50 Best Colleges Near Me Online (Alabama through Missouri)

“Best online colleges near me” is a popular search query, and for a good reason. There’s never been a better time to pursue a degree via distance education. The field has evolved so much that online learning now rivals in-person instruction in terms of academic rigor and quality. The days of questioning an online degree’s legitimacy are truly over, so there’s no longer any reason to dismiss the appeal of studying virtually. In this ranking, we explore the top online colleges in 25 of the 50 states, selecting two of the best online colleges in each state to feature.

Rating and Ranking the Best Online Colleges Near Me (Alabama Through Missouri)

For this ranking, we divided the country in half, not geographically but instead alphabetically. For the first part of this two-part series, our editors probed the top online colleges in the states of Alabama through Missouri, highlighting schools in:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri

For continuity, we applied our universal undergraduate ranking methodology so that you will see a point value associated with each online college. However, instead of listing these schools according to points, we’ve presented them here alphabetically according to state.

Alabama

The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Huntsville, Alabama

Website

Points: 13

University of Alabama- Huntsville

Part of the University of Alabama System, the University of Alabama in Huntsville is home to a robust online learning division. Students interested in online colleges and distance learning options will find programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including offerings in a range of subject areas such as:

  • Nursing
  • Engineering
  • Professional Studies
  • Education

Specific degree programs include:

  • Online BA/BS in Organizational Studies
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity
  • Online Master of Education (M.Ed.): Reading Education

UAH is institutionally accredited to award online credentials by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The university’s online master’s in computer information technology has been ranked among the top 30 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,338

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Website

Points: 17

The University of Alabama

If you live in Alabama and find yourself searching “online colleges near me,” then you may want to consider what The University of Alabama has to offer. UA is home to over 70 distinct degree programs through its innovative Bama By Distance program. The school’s wide range of distance education offerings includes both graduate and undergraduate offerings and hybrid and fully online programs. Online students enrolled at UA may pursue credentials such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business and Financial Planning
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Criminal Justice
  • Online BS in Healthcare and Nutrition

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the University of Alabama to award these degrees online. UA’s online graduate degrees in nursing and engineering have been ranked among the top 20 such programs in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,620

Alaska

University of Alaska-Southeast

Juneau, Alaska

Website

Points: 10

University of Alaska-Southeast

Residents of Alaska who search “online colleges near me” will find just a handful of options. One of their best choices is the University of Alaska-Southeast, where they will find a comprehensive e-learning initiative. Types of degrees conferred online include:

  • Occupational Endorsement Certificates
  • Associate Degrees
  • Bachelor’s Degrees
  • Master’s Degrees
  • Graduate Certificates

Specific credentials span a wide range of vocational and academic subjects and include:

  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Health Information Management
  • Online Bachelor of Arts in Special Education
  • Online Master of Public Administration

The University of Alaska-Southeast is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The school’s online master’s programs in education have been ranked among some of the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,960

University of Alaska-Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska

Website

Points: 14

University of Alaska- Fairbanks-  Best Online Colleges Near Me

Alaskans looking for the best online colleges in the state will undoubtedly be drawn to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Through the school’s eCampus, distance learning students can pursue various academic credentials, including undergraduate and graduate certificates and degrees. Examples include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Justice Administration
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has fully accredited the University of Alaska-Fairbanks to confer these online credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked its online master’s degree program in criminal justice as one of the top 25 in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,176

Arizona

University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Website

Points: 14

University of Arizona

Students living in Arizona may ask, “What are the best online colleges near me? Nine out of ten of the answers would undoubtedly be the University of Arizona. Here, distance learning students have access to high-quality online programs, including those that lead to an undergraduate or graduate degree. Standout options include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA): Accounting
  • Online Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Computing
  • Online Master’s in Applied Nutrition: Nutrition and Wellness
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Data Science

The University of Arizona is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. The school’s online bachelor’s degree program has been recognized as one of the top 10 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. Undergraduate and graduate certificate programs are also available online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,716

Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Points: 12

Arizona State University

One of the top online colleges in the nation, Arizona State University is home to a prolific distance learning division that offers more than 200 different online degree and certificate programs. Featured offerings include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Anthropology
  • Online BS in Communication
  • Online Master of Computer Science (MCS): Big Data
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Construction Management and Technology

Certificates and other non-degree awards are also available online at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. ASU holds its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Reports has recognized the school’s bachelor’s in business and MBA programs as the best of their kind nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,338

Arkansas

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Website

Points: 11

University of Arkansas

Arkansas residents who search for “online colleges near me” will soon discover the many distance learning options the University of Arkansas has to offer. Through its Global Campus, the school provides a number of top-rated undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Human Development and Family Sciences
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Executive MBA
  • Online Master of Education (MEd) in Educational Leadership

