Best Online Colleges & Universities

2019-2020 Rankings


What does a university classroom look like?

It could look like your own home.

According to recent research in university enrollment, higher education has been experiencing a decline in traditional on-campus enrollment while seeing online registrations grow.

In 2017 alone, online enrollments totaled 3.85 million, growing 3% from the previous year. The report also found that 56.1% of all online students resided in the same state as their school of choice.

Why are students going online? 

Beyond reasons of convenience, 74% of students report that career progression motivates them. Most are hoping to transition to new careers, update their skills, or are looking for an increase in salary.

Many online students continue to enroll in business-related programs, but with the market growing, a wider variety of undergraduate and graduate programs are becoming available. The number of enrollments in general business and psychology programs has given way to increased admission to specialized programs like computer science, child psychology, and nursing. Information Technology, STEM, and health and medicine programs have also become more accessible at the graduate level.

What do these numbers mean for you?

These massive enrollment numbers mean that the marketplace for education is becoming more and more competitive every year. With all this competition, it’s becoming incredibly important to sort through the noise and find the schools that will bring excellent academic credentials and long-term value for your money.

Remember, an online degree’s value is more than just a price tag. There are plenty of affordable options, but the cost should not be restricted to a dollar sign. Value can be found in the efficiency of the program, how convenient it is, the reputation of the school, course materials, and even scholarships. Most importantly, value is determined by whether a plan will help you achieve your career goals.

What’s the best option for you? 

To help you find the best online program fit for you, we’ve created a ranking system based on critical attributes that showcase the best these schools have to offer. This list represents what we think are the top-rated online colleges in the country.

Best Online Colleges for 2019-2020

The EDsmart Best Online Colleges ranking aims to help students find affordable, quality schools that provide a high return on investment.

All data for this ranking was gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics and

1. University of Michigan

best online colleges_ University_of_michigan_ann_arbor

Score: 100

Average Net Price: $16,408
Retention Rate: 97%
Graduation Rate: 92%
ROI: $559,000

Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, top-ranked University of Michigan has three entirely online degree programs for students around the country, a Master of Applied Data Science, a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Public Health in Population and Health Sciences. UM is ranked as the top 27th university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and is rated A+ by The Ann Arbor campus alone has an undergraduate student body of almost 30,000.

At UM-Dearborn, there are additional graduate degree offerings that include a Master of Education, a Master of Science in several engineering fields, including electrical, energy systems, computer, mechanical and chemical, and a Master of Science in finance.

At UM-Flint, online degree programs are all degree-completion programs. That means you will need to bring some required credits to the university to gain admission to the program. The UM-Flint online degree programs include a Bachelor of Applied Science, a Bachelor of Business Administration in either general business, accounting, or marketing; and Bachelor of Science in psychology, nursing, respiratory therapy, health care administration, and substance use treatment and intervention.

One small caveat for online degree candidates from out-of-state is that one must ensure that a reciprocity agreement with your state supports your individual UM program. There is an easy-to-use online tool the university has created to allow you to look up this information. Another caveat for all UM online students who are out of range of the campus is that you will have to make arrangements to have your examinations proctored.

2. Villanova University

best online colleges_Villanova

Score: 97.4

Average Net Price: $35,491
Retention Rate: 95%
Graduation Rate: 90%
ROI: $581,000

Located in Villanova, Pennsylvania, Villanova University is one of the top-ranked, private Catholic universities in the country. It has over 6,000 undergraduate students and is competitive in terms of admission. They only admit 36 percent of their candidates each year. They are ranked the 49th top university in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and have a rating of A on VU is accredited by the Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education.

Purely online degree programs are mostly for master’s and graduate certificate programs. There is an extensive list of online master’s degree programs at Villanova that include master’s programs in all types of engineering, including mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical, computer, and cybersecurity. They offer master’s degrees in classical studies, communication, human resources, and provide two offerings in public administration. Master’s degrees are also offered in business analytics, administration, and taxation in their two degree-completion programs provided for those seeking a bachelor’s degree. VU offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degrees.

