Best Open Admission Colleges Online 2023
High school was a challenging time for everyone. If you were the kid that neglected to live up to your potential within those four formative years, you might have despaired of ever going to college. For many, academics aren’t a strong point, but career success often lies locked on the other side of a daunting four-year degree. If this sounds like your situation, you may be able to benefit from open enrollment.
When you apply for college, the admissions department looks at a 2.5-3 year segment of your life to determine whether you’re qualified to attend. Those three years may not paint the best picture of how determined and prepared you are to achieve your goals in a college setting. That’s where open admissions come in.
If you want to attend school without worrying about a commute, the online aspect of these institutions is where you’ll want to focus. These virtual platforms allow students more flexibility in their schedules, allowing higher education to fit easily into everyday life.
To help you achieve your future career, the school you earn your degree from must be recognized by an accrediting agency. After you narrow down your list of schools, be sure to research their accreditation at the site for CHEA and USDE Recognized accrediting organizations.
Open enrollment or open admissions colleges reduce their admission criteria to just a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Additional requirements are more streamlined: placement tests, application forms and fees, proof of high school graduation, and additional English proficiency testing for international students.
Generally speaking, community colleges retain open admissions, as their main goal is to make associate-level education accessible to all students. A few universities follow this same philosophy as well, in addition to some veteran-friendly schools that waive strict requirements.
If there are more applicants than there are seats, some schools may have limited space.
Related Programs That Might Interest YouLearn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Benefits of Open Enrollment
Enrolling in an open enrollment program can have several benefits. These schools are typically more affordable than those with more restrictive admissions policies. With open enrollment, the competitive component of the admissions process is practically nonexistent. In a sense, you don’t have to “pay” to compete before you even get to the classroom. When you don’t have to worry about which schools are going to reject or accept you based on your test scores, a lot of the anxiety involved in the application process goes away.
However, because the selection process is much more open, in-class competition isn’t as stiff either. Since open enrollment lacks the stringent academic requirements of other programs, your classmates may not be the most highly motivated individuals.
Many students in open-enrollment schools find that they actually thrive in a non-competitive environment where rivalry doesn’t exist between peers. A degree earned online from an accredited school is just as effective as a degree earned through traditional methods. Ultimately, it isn’t how long it takes for you to earn the degree, but what you get out of the experience that counts.
Without further ado, here are the top online colleges with open enrollment. These schools are ranked based on our own proprietary formulas and statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics.
Best Online Colleges with Open Admissions 2023
Four Year Universities
1. Metropolitan State University
Average Net Price: $16,044
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 57%
Salary After Attending: $56,402
Metropolitan State University is an urban public university that’s committed to serving the Twin Cities and the metropolitan area. The school provides quality education with a focus on creativity, critical thinking, and computational thinking. The U.S. News and World Report ranked MSU #8 in Top Performers on Social Mobility and #31 in Top Public Schools.
The Metropolitan State University of Minnesota offers a wide range of academic programs. The university has about 7,500 undergraduate students. The school boasts four campuses in the Twin Cities area. Metropolitan State University of Denver’s programs is designed to help students succeed in the real world. MSU offers over 50 undergraduate programs, over 25 graduate programs, and individualized degrees. Ideal for those who want to tailor their education according to personal interests.
2. Wayne State College
Average Net Price: $14,141
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 49%
Salary After Attending: $43,727
Wayne State College has been committed to the success of its students and local service for over 100 years. They’re best known for our friendly atmosphere, excellent academic records, successful graduates, and affordable tuition. Wayne State College’s total undergraduate enrollment is approximately 4,500 students. With a small student body, you can expect personalized attention from professors.
Wayne State University’s four academic schools are Arts and Humanities, Business and Technology, Education and Behavioral Sciences, and Science, Health, and Criminal Justice. The university’s academic schools offer more than 130 programs of study and 55 minors, at different levels. You can choose between bachelor’s, master’s, and education specialist degrees which all cover a variety of topics. The most popular undergraduate programs are in business administration, elementary education, pre-professional programs, criminal justice, and industrial technology.
