Best Online Colleges for Associates Degrees

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In recent years, the world of higher education has expanded to incorporate more than your everyday, run-of-the-mill, on-campus schooling. Online degree programs have become a smart alternative way for high school graduates to earn their associate’s degrees. More and more potential students are discovering that the traditional university education model does not fit their lifestyle. If you are someone who prioritizes value, a flexible everyday routine, and the freedom to incorporate education when and where they choose, online is the place to be.

Earning an associate’s degree online will surely help prevent future unemployment or underemployment as you seek to join the workforce and further your career. When deciding which associate’s degree you should obtain, there are several factors at play. Ask yourself if there is any possibility that you may want to go on to earn a bachelor’s degree. Determine the costs of classes and fees in comparison to your potential future profits. Consider the time needed to complete your degree and how much effort you are prepared to give. Most associate’s degrees take about two years to complete. Above all, though, you must make sure that the online college offering the degree is accredited.

When you are deciding which online college or university you want to attend, make sure it is accredited. Employers only accept degrees from accredited schools, so this is an essential step. You can check any school’s status by searching the institution’s name on the Council for Higher Education Accreditation website at https://www.chea.org/ and the U.S. Department of Education Database at https://ope.ed.gov/dapip/#/home.

As the demand for online degree options has increased over the years, colleges and universities have risen to meet the demand, creating more classes and degree programs than ever before. As a college student, you can pursue nearly every course of study. Whatever reason you have for completing your post-secondary education, online degree programs will surely fit in with your life’s competing demands. In this convenient format, you can reach all your educational and career goals.

Ranking Methodology

The Best Colleges in New Jersey ranking is based on four main data points in four categories:

  • Affordability (average net price)
  • Student Satisfaction (retention rate)
  • Academic Quality (4-year graduation rate)
  • Student Outcome (20-year return on investment per Payscale.com)

Each data point is ranked with equal weight. Schools received a weighted overall ranking score for each individual point mentioned above–100 being the highest score possible.

In the case of a tie in scoring, the average net price was the determining factor for which school received the higher rank–the lower the net price, the higher the ranking.

All data was gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics website, College ScorecardPayscale, and school websites.

Best Online Colleges for Associates Degrees

1. University of Toledo

Score: 100.0

Average Net Price: $15,095
Retention Rate: 74%
Graduation Rate: 58%
ROI: $364,000

The University of Toledo has served hundreds of thousands of students since 1872. As a regionally accredited university, the institution offers several online resources, including an I.T. Help Desk, eTutoring, and an eLibrary to facilitate online associate’s degrees. U.T. provides an online associate’s degree program in general studies where you can work with a program adviser to design an individualized learning plan. Some of the study areas include criminal justice, law and legal systems, communications, and health and fitness.

To get a chance, you will need to present your application with relevant documents. Admission requires a high school G.P.A. of at least 2.0, but even if you fail the G.P.A. requirement, U.T. places you in the University College’s Department of Exploratory Studies and transfers you to the College of Business and Innovation when you meet the requirements. If you are moving to U.T., you will get an official evaluation from the admissions board and an unofficial evaluation from Tranferology.com. The University of Toledo is home to 20,500 students and hosts more than 400 student organizations, performances, and art exhibits. In 2006, the university merged with the Medical University of Ohio to become the third-largest university in the state.

2. Ohio University

Score: 99.0

Average Net Price: $21,892
Retention Rate: 81%
Graduation Rate: 68%
ROI: $344,000

Located in the city of Athens, Ohio, Ohio University offers two-year online associate’s degree programs in individual studies (A.I.S.), science (A.S.), and the arts (A.A.). To get into the online associate’s programs, prospective students are required to complete at least 60 credits and score a minimum GPA of 2.0.

Since 1804, the university has operated from its 1,800-acre campus, currently enrolling over 22,200 students in total. Ohio University offers a plethora of online learning resources, including eTutoring, eLibrary, and an official Help Desk. After enrolling, students follow a semester-based academic calendar, choosing courses from three departments, which include the college of education, the college of engineering and technology, and the college of business. With more than 500 different clubs and student organizations, 30 fraternities, sororities, and Greek life options, 1,900+ graduate programs, and its highly-advanced online database, Ohio University is an excellent fit for anyone looking to pursue an online associate’s degree and get the full college experience while they’re at it.