3. University of North Florida

best online colleges_University_North_Florida

Score: 97

Average Net Price: $13,524
Retention Rate: 91%
Graduation Rate: 57%
ROI: $285,000

The University of North Florida is a public university located in Jacksonville, Florida. It has about 14,500 students. It accepts about 59 percent of its applicants for admission. They have also garnered a slew of other awards and accolades, U.S. News and World Report have rated it the 42nd top university in the South, 37th in online bachelor’s degree programs, and 84th best graduate online program in the nation. ranks it as a B+.

The bachelor’s degree is an RN to BSN degree completion program, and UNF offers a Doctorate of Nursing in psychology and mental health, a Master of Science in nutrition and dietetics, a Master of Science in criminal justice, a Master of Educational Leadership in educational technology or early childhood education, and a Master of Science in American Sign Language. UNF receives praise for the affordability of its online programs, which tend to be less expensive than on-campus courses. A keynote is that the very popular RN to BSN program emphasizes that incoming grades are highly important.

4. Fairfield University

best onlcolleges_fairfield_university

Score: 95.8

Average Net Price: $37,799
Retention Rate: 90%
Graduation Rate: 81%
ROI: $513,000

Located in Fairfield, Connecticut, Fairfield University is a private, Jesuit Catholic school. The undergraduate student body numbers over 4,000. It is located 60 miles from New York City and is ranked first in the Northeastern region by U.S. News and World Report. ranks them as an A-. Sixty percent of FU applicants are accepted. They are accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Fairfield offers only a few graduate online degree programs and no online-only bachelor’s program. Their online graduate offerings include a hybrid program that is a Master in Fine Arts in creative writing. Students in the creative writing program attend a semiannual 10-day retreat on a Connecticut island as a part of their program. The Master of Arts in educational technology or Master of Arts in library media science degree programs comprise of 30 units. Their Master of Social Work is another low-residency program, so most of the coursework is completed online. This Social Work program is designed to produce specialists in clinical social work. Thus, candidates will possess the ability to help evaluate, assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent behavioral health issues in clients.

5. University of North Dakota

best online colleges_university_North_Dakota

Score: 95.4

Average Net Price: $14,478
Retention Rate: 81%
Graduation Rate: 54%
ROI: $361,000

The University of North Dakota is a public university located in Grand Forks, North Dakota. They are ranked 205th of all national universities and receive regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. UND has over 8,500 students and received a rating of B+ on The acceptance rate is 83 percent for applicants to the university.

There are around 15 online degree programs for undergraduate work leading to a bachelor’s degree. These include bachelor’s degrees in chemical, civil, geological, or petroleum engineering; computer science; public health; social science; political science; social work; psychology; general studies; elementary or early childhood education; computer science; cybersecurity; data science; and an RN to BSN program.

Quite a number of these programs are accelerated, combined bachelor’s to master’s degree programs in 58 graduate-only, online degree programs that are in several different specializations of education, nursing, engineering, business, aerospace and computer science.

6. University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

best online colleges_University_of_Wisconsin_Whitewater

Score: 95.2

Average Net Price: $12,422
Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 62%
ROI: $252,000

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is a public university located in Whitewater, Wisconsin. They have a student body of just under 10,000 and are accredited by the Commission for Higher Learning. They are ranked 65th for Midwest regional universities on U.S. News, and rates them as a B+. Of those who apply, seventy percent are accepted to the university.

Online programs for undergraduates at UW-Whitewater include a Bachelor of Business Administration in economics, general business, finance, or management. There is also a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies as well as one in political science. A unique bachelor’s degree program is one in law enforcement. The latter degree is for veteran police officers with three years of experience who already possess an Associate of Arts in criminology. The program is designed to allow officers to work at a pace that does not overwhelm them. There is also a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education.