3. Bellevue University
Average Net Price: $17,288
Retention Rate: 66%
Graduation Rate: 50%
Salary After Attending: $56,762
Located in the very heart of Nebraska, Bellevue University operates as a top-tier institution of post-secondary education, offering online curricula in over 80 different degree programs and a high post-graduate salary average. Its courses enable students to work full-time while pursuing their education, featuring flexible hours and 24/7 online technical support. Bellevue University operates as a non-profit institution, with all tuition fees allocated towards the preservation and advancement of exceptional education standards.
Bellevue’s generous transfer policy is one of its more remarkable features, allowing students who are unable to finish school due to extraneous circumstances to apply their existing credits to their Bellevue education. Bellevue professors are known to be friendly and helpful, and the majority of BU students report that class workloads are entirely manageable.
4. Utah Valley University
Average Net Price: $9,955
Retention Rate: 66%
Graduation Rate: 38%
Salary After Attending: $52,096
Utah Valley University‘s roots can be traced back to its humble beginnings as a vocational school. The institution progressed from a technical school to a community college, and ultimately emerged as the largest public university in Utah. They combine the rigor and academic quality that is expected from a prestigious teaching university with openness and vocational programs. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 41, 728 and admissions are selective. The university provides 91 undergraduate programs and boasts a favorable student-to-faculty ratio of 24:1.
UVU offers over 200 degrees to fit your career goals. And with options that range from certificates to graduate school, there’s something for everyone. Utah Valley University provides students with a wide range of undergraduate and graduates degrees. You can earn degrees in business and management, nursing, education, criminology, psychology, or a plethora of other studies. The University of Utah Valley strives to provide hands-on learning opportunities for students. You can participate in internships, fieldwork, and research.
5. New Mexico Highlands University
Average Net Price: $9,518
Retention Rate: 59%
Graduation Rate: 39%
Salary After Attending: $36,696
New Mexico Highlands University is a unique public university that can be found in Las Vegas, NM. They have a small undergraduate population, with 2,787 students enrolled in total. The admission process is selectively making this a more competitive institution to get into. The primary objective of NSMU is to create your experience to be full of creativity, critical thinking, and research. This is achieved by assembling a diverse community of learners from varied backgrounds.
New Mexico Highlands University offers a wide range of degrees including 38 bachelor’s degrees. The school’s graduation rate is 22% and the student-to-teacher ratio is a healthy 13:1. NMHU has a wide variety of programs for every level of student- beginner or long-time learner. Whether you prefer academic pursuits, meeting new people, or seeking hands-on experiences to swiftly enter the workforce, NMHU offers a range of options to cater to your needs.
6. Granite State College
Average Net Price: $13,725
Retention Rate: 43%
Graduation Rate: 42%
Salary After Attending: $42,509
Granite State College offers a 100% online option for learning and offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in fields like business, healthcare, public safety, communications, technology, liberal arts, and education. The U.S. News and World Report named it among the Best Online Bachelor’s programs in 2022. The school also merited a CCNE accreditation for nursing. Aside from nursing and teaching, GSC’s online certificate programs are available in all fifty states.
Niche.com awarded Granite State College an overall grade rating of ‘C+‘, with its lowest ratings in the categories of campus and student life (neither of which are likely to affect an online student’s experience). Statistically, the majority of students described their GSC experience as good, with excellent coming in a close second. Notably, GSC is marketed toward adult learners, as it is specifically equipped to aid them in balancing school with everyday responsibilities.
7. Utah Tech University
Average Net Price: $14,459
Retention Rate: 58%
Graduation Rate: 40%
Salary After Attending: $40,846
Utah Tech University is a highly reputable public university, located in the St. George area of Utah. The school is home to 12,000 students but keeps an average student-faculty ratio of 25:1. UT students learn in a variety of ways, both inside and outside the classroom. They get to try out new things, explore different disciplines and forge connections with faculty members and players in their future careers. The UT experience has your back as you go on to lead a meaningful life.
Utah Tech University is proud to have an acceptance rate of 100% because they understand the importance of all individuals gaining a stellar education. Utah Tech offers 77 undergraduate degrees, four masters, and 56 certificates and endorsements. UT’s instructors come from all around the world and are experts in their respective fields. They offer students exceptional learning opportunities and great success rates. Students can earn a degree in subjects like dental hygiene, family studies, healthcare diagnostics, biological sciences, and so much more!