3. Taylor University

Score: 99.0

Average Net Price: $24,306
Retention Rate: 88%
Graduation Rate: 76%
ROI: $322,000

Located in Upland, Indiana, Taylor University was founded in 1846 as a liberal arts college. The university offers up to 90 undergrad programs with 61 majors. Mostly, these programs center on education, business, news media, and exercise science. The college seeks to integrate faith and learning, due to its Christian roots. Online degrees are offered in four different academic schools; Liberal Arts, Business, Natural Sciences, Applied Sciences, and Professional Studies. Notable alumni from the university include Nelson Appleton Miles, U.S Army General in Chief; Andrew Belle, singer/songwriter; Joseph Brain, a health researcher at Harvard School, and Stephen L. John, former E.P.A. administrator.

Taylor University offers an associate’s degree in 4-month terms or 15-week semesters, depending on what you can afford and the time you’re able to commit. If you are able to rely on financial aid, take semester-based classes, and pay your fees, the 4-month courses are recommended. For its online degree programs, Taylor uses Blackboard, an online platform that oversees courses. In other words, you never have to be online at a specific time of the day. The university also offers an independent study format option, where students are able to work one-on-one with professors if they so choose.

4. Bethel University – Minnesota

Score: 97.0

Average Net Price: $25,604
Retention Rate: 85%
Graduation Rate: 73%
ROI: $273,000

Bethel University was founded in 1871 as a primarily Christian institution. Since 1989, the college has offered degrees in a wide range of fields with programs in four different academic schools, including the college of arts and sciences, the college of adult and professional studies, the Bethel Seminary, and the graduate school. The university enrolls approximately 5,600 students within its various programs and has expanded the online platform to cater to countless more. It offers 160 graduate programs, including 106 majors, 43 minors, and 11 pre-professional programs.

More than a century after its founding, the school continues to focus on producing critically-thinking graduates. Through its online programs, it grants both associate’s of arts and associate’s of science degrees. Students can create individualized learning plans with the help of Bethel’s advisors, who are happy to engage with students one-on-one. In addition to the scheduled classes and online resources, Bethel University offers remedial coursework in reading, math, and writing to help those facing college work difficulties. To facilitate online learning, the college also offers open educational resources and library eResources.

5. University of Alaska- Fairbanks

Score: 96.8

Average Net Price: $11,297
Retention Rate: 75%
Graduation Rate: 33%
ROI: $539,000

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is famous for its cutting-edge research facilities, a few of which include the Geophysical Institute, the Institute of Northern Engineering, the Alaska Center for Energy and Power, and the Institute of Arctic Biology, among many others. Since its founding in 1917, the school’s repertoire has expanded to offer nine different academic schools, including engineering and mines, liberal arts, natural science and mathematics, rural and community development, grad school, education, fisheries and ocean sciences, management, and natural resources and extension. Overall, the school offers 190 degree and certificate programs in over 120 various disciplines.

If you’re determined to accomplish your higher education goals in your own way, UA-Fairbanks also offers online associate’s degree programs in the arts, science, applied accounting, applied business, information technology, paralegal studies, and early childhood education. Students are paired with an individual eCampus counselor, enabling them to engage with professors one-on-one and even collaborate with fellow students. The minimum application G.P.A. requirement is a 2.5, with minimum A.C.T. test score being 10, and the minimum S.A.T. score requirement being 970. The eCampus system is designed to provide students all the resources they need to meet their goals and excel in their academic careers.

6. Western Kentucky University

Score: 96.3

Average Net Price: $12,776
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 48%
ROI: $244,000

Located in the city of Bowling Green, Western Kentucky University was founded in 1906, and since 1990, the main campus has expanded to offer online courses. The school hosts more than 17,000 undergrad students and over 20,000 total student enrollments. Courses are offered in five different academic colleges, including education and behavioral sciences, business, science and engineering, arts and letters, and health and human services. In total, students can choose from a set of 80 majors and 70 minors. In total, there are 16 associate degree programs offered on campus and online.

The online associate degree program includes eTutoring one-on-one with an advisor and an online library. Students only need to submit an application, accompanied by high school transcripts with A.C.T. and S.A.T. scores to register for the programs. Students transferring from other colleges are required to send electronic transcripts through the National Student Clearinghouse. The online programs offered at Western Kentucky University seek to deliver quality education to enable students to find success in their careers and in their lives.