Graduate online degree programs available include a Master of Science in special education or school business management, an MBA, and a Master of Science in environmental safety and health or finance.

7. Smith College

best online colleges_smith_college

Score: 95.2

Average Net Price: $26,734
Retention Rate: 93%
Graduation Rate: 88%
ROI: $262,000

Smith College is a private, women’s, liberal arts college in Northampton, Massachusetts. It has a student body of 2,500. The admission rate to this highly-rated, Northeastern college is only 32 percent, so it is highly competitive. SC was rated as the 11th best liberal arts college in the country by U.S. News, to go alongside its high rankings from Washington Monthly and Forbes Magazine, and an A+ rating from Smith College is unique in that it continues only to accept female candidates for its undergraduate degree programs and that it has an engineering program. Most female-only colleges do not have a school of engineering. Smith is one of the largest women’s colleges in the country and receives accreditation through the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Smith has a unique scholarship program for women who are older and are re-entering academia.

There are no online degree offerings for Smith College, but they do offer online continuing education mini-courses through their School of Social Work. The courses all are 1.0 to 1.5 CEs and only cost between $25 and $35.

8. University of Wisconsin – Platteville

best online colleges_University_of_Wisconsin_Platteville

Score: 95

Average Net Price: $14,363
Retention Rate: 79%
Graduation Rate: 53%
ROI: $450,000

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is a public university in Platteville, Wisconsin. With a rate of admission acceptance at 80 percent, their student body is over 6,700. rates the university as a B. They are accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.

Online undergraduate degrees include an Associate of Arts and Sciences as well as an Associate of Science in business administration. There is a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences, a Bachelor of Science in applied computing, a Bachelor of Science in business administration, and a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice.

Online graduate degree programs include Master of Science degrees in criminal justice, engineering, healthcare administration, integrated supply chain management, organizational change leadership, and project management. Each graduate student must either complete a thesis, a capstone project, or a seminar paper that must be approved by their program advisors.

9. Old Dominion University

best online colleges_Old_dominion_university

Score: 94.6

Average Net Price: $15,213
Retention Rate: 80%
Graduation Rate: 54%
ROI: $328,000

Located in Norfolk, Virginia, Old Dominion University is a public university with an enrollment of over 15,000 students. They rank 215th in national universities on U.S. News and World Report, and rates them as a B. The university was initially part of the College of William and Mary. Old Dominion is a major research university, housing the Center for Accelerator Science and the Virginia Modeling, Analysis, and Simulation Center. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Online undergraduate degree offerings include an extensive list of bachelor’s completion programs as well as fully online bachelor’s degrees. Bachelor’s completion programs include the umbrella fields of business, engineering, computer science, education, health sciences, psychology, and sociology. Bachelor’s degree programs are in communications, business, criminal justice, industrial technology, information systems and technology, psychology, and sociology.

Candidates in business degree or public health programs that are in their upper-undergraduate units can apply to begin taking their Master in Public Health or Master in Business Administration coursework in advance in an early-entry program.

The list of online graduate degree programs offered is exhaustive. There are several business, engineering, education, computer science, library science, nursing, public administration, and public healthcare graduate degrees. Unique are offerings in aerospace engineering, dental hygiene, and sports management.

10. Sam Houston State University

best online colleges_Sam_Houston_State_University

Score: 94.4

Average Net Price: $11,742
Retention Rate: 77%
Graduation Rate: 51%
ROI: $274,000

Located in Huntsville, Texas, Sam Houston State University has almost 15,000 undergraduate students. They are ranked in the second tier for online national universities by U.S. News, but their online graduate programs rate in the top 50 in the nation. Their online criminal justice graduate program is rated third in the country, and their online computer information technology graduate program is ranked 28th in the nation. gives them a B+. The acceptance rate for admission is 74 percent. Sam Houston is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Sam Houston prides itself on keeping the class sizes smaller in the online programs. Online undergraduate programs include a Bachelor of Criminal Justice, Business or Healthcare Administration, Homeland Security Studies, Nursing, Psychology, Sociology, Liberal Studies, and History.