8. Liberty University
Average Net Price: $29,382
Retention Rate: 81%
Graduation Rate: 34%
Salary After Attending: $42,394
Liberty University is an accredited online Christian institution that offers a variety of online degrees in addition to its divinity and theology programs. Their virtual format supports everything from associate’s to doctoral degrees and supports 71% of the student body. Liberty takes pride in having been a “leader in distance learning for over 30 years.” The school operates several accelerated eight-week programs that allow students to enroll at a time most convenient for them.
Niche.com awarded the school an overall grade rating of ‘A-‘ for diversity, student life, and academics. It is also the 3rd most conservative college in America, an aspect that is likely to be noticed primarily on the physical campus. Students give Liberty professors a grade rating of four stars overall with three-quarters of their reviews being ‘very good and ‘excellent’.
9. Cameron University
Average Net Price: $8,421
Retention Rate: 67%
Graduation Rate: 23%
Salary After Attending: $36,869
Cameron University is a small community-based university. Cameron University opened their doors back in 1909, they’ve been growing ever since to now having an enrollment of over 6,000 students. The university offers more than 40 bachelor’s degrees. In all these degree programs, Cameron University offers a learning environment that encourages innovative teaching methods and experiential learning. Professors and staff hope to enable you to explore your academic interests and excel in your chosen fields.
The university’s goal is to empower students to become valuable members of their future communities. Whether you’re looking for an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, Cameron has the right one just for you. Make lifelong learning and meaningful contributions to the region, state, nation, and world at Cameron University. The university has 6 undergraduate schools of study and 5 graduate schools. A few of the schools include Department of Military Science, Dempartment of Chemistry/Physics/Engineering, Department of Pyschology, and the Department of Sports Science to name a few.
10. Grand Canyon University
Average Net Price: $20,585
Retention Rate: 71%
Graduation Rate: 37%
Salary After Attending: $39,783
Grand Canyon University is a Christian institution that aims to provide flexible, affordable education to everyone who seeks it. The university’s wide variety of degrees and certificate programs include studies in theology and ministry, as well as health care, communications, and more. GCU fosters connections with employers and businesses around the country, working with them to provide scholarships and grant opportunities to online students. As an institution, GCU is also widely known to accommodate military service members.
Niche.com ranks Grand Canyon University at #33 among the best online colleges in America. The university received an overall grade rating of ‘B-,’ with diversity being one of its highest-ranking categories. 74% of their nearly 20,000 students attends online classes. Across the board, students rate professor effort very highly, with 18% of their student reviews being average, 36% being very good, and 42% being excellent.
11. University of Maryland Global Campus
Average Net Price: $15,395
Retention Rate: 53%
Graduation Rate: 28%
Salary After Attending: $55,598
The University of Maryland Global Campus offers a variety of online options to help working adults pursue their education while managing everyday responsibilities. UMGC operates through 140 different campus locations around the world, offering more than 90 certificates and degrees, as well as a plethora of scholarship opportunities. Notably, the college’s free digital class materials cut down the cost of textbooks significantly.
Overall, the school has a reputation for administering stimulating programs that equip students with marketable, real-world skills. Most of students rate their education as very good and describe their experience as either excellent or average. Graduates of UMGC generally agree that the institution upholds higher academic standards in comparison to other online colleges. However, for those willing to invest the effort, the benefits and rewards are indeed worthwhile.
12. National University
Average Net Price: $20,722
Retention Rate: 53%
Graduation Rate: 34%
Salary After Attending: $62,885
National University is a veteran-founded, nonprofit school with 28 locations all across California and Nevada. National University was founded by veterans for military students from all branches of the armed services–at home, on base, and abroad, an aspect that distinguishes it from its fellow institutions. The university features one-month classes specifically designed for military students. These classes are available online, on-campus, and at over a dozen military bases across the country. National University has a niche for everyone and offers more than 130 different online degrees from the associate’s to the master’s level, all of which will set you on the right track for your future.
