
  • Medical Office Technology

These online programs are delivered via asynchronous delivery modes for maximum convenience, and accelerated tracks are available. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited Holmes Community College to offer these two-year online degrees. Niche has ranked the school among the top 20 accredited online community colleges in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,410

#60—Mid-Plains Community College

North Platte, Nebraska

Website

Points: 16

Mid-Plains Community College

Among the nation’s online community colleges with open enrollment, Mid-Plains Community College has a robust distance learning program. In addition to Associate of Arts academic transfer programs, the school offers two additional fully online degree programs:

  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Criminal Justice
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business Administration

A variety of student resources are available to the school’s online students, including technical assistance, academic support, and career resources. Mid-Plains Community College holds its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. The school is a top 40 online community college, according to Niche.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,360

#59—Clovis Community College

Clovis, New Mexico

Website

Points: 16

Clovis Community College-

Topping our picks for best online community colleges in terms of affordability, Clovis Community College offers seven fully online degree programs, including:

  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Behavioral Science
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business Administration
  • Online AAS in Computer Information Systems
  • Online AAS in Criminal Justice

The school also offers certificate programs that can be completed entirely via distance education in subject areas such as:

  • Paralegal Studies
  • Income Tax Preparation
  • Microsoft Office Specialist
  • Fundamentals of Game Design

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Clovis Community College at the institutional level to confer these online degrees. Niche has ranked the school among the top accredited online community colleges nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $1,616

#58—Herkimer County Community College

Herkimer, New York

Website

Points: 17

Herkimer County Community College

Another of the online community colleges affiliated with the State University of New York (SUNY) system, Herkimer County Community College offers more than twenty different online degrees through its Internet Academy. Standout programs include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Health Information Management Technology
  • Online AAS in Human Resource Management
  • Online AAS in Travel & Events Management
  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Humanities

In addition to these virtual degree programs, the school also offers three different certificates as well as 150-plus online community college courses. Herkimer County Community College is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Niche has ranked it among the top 400 best online community colleges in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,706

#57—Tompkins Cortland Community College

Dryden, New York

Website

Points: 18

Tompkins Cortland Community College

One of New York’s open enrollment colleges online, Tompkins Cortland Community College is a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. A leader in distance education, the school offers hybrid as well as fully online community college degrees and programs. Associate’s degree programs offered entirely via distance education include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Online AAS in Computer Information Systems
  • Online AAS in Business Administration
  • Online AAS: Paralegal

In addition to this community college’s online degrees, fully online certificates are also available such as:

  • International Business
  • Chemical Dependency Counseling
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences: Adolescent Education
  • Entrepreneurship

TCCC holds its institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,547

#56—Jamestown Community College

Jamestown, New York

Website

Points: 18

Jamestown Community College

Jamestown Community College offers numerous fully online community college degrees and certificates as well as individual courses via distance education. These offerings span several different academic disciplines, including:

  • Liberal Arts
  • Business
  • Computer Science
  • Health Information Technology

Students interested in this community college’s online degrees can pursue specific offerings such as:

  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Business Administration
  • Online AS in Computer Science
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Health Information Technology
  • Online AAS in Individual Studies

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has fully accredited Jamestown Community College to offer these online credentials. Niche has ranked the school as one of the 250 best community colleges in America.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,336

#55—Dawson Community College

Glendive, Montana

Website

Points: 18

Dawson Community College

Dawson Community College is one of the open enrollment colleges online in the Northwest that offers fully online community college courses and degrees for distance learning students. Options at the associate’s degree level include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Criminal Justice
  • Online AAS in Early Childhood Education
  • Online AAS in Rural Organization Employee Management
  • Online AAS in Chemical Dependency Counseling

Certificate and diploma options are also available in addition to this community college’s online degrees. The school holds its institutional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. It’s been recognized as one of the country’s best online community colleges by Niche.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,580

#54—Owensboro Community and Technical College

Owensboro, Kentucky

Website

Points: 18

Owensboro Community and Technical College

The number one community college in Kentucky according to Niche, Owensboro Community and Technical College also made our list of America’s best online community colleges. Through the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, the school offers numerous fully online degree programs, including:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Healthcare Facilities Leadership
  • Online AAS in Paralegal Technology
  • Online AAS in Marine Engineering
  • Online AAS in Human Services

Several different online diploma and certificate programs are also available. Owensboro Community and Technical College is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,488

#53—Southeastern Technical College

Vidalia, Georgia

Website

Points: 18

Southeastern Technical College

A member of the Technical College System of Georgia, Southeastern Technical College offers seven fully online community college degrees, including:

  • Online Associate’s in Business Healthcare Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Accounting
  • Online Associate’s in Cybersecurity
  • Online Associate’s in Information Technology

Dozens of technical certificates and diplomas are also available to the school’s distance learning students, including options in:

  • Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
  • Microsoft Office Applications
  • Business Technology
  • Healthcare Billing and Reimbursement

Southeastern Technical College is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has ranked it among the country’s best online community colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,127

#52—Lenoir Community College

Kinston, North Carolina

Website

Points: 18

Lenoir Community College

Lenoir Community College’s distance education offerings include over twenty different online community college degrees as well as several diploma and certificate programs. Students seeking an online associate’s degree have numerous options to choose from, including:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Criminal Justice Technology
  • Online AAS in Emergency Management
  • Online AAS in Business Administration
  • Online AAS in Aviation Management

Diploma and certificate offerings span vocational areas such as:

  • Software Developer Foundations
  • Marketing Essentials
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Pilot Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Lenoir’s online community college courses and degrees are made possible through its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It’s been identified as one of the 200 best community colleges in the nation by Niche.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,568