The list of online master’s degree programs is extensive and includes some unique offerings. There are degree programs in the fields of business, communications, criminal justice, education, healthcare, homeland security, geographic information systems, kinesiology, library science, mathematics, political science, and public administration. Both doctoral degree options at SHSU are in education.

11. Butler University

best online colleges_Butler_University

Score: 93.8

Average Net Price: $38,051
Retention Rate: 89%
Graduation Rate: 79%
ROI: $278,000

Located in Indianapolis, Indiana, Butler is ranked tied for number one in the Midwest region in the U.S. News college rankings. Butler University has a student body of just over 4,000 with an acceptance rate of 65 percent. BU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and gives Butler a grade of A-.

Butler has created its first online degree program. It is titled “Master of Science in Risk and Insurance.” Students will be able to specialize in the risk management and insurance industry. They will take coursework on property and casualty, operating an insurance entity and employee benefits as well as MBA-type coursework.

Butler is also offering summer online and hybrid coursework for the summer of 2019. There are two terms for the summer session.

12. Ball State University

best online colleges_Ball_State

Score: 93.4

Average Net Price: $13,535
Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 68%
ROI: $158,000

Located in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State is ranked 171st best college nationally on U.S. News and World Report and 13th for both its online graduate nursing and online graduate MBA offerings. They accept 62 percent of applicants, bringing their student body to over 15,000. Their education degree programs have also received awards and accreditation for excellence in teacher preparation programs, and rates them with a B+. The Higher Learning Commission grants them regional accreditation.

There are three associate degree programs, an Associate of Arts degree, an Associate of Science in the field of criminal justice, and a hybrid radiography program available at BSU. Bachelor’s degrees offered online include those in applied behavioral analysis, business administration, criminal justice, early childhood education, general studies, logistics and supply chain management, and an RN to BSN program.

Graduate online offerings are more extensive at Ball State and include master’s degrees in the fields of education, business, psychology, mathematics, nursing, interior design, journalism and communications, and media design. Some of these offerings require some on-campus courses. There are three doctoral degrees in education with one doctoral degree that is in educational leadership.

13. Saint Mary’s College

best online colleges_Saint_Marys_California

Score: 92.8

Average Net Price: $26,664
Retention Rate: 84%
Graduation Rate: 79%
ROI: $190,000

Located in Moraga, California, St. Mary’s College is the oldest college on the West Coast. It is a private, Catholic college and has an enrollment of just over 2,600 students. It is ranked 8th in the West and 23rd best value by U.S. News. grades SMC at a B+. St. Mary’s is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.\

St. Mary’s of California offers a hybrid, online, executive MBA program that is rated by CEO Magazine as the 16th best MBA program in the world and the 2nd best MBA program in California. Contributing factors to this prestige are small class sizes and individualized teaching. Graduates are also encouraged to maintain ties that they forge within the program to help propel their careers.

14. Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville

best online colleges_Southern_Illinois_University_Edwardsville

Score: 92.2

Average Net Price: $15,090
Retention Rate: 73%
Graduation Rate: 49%
ROI: $302,000

Located in Edwardsville, Illinois, Southern Illinois University is a public university with a 90 percent admission acceptance rate, putting them at just under 10,000 students. Their U.S. News and World Report ranking for a college in the Midwest region is 72nd. They also ranked as the 72nd best value school in the nation and 45th as a great value for veterans. They are ranked as a B on The Higher Learning Commission accredits SIUE.

There are two online undergraduate programs offered at SIUE. There is an RN to BSN accelerated-degree program and another degree-completion program titled Leadership in Organizations. This program integrates the studies of business leadership, sociology, and psychology. Students learn about the dynamics of organizations and the theories and practices of business leadership. They will apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the program to real-life business problems.