Several doctoral programs are also available online. The University of Arkansas is fully accredited to award these online credentials by The Higher Learning Commission. Its online bachelor’s degree program has been ranked among the 25 best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,384

University of Arkansas-Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas

Website

Points: 11

Another of the top online colleges in Arkansas is the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. The school is known for its high-quality online programs in popular areas of study such as:

  • Healthcare
  • Computer/IT Services
  • Education
  • Business

Both undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available. Examples include:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Criminal Justice
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Education and Promotion
  • Online Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Online Master of Science (MS) In Information Quality

UA-Little Rock is institutionally accredited to award online degrees by The Higher Learning Commission. Its online graduate degrees in computer information technology have been ranked among the top 20 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,366

California

California State University-San Marcos

San Marcos, California

Website

Points: 14

California State University- San Marcos

If you live in the state of California, a web search for “best online colleges near me” will no doubt yield California State University-San Marcos. Through its Extended Learning (EL) division, the school offers wholly online bachelor’s and master’s degrees, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sociology (Accelerated)
  • Online RN to BSN (Accelerated)
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Educational Administration
  • Online Master of Public Health

Certificate programs are also available online. Examples include:

  • Software and Web Development
  • Paralegal
  • Applied Behavior Analysis

The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited Cal State-San Marcos to confer these credentials via distance education. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 60 regional universities in the West.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,712

California State University-Northridge

Northridge, California

Website

Points: 15

CSU-Northridge

As one of the best online colleges in California, Cal State-Northridge has been offering distance learning programs for over 20 years. Through its Tseng College of Graduate, International, and Midcareer Education, the university offers part-time and full-time degree programs, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Sector Management
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Assistive Technology Engineering
  • Online MS in Communicative Disorders
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Instructional Design

CSUN holds the institutional accreditation necessary to award these online degrees from the WASC Senior College and University Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the 40 best regional universities in the West.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,017

Colorado

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, Colorado

Website

Points: 13

Colorado State University

Among the top online colleges in Colorado, CSU-Fort Collins offers an impressive number of nationally-ranked distance education programs for both undergraduate and graduate students. Sample program offerings include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Fire and Emergency Services Administration
  • Online BS in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master of Computer Science (MCS)

Colorado State University-Fort Collins holds its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has ranked its online bachelor’s degree programs among the top 35 nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,814

University of Colorado

Boulder, Colorado

Website

Points: 14

University of Colorado

Colorado residents who search “online colleges near me” will most likely happen upon the University of Colorado’s expansive online degree options. The school has been offering distance education options since 1996, and today, it has more than 70 different online programs leading to a degree or certificate. This includes online bachelor’s and master’s credentials such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English Writing, Rhetoric and Technology
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Business Analytics
  • Online MS in Clinical Pharmacy

The school even offers several online doctorate options. The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited the University of Colorado to award online degrees. Its online master’s in electrical engineering programs have been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the 15 best in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,466

Connecticut

Central Connecticut State University

New Britain, Connecticut

Website

Points: 9

Central Connecticut State University

Students looking for affordable online colleges in Connecticut should consider Central Connecticut State University. The school offers three fully online master’s degree programs:

  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Spanish
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Data Science
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): Hospice and Palliative Care

Hybrid degree plans are also available for graduate students, including:

  • Hybrid MS in Strategic Communication
  • Hybrid MS in Supply Chain and Logistics Management

The New England Commission on Higher Education has accredited Central Connecticut State University to offer these online college programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,502

University of Connecticut

Storrs, Connecticut

Website

Points: 10

University of Connecticut

Students living in Connecticut are apt to come across the University of Connecticut in their search for “online colleges near me.” The school is well-known for its stellar online graduate degrees, including top-ranked master’s programs in nursing, engineering, and business. Specific program offerings include:

  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing: Adult Gerontology Primary Care
  • Online Master’s of Energy and Environmental Management
  • Online Master of Science in Accounting

The university also offers a variety of graduate certificate programs in education, health, public policy, and more. UConn is fully accredited to award online credentials by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Undergraduate Tuition: $17,834

Delaware

Delaware State University

Dover, Delaware

Website

Points: 10

Delaware State University

Among the most affordable online colleges in the state of Delaware, Delaware State University offers flexible online college programs for undergraduate and graduate students alike. This includes half a dozen online bachelor’s degree programs and nearly as many master’s degree offerings. Specific options include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology
  • Online BS in Public Health
  • Online Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Online Master of Sport Administration (MSA)

Delaware State holds its institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the best national universities in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,358

University of Delaware

Newark, Delaware

Website

Points: 13

University of Delaware

Delaware natives who search for “online colleges near me” will likely be impressed by the number of online college programs offered by the University of Delaware. The school specializes in distance education for graduate students, including top-ranked master’s degree programs in education, business administration, and engineering. Featured programs include:

  • Online MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Online MS in Accounting Practice
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master of Public Administration

The University of Delaware is accredited to offer online college courses and programs by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s graduate programs in education among the 25 best in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,660

Florida

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida

Website

Points: 11

Florida Atlantic University

Florida Atlantic University is one of the most affordable online colleges in Florida and across the United States. The school is home to both undergraduate and graduate distance education degree programs, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Criminal Justice
  • Online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA): Marketing
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Exercise Science and Health Promotion
  • Online MS in Biomedical Engineering

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Florida Atlantic University to offer these online college programs. Its master’s in nursing programs have been ranked among the 35 best such programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,879

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Website

Points: 14

University of Florida

One of the best online colleges in the United States, the University of Florida is known for its top-ranked online bachelor’s degree programs and its high-quality online master’s degree programs in education and business. Dozens of other degree programs are available through the university’s distance education initiative, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Relations
  • Online BS in Microbiology & Cell Science
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Aerospace Engineering
  • Online MS in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

UF’s online bachelor’s in business program, as well as its online master’s in education offerings, have both been ranked #1 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school is fully accredited to award online credentials by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,381

Georgia

University of Georgia

Athens, Georgia

Website

Points: 12

University of Georgia

Prospective students living in Georgia may find themselves searching “online colleges near me.” For those students, the University of Georgia may rise to the top of their search results. The school hosts a robust online learning division that features first-rate distance learning programs, particularly in the field of education.  Examples include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Special Education
  • Online EdS in Educational Psychology, Gifted, and Creative Education
  • Online MEd in Reading Education
  • Online MEd in Workforce Education

A variety of other online graduate degree programs are also available in fields like nutrition, business, social work, and journalism. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the University of Georgia to offer these online college programs. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online master’s programs in education among the top 5 nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,080

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw, Georgia

Website

Points: 13

Kennesaw State University Doctor of Education in Teacher Leadership

Kennesaw State University is not only one of the best online colleges in the state, but it also has the distinction of being one of Georgia’s most affordable online colleges. Still, the school doesn’t skimp on quality; U.S. News & World Report has ranked its distance education programs in business, education, engineering, and computer information technology as some of the best in the country. Additional online offerings include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice
  • Online BS in Cybersecurity
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Art and Design
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has institutionally accredited Kennesaw State to offer online college courses and degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,436

Hawaii

University of Hawaii-Manoa

Honolulu, Hawaii

Website

Points: 9

University of Hawaii - Manoa

The University of Hawaii at Manoa may be the first school that appears when Hawaiians search “online colleges near me.” This school is well-known for its online MBA program, but it offers several other online college programs as well, including:

  • Online Bachelor’s in Social Work
  • Online Bachelor’s in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Online Master’s in Learning Design and Technology
  • Online Master’s in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science

UH Manoa is institutionally accredited to award these online credentials for both undergraduate and graduate students. Its online graduate degree program in business administration has been ranked among some of the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,186

University of Hawaii-West Oahu

Kapolei, Hawaii

Website

Points: 10

University of Hawaii- West Oahu -  Best Online Colleges Near Me

Among the best and most affordable online colleges in Hawaii is the University of Hawaii-West Oahu. Here, the focus is on distance learning programs for undergraduate students, including flexible program offerings such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Creative Media
  • Online Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration: Hospitality and Tourism
  • Online Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration: Justice Administration
  • Online Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences: Early Childhood Education

The WASC Senior College and University Commission has fully accredited UH-West Oahu to offer these online college programs, including online bachelor’s degrees. U.S. News & World Report has called it one of the 20 best regional colleges in the West.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,584

Idaho

University of Idaho

Moscow, Idaho

Website

Points: 12

University-of-Idaho

Students who search for “online colleges near me” while residing in Idaho are likely to stumble upon the high-quality distance learning programs offered by the University of Idaho. Known for its top-ranked online graduate programs in engineering, the school also has online learning opportunities for undergraduates, including degree options like:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminology
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology
  • Online BS in Organizational Sciences
  • Online BA in Communication

The University of Idaho has been institutionally accredited to offer these online college programs by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the school’s online master’s in engineering programs among the top 100 such programs in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,304

Boise State University

Boise, Idaho

Website

Points: 12

Boise State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online Certificate Programs 2021

Another of the best online colleges in the state of Idaho is Boise State University. The school is home to nearly a dozen innovative undergraduate programs, including offerings such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Integrated Strategic Communications
  • Online BA in Public Health
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Imaging Sciences
  • Online RN to BSN

The school offers even more distance learning options for graduate students, including standout options like:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Genetic Counseling
  • Online Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Online Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Technology
  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Leadership

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has fully accredited Boise State to confer online credentials at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,068