#51—Southwestern Oregon Community College

Coos Bay, Oregon

Website

Points: 19

Southwestern Oregon Community College

Southwestern Oregon Community College is one of the Northwest’s best open enrollment colleges online. Here, students can pursue two fully online degrees:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Computer Information Systems: Digital Design
  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Childhood Education and Family Studies

In addition to these two-year associate’s degree programs, the school also offers numerous online community college courses. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has fully accredited Southwestern Oregon Community College to award associate’s degrees online. Niche has recognized the institution as one of America’s best online community colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,260

#50—Southeastern Illinois College

Harrisburg, Illinois

Website

Points: 19

Southeastern Illinois College

Recognized by Niche as one of the best online community colleges in the United States, Southeastern Illinois College offers two fully online degree programs for distance learners:

  • Online Associate of Arts (General Studies)
  • Online Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Criminal Justice

In addition to these two-year distance education programs, the school also offers numerous standalone online community college courses. A wide variety of support services are also extended to the school’s online students. Southeastern Illinois College holds its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. It is one of the top open enrollment colleges online in the state of Illinois.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,060

#49—Minnesota West Community and Technical College

Granite Falls, Minnesota

Website

 Points: 19

Minnesota West Community and Technical College

One of the best online community colleges in the Midwest and beyond, Minnesota West Community and Technical College offers a long list of fully online degrees and certificates for students interested in learning virtually. Associate’s degree online programs include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Computer Information Security and Assurance
  • Online AAS: Energy Technical Specialist
  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Business Management
  • Online AS in Management and Supervision in Healthcare

Online certificate and diploma options are also available and span vocational disciplines such as:

  • Computer Telecommunications
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Pharmacy Technology
  • Medical Coding

Minnesota West Community and Technical College holds its accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. Niche has ranked the school among the top 10 community colleges in Minnesota and the top 100 online colleges nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,936

#48—Southern Arkansas University Tech

Camden, Arkansas

Website

 Points: 19

Southern Arkansas University Tech

Among the nation’s best online community colleges, South Arkansas University Tech offers a dozen fully online community college degree programs. In addition to a general university transfer program, the school is home to several other occupational programs at the associate’s level. Examples include:

  • Online Associate’s in Computer Information Technology
  • Online Associate of Professional Studies (APS): Environmental Management
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Health Sciences: General Health
  • Online AAS in Fire and Emergency Response

All of SAU’s online community college courses are approved by Quality Matters. Moreover, the school is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has recognized it as one of the top 100 online colleges in America.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,571

#47—Shoreline Community College

Shoreline, Washington

Website

Points: 19

Shoreline Community College

Among the best online community colleges in the Northwest, Shoreline Community College offers fully online degree programs for students who wish to enter the workforce upon graduation as well as those who intend to transfer to a four-year baccalaureate program. In addition to the general transfer associate’s degree online program, the school offers two-year degrees via distance education, including:

  • Online Associate of Applied Arts and Sciences (AAAS) in Accounting
  • Online AAAS in Criminal Justice
  • Online AAAS in Health Information Technology
  • Online AAAS in Purchasing and Supply Chain Management

Students seeking a professional certificate online will have even more options such as:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Sustainable Business Leadership

Shoreline Community College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to offer these online community college courses and programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,076

#46—Kennebec Valley Community College

Fairfield, Maine

Website

Points: 19

Kennebec Valley Community College

As one of the best online community colleges in New England, Kennebec Valley Community College offers five fully online associate’s degree options:

  • Online AAS in Business Administration: Marketing/Management
  • Online AAS in Business Administration: Accounting
  • Online AAS in Early Childhood Education
  • Online AAS in Mental Health Technology
  • Online AA in Liberal Studies

Numerous other degree plans featuring online community college courses are also available to the school’s traditional and distance learning students. KVCC is fully accredited to offer these virtual classes and programs through the New England Commission on Higher Education. Niche has named the school one of the nation’s best online community colleges in America.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,882

#45—Central Texas College

Killeen, Texas

Website

Points: 19

Central Texas College

As one of the more comprehensive online community colleges in our ranking, Central Texas College offers nearly three dozen fully online degree programs. Standout options include:

  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Business Administration
  • Online AS in Kinesiology
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Child Development
  • Online AAS in Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Among the top open enrollment colleges online in the state of Texas, Central Texas College holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has called it one of the best online community colleges in the U.S.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,540

#44—Tulsa Community College

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 19

Tulsa Community College

Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, Tulsa Community College offers nine different fully online community college degrees through its Online Learning Division. Distance learning students can pursue two-year credentials such as:

  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Computer Information Systems
  • Online AS in Business Administration
  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Psychology
  • Online AA in Liberal Arts

A number of different online certificates are also available as are individual online community college courses. The school also offers blended classes and programs for students who wish to combine online and in-person instruction. Niche has ranked Tulsa Community College among the 400 best online community colleges in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,445

#43—Wayne Community College

Goldsboro, North Carolina

Website

Points: 19

Wayne Community College

One of the best online community colleges in our ranking for a two-year vocational degree, Wayne Community College offers a dozen different Associate of Applied Science (AAS) credentials in areas such as:

  • Risk Management and Insurance
  • Criminal Justice Technology: Forensic Science
  • Business Administration/Operations Management
  • Artificial Intelligence and Automation Programming

An Associate of Arts (AA) for university transfer is also available entirely via distance education. Students who opt to pursue a diploma or technical certificate, as opposed to an online community college degree, will have even more options. The school holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has ranked Wayne Community College among the top 350 best online community colleges nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,524