Master’s degree online programs at SUIE include several business offerings, a few nursing programs, healthcare degrees, instructional technology, kinesiology, and criminal justice. There is a nursing doctoral program.

15. Simpson College

best online colleges_Simpson_College

Score: 92

Average Net Price: $22,511
Retention Rate: 80%
Graduation Rate: 68%
ROI: $151,000

Located in Indianola, Iowa, Simpson College is a private, Christian institution that is ranked as the 135th best liberal arts institution in the country by U.S. News. They have priced their coursework to be the most affordable in Iowa, and they provide advisors designed to make their institution veteran-friendly. places them as a B- grade. 1,280 students currently attend as undergraduates at SC, which is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.

Online degree programs at SC include bachelor’s degrees in business management, management information systems, and marketing communications. There is also a Master of Arts in criminal justice, which emphasizes the use of data interpretation to create ethical answers to the problems of crime in a social system. Students will learn how to effectively combine research skills and critical thinking to solve vexing social problems.

16. Azusa Pacific University

best online colleges_Azusa_Pacific_University

Score: 92

Average Net Price: $28,784
Retention Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 67%
ROI: $201,000

Located in Azusa, California, Azusa Pacific is a non-denominational, evangelical Christian university that has around 5,000 students. U.S. News ranks them as the 205th best university in the nation. Their admission acceptance rate is 60 percent. grades them as a B+. They are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

There is an Associate of Science degree for nurses getting ready for their BSN. The online bachelor’s degrees are all degree-completion programs, but the admission requirements for the Bachelor of Psychology and Bachelor of Business Administration only require 15 credits to have been completed before program entry. There are several master’s degrees in education and business sub-fields. Individual master’s programs are also available in screenwriting, interactive design, modern art history, public administration, nursing administration, healthcare administration, and music entrepreneurship.

There is also Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Rehabilitation and Movement Science degree programs. The latter program requires only two weeks on campus per year.

17. Eastern Kentucky University

best online colleges_Eastern_Kentucky_University

Score: 90.8

Average Net Price: $12,659
Retention Rate: 73%
Graduation Rate: 44%
ROI: $189,000

Located in Richmond, Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University is ranked 76th in the Southern region by U.S. News. They have just over 16,000 students and try to keep class sizes down to 16. They serve the eastern portion of Kentucky, mostly the Appalachians. Many of the student body is the first in their family to attend college, so they have devised many support services to help students succeed. grades them as a B. EKU has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Online associate degree programs at EKU include a general studies offering, a paramedic and a police studies program. There also is a paralegal associate degree that requires ten credits of on-campus coursework.

Online bachelor’s programs include accounting, business administration, child and family studies, communications, corrections and juvenile justice studies, criminal justice, fire and arson investigation, fire protection administration, homeland security, an RN to BSN program, occupational safety, paramedic and EMT studies, police studies, political science, psychology, risk management and insurance, sports management and social work. As with the associate degree, a bachelor’s degree is offered in paralegal studies, but one must attend ten credits of on-campus instruction.

There are nine master’s degree programs in education at EKU, including four in special education. They also offer master’s degrees in nursing, library, emergency management, public administration, justice, and industrial psychology.

18. Fort Hays State University

best online colleges_Fort_Hays_State_University

Score: 90.6

Average Net Price: $12,196
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 44%
ROI: $191,000

Located in Hays, Kansas, Fort Hays State University is a public university. Their student acceptance rate is 89 percent, bringing their student body to almost 6,000 students. They are rated in the second tier of Midwest regional colleges by U.S. News, and rates them as a B grade. The school prides itself on driving students toward entrepreneurial thinking and looking outside of the box. The Higher Learning Commission accredits FHSU.

FHSU offers a general Associate of Arts degree online as well as an associate degree with an applied technology concentration.