Illinois

University of Illinois-Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Website

Points: 12

University of Illinois-Chicago

One of the top online colleges in Illinois, the University of Illinois-Chicago, offers accredited distance education programs through its Extended Campus. Offerings encompass both fully online and hybrid options and degree plans for students seeking a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Specific programs include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Information Management
  • Online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • Online Master of Education (MEd) in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment
  • Online Master of Public Health (MPH): Public Health Informatics

The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited the University of Illinois-Chicago to offer these online college programs. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online undergraduate programs #2 in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,098

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, Illinois

Website

Points: 13

University of Illinois - Urbana- Champaign

Illinois residents who search “online colleges near me” will find a comprehensive suite of distance education options at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. These online learning options span full-time and part-time programs and degree plans for undergraduates and graduate students alike. Students may pursue the Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Sustainability and the Environment at the undergraduate level. Graduate students, on the other hand, have many more options, including:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Aerospace Engineering
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Computer Science (MCS): Data Science
  • Online Master of Education (MEd): Diversity & Equity in Education

The Higher Learning Commission has extended institutional accreditation to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to award online degrees and certificates. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the school’s online graduate programs in education and engineering among the ten best such programs nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $15,150

Indiana

Indiana University-Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana

Website

Points: 12

Indiana University - Bloomington

Students contemplating online college should definitely consider Indiana University-Bloomington. In terms of distance learning, the school offers dozens of fully online bachelor’s programs such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Artificial Intelligence
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Data Science
  • Online BS in Health Sciences
  • Online BS in Informatics

Even more distance education options are extended to graduate students, including online programs like:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Data Analytics
  • Online MS in Health Informatics
  • Online MS in Human-Computer Interaction
  • Online Master of Education (MEd) in Instructional Systems Technology

IU-Bloomington holds institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. Many of its online college programs have been highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report, including the school’s online master’s programs in business and education.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,221

Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

Website

Points: 14

Purdue University

If you search “online colleges near me” and end up on Purdue University’s website, then you’re in luck. This accredited university doubles as a hub for all things distance education. Here, prospective students will find a wide range of online learning options from associate’s degrees to doctoral programs and non-degree awards like professional certificates. For students seeking a bachelor’s degree online, options include:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sociology
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Care Administration
  • Online BS in Cloud Computing and Solutions
  • Online BS in Psychology: Addictions

The school is also home to several nationally ranked graduate programs in disciplines like engineering and education. Purdue University is institutionally accredited to confer these online degrees by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,992

Iowa

Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa

Website

Points:

Iowa State University

If you call Iowa home, you might discover Iowa State University in your search for “online colleges near me.” The school offers two distinct online degree programs for undergraduates:

  • Online Bachelor of Science in Early Childcare Education and Programming
  • Online Bachelor of Liberal Studies

Graduate students attending the university online have many more options, including:

  • Online Master of Business Analytics
  • Online Master of Engineering: Engineering Management
  • Online Master of Education (MEd): Educational Technology
  • Online Master of Science in Agricultural Education

The school’s online graduate programs in education and computer information technology have both been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as some of the best distance education options in their respective fields. Iowa State is fully accredited to offer online college programs by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,316

University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Website

Points: 13

University of Iowa

As one of the top online colleges in Iowa, the University of Iowa offers excellent distance learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. This includes fully online bachelor’s degrees such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Enterprise Leadership
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Sport and Recreation Management
  • Online BA in Social Work
  • Online BS in Radiation Sciences

The university also offers top-ranked master’s degree programs in education and nursing. U.S. News & World Report has recognized its online master’s in educational administration program as one of the 15 best such programs nationwide. The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited the University of Iowa to award these online credentials.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,606

Kansas

University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

Website

Points: 12

University of Kansas

Another clear contender in the quest for top online colleges in Kansas is the University of Kansas. The university is known best for its stellar online college programs for graduate students, but options for undergraduates are also available. Examples include:

  • Online Bachelor of Applied Science in Exercise Science
  • Online Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHS)
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology

Some of the school’s top-ranked online master’s degrees include:

  • Online Master’s in Special Education
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master’s in Educational Administration
  • Online Master’s in Nursing

KU is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Its special education graduate program has been recognized as the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,166

Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas

Website

Points: 12

Kansas State University

Students living in Kansas will find Kansas State University among their numerous options when searching “online colleges near me.” The university is an excellent choice for distance learners due to its comprehensive suite of online degree programs for both undergraduate and graduate students alike. At the bachelor’s level, program offerings include:

  • Online Bachelors of Applied Business and Technology
  • Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Hospitality Management
  • Online Bachelor’s of Integrated Computer Science

KSU also offers a host of online graduate programs, including top-ranked programs such as:

  • Online Master’s in Engineering
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Online Master’s in Computer Information Technology