#42—Missouri State University- West Plains

West Plains, Missouri

Website

Points: 20

Missouri State University- West Plains

Part of the Missouri State University system, MSU- West Plains offers fully online community college degrees for students who want to eventually transfer to the university for a bachelor’s degree program. In addition to the online Associate of Arts in General Studies for university transfer, the school also offers four other distance education programs:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Enology
  • Online AAS in Viticulture
  • Online Certificate in Enology
  • Online Certificate in Viticulture

Asynchronous delivery maximizes convenience and flexibility for online learners. Missouri State- West Plains is authorized to award online degrees and certificates through its accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. Niche has called the school one of the top online community colleges in America.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,620

#41—Motlow State Community College

Tullahoma, Tennessee

Website

Points: 20

Motlow State Community College

One of the largest providers of fully online community college degrees in the nation, Motlow State Community College offers over 50 different academic credentials that can be pursued entirely via distance education. These two-year associate degree programs include both university transfer degrees and vocational credentials such as:

  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Bioinformatics
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Cyber Defense
  • Online AAS in Entrepreneurship
  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Mass Communications

Motlow State Community College holds its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has called it one of the top 300 best online community colleges nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,330

#40—Alexandria Technical & Community College

Alexandria, Minnesota

Website

Points: 20

Alexandria Technical & Community College

Part of the Distance Minnesota initiative, Alexandria Technical & Community College is also one of the state’s top open enrollment colleges online. The school offers myriad options for distance learning students, including 18 different fully online community college degrees. Many of these credentials are specifically designed for students who intend to transfer to a university for a bachelor’s degree program after graduation. Examples include:

  • Online Accounting Transfer Pathway
  • Online Pre-Social Work Transfer Pathway
  • Online Law Enforcement Transfer Pathway
  • Online Economics Transfer Pathway

The community college’s online degrees also include standalone programs such as:

  • Online AAS in Paralegal Studies
  • Online AAS in Cybersecurity, Virtualization, and Networking
  • Online AAS: Medical Administrative Specialist
  • Online AAS: Speech-Language Pathology Assistant

Alexandria Technical & Community College is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Niche has ranked it among the top 20 online colleges in America.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,649

#39—Finger Lakes Community College

Canandaigua, New York

Website

Points: 20

Finger Lakes Community College

With accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Finger Lakes Community College offers over two dozen degrees via distance education technology. Most of these degree programs are available 100% online, including the following:

  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Health Care Studies
  • Online AS in Kinesiology and Human Performance
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Smart Systems Technologies
  • Online AAS in Hospitality and Tourism Management

Hybrid programs, as well as online certificates, are also available. Finger Lakes Community College is a member of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Niche has ranked it among the nation’s best online community colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,534

#38—Barton County Community College

Great Bend, Kansas

Website

Points: 20

Barton County Community College

One of the best online community colleges in the Midwest, Barton County Community College offers approximately 40 different online community college degrees and programs to its distance learning students. Two-year associate’s degree options include:

  • Online Associate’s in Business Management and Leadership
  • Online AAS in Early Childhood Education
  • Online AS in Psychology
  • Online AS in Wildlife Sciences

A variety of certificate programs are also available virtually as are individual online community college courses. The Higher Learning Commission has extended its institutional accreditation status to Barton County Community College, and Niche has ranked it among the 350 best community colleges in the United States.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,776

#37—York County Community College

Wells, Maine

Website

Points: 20

York County Community College

One of the Northeast’s open enrollment colleges online, York County Community College has a robust online learning division. The school offers ten different two-year associate’s degree programs that can be completed 100% online, including:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Forensic Social Work
  • Online AAS in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Online AAS in Behavioral Health Studies
  • Online AAS in Information Technology

Five hybrid degree programs are also available for students who can attend campus for some program requirements. Distance learners interested in a one-year certificate option have additional opportunities in vocational fields like:

  • Community Mental Health
  • Networked Systems Technology
  • Help Desk and User Support
  • Small Business Management

York County Community College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to award these online community college degrees and programs. Niche has ranked the school among the 450 best online community colleges in America.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,720

#36—Nash Community College

Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Website

Points: 20

Nash Community College

Students interested in one of Nash Community College’s online degree programs will find more than a dozen different academic and vocational credentials to choose from. Standout offerings include:

  • Online Associate’s in Information Technology: Health Informatics
  • Online Associate’s in Human Services Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Emergency Management
  • Online Associate’ in Arts/Sciences (University Transfer)

Fully online community college certificate and diploma options are also available. Nash Community College is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has ranked it among some of the nation’s best online community colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,666

#35—New Mexico State University – Alamogordo

Alamogordo, New Mexico

Website

Points: 20

New Mexico State University - Alamogordo

Affiliated with the New Mexico State University system, NMSU-Alamogordo has an articulation agreement with NMSU- Las Cruces for students who wish to earn a bachelor’s degree. Other fully online community college programs offered to the school’s distance learners include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies
  • Online Associate’s in Criminal Justice
  • Online AAS in Business Management

Students may also opt to pursue one of a number of online certificates such as:

  • Legal Assistant
  • Accounting/Bookkeeping
  • Leadership Skills

NMSU-Alamogordo is institutionally accredited to offer online community college courses and degrees by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,424

#34—Northwest Iowa Community College

Sheldon, Iowa

Website

 Points: 21

Northwest Iowa Community College

It’s no surprise that Northwest Iowa Community College has been ranked among the nation’s best online community colleges. Currently, the school offers over a dozen academic degree programs that can be pursued entirely via distance education. Standout options include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Agriculture
  • Online AAS in Virtual Administration Management
  • Online AAS in Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Online AAS in Web & Graphic Design

In addition to these fully online community college degrees, the school also offers more than 750 individual courses online. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Northwest Iowa Community College to offer these distance education classes and credentials. Niche has ranked the school among the top 100 online colleges in the U.S.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,390