FHSU online bachelor’s degree offerings are impressive in their scope. There are fully 60 programs. Some of the more unusual offerings include bachelor’s degrees in agricultural business, business education, geology/GIS, health informatics, Spanish teacher education, addiction counseling, and tourism and hospitality management. There are also many of the usual bachelor’s degree offerings and an impressive number of business bachelor’s degree concentrations.

Their master’s program offerings are no less impressive. There are 60 master’s degrees offered in total at FHSU, and they offer around 12 different sub-specialties within their MBA programs and 13 different Master of Education sub-specialties. They offer master’s degrees in counseling and an eclectic variety of other master’s degrees. Their only doctoral program is in nursing.

19. Indiana University of Pennsylvania

best online colleges_Indiana_University_of_Pennsylvania

Score: 90.4

Average Net Price: $19,247
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 56%
ROI: $195,000

Located in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Indiana University of Pennsylvania is a public university with just under 10,000 students due to its 91 percent acceptance rate. IUP is in the second tier of the U.S. News and World Report national school rankings, and grades them a B-. They are a doctoral/research institution. They have for 16 consecutive years been rated as one of the country’s best colleges by the Princeton Review. They are accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

IUP has a bachelor’s degree-completion program that is in media communications. Their production coursework is offered online for the degree includes classes in documentary and basic photography and communication graphics.

There are online and hybrid master’s degree programs at IUP, as well. Fully online offerings include master’s degrees in criminology, management and labor relations, food and nutrition, health services administration, and nursing. There is a master’s track for elementary mathematics educators and one for secondary educators. U.S. News rates the criminology program in the top 10 online programs nationally. One of the hybrid offerings is an executive MBA program.

20. Hope International University

best online colleges_Hope_international_university

Score: 90.4

Average Net Price: $25,150
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 48%
ROI: $364,000

Located in Fullerton, California, Hope International University is a small, private Christian university. They accept only 28 percent of applicants and have less than 600 students. U.S. News rates them as the 77th ranked school in the Western region. ranks them as a B- and they are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

There is a general Associate of Arts degree program with a focus on the Bible, Christian values and ethics, and critical thinking. HIU also offers a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice and teacher preparation. The latter has a liberal arts focus. They also offer Bachelor of Science degrees in business administration, Christian ministry, and human development. The latter degree has five concentrations, all designed to prepare the student to work in counseling and other helping professions. HIU concentrates on behavioral psychology, family studies, community mental health and counseling, addiction studies, and graduate studies preparation.

21. Western Kentucky University

best online colleges_Western_Kentucky_University

Score: 90.2

Average Net Price: $11,817
Retention Rate: 70%
Graduation Rate: 43%
ROI: $216,000

Located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, Western Kentucky University is a public institution with a student body numbering almost 13,000. They are the 34th ranked Southern regional university by U.S. News and World Report, 24th best for veterans, 22nd best for teacher preparation, and gives them a grade of B-. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

WKU has an interdisciplinary associate program as well as a nursing associate program.

WKU’s online bachelor’s degree programs have been ranked in the top five in the nation by U.S. News for the past three years. There are two Bachelor of Arts, one in criminology and one in sociology. A Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies is also offered. Bachelor of Science offerings include computing, dental hygiene, engineering technology management, two family studies programs, healthcare information or administration, and three business administration programs.

There are 30 master’s degree programs that include a Master of Education and a Master of Teaching that has a concentration in special education. Master of Arts degrees are conferred online for criminology, history, mathematics, and organizational leadership. There is an MBA, an MPA, and an MPH program as well as an MSW. There are four master’s degree programs in recreation and sports administration.

22. Angelo State University

best online colleges_Angelo_State_University

Score: 90

Average Net Price: $11,742
Retention Rate: 67%
Graduation Rate: 37%
ROI: $217,000

Angelo State University offers certificates, undergraduate and graduate degree programs online, and a variety of online courses. US News and World Report ranked Angelo State as a tier 2, Best College in Regional Universities West in 2019, ranked Angelo State as the #46 Best Value College in Texas in 2019 with an overall grade of B-, and a rank of #59 for Most Conservative Colleges in America.