7. Northwest Nazarene University

Score: 96.3

Average Net Price: $17,082
Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 52%
ROI: $213,000

Northwest Nazarene University was founded in 1913 as a private bible study and graduate school. Today, with over 3,000 students in total, the school operates as a liberal arts college with a plethora of resources for both online and on-campus learning. The school is separated into the college of arts and sciences and adult and graduate studies.

NNU supports more than 600 students online and on campus. The online associate degree programs cater to those studying elementary and secondary education; these are the only fully-online programs. Students can complete the programs in either a five or eight-week format. You can finish the program in less than two years if you join the program with existing credits. Without credits, it takes two years to complete the program, which seeks to produce skilled teachers for different learning levels by engaging them in rigorous one-on-one learning with the professors.

8. Regent University

Score: 96.3

Average Net Price: $18,403
Retention Rate: 77%
Graduation Rate: 43%
ROI: $324,000

Regent University is a private Christian institution that was established in 1977. The Virginia Beach-based university hosts just over 8,600 students, 3,698 of whom are undergraduates. Regent maintains accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and School, and certain of their programs hold certifications from other national accreditors. In 2015, the U.S. News and World Report placed Regent University at #11 among the nation’s top online undergrad programs. The university offers 70 courses of study within its various degree programs.

Notably, the school offers associate’s degrees in a fully online system, formatted to ensure that students work with individual professors. The university boasts of over 90 percent of full-time classes to ensure online students get the help they need. The application process involves submitting the necessary documents online. During the George Bush administration, more than 150 Regent students were hired by the federal government, and the school is one of the top Christian universities in the nation. Harvey Cox once described the school as the “Harvard of Christian Right,” implying that the school promotes academic excellence in the same way it promotes Christianity and good values.

9. University of North Georgia

Score: 95.8

Average Net Price: $9,994
Retention Rate: 80%
Graduation Rate: 34%
ROI: $242,000

Students at the University of North Georgia have the opportunity to join one of more than 80 associate’s degree programs at the University of North Georgia. This university operates as a branch of the University System of Georgia and has campuses in different parts of Georgia. It is one of the youngest universities on this list, having been established in 2013 through a merger between North Georgia College and State University and Gainesville State College. Today, the university is home to more than 19,000 undergrad students, enrolling a total of at least 20,000 students, making it the sixth-largest in Georgia.

The school offers 129 undergraduate degrees in its five different schools of study. It is the state’s designated leadership institution, which allows it to offer a minor in leadership. It also operates the flagship of the ROTC program, which enables cadets to study Chinese language and culture. U.N.G. has more than 80 associate degree courses, most of which can be studied 100% online. The online system has a plethora of resources that allow students to study without the need to be online at particular times. Better yet, the e-learning system enables individual students to collaborate with their professors.

10. Keiser University

Score: 94.8

Average Net Price: $30.767
Retention Rate: 86%
Graduation Rate: 58%
ROI: $226,000

Keiser University is located in Florida and operates as one of the top colleges for associate’s degrees, both on-campus and online and with more than 35 different associate degree programs. According to Community College Week, among all colleges offering associate degree programs in health professions, Keiser ranks at #2 in the nation. Among nursing and related courses, Community College Week ranks K.U. at #5, and for computer and information sciences associates degrees, the college ranks #11. Keiser University has been in operation since 1977 when founder Arthur Keiser and his mother established it as a private non-profit university.

With an online library, virtual bookstore, and one-on-one online collaboration with professors, as well as an IT Help Desk system, Keiser University is well-structured to ensure that students find their way. Financial aid and scholarships are available to those who qualify. Some of the primary associate’s degree courses include accounting, applied engineering, law and paralegal services, health services, nursing, computer and information technology, hospitality, and general studies. The system provides comprehensive classes, extensive online resources with a focus on careers.

Further Reading: Cheapest Online Colleges

11. Eastern Kentucky University

Score: 94.5

Average Net Price: $13,845
Retention Rate: 73%
Graduation Rate: 46%
ROI: $219,000

According to the U.S. News and World Report, Eastern Kentucky University is one of the top institutions for higher education in the country. In 2019, it ranked at #28 among regional schools in the South, and Forbes Magazine ranked it at #248 among all public colleges, as well as #160 among colleges in the south. Over its 114 years of operation, EKU has received several additional recognitions.