#33—Technical College of the Lowcountry

Beaufort, South Carolina

Website

Points: 21

Technical College of the Lowcountry

Students looking for one of the best open enrollment colleges online may consider one of the Technical College of the Lowcountry’s fully online community college programs. Specifically, the school offers four full degree programs that can be completed entirely online:

  • Online Associate in Arts (AA)
  • Online Associate in Applied Science (AAS): Computer Technology
  • Online AAS: Administrative Office Technology
  • Online AAS: Criminal Justice Technology

Half a dozen online diploma and certificate programs are also available to the school’s distance learning students in vocational and academic areas such as:

  • Office Applications for Business and Industry
  • Criminal Justice and Law
  • General Education
  • Medical Office Assistant

The Technical College of the Low Country holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has recognized it as one of the best online community colleges in the U.S.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,740

#32—Craven Community College

New Bern, North Carolina

Website

Points: 21

Craven Community College

One of the South’s cheap accredited online colleges, Craven Community College offers numerous high-quality degree programs for distance learners. In addition to Liberal Arts and University Transfer degrees, the school is also home to many fully online community college credentials for students with vocational aspirations. Some of these options include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business Administration: Operations Management
  • Online Associate in Medical Office Administration
  • Online AAS in Information Technology: Technical Support
  • Online AAS in Early Childhood Education

Distance learning students in pursuit of a one-year fully online community college certificate will find even more options at Craven Community College. The school holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It’s been ranked one of the top 100 online colleges in the nation by Niche.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,114

#31—Trinity Valley Community College

Athens, Texas

Website

Points: 22

Trinity Valley Community College

As one of the best online community colleges in the nation, Trinity Valley Community College offers online academic credentials for university transfer as well as technical credentials in the area of workforce development. These online community college offerings are made available through the school’s Department of Distance Learning and include options such as:

  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Liberal Arts: History and Government
  • Online AA in Liberal Arts: Psychology
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Management Information Systems
  • Online AAS in Legal Assistant Technology

A variety of fully online certificate options are also available. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Trinity Valley Community College at the institutional level. Niche has recognized it as one of the top online community colleges in America.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,920

#30—Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Clarkston, Georgia

Website

Points: 22

Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Georgia Piedmont Technical College categorizes its 50-plus fully online community college offerings into five distinct career pathways:

  • Business
  • Computers
  • Media
  • Public Safety & Legal Studies
  • Interdisciplinary Studies

Among these programs are two-year associate’s degree programs that can be completed entirely via distance learning, including:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Health Information Management Technology
  • Online AAS in Cyber Forensics Technology
  • Online AAS in Design and Media Production Technology
  • Online AAS in Marketing Management

One of the country’s open enrollment colleges online, Georgia Piedmont Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,178

#29—Montgomery County Community College

Blue Bell, Pennsylvania

Website

Points: 23

Montgomery County Community College

With more than two decades of experience in distance learning, it’s no surprise that Montgomery County Community College makes our list of the nation’s best online community colleges. Fully online program offerings include:

  • Online Associate’s in Accounting
  • Online AAS in Human Services: Children, Youth, and Family Services
  • Online AS in Computer Science
  • Online AA in Mass Media Studies

Online community college courses and programs from Montgomery County Community College are delivered via a variety of different formats, including asynchronous and synchronous as well as hybrid delivery models. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has accredited MCCC to offer these online community college options. Niche has ranked the school among the top 300 community colleges in America.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,350

#28—Dakota College at Bottineau

Bottineau, North Dakota

Website

Points: 23

Dakota College at Bottineau

Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, Dakota College at Bottineau is one of North Dakota’s open enrollment colleges online. The school also happens to be one of the nation’s best online community colleges, offering more than 100 individual courses via distance education as well as fully online degree programs such as:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Human Resource Management
  • Online AAS in Accounting Technology
  • Online AAS in Urban Forest Management
  • Online AAS in Advertising & Marketing

In addition to these vocational credentials, the school also offers university transfer degrees for students who intend to complete a bachelor’s degree program. Niche has recognized Dakota College at Bottineau as one of the country’s top online community colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,106

#27—Klamath Community College

Klamath Falls, Oregon

Website

Points: 23

Klamath Community College

One of the Northwest’s best online community colleges, Klamath Community College offers a dozen different degree options for students interested in pursuing an associate’s credential via distance education. In addition to two-year programs designed for university transfer, the school is home to vocational degree programs such as:

  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Environmental Science
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business Administration
  • Online AAS in Digital Media Design
  • Online AAS in Early Childhood Education

Individual online community college courses are also available. Klamath Community College is among the nation’s cheap accredited online colleges, thanks to its affiliation with the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,497

#26—Bucks County Community College

Newtown, Pennsylvania

Website

Points: 24

Bucks County Community College

Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Bucks County Community College is one of the best online community colleges in terms of its number of virtual degree programs. Specifically, the school is home to nearly two dozen associate’s degree offerings, including the following:

  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Communication Studies
  • Online AA in Fire Science
  • Online AA in Social Work
  • Online AA in Technical Entrepreneurship

A half dozen fully online certificate programs are also available as are hybrid programs. Niche has ranked the school among the top 400 community colleges in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,098

#25—Ocean County College

Toms River, New Jersey

Website

Points: 24

Ocean County Community College 75 Best Online Colleges

Among New York’s open enrollment colleges online, Ocean County College is also one of the country’s best online community colleges. The school offers a variety of two-year degrees fully online, including:

  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Global Studies
  • Online AA in Liberal Arts
  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Environmental Studies
  • Online AS in Public Service

Students may also opt for a fully online community college certificate in disciplines such as:

  • Small Business Management
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Business Studies
  • Information Technology

Ocean County College is fully accredited to confer online credentials by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Niche has recognized it as one of the nation’s top online community colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,790