13. Western New Mexico University
Average Net Price: $13,679
Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 32%
Salary After Attending: $33,938
Western New Mexico University is a public institution in Silver City, NM. Today WNMU has more than 3,500 students and an average class size of 18 students. The U.S. News and World Report ranked the university #102 in Top Performers on Social Mobility and tied in Top Public Schools.
Western New Mexico University is committed to building your knowledge and skills for the future, and has a selection of programs that are suited for all sorts of people. From foundation degrees for those looking to get their foot in the door, to highly regarded professional qualifications, WNMU is where success starts. The school has received accreditation from Higher Learning Commission. Upon completing the courses, you will be prepared to face challenges you will probably encounter in the workforce. The courses provide an academically rigorous experience at an affordable price.
14. Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs
Average Net Price: $17,203
Retention Rate: 46%
Graduation Rate: 24%
Salary After Attending: $35,877
Colorado Technical University prioritizes putting you on your desired degree track without putting your whole life on hold. The school’s credit transfer policy helps students obtain fast certifications, and their credit-earning preliminary tests gauge what students already know, regardless of where they learned it. This CTU fast track saves students up to 30% of the time and money that might have been spent on unnecessary classes.
According to Niche.com, CTU earns an overall grade rating of ‘C+.’ All of their students study entirely online, and 77% are employed within two years of graduation. The majority of students describe their CTU experience as excellent, with very good coming in second.
15. Baker College
Average Net Price: $12,575
Retention Rate: 55%
Graduation Rate: 22%
Salary After Attending: $32,217
Baker College offers more than 50 degree and certificate programs, all 100% online. As a not-for-profit university, it offers a lower price than many of its competitors, earning a place among the most affordable online colleges with open admissions in the country. Baker prides itself on accessibility. Students are able to access course material with any internet-capable smart device purchased in the past two years. It also aims to help students find lasting careers after they graduate. So if your goal is to be employed immediately after graduation, Baker College may be a good option for you.
Niche.com awards Baker College an overall grade rating of ‘C-,’ with some of its lowest points falling under campus quality, party scene, location, and student life, all of which are unlikely to impact online learners. With some of its strongest points under the categories of professors and diversity, it’s no surprise that the majority of students reviewed their experience as very good.
16. Strayer University- Virginia
Average Net Price: $23,189
Retention Rate: 43%
Graduation Rate: 25%
Salary After Attending: 43,590
Strayer University emphasizes affordability and student-driven learning. Most attendees are able to enroll in at least five free classes, and bachelor’s students are provided with Microsoft laptops to help them make the most of their coursework. Strayer offers everything from associate’s degrees all the way up to master’s-level programs. To make education more affordable, the Strayer Graduation Fund enables students to take one free class in their final year for every three classes they’ve passed up to that point.
Student reviews for Strayer University aren’t as plentiful as those for some of the other institutions on this list, but of the few available, the majority report high satisfaction with their Strayer experience. Reviews reflect the responsiveness of the school’s staff, especially lauding Strayer professors for being good motivators and going the extra mile to help students succeed.
Two Year Colleges
1. Lewis and Clark Community College
Average Net Price: $6,972
Retention Rate: 67%
Graduation Rate: 44%
Salary After Attending: $34,546
Lewis and Clark Community College is a higher education institution with multiple campuses and about 12,000 enrolled students annually. It has been recognized as one of the state’s best community colleges and offers low tuition rates. Niche.com ranked Lewis and Clark #3 in Best Community Colleges in Illinois.
Lewis and Clark Community College’s long list of programs is designed to meet the needs of a diverse student population. They offer everything from GED programs and high school partnerships to transfer opportunities as well as many other degree/certificate options. LCCC works hard to provide a close-knit learning environment with small class sizes. You’ll get one-on-one attention from teachers and the opportunity to interact with your fellow students on group projects and research.
2. Oconee Fall Technical College
Average Net Price: $2,095
Retention Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 41%
Salary After Attending: $27,218
Oconee Fall Technical College is a public two-year institution of higher education located in Sandersville, Georgia. One of the many missions of Oconee Fall Line Technical College is to contribute to the economic and workforce development in the region by providing quality technical and continuing education, adult education, and business services.