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Kansas State University to offer online college programs. The school’s bachelor’s degree online programs have been ranked among the top 50 such programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,466

Kentucky

University of Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Website

Points: 11

University of Kentucky

Known for its top-notch online graduate degree programs in education, the University of Kentucky is also a solid option for undergraduates looking for online college opportunities in the state. In total, the school boasts more than 60 different fully online programs for distance learners. At the bachelor’s level, students can pursue offerings such as:

  • Accelerated Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Online Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHS): Medical Laboratory Science
  • Online Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW)
  • Online Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS)

For students seeking a master’s degree online, standout options include:

  • Online Master of Applied Statistics (MAS)
  • Online Master’s in Applied Environmental and Sustainability Studies
  • Online Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC): Counselor Education
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Information Communication Technology

UK is fully accredited to offer these online college programs by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school’s online master’s in education programs have been ranked among the 15 best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,484

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, Kentucky

Website

Points: 11

Eastern Kentucky University

One of the most affordable online colleges in Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University also happens to be one of the best. Its robust distance learning program is home to over 50 online college programs, including options for both undergraduate and graduate students. Standout bachelor’s degree programs online include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Fire Protection Technology
  • Online BS in Homeland Security
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Paralegal Science
  • Online BA in Political Science

Students interested in pursuing a graduate degree will find top-ranked master’s degree programs in nursing and education. EKU is institutionally accredited to award these online college credentials by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has rated the school’s online bachelor’s degree program as one of the top 75 in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,876

Louisiana

Louisiana State University  

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Website

Points: 13

Louisiana State University -  Best Online Colleges Near Me

Students who reside in Louisiana will find Louisiana State University among their list of options when searching “online colleges near me.” Here, distance learning students can choose from over 100 different degree and certificate options, including bachelor’s degree online programs such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communication Studies: Human Relationships
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice: Criminal Psychology
  • Online BS in Finance: Insurance
  • Online BS in Information Systems and Decision Sciences

Graduate students also have distance education options at LSU, including nationally ranked programs like:

  • Online Master’s in Engineering
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master’s in Educational Administration

Louisiana State University is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award online college degrees and credentials. The school’s online master’s in engineering programs have been ranked among the 35 best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,962

University of New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

Website

Points: 12

University of New Orleans

In addition to being one of the best online colleges in Louisiana, the University of New Orleans is also one of the most affordable online colleges in the state. The school’s offerings in terms of undergraduate options for distance learners are somewhat limited, but the university makes up for this with the quality of these programs. Bachelor’s degree-seeking students will find four fully online options:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy
  • Online BA in English
  • Online Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Online BA in Romance Languages

Twice as many programs are available to graduate students, including an online PhD in Urban Studies, as well as:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Transportation
  • Online MS in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Online MS in Urban Studies
  • Online MS in Engineering Management

The University of New Orleans holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online master’s in engineering programs among some of the best in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,072

Maine

University of Maine

Orono, Maine

Website

Points: 10

University of Maine

If you’re in Maine and search “online colleges near me,” chances are you’ll happen upon the University of Maine. As a distance education provider, the school degree and certificate programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to a general Bachelor of University Studies program, students may choose from four other distinct online bachelor’s degree programs:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science
  • Online BA in Economics
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration: Management
  • Online BS in Surveying Engineering Technology

Many more online graduate programs are available, however, and standout options include:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Data Science and Engineering
  • Online MS in Nursing: Nurse Educator
  • Online MS in Spatial Informatics
  • Online Master of Social Work (MSW)

The New England Commission of Higher Education has accredited UMaine to award these online college credentials. The school’s online MBA program has been ranked among the 100 best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,744

University of Maine-Fort Kent

Fort Kent, Maine

Website

Points: 11

University of Maine-Fort Kent

Among the most affordable online colleges in the state of Maine, the University of Maine-Fort Kent has a respectable distance education program that includes both online associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs. At the bachelor’s level, undergraduate students can pursue credentials such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Allied Health
  • Online BS in Cybersecurity
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online BS in Business Management

A self-designed online bachelor’s program is also available for students who want to chart their own custom course of study. UMFK is institutionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to confer these online college degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,475

Maryland

University of Maryland-College Park

College Park, Maryland

Website

Points: 12

University of Maryland- College Park

One of the best online colleges in Maryland, the University of Maryland-College Park is best known for its online graduate programs in engineering and business administration. Other options for graduate students include:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Applied Economics
  • Online Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Clinical Psychological Science
  • Online MS in Geospatial Information Sciences
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in International Relations

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has fully accredited the University of Maryland-College Park to confer online college credentials. Its online MBA has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10 in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,779

University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Baltimore, Maryland