#24—State Fair Community College

Sedalia, Missouri

Website

Points: 24

State Fair Community College

Whether they’re looking for fully online community college degrees for university transfer or for employment upon graduation, students will find quality virtual instruction at State Fair Community College. In addition to a fully online general Associate of Arts program, the school’s two-year degrees available via distance education include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Health Information Technology
  • Online AAS in Health Care Specialist: Pharmacy Technician
  • Online AAS: Medical Assistant
  • Online AAS in Business Management

Some of the community college’s online degrees in healthcare do require some clinical experiences that must be completed offline. State Fair Community College is authorized to award these associate’s degrees online through accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,680

#23—Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Wesson, Mississippi

Website

Points: 24

Copiah Lincoln Community College

Students looking for a fully online community college may want to consider Copiah-Lincoln Community College. The school is home to nearly three dozen associate’s degree programs that can be completed entirely online. These distance education offerings span disciplines such as:

  • Social Sciences
  • Public Safety
  • Humanities
  • Health Sciences
  • Business

Specific offerings include two-year degree programs in academic subjects like:

  • Healthcare Data Technology
  • International Business
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Exercise Science
  • English

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited Copiah-Lincoln Community College to award online community college degrees. Moreover, the school has been recognized as one of the 65 best online colleges in America by Niche.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,180

#22—Itawamba Community College

Fulton, Mississippi

Website

Points: 24

Itawamba Community College

As one of the best and most affordable accredited online community colleges in the South, Itawamba Community College offers fully online degree programs in seven different academic disciplines. Specific program offerings available through the school’s eLearning department include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Criminal Justice
  • Online AAS in Hospitality Management
  • Online AAS in Business and Marketing Management
  • Online AAS in Public Health

Accelerated online degree paths are available, and distance learning students have access to academic and technical support. Itawamba Community College holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has recognized the school as one of the top 250 community colleges nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,160

#21—Community College of Baltimore County

Baltimore, Maryland

Website

Points: 25

Community College of Baltimore County

Community College of Baltimore County makes our list of the best online community colleges in the United States for its wide variety of accessible online courses and programs. In addition to thousands of individual online community college courses, the school offers associate’s degree programs online in nine broad areas of study. Examples include:

  • Online Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN)
  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Economics
  • Online AA in Communication and Media Studies
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Criminal Justice Studies

Blended and accelerated options are also available to accommodate students’ various schedules. CCBC is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Niche has called it one of the nation’s top online community colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,474

#20—Riverland Community College

Austin, Minnesota

Website

Points: 25

Riverland Community College

While not a fully online community college, most courses at Riverland Community College feature optional online elements, and some entire degree plans are also offered completely online. Two-year technical degrees that can be pursued via distance education include:

  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Business
  • Online AA in Liberal Arts
  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Accounting
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Web Development

Numerous online certificate and diploma programs are also available in career clusters such as:

  • Fine Arts
  • Business and Financial
  • Office and Administrative Support
  • Information Technology

Riverland Community College is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Niche has named it one of the best online community colleges in America.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,826

#19—Northland Community & Technical College

Thief River Falls, Minnesota

Website

Points: 25

Northland Community and Technical College

As one of the larger providers of online community college degrees in our ranking, Northland Community & Technical College offers more than two dozen different associate’s degrees via distance education. Some of these programs are intended for students who will eventually transfer to a four-year school for a bachelor’s credential while others are standalone offerings. Examples include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Digital Marketing
  • Online AAS: Early Childhood & Paraprofessional
  • Online AAS in Respiratory Therapy
  • Online AAs in Geospatial Intelligence Analysis

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Northland Community & Technical College to award these online community college degrees. Niche has recognized the school as one of the top 250 community colleges in the United States.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,793

#18—Chemeketa Community College

Salem, Oregon

Website

Points: 25

Chemeketa Community College

Among the Northwest’s best online community colleges, Chemeketa Community College is also one of Oregon’s open enrollment colleges online. The school has a comprehensive distance learning initiative, offering a dozen fully online community college degrees. Examples include:

  • Online Associate of General Studies (AGS)
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Online AAS in Fire Protection Technology
  • Online AAS in Procurement and Supply Chain Management

Nineteen different certificate programs are also available to the school’s distance learning students. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has extended institutional accreditation to Chemeketa Community College. It’s been recognized by Niche as one of America’s top online community colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,670

#17—Lake Region State College

Devils Lake, North Dakota

Website

Points: 25

Lake Region State College

Recognized as one of the best online community colleges in America, Lake Region State College offers several fully online degree programs through its Center for Distance Education. These asynchronous two-year degree programs include:

  • Associate in Arts (AA) in Business Administration Online
  • Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Early Childhood Education Online
  • AAS Online: Fitness Trainer Technician
  • AAS Online: Law Enforcement/Peace Officer Training
  • AAS Online: Speech-Language Pathology Paraprofessional

Distance learning students enrolled in these programs are assigned an online academic advisor. Various online courses and certificate programs are also available. Lake Region State College is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to confer online degrees and credentials.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,843

#16—Somerset Community College

Somerset, Kentucky

Website

Points: 25

Somerset Community College

Somerset Community College is one of several different members of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System that made our list of the nation’s best online community colleges. Here, distance learning students can choose to pursue either an online Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree for university transfer or opt for one of the available online vocational degrees such as:

  • Online Associate’s in Computer and Information Technologies
  • Online Associate’s in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education
  • Online Associate’s in Visual Communication: Multimedia
  • Online Associate’s in Medical Information Technology

Somerset Community College is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has recognized it as one of the country’s top online community colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,488