Eastern Kentucky University is a public institution, earning its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It has remote campuses in Hazard, Corbin, Lancaster, and Manchester, offering more than 40 undergraduate programs online. The school was originally founded in 1874 but went down in the early 1900s before merging with Center College in 1906. Today, it is home to more than 13,500 undergraduate students and a total enrollment of more than 16,000. From the school’s online associate programs, virtual students can choose to study one of four different degree options, which include general studies, paralegal studies, paramedic studies, and police studies. Not only are these degrees conveniently formatted, but they also provide comprehensive career preparation and real-world advancement, as well.

12. Dakota State University

Score: 94.0

Average Net Price: $17,244
Retention Rate: 69%
Graduation Rate: 41%
ROI: $310,000

From its founding back in 1881, Dakota State University has expanded to enroll more than 2,800 undergraduate students and upwards of 1,200 virtual students, making for a grand total of 3,200 students. DSU supports remote students from 59 different countries around the world and reaches a total of 49 out of 50 of the United States. Whether online or on-campus, students have the option of choosing from over 45 various clubs and organizations, several of which operate online. The campus community excels in its online outreach and inclusive courses, thanks to the relatively low student-to-faculty ratio. The school has several student service programs, including international programs, career services, diversity and inclusion, counseling, academic probation, tutoring, and even a student wellness center.

DSU runs one of the largest online associate programs in the country. It is well-structured and equipped with top-of-the-line resources for students, such as the e-Library and e-advisors. Students can also connect and collaborate with their professors online. A few of Dakota State’s top-ranking online courses focus on fields like education, health, technology, math and science, business, and digital media and communications. The same professors who teach on-campus classes also teach the online classes, ensuring the highest quality and maximum comprehensibility for all students.

13. University of Maine-Fort Kent

Score: 92.8

Average Net Price: $12,107
Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 54%
ROI: $141,000

The University of Maine, Fort Kent, has been in operation as a public institution of higher education since 1878. Today, it supports an undergraduate enrollment of about 1,800 students and applies a semester-based academic calendar. From the U.S. News and World Reports, the university sits at #25 among regional colleges. UMFK offers different online associate degree courses, including General Studies with concentrations in accounting, behavioral science, computer science, business, criminal justice, and conservation law enforcement. Information security is also offered as an online course.

While studying online limits access to clubs and organizations, virtual students at UMFK still enjoy being accounted for within the student body. The student affairs office ensures that all students, online or on-campus, obtain any resources they may need. Textbooks, one-on-one professor sessions, and collaboration with students in your same field of study are all made available to UMFK students, whether you’re studying from campus or your couch. The school even offers career services, especially to online students, to help them find a career path that perfectly matches their goals.

14. Clarion University of Pennsylvania

Score: 92.5

Average Net Price: $19,836
Retention Rate: 74%
Graduation Rate: 49%
ROI: $183,000

Located in the state of Pennsylvania, Clarion University has served students since its founding in 1867. Today, it operates as one of the top colleges in the north, according to the U.S. News and World Report. It also sits at #115 among the best universities in the north. The school is home to more than 5,000 students, with more than 4,300 undergrads alone. Clarion students hail from 44 different states in the U.S. and 11 different countries worldwide. The school offers 39 accredited programs–the most in the state college system–making Clarion one of the largest and most prestigious universities in the state of Pennsylvania.

Online students have full access to the over 130 different student organizations the school has to offer, most of which incorporate academia, athletics, Greek life, special interests, politics, or multicultural facets. Clarion University boasts 28 different national accreditations, and to virtual students, this means that the programs are fully comprehensive, having undergone a rigorous review process to ensure that students gain employable skills and a top-tier educational experience.

15. Middle Georgia State University

Score: 92.0

Average Net Price: $9,794
Retention Rate: 64%
Graduation Rate: 23%
ROI: $249,000

Middle Georgia State University is a division of the Georgia System of Universities, and offers a wide range of programs between its five campuses and expansive online system. The university offers courses in 17 different departments spread across six schools of study, which include arts and letters, aviation, business, computing, education, and behavioral sciences, and health and natural sciences. MGSU’s schools of study all boast a plethora of different accreditations, so students are guaranteed to gain comprehensive insight and a top-tier academic experience.