Website

Points: 13

University of Maryland - Baltimore County

Maryland residents who search “online colleges near me” will find the University of Maryland-Baltimore County among their handful of options. Known primarily for its online graduate programs in computer information technology, the school also offers a number of other online programs, including:

  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in TESOL
  • Online Master’s in Instructional Systems Development: Training Systems
  • Online MS in Emergency Health Services

Several online post-baccalaureate certificates are also available in these same areas of study. UMBC is institutionally accredited to award these online college degrees by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online MS in Information Systems among the top 40 online master’s programs in computer information technology nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,420

Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts

Website

Points: 12

University of Massachusetts

Dubbed “the University Without Walls (UWW),” the University of Massachusetts-Amherst’s online college is one of the best in the state and arguably the nation. UWW offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs online, including top-ranked options like:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Hospitality & Tourism Management
  • Online Master Education (MEd): Bridges to the Future
  • Online Master of Science (MS): Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)

UMass-Amherst holds the institutional accreditation necessary to offer these online college programs by the New England Commission of Higher Education. U.S. News & World Report has awarded top ratings to the school’s online master’s degree programs in nursing and business administration.

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,439

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Lowell, Massachusetts

Website

Points: 12

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Students who live in the state of Massachusetts may discover the University of Massachusetts-Lowell after searching “online colleges near me.” Those who do will find a wealth of distance learning options, including both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that can be completed entirely online. Offerings for undergraduate students include:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology
  • Online BS in Criminal Justice
  • Online BA in English

Programs for graduate students are even more plentiful and include highly rated programs in criminal justice, business, and computer information technology. The New England Commission of Higher Education has fully accredited UMass-Lowell to confer these online college credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online master’s degree program in criminal justice among the top five nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $15,698

Michigan

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Website

Points: 11

University of Michigan- Ann Arbor  Best Online Colleges Near Me

If you live in Michigan and are searching for “online colleges near me,” you may want to consider the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, especially if you’re a graduate student. The school’s online learning program features over a dozen different options for students seeking a master’s degree online, including:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Population and Health Sciences
  • Online Master of Engineering in Automotive Engineering
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): Leadership, Analytics, and Innovation
  • Online Master of Social Work (MSW)

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award online college credentials. The school’s online graduate programs in engineering have been ranked among the very best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $15,948

Ferris State University

Big Rapids, Michigan

Website

Points: 12

Ferris State University

One of the most affordable online colleges in Michigan, Ferris State University offers over a dozen online programs for undergraduate students seeking a bachelor’s degree. Examples include:

  • Online Bachelor’s in Digital Media Software Engineering
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration
  • Online Bachelor’s in Information Security & Intelligence

Several options are also available to graduate students, including:

  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Online RN to MSN
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Information Security & Intelligence

Ferris State is fully accredited to offer these online college programs by The Higher Learning Commission. The school’s master’s program in computer information technology has been ranked among the 25 best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,376

Minnesota

Minnesota State University-Moorhead

Moorhead, Minnesota

Website

Points: 10

Minnesota State University Moorhead

Students living in or near Minnesota may find Minnesota State University- Moorhead on their radar when searching “online colleges near me.” Here, they will find high-quality online degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Examples of the school’s most popular distance learning options include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Curriculum & Instruction

The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited MSUM to award these online college degrees and credentials. U.S. News & World Report has ranked many of these programs among some of the best online degrees available nationwide, particularly those in business, education, and nursing.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,980

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Website

Points: 13

University of Minnesota- Twin Cities

Arguably one of the top online colleges in Minnesota and the country at large, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers a wide range of distance learning options, including full online college programs as well as online certificates. For undergraduates, bachelor’s degree online offerings include:

  • Online Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Psychology
  • Online Bachelor of Manufacturing Management
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in International Business
  • Online BS in Information Technology Management

Programs available to graduate students include:

  • Online Master of Healthcare Administration
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coaching
  • Online MA in Applied Child and Adolescent Development

These online college programs are made possible through the university’s accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Report has recognized the school’s online master’s programs in engineering and computer information technology as some of the best in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,723

Mississippi

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, Mississippi

Website

Points: 10

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University is a hard-to-miss option for Mississippians who find themselves searching “online colleges near me.” Here, undergraduate students will find nearly a dozen different options for bachelor’s degrees online, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Educational Psychology
  • Online BS in Industrial Technology
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communications: Public Relations
  • Online BA in History

Even more online options are available at the master’s level, including:

  • Online Master of Professional Accountancy
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity & Operations
  • Online MS in Computational Engineering
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching: Special Education

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Mississippi State to award online bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The school’s graduate offerings in engineering and business have been ranked among the 75 best such programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,910

University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Website

Points: 10

University of Southern Mississippi

One of the most affordable online colleges in the state of Mississippi and beyond, the University of Southern Mississippi doesn’t skimp on quality. In fact, the school offers nationally-ranked online bachelor’s degree programs for undergraduate distance education students, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Child & Family Sciences
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA)
  • Online BS in Industrial Engineering Technology
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy

An even more impressive list of online college programs is available to the school’s graduate students. Standout options include:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Coaching and Sport Performance
  • Online MS in Criminal Justice
  • Online MS in Human Capital Development
  • Online PhD in Nursing Leadership

The University of Southern Mississippi is institutionally accredited to award these online college credentials by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school’s undergraduate offerings for distance learners have been ranked among the top 75 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,896

Missouri

Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Website

Points: 12

Southeast Missouri State University -  Best Online Colleges Near Me

One of the best and most affordable online colleges in the state of Missouri, Southeast Missouri State University boasts more than 30 top-ranked online college degrees for undergraduate and graduate students alike. This includes roughly a dozen online bachelor’s degree programs such as:

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS): Applied Technology
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS): Child Development
  • Online BS in Family Studies
  • Online BS in Healthcare Administration

Programs for graduate students are even more abundant and include options like:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Applied Nutrition
  • Online MS in Applied Computer Science
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Elementary Education
  • Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Southeast Missouri State University is institutionally accredited to confer these online college credentials by The Higher Learning Commission. The school’s online bachelor’s degree programs in business have been ranked among the top 40 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,033

University of Missouri

Columbia, Missouri

Website

Points: 13

University of Missouri

Missouri residents who look for “online colleges near me” will likely discover what the University of Missouri has to offer distance learning students. Undergraduate students will find several nationally ranked online bachelor’s degree programs, including:

  • Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Fitness Programming and Management
  • Online BS in Information Technology
  • Online RN to BSN

Graduate students can also choose from first-rate online master’s programs in the fields of business, education, and nursing. Examples include:

  • Online Master of Science in Education (MEd) in Early Childhood Special Education
  • Online Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Science: Family Nurse Practitioner

The University of Missouri holds the institutional accreditation necessary to confer these online college degrees by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,723

About Online Colleges

In today’s society, so many of our daily activities take place online. Increasingly, learning activities are happening virtually, too. Even before the pandemic, colleges and universities across the United States were developing online programs at a breakneck pace. Today, most postsecondary universities have an online learning division, and hundreds of them offer fully online degree programs.

Quantity isn’t the only thing that’s improving, though; the quality of these online programs has reached an all-time high. While online colleges used to be associated with the term “diploma mills” because of their low rigor, today, some of the best online colleges are housed within accredited colleges and universities, even prestigious ones like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania, for example.

The result of this uptick in distance learning opportunities is that online students now have tons of choices. When they search “online colleges near me,” for example, they’ll find affordable online colleges alongside some of the best online colleges for specific subject areas as well as schools that emphasize either undergraduate or graduate education. The choices are almost dizzying.

Choosing the Best Online Colleges

While having options is always a good thing, too many choices can pose a significant challenge for students deciding between numerous top online colleges. There’s no right or wrong answer per se, but there are certainly some guidelines you’ll want to follow to narrow down your choices.

Identify Accredited Online Colleges

To ensure that the online colleges you’re considering are, in fact, legitimate, you’ll want to check for the school’s accreditation. Typically, accredited online colleges are either regionally or nationally accredited. Another thing to confirm is that the school’s accrediting body is approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Common examples include:

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

A complete list of approved agencies can be found on the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

Check Tuition Rates

While it’s true that money isn’t everything, it’s definitely a factor you should consider when looking for top online colleges. After all, student loans in the U.S. have reached staggering heights, and you don’t want to take on any unnecessary debt. The good news is that most online colleges provide in-state tuition discounts for students, whether or not they actually live in the state. This loophole of sorts can save you thousands of dollars per year on your education costs. Still, tuition can vary quite a bit from school to school, so this is something you’ll want to keep in mind when comparing online colleges. With any luck, the best online colleges for you will also be the more affordable online colleges.

Evaluate Flexibility

It’s a common misconception that all online colleges are the same in terms of flexibility. This isn’t the reality, though. In fact, each online college you consider will have its own unique characteristics that determine how flexible your learning schedule will be. For example, many of the best online colleges offer both full-time and part-time options for distance learning, but this isn’t the case for every school. Moreover, some online college programs require students to be online at certain times to participate in virtual activities, while others are more lenient. While one method is not better or worse than the other necessarily, you’ll want to ensure that the school’s online learning requirements will fit into your schedule.

Consider Your Learning Style

While it’s important to ensure you can make it to class and afford the cost of your tuition, you need to think further ahead to choose the very best online college for you. What will the course be like once you’re enrolled? Will you be able to maintain interest in the material? What will your grades look like? To answer these questions, you need to ponder your learning style and how it might mesh with the online colleges you’re considering. If you’re reasonably self-driven and you already have a passion for your subject of choice, then you may do fine with an asynchronous course delivery method or a less hands-on approach to instruction. On the other hand, if you thrive off one-on-one instruction and need more structure to remain engaged, then an asynchronous online college program featuring live course content may be more beneficial to your academic performance.