#15—Northeast Mississippi Community College

Booneville, Mississippi

Website

Points: 25

Northeast Mississippi Community College

Among the South’s best online community colleges. Northeast Mississippi Community College offers its general education courses online as well as more than twenty different academic programs. Areas of study include:

  • Accounting
  • Human Resource Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Economics

The school’s online community college courses are made available through its affiliation with the Mississippi Virtual Community College. NMCC holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has ranked it among the best online community colleges in the U.S.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,036

#14—Beaufort County Community College

Washington, North Carolina

Website

Points: 25

Beaufort County Community College

One of our top picks for cheap accredited online colleges, Beaufort County Community College offers nine different options for students seeking a fully online community college degree. Standout offerings include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business Administration
  • Online AAS in Criminal Justice
  • Online AAS in Information Technology: Software and Web Development
  • Online AAS in Medical Office Administration

Diplomas and certificates are also available via distance education and span vocational disciplines such as:

  • Criminal Justice Technology
  • Medical Coding, Billing, and Insurance
  • Essential Police Operations
  • Special Education

Beaufort County Community College is accredited at the institutional level by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has recognized it as one of the best online community colleges in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,518

#13—Thomas Nelson Community College

Hampton, Virginia

Website

Points: 26

Thomas Nelson Community College

One of Virginia’s open enrollment colleges online, Thomas Nelson Community College offers nearly 20 different online programs through its Ecampus. Among these offerings are two-year associates degree programs, including:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Fire Science Technology
  • Online AAS in Information Systems Technology
  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Business Administration
  • Online AS in Computer Science

Certificate programs are also available via distance education and span occupational areas such as:

  • Fire Science and Emergency Medical Services Leadership
  • Cybersecurity for Enterprise
  • Web Design Specialist
  • Geographical Information Systems Technician

This community college’s online degrees are authorized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. 

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,806

#12—Louisiana State University-Eunice

Eunice, Louisiana

Website

Points: 26

LSU-Eunice

Affiliated with the Louisiana State University system, LSU-Eunice has been recognized as one of the best online community colleges in the nation. The school offers five different associate’s degree programs that can be completed entirely via distance education:

  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Humanities
  • Online AA in Social Sciences
  • Online AA in General Studies
  • Online Associate of Science (AS) in Criminal Justice
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Fire and Emergency Services

A fully online community college certificate in Medical Coding and Billing is also available. Louisiana State University- Eunice is accredited at the institutional level by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,730

#11 (TIE)—Elizabethtown Community & Technical College

Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Website

Points: 26

Elizabethtown Community & Technical College

Another member of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Elizabethtown Community & Technical College provides its distance learners with access to the Kentucky Virtual Campus. Here, they can pursue a variety of fully online community college programs, including two-year associate’s degrees such as:

  • Online Associate of Arts (University Transfer)
  • Online Associate of Science (University Transfer)
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Logistics & Operations Management
  • Online AAS in Human Services

One of Kentucky’s open enrollment colleges online, ECTC is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has called it one of the nation’s best online community colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,488

#11 (TIE)—Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College

Cumberland, Kentucky

Website

Points: 26

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College

A member of the large Kentucky Community and Technical College System, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College has been recognized as one of the best online community colleges in the nation. Here, distance learning students can pursue numerous different online degrees and programs without ever attending class on campus. Some examples include:

  • Online AAS in Business Administration Systems
  • Online AAS in Energy Management
  • Online AAS in Healthcare Facilities Leadership
  • Online AAS in Library Information Technology

SKCTC holds the necessary institutional accreditation to award these online credentials from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school has been ranked one of the best online community colleges in the country by Niche.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,488

#10—James A. Rhodes State College

Lima, Ohio

Website

Points: 26

James A Rhodes State College

Students looking for cheap accredited colleges for an associate’s degree in the Midwest should consider the fully online community college degree programs from James A. Rhodes State College. The school is home to several fully online two-year programs in academic and vocational areas such as:

  • Business Administration
  • Marketing
  • Accounting
  • Medical Administrative Assistance

Hybrid degree offerings include:

  • Digital Media Technology
  • Web Programming/Computer Programming
  • Network Security

Ten different online certificate programs are also available. The Higher Learning Commission has authorized this community college’s online degrees. Niche has recognized the school as one of the country’s best online community colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,325

#9—Northcentral Technical College

Wausau, Wisconsin

Website

Points: 26

Northcentral Technical College

Northcentral Technical College is home to more than two dozen fully online associate degree programs, making it one of the largest online community colleges in our ranking. Areas of study for distance learning students seeking a two-year degree include:

  • Data Analytics
  • Business Administration
  • Legal Studies
  • Human Services

Numerous online technical diplomas and certificates are also available in vocational disciplines like:

  • Bookkeeping Technology
  • Quality Manufacturing
  • Emergency Medical Services Leadership
  • Project Management

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Northcentral Technical College to offer these online community college courses and credentials. Niche has ranked the school among the top 35 online colleges in the United States.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,673

#8—Central Georgia Technical College

Warner Robbins, Georgia

Website

Points: 26

Central Georgia Technical College

Part of the Technical College System of Georgia, Central Georgia Technical College offers dozens of fully online community college courses and programs. For students seeking a two-year associate’s credential, options include:

  • Online Associate’s in Banking and Finance
  • Online AAS in Applied Technical Management
  • Online Associate’s in Criminal Justice Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Business Technology

Numerous diploma programs are also available via distance education, including those in vocational areas such as:

  • Computer Programming
  • Logistics Management
  • Early Childhood Care/Education
  • Web Site Design/Development

Central Georgia Technical College is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has ranked it among the 300 best online community colleges nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,042