The school hosts more than 8,050 students, with more than 7,800 pursuing their undergraduate degrees alone. Associate’s degrees include criminal justice, political science, financial technology, and modern language courses. Middle Georgia also utilizes an electronic core curriculum, or e-core learning, which allows virtual students to earn their associate’s degrees in the most convenient format possible.

16. Lewis-Clark State College

Score: 91.8

Average Net Price: $9,988
Retention Rate: 60%
Graduation Rate: 39%
ROI: $220,000

Lewis-Clark State College has served hundreds of thousands of students since its founding in 1893. Currently, the college is home to more than 3,700 students in total and is widely acclaimed for its degrees in social work, criminal justice, nursing, education, and technical programs. Lewis-Clark students hail from over 30 different countries and 30 different states in the US. With more than 1,000 students studying exclusively online, the school operates a set of fully comprehensive online courses structured to fit into even the busiest of schedules. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Lewis-Clark State College has been ranked as the best in the west. Its bachelor’s programs ranked #1 in the nation for the years 2002, 2005, and 2007.

L.C. State College utilizes Canvas eLearning solution, which was adopted in January 2020 as a pilot program, offering resources and allowing individuals to collaborate with professors and fellow students. With systems such as Blackboard, students don’t even need to be online to access course materials. Ultimately, the online associate degree program takes two years, but with prior credits, it takes even less time.

17. Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

Score: 90.5

Average Net Price: $22,892
Retention Rate: 58%
Graduation Rate: 39%
ROI: $483,000

The Penn State World Campus is the virtual version of the Pennsylvania State University. In 1988, due to the increasing need for students to study remotely, the World Campus was established. The university serves more than 15,000 students with at least 8,500 undergraduates. Currently, there are more than 150 programs offered remotely, with many more being added and developed. The World Campus offices are located at Innovation Park on University Park Campus. Penn State curriculum and World Campus course material are the same and taught by the same faculty.

For the year 2020, the U.S. News and World Report placed Penn State World Campus at #8 among the best online bachelor programs. World Campus offers associate’s degrees ranging from business administration to criminal justice, and human development and family studies to information sciences and technology. Students can also study labor and human resources, turfgrass science and management, or letters, arts, and sciences. Whether you’re applying as a new student or transferring, the admission process is simple, enabling students from all backgrounds to gain a top-tier education.

18. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide

Score: 90.3

Average Net Price: $18,688
Retention Rate: 50%
Graduation Rate: 34%
ROI: $683,000

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, or ERAU, is the largest aviation and aerospace university with accredited programs. The university maintains campuses in Florida, Daytona Beach, Arizona, and Prescott. It also has several online programs and satellite locations with a fully comprehensive online learning system. In 2013, the university, which serves more than 32,000 students, was ranked #2 for its online bachelor’s programs, according to the U.S. News and World Report. Since then, ERAU has appeared on the rankings five additional times. The online program accommodates more than 22,000 students on 130 campuses. It also serves 90 military bases, with online programs covering relevant courses such as aviation, communication, business, computers, engineering, emergency services, management, safety and security, and logistics.

ERAU courses take a different approach to academic development, allowing students to study independently, and there is no strict course schedule. Associate’s program options include science in engineering fundamentals, aviation business administration, aviation maintenance, and technical management. Students can also enroll in professional programs where they collaborate with potential employers and expand their professional experience.

19. University of Valley Forge

Score: 90.0

Average Net Price: $19,612
Retention Rate: 74%
Graduation Rate: 44%
ROI: -$19,600

According to the U.S. News and World Report, the University of Valley Forge ranks #32 among best colleges in the north for the year 2020. It was established in 1939, and continues to work in close affiliation with the Assemblies of God to this day. UVF supports a wide variety of programs, both online and on-campus, all of which are accredited and fully-comprehensive. Although it was initially a school for pastors and evangelists, the university has grown and developed to be one of the best institutions for higher education in the country. More than 1,200 students call this place home.