Angelo State Universities online programs have received numerous rankings from US News and World Report over the years with the most recent and most impressive being #43 in Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs, #40 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs for Veterans, and #88 in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.

Angelo State is a choice school for pre-med students with over 50 percent accepted into medical school, which is 15 percent higher than the statewide average. All graduates from this school’s Honors Program who applied to professional schools or graduate programs have been accepted. Angelo State students have maintained a 100 percent passing rate on the Texas teacher certification test for secondary mathematics.

23. High Point University

best online colleges_High_Point_University

Score: 89.4

Average Net Price: $39,101
Retention Rate: 79%
Graduation Rate: 63%
ROI: $189,000

Located in High Point, North Carolina, High Point University is a private institution that has an 81 percent acceptance rate, bringing their student body numbering over 4,000 students. They are ranked the top school in the Southern region by U.S. News. They are ranked the most innovative school in the country and 20th in terms of value by U.S. News. gives them a B grade. They emphasize a grounding in liberal arts for the undergraduate portion of a bachelor’s degree, and they have a rigorous honor’s program for students with a GPA of over 3.45. They are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

High Point offers summer online coursework in a session lasting from June through July. Students are allowed to take up to 12 credits online in the summer session, which is a bit smaller of a load than one would be able to take on campus. High Point emphasizes that summer session enrollment is smaller than for the regular school year so that students can expect smaller class sizes and better access to instructors.

24. California Baptist University

best online colleges_California_baptist_University

Score: 88.6

Average Net Price: $25,714
Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 59%
ROI: $103,000

Located in Riverside, California, California Baptist University is a private, Christian college that accepts 77 percent of applicants and has over 6,000 students. They are ranked 32nd by U.S. News for Western regional colleges and are ranked 7th for innovative programs. gives them a rating of B+. CBU is accredited by the Western Association for Schools and Colleges.

CBU has an impressive list of 40 online bachelor’s degree programs. Some of the more unique include one in business administration that has a concentration in logistics and operations. Other unique bachelor’s degree programs include ones in kinesiology, network administration and management, cybersecurity, graphic design and digital media, English and sports and fitness management.

Their online master’s offerings include five degrees in education, two in counseling psychology, two MBA concentrations, and other degrees in accounting, communication, information technology management, public administration, organizational leadership, kinesiology, and public health.

CBU offers doctorates in public administration and business administration.

25. Eureka College

best online colleges_Eureka_College

Score: 86.4

Average Net Price: $19,754
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 44%
ROI: $110,000

Located in Eureka, Illinois, Eureka is a private, Christian college that has less than 6oo students and admits 62 percent of its applicants. U.S. News ranked them 33rd in the Midwest region. EC emphasizes a liberal arts education, even in its professional program offerings. ranks them as a B- and The Higher Learning Commission has granted EC accreditation.

Although they do not offer online degrees, Eureka College has a unique means of helping struggling on-campus students. Students can take approved courses online at other institutions to make up failed classes. Eureka pays for the tuition differential that a more expensive course might cost at another institution. The idea has caught on, and now Eureka students who would like to accelerate their programs or add more credits in minors or other concentrations are also taking coursework at other online institutions that Eureka has pre-approved.

26. Valdosta State University

best online colleges_valdosta_state_university

Score: 86.2

Average Net Price: $13,978
Retention Rate: 69%
Graduation Rate: 37%
ROI: $116,000

Located in Valdosta, Georgia, Valdosta State University has over 7,000 students. They are a public university ranked by U.S. News in the second tier of national universities. They are ranked as a B- by and are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. VSU claims that Valdosta is one of the prettiest cities in the South.