Frequently-Searched Types of Online Colleges “Near Me”

When people search for online colleges, they’re often looking for a specific type of academic degree program. Here are some of the most popular searches associated with the search term “online colleges near me,” as well as some information about the programs available for each type of online college program.

Online Colleges Near Me for Nursing

Because healthcare is such an in-demand field, online college programs in nursing are plentiful. Whether you want to earn an entry-level nursing credential such as an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or pursue a graduate degree in nursing, you should have little difficulty finding an online college program to fit your academic and career goals. Some common distance learning offerings for prospective nurses include:

  • Online Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Online Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)
  • Online Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Many of these online college programs for nurses feature concentrations that enable students to specialize in a specific sub-field of nursing. Some of these available concentrations may include:

  • Nursing Education
  • Nurse Midwifery
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Gerontology
  • Neonatal Nursing

It’s important to note that online nursing programs usually require some type of clinical experience in addition to online coursework. This portion of the program cannot be completed online, but some programs do allow students to select the site where they will fulfill their clinical hours.

Online Colleges Near Me for Social Work

Social work is another common field for distance learners. Students looking for the best online colleges in this area of study often do so with a specific degree or credential in mind. The most popular programs are the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and the Master of Social Work (MSW). While online colleges for social work may not offer much in terms of variation for types of degrees, they do offer more choices when it comes to specializations. Popular concentrations for social work degree plans include:

  • Adult Social Work
  • Children, Youth, and Family Social Work
  • Community Social Work
  • Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Planning and Administration

The top online colleges for social work are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Online Colleges Near Me for Business

Along with healthcare, business is one of the fastest-growing fields right now, so it’s not surprising that many online colleges would offer programs in this area of study. Some of the best online colleges for business have programs at every level of postsecondary education, from associate’s degrees to post-graduate credentials. Some of these credentials may include:

  • Online Associate’s in Business Administration
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business Administration
  • Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA)
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Business is a broad field, so you can expect that the top online colleges in this discipline will offer various areas of emphasis for distance learners to choose from. Examples include:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • International Business
  • Management
  • Marketing

There are three large accrediting bodies that evaluate academic programs in business. When looking for online colleges in this particular field, you should check for accreditation by one of the following:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)

Online Colleges Near Me for Early Childhood Education

Those who have a passion for teaching young children may find themselves searching for “online colleges near me” in the field of early childhood education. That’s because positions in this field often require a professional credential or degree. Fortunately for students who prefer distance learning, online colleges offer numerous academic programs for aspiring ECE educators. Some of these program offerings may include:

  • Online Associate’s in Early Childhood Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education
  • Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education

Separate tracks are typically available for those students who aspire to teach versus those who want to work in early childhood education program planning and development.

If you’ve ever dreamed of getting a college degree, there is no time like the present. Distance education is no longer a work-in-progress. Instead, it has become a viable option for students all over the country who either require or prefer virtual learning instead of traditional in-person instruction. Affordable online colleges exist that rival face-to-face opportunities at some of the nation’s most distinguished colleges and universities. So what are you waiting for? Begin your search for “online colleges for me” today, and start working toward your future degree!

Frequently-Asked Questions About Online Colleges

If you’re serious about attending online college, we’d advise you to get all of your questions answered before making an enrollment decision. Below, our editors have compiled a handful of frequently asked questions about online colleges and online college programs. As you peruse these, keep in mind that the information provided here is general and not intended to represent any specific school or program.

Q: Which online colleges are legitimate?

A: When searching “online colleges near me,” be sure to check that the schools you consider are accredited by a regional or national accreditation agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education. These are the only online colleges that can be regarded as legitimate.

Q: How do I find the best online colleges near me?

A: Keep in mind that the best online colleges for you may not be the same ones that benefit someone else. That’s because there is no one-size-fits-all solution to higher education. Instead, distance learning is often a highly individualized process. You’ll need to evaluate each school on your list of top online colleges for features that you value, such as affordability, convenience, and interactivity, for instance.

Q: Which online college is the cheapest?

A: If you’re looking for the most affordable online colleges, you may consider Florida Atlantic University or the University of North Georgia, both of which are associated with tuition costs of less than $5,000 per year.

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

A: It depends on the program. While a bachelor’s degree usually takes four years to complete, most associate’s and master’s degrees can be completed within two years. Still, accelerated and part-time options exist that may shorten or lengthen your study time.

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Bambi Majumdar
Author

Melissa Anderson
Expert

Julie McCaulley
Editor-in-Chief