The college was accredited in 2002 by the Middle States Association, and today it proudly awards associate’s degrees in both the sciences and the arts. Virtual courses center in fields like early childhood education, human services (counseling), human services (social services), interdisciplinary studies, and ministry leadership. With more than 50 undergraduate programs to choose from, the possibilities are truly endless. Ultimately, the University of Valley Forge promotes a career-oriented learning experience that benefits students from all walks of life.

20. Shorter University

Score: 90.0

Average Net Price: $19,795
Retention Rate: 54%
Graduation Rate: 46%
ROI: $226,000

Shorter University has been focused on “Transforming Lives Through Christ” since its founding in 1873. As a private Baptist university, the school is dedicated to promoting the spiritual well-being and academic excellence of its students. The university, which is located in Rome, serves more than 1,850 students in total, with more than 1,650 enrolled in undergraduate courses alone.

The Princeton Review ranks Shorter as one of the best colleges in the southeast. The university maintains faculty from around the world, with most boasting multiple degrees from recognized universities in the U.S. and beyond. Associate’s degrees range from general business to Christian studies, criminal justice to human services, and even sport management. The online programs are offered in 8-week terms with up to six terms per year. Students can study at their own pace without the need to be online at designated times. Ultimately, Shorter University is one of the best places to jumpstart your future.

21. Chaminade University of Honolulu

Score: 89.5

Average Net Price: $23,119
Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 38%
ROI: $166,000

The Chaminade University of Honolulu is a private university that works in close affiliation with the Catholic Church. The university is a relatively small institution that is home to about 1,400 undergraduate students. The university, which was established in 1955, has helped thousands of students from all walks of life. Programs specialize in biology, business, criminal justice, interior design, religious studies, education, or forensic sciences. For all its courses, the school has earned accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, WASC.

Service-learning is a uniquely-designed program that offers students an opportunity to engage in community activities to earn class credit. Service-learning links easily to course content and objectives. Even online students can still choose from over thirty different clubs and organizations supported by the school. Associate’s degree options include business administration, liberal arts criminology and criminal justice, and education–all of which are available online.

22. Liberty University

Score: 89.3

Average Net Price: $27,883
Retention Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 40%
ROI: $152,000

Liberty University is a largely-online private university that was established in 1971. Today, almost 90% of students earn their degrees entirely online. The university boasts an academic staff of nearly 2,500 teachers, counselors, and administrators, and enrolls more than 100,000 students in total–95,000 of which study entirely online. The school aims to maintain a Christian atmosphere, keeping its statutes and all coursework oriented towards that goal.

Liberty’s available majors include apologetics, creative writing, biblical studies, criminal justice, education, history mathematics, medical office assistant, paralegal studies, military history, psychology, and religion. Online programs incorporate flexibility, allowing students to learn at their own pace. The virtual system even enables students to network and interact with their colleagues and professors, ultimately providing them with all the resources necessary to achieve success.

23. Davenport University

Score: 88.8

Average Net Price: $17,670
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 28%
ROI: $191,000

According to the U.S. News and World Report for the year 2020, Davenport University ranks #111 best college in the midwest. Since, 1866, the university has served students as a private, non-profit university. Today, the school enables its students to pursue careers in more than fifty areas of study, and operates out of five different campuses across the state of Michigan. Davenport’s student-to-faculty ratio is 14 to 1 and its acceptance rate currently sits at 82%. The school offers majors in business administration and management, accounting, business/commerce, marketing, and human resources management.

Currently, more than 5,700 of the 7,500 total students are working on their undergraduate degrees. In addition to the majors listed above, associate’s degree options include computer information systems, legal studies, medical assisting, finance, and networking technology. The online degree programs operate with the same quality as on-campus programs, and professors are able to teach their courses in an online format in addition to their classroom settings.

24. Limestone College

Score: 88.8

Average Net Price: $24,083
Retention Rate: 52%
Graduation Rate: 46%
ROI: $232,000

Limestone College was founded in 1845 by Thomas and William Curtis and is the third-oldest in South Carolina. Initially, it operated as the first university for women in South Carolina, but in 1960, it opened its doors and now operates as a coeducational institution. To accommodate busy students, Limestone offers evening and online classes, in addition to its day-classes. The university hosts more than 2,100 students in total and will become an official university in July of 2020.