#7—Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

Salisbury, North Carolina

Website

Points: 26

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College

Cheap accredited online colleges like Rowan-Cabarrus Community College give students the opportunity to earn a two-year degree without accumulating burdensome student debt. These students will have many options when it comes to associate’s degree credentials that can be completed entirely online, including:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Fire Protection Technology
  • Online AAS in Information Technology: Cybersecurity
  • Online AAS in Early Childhood Education
  • Online AAS in Emergency Medical Science

Over 40 different online diplomas and certificates are also available as are more than 250 individual online community college courses. Rowan-Cabarrus Community College holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has ranked the school among the 400 best online community colleges in the United States.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,632

#6—Pitt Community College

Winterville, North Carolina

Website

Points: 26

Pitt Community College

Distance learning students looking for cheap accredited online colleges in the South should consider Pitt Community College’s online programs. The school’s distance education offerings include more than 20 online community college degrees, including:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Healthcare Management Technology
  • Online AAS in Industrial Management Technology
  • Online AAS in Early Childhood Education
  • Online AAS in Information Technology: Web Administration and Design

Dozens of online certificates and diplomas are also available, including those in vocational fields such as:

  • Advertising & Graphic Design
  • Office Administration
  • Medical Coding
  • Nuclear Medicine Technology

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Pitt Community College to offer these fully online community college degrees and certifications.

Undergraduate Tuition: $1,940

#5—Lake Tahoe Community College

South Lake Tahoe, California

Website

Points: 26

Lake Tahoe Community College

One of the truly cheap accredited online community colleges in our ranking, Lake Tahoe Community College offers distance learning opportunities in a variety of different formats. This includes fully online community college degrees such as:

  • Online Associate of Arts (AA) in Criminal Justice
  • Online AA in Anthropology
  • Online AA in Business
  • Online AA in Social Science
  • Online AA in Liberal Arts

Online certificate programs are also available in four distinct career/technical areas:

  • Accounting Technician
  • Criminal Justice
  • Bookkeeping Technician
  • Computer and Information Science

This community college’s online degrees can be delivered via myriad formats, including hybrid, synchronous, and asynchronous modes. LTCC is fully accredited to award these two-year degrees online by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $1,131

#4—Eastern Gateway Community College

Steubenville, Ohio

Website

Points: 27

Eastern Gateway Community College

One of Ohio’s open enrollment colleges online, Eastern Gateway Community College offers numerous online degree programs in in-demand vocational areas such as:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Business
  • Information Technology

This community college’s online degrees include specific program offerings like:

  • Online Associate of Applied Business (AAB) in Internet & Interactive Digital Media Design
  • Online AAB in Professional Office Management
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Fire Science
  • Online AAS in Health Information Management

Eastern Gateway Community College is fully accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Niche has called it one of the best online community colleges in America.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,026

#3—Stanly Community College

Albemarle, North Carolina

Website

Points: 27

Stanly Community College

One of the most affordable accredited online community colleges in our ranking, Stanly Community College is currently expanding its online offerings. Today, the school offers programs of study in a variety of academic and career/technical areas, including:

  • Computer Engineering
  • Law Enforcement
  • Business Administration
  • Agribusiness Technology
  • Graphic Design

In terms of content delivery, a variety of methods are utilized, and options include both asynchronous and synchronous instruction as well as hybrid learning formats. Stanly Community College is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has ranked the school among the top 35 best online community colleges in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,674

#2—Richmond Community College

Hamlet, North Carolina

Website

Points: 27

Richmond Community College

Richmond Community College has been called one of the best online community colleges in the South in terms of quality and affordability. The school’s suite of fully online community college programs include:

  • Online Associate in Arts (AA): University Transfer
  • Online Associate’s in Healthcare Management Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Human Services Technology
  • Online Associate’s in Early Childhood Education

Certificate and diploma options are also available via distance learning. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited Richmond Community College to confer these online credentials. Niche has named it one of the 350 best online community colleges in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,536

#1—Vance-Granville Community College

Henderson, North Carolina

Website

Points: 27

Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College is one of the cheapest online community colleges in our ranking. The school is home to numerous online community college courses as well as ten different fully online degree programs, including:

  • Online Associate’s in Business Administration
  • Online Associate’s in Information Technology: Networking & Security
  • Online Associate’s in Early Childhood Education
  • Online Associate’s in Supply Chain Management: Trucking Operations Management

In addition to these major-specific degree offerings, the school also offers a general Associate of Arts (AA) and Associate of Science (AS) program for university transfer. VGCC holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Niche has ranked it among some of the best online community colleges in America.

Undergraduate Tuition: $1,948

How to Find the Best Online Community Colleges

With so many advantages of attending community college online, you might be wondering if there’s a catch. The short answer, thankfully, is no. While there are some disadvantages of attending a two-year school virtually (think lack of student engagement or activities, for instance), by and large, these cheap accredited online colleges are the real deal. Despite being more affordable and more flexible, these two-year institutions manage to deliver supportive learning environments and quality instruction from expert faculty members. Still, some online community colleges are better than others, and it can take some work to find a school that suits your individual needs and preferences. Here’s how to find the best online community college for you:

  • Consider your higher education budget.

Despite being significantly cheaper than four-year schools, community colleges still vary in terms of cost. Before you choose a school to attend, you’ll definitely want to review your personal finances and consider how much you can spend. One thing to keep in mind when evaluating the cost of online community colleges is that approximately two dozen states in the United States offer free tuition to two-year schools.

  • Evaluate your academic goals.

Contrary to popular belief, online community colleges aren’t just for students who desire a two-year associate’s degree. There are other options. In fact, you might be surprised to learn that students who desire a bachelor’s degree may still benefit from attending a fully online community college program. That’s because many of these schools offer university transfer degrees—credentials that are specifically designed for students who intend to transfer to a four-year college or university after obtaining an Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree. On the other hand, shorter-term vocational programs such as diplomas and certificates are often available from online community colleges as well.