Online bachelor’s degree programs at Valdosta include a Bachelor of Arts in French or Spanish language and literature, paralegal studies, and criminal justice. A unique bachelor’s degree is in human resources performance. There is a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in management. Bachelor of Science degrees are offered in office administration and technology or leadership of organizations.

Online master’s programs include an impressive array of concentrations in Master of Education degrees. Master’s degrees are also available online for criminal justice, nursing with a focus on mental health, an MBA with a healthcare administration emphasis, library science, and public administration.

Doctoral programs online at Valdosta include educational leadership and public administration.27. Adams State University

best online colleges_adams_state_campus

Score: 85.4

Average Net Price: $12,989
Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 29%
ROI: $84,000

Located in Alamosa, Colorado, Adams State University is a public university with only about 1,500 students that ranks in the second tier of Western regional universities by U.S. News and accepts 99 percent of their applicants with a C+ ranking with Their accreditation is from the Higher Learning Commission.

Adams State offers an online associate degree in business administration. They offer two bachelor’s degrees in business administration. Their Bachelor of Arts in sociology has two different concentrations – criminology or social work.

Adams State pioneered distance learning in Colorado, beginning with print-based distance coursework. They call their distance learning programs “extended learning.” These programs may be online, print-based, or through videos. Extended learning programs offered include general associate degrees as well as associate degrees in business or criminal justice administration and emergency management.

Bachelor’s degree extended study programs at Adams State include business administration degrees with different concentrations as well as bachelor’s degrees in English, government, history, interdisciplinary studies, and sociology. The criminology degree program has four focuses.

Graduate extended studies programs include master’s degrees include several education sub-specialties, counseling, humanities, and MBAs with four different concentrations.

28. Southwestern Assemblies of God University

best online colleges_southwestern_Assemblies_of_God

Score: 85.4

Average Net Price: $24,463
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 44%
ROI: $38,700

Located in Waxahachie, Texas, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university. It is Pentecostal in emphasis. U.S. News and World Report ranks it in the second tier of Western regional colleges. gives it a B as an overall grade. It only accepts 28 percent of applicants for admission.

SAGU has been providing distance learning for 25 years. The undergraduate list of online degree programs includes both associate degrees and bachelor’s degree programs in the fields of behavioral sciences and community services, Bible and ministry, business, education, English, general studies, history, interdisciplinary studies, and occupational leadership. Under each of these categories, there are often several individual programs. It is unclear which if any of the graduate programs are online.

29. Averett University

best online colleges_Averett_University

Score: 84.2

Average Net Price: $22,592
Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 40%
ROI: $128,000

Located in Danville, Virginia, Averett University is a private, Christian university with an enrollment acceptance of 61 percent and a student body of under 1,000 students that began as a women-only university. Today, it is coeducational. It is ranked 13th in the Southern region, 6th best for veterans, and 4th for the best value by U.S. News. gave them a rating of B-. Accreditation for Averett University is from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Averett offers an associate degree in business administration. Bachelor’s degree online offerings include a degree in sociology and criminal justice, business administration, and a leadership studies degree that offers minors in criminal justice, cybersecurity, homeland security, or sociology.

Master’s online programs at Averett include master’s degrees in accounting, an MBA with three concentrations, a master’s in education with four tracks, and new programs in applied data analytics and criminal justice.

30. Bluefield College

best online colleges_Bluefield_College

Score: 82.4

Average Net Price: $20,227
Retention Rate: 52%
Graduation Rate: 21%
ROI: $50,100

Located in Bluefield, Virginia, in the Appalachians, Bluefield College is a private, Christian college that has under 900 students. U.S. News and World Report have ranked Bluefield as 43rd in the Southern region. rates Bluefield as a C. They accept 91 percent of all applicants and are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Bluefield offers online bachelor’s degrees in business administration, criminal justice, early childhood education, human services, organizational leadership, cybersecurity, Christian ministry leadership, and an RN to BSN program.

For master’s candidates, Bluefield offers online MBAs, master’s in education, and nursing.

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