The college boasts a student-to-faculty ratio of 14 to 1, meaning that students can enjoy a more individualized learning experience and collaboration with their professors. Limestone has over 57 majors to choose from across four different areas of study, including arts and letters, professional education, natural sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. The college even supports the Reserve Officers Training Corps. Students can contribute to the college yearbook, poems, essays, short stories, and so much more, regardless of whether they’re studying online or on-campus. Ultimately, Limestone offers its students the best academic experiences and bright futures.

25. Albany State University

Score: 87.5

Average Net Price: $13,066
Retention Rate: 66%
Graduation Rate: 28%
ROI: $43,400

Albany State University is among the top 100 universities in the south. Located in Albany, Georgia, the new face of the university was founded in 2017 when Albany State University merged with Darton State University. Today, the university has both a West and East Campus located in Albany, and even maintains a satellite campus in Cordele. Albany has been in operation since 1903, and today, it is home to more than 6,200 students.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 15 to 1, every student gets the individualized attention they need to succeed. The college offers 14 different associate’s degree options within its four schools of study, which include the college of arts and sciences, professional studies, health professionals, or distance learning. Students can pursue careers in dental hygiene, health information technology, diagnostic medical sonography, medical laboratory technology, nursing, occupational therapy, radiologic science, physical therapy, or respiratory care. The distance learning systems at A.S.U. are well-structured so students can study at their own convenience. Online course content is the same as on-campus material, meaning that every student gets the chance to pursue their goals and achieve their dreams.

26. Hawaii Pacific University

Score: 87.3

Average Net Price: $27,139
Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 35%
ROI: $300,000

Hawaii Pacific University is the 60th best university in the west, according to the U.S. News and World Report. It was originally founded in 1965 as the Hawaii Pacific College and was later renamed Hawaii Pacific University in 1990. Today, the school enrolls more than 5,000 students–more than 4,260 of which are undergraduates and is the largest private university in the central Pacific. Students in the university come from 65 different countries and all of the 50 states. Common majors in the school include administration, biology, diplomacy and military studies, nursing, and social work.

The university has fully-comprehensive distance learning, study abroad, and student exchange programs. With a student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1, every student can expect to have an individualized learning experience. Online associate’s program options include general studies, criminal justice, cybersecurity, general business, health profession, homeland security, mathematics, and supervisory leadership. The virtual format is suited to equip students from all walks of life with the tools they need to succeed.

27. Campbellsville University

Score: 87.0

Average Net Price: $17,872
Retention Rate: 64%
Graduation Rate: 38%
ROI: $12,400

Campbellsville University was founded in 1906 and has a student population of more than 12,000. Unlike many other universities on this list that have more undergrad than postgrad students, Campbellsville University is home to more than 7,500 postgraduate students in total. Granted, the university invests heavily in research, and this helps not only graduates but also undergraduate students in the school. It is a private Christian university that offers programs across three schools; school of music, art, and education.

Campbellsville University has one of the most extensive distance learning programs in the state of Kentucky. Associate’s degree programs include science in business administration, Christian studies, criminal justice, and general studies. These programs are delivered online the same way they are in traditional classes, enabling students to get the best experience studying online. To help individuals achieve success, the university maintains a staff of highly-qualified individuals to facilitate one-on-one learning online. All the courses and the programs are Christian-oriented, helping students to find their spiritual standing as they pursue academic excellence.

28. Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Score: 87.0

Average Net Price: $25,240
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 41%
ROI: $71,000

SAGU is a private Christian school located in Waxahachie, Texas. The university operates under the endorsement of the Assemblies of God and offers degrees in liberal arts, church ministry, and Biblical studies. The university was once separated into three separate schools; the Southern Bible School, the Shield of Faith Bible Institute, and another Southern Bible School. It attained its official status and name in the 1990s after the merger.

Today, the university offers more than 60 academic programs, 24 of which were added between 2000 and now. Under the leadership of president Kermit Bridges, the university has continued to grow, and today, it is home to 125 staff members and more than 2,000 students–1,700 of which are undergraduates. Online associate’s degrees include the following courses: addictions counseling, human services, psychology, bible, church ministries, intercultural studies, religious studies, administration, education, English, general studies, or social studies. Ultimately, Southwestern Assemblies of God University is one of the best places to gain a headstart in achieving your dreams.

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