  • Think about your future career.

Though the best online community colleges offer a variety of academic programs, the vast majority of these are geared towards students who want to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation. If you’re one of these students, you’ll want to carefully evaluate a community college’s available credentials prior to enrolling. Be sure that the two-year school you’re considering has a program that will qualify you for the specific occupational role you desire after you earn your degree.

Types of Online Community Colleges

Once you’ve determined that online community colleges are the right choice for your educational and career goals, you can begin to consider what type of online community college you want to attend.

Fully Online Community Colleges

Some students begin their search for a virtual two-year school by looking for fully online community colleges. The fact is, there aren’t many schools that fit this bill. Most community colleges have both on-campus programs and online degree options. Fortunately, you don’t have to attend a fully online school in order to obtain a fully online degree. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to practice discernment when choosing a school to attend. Unfortunately, some schools that advertise fully online community college degrees actually require some campus attendance. Technically, these programs are better labeled as hybrid or blending learning programs. To ensure a program can be completed 100% online, it’s wise to speak to an online admissions counselor directly prior to enrollment.

Accredited Online Community Colleges

In order to make your shortlist of online community colleges to attend, you’ll want to make sure that the school is either regionally or nationally accredited at the institutional level. Look for common accrediting bodies such as:

  • The Higher Learning Commission
  • The Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

You can find other accrediting agencies approved by the U.S. Department of Education on the department’s website.

Online Community Colleges with Open Enrollment

Most online community colleges in the United States are open enrollment colleges online. This means that they accept all qualified students who apply. To be qualified, you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent, but typically, there are no other eligibility requirements like a minimum GPA or college entrance exam scores, for instance. If your academic transcript leaves something to be desired, but you still want a college education, then you may be wise to search for online community colleges with open enrollment status.

Community Colleges: Online Degrees and Programs

When contemplating online community colleges, you’ll want as much information as possible, including your educational options. While some people think all accredited online community colleges offer the same basic programs, this is a serious misconception. In reality, the school you attend will dictate the various options you’ll have for your academic endeavors. Generally speaking, there are three different credentials one can earn from a community college online:

  • Associate of Sciences/Arts (University Transfer)
  • Associate of Applied Science
  • Technical Cerficate/Diploma

Community Colleges: Online Degrees

If you decide to prepare for the workforce with a fully online community college degree such as an Associate of Applied Science (AAS), you’ll have lots of different options to choose from. When making this important decision, it may be wise to consider the job opportunities you’ll have upon graduation. Below, we’ve listed some of the fastest-growing occupational fields for applicants with an associate’s degree:

  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Environmental Science
  • Public Health
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Paralegal Studies
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Web Development

Community Colleges: Online Certificates and Diplomas

Associate’s degree programs aren’t your only option when it comes to online community colleges. If you opt for a certificate or diploma, you’ll save both time and money and you’ll still qualify for some attractive job prospects in fields like:

  • Health Information Technology
  • Nursing and Allied Health
  • Computer Programming
  • Fire Science
  • Aviation Maintenance
  • Surgical Technology

Professional Licensure

Depending on the vocational field you choose to pursue, you may need a professional license in addition to an associate’s degree or certificate/diploma from an online community college. Some community college programs will prepare you to sit for the required examinations for a specific licensure program while others do not. Check with the school’s website, or speak to an admissions counselor to confirm this programmatic feature prior to enrollment.

Frequently-Asked Questions About Online Community Colleges

If you have questions about attending a fully online community college, then you’ve come to the right place. Below, our editors have compiled a shortlist of some of the most commonly asked questions regarding online community college programs and offerings. When addressing each of these questions, we’ve provided some general information. For specific advice, speak to an enrollment counselor at the community college you’re considering.

Q: What is the best online community college?

A: Despite our ranking, there is no single best online community college. Still, you can find the perfect school for you by evaluating and prioritizing certain factors like cost, scheduling, curriculum, and accreditation.

Q: How much does it cost to attend online community colleges?

A: Cost of attendance will vary from one online community college to the next. The online community colleges highlighted in our ranking are associated with in-state undergraduate tuition ranging from less than $2,000 per year to nearly $10,000 annually.

Q: How long does it take to finish online community college programs?

A: It depends on the specific program you’re enrolled in as well as how many online community college courses you take per semester. For associate’s degree programs, the standard completion time is two years, while certificate and diploma programs can be finished in a year or less.

Q: Can I complete a community college degree program entirely online?

A: It’s possible, but it depends on the program you’re enrolled in as well as the school you choose to attend. Some online community college programs, particularly in the fields of education and healthcare, require hands-on learning experiences and therefore cannot be completed fully online.

Career Questions About Online Community Colleges/Degrees

Q: Are jobs with an online community college degree in demand?

A: It depends on the field you plan to enter. Health care and computer information technology are two of the fastest-growing fields for graduates with a community college credential, but there are others.

Q: How much will I make after graduation from an online community college?

A: Your salary will vary depending on a number of factors, including your specific degree, vocational field, and geographical location, for instance. Still. PayScale reports that students who hold a terminal associate’s degree (i.e., an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) make approximately $56,000 per year on average.

Q: Will my employer ask if I attended community college online?

A: While it’s possible that a hiring manager may ask about the details of your community college attendance, your diploma will likely be the same as those awarded to in-person students. Moreover, fully online community college degrees are just as legitimate today as traditional credentials.

Q: Can I join a professional organization if I attended a community college online?

A: Yes. Online students will be eligible for membership to industry organizations of their choice, just as traditional students are.

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Bambi Majumdar
Author

Melissa Anderson
Expert

Julie McCaulley
Editor-in-Chief