Oconee Fall Line Technical College offers a range of programs for people to study and earn qualifications. You can get an Associate Degree, an Associate of Applied Science Degree, a Diploma or a Technical Certificate of Credit. These programs help you gain hands-on experiences that will give you the knowledge, skills, and attitudes you need to be successful.
3. West Kentucky Community and Technical College
Average Net Price: $5,679
Retention Rate: 66%
Graduation Rate: 42%
Salary After Attending: $30,294
West Kentucky Community and Technical College is part of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and offers two-year degree programs. It’s located in Paducah, Kentucky. It has a 100% acceptance rate and provides a variety of opportunities. All the programs at WKCTC are flexible and easy to tailor to your needs.
West Kentucky Community and Technical College is home to a variety of degree programs – from degrees in computer information technology, surgical technology, and criminal justice to certificates in visual communications. WKCTC is known to provide study abroad options as well as an online format for classes. Niche ranks WKCTC among the top 10 in Kentucky. They receive a B- for academics and safety, as well as an A for student life. The facilities are great, the faculty is talented and small class sizes adds to its convenience and affordability.
4. Coastal Pines Technical College
Average Net Price: $791
Retention Rate: 59%
Graduation Rate: 44%
Salary After Attending: $26,711
Coastal Pines Technical College is a two-year tech school in Jacksonville, North Carolina. The college started in 2014 to meet the growing needs of the region. Today, it offers Associate degrees, certificate programs and other vocational training for you to choose from. Coastal Pines Technical received a grade rating of ‘B’ from Niche.com for their safety and professors.
Coastal Pines offers 150+ programs, many of which are available online, making it easier for you to earn an education even with a busy schedule. The school also provides helpful continuing education courses for the general public. These include GED preparation, computer skills training, and other courses that prepare the you for work or can be transferred to a four-year college or university.
5. Ohio University- Eastern Campus
Average Net Price: $7,166
Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 27%
Salary After Attending: $47,145
Ohio University-Eastern Campus is a public university in the Eastern Ohio region. It was founded in 1957 and it is located in the city of Saint. Clairsville, Ohio. Ohio University Eastern has a robust, convenient program of associate and bachelor’s degrees that also offers opportunities for continuing education. You can study in small classes with renowned faculty. This school is determined to enhance your physical, emotional, and professional well-being by providing plentiful cultural experiences.
From its campus in Saint Clairsville Ohio, Ohio University-Eastern Campus provides 121 program options for students. They have ensured that their programs are of a top-quality and include rigorous material. Ohio University thinks that the hands-on experience they provide will make you well suited to meet the demands of today’s competitive job market.
6. Copiah Lincoln Community College
Average Net Price: $3,833
Retention Rate: 68%
Graduation Rate: 34%
Salary After Attending: $29,064
Copiah Lincoln Community College is a public two-year college located in Wesson, Mississippi. The College provides learning opportunities to students, as well as lifelong learners and the community. Students at Copiah Lincoln Community College are encouraged to develop their own goals and aspirations in order to become successful, contributing members of society.
Copiah-Lincoln Community College offers a wide range of both general and degree programs for freshman and sophomore level students. These courses are comparable to the courses taught at universities and will transfer to public colleges in Mississippi, as per the MATT agreement, which has been effective in Mississippi for many years. You can study education, humanities, social science, fine arts, math and more here.
7. Florida National University
Average Net Price: $20,296
Retention Rate: 78%
Graduation Rate: 53%
Salary After Attending: $29,148
Florida National University is dedicated to its motto of “opening doors to the future,” and the university certainly delivers on that promise. Like Bellevue, it offers both physical and online classes, and students can earn their associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees in everything from nursing to law. Unfortunately for remote students, some of the physical campus amenities (writing lab, library, etc.) are unavailable in a virtual format. FNU provides plenty of scholarship options to reduce the burden of tuition costs on students.
According to Niche.com, Florida National University earned an overall grade rating of ‘C-‘, ranking high in safety and party scene. Students give the school four stars out of five, with the largest portion of reviewers describing their experience as very good or excellent.
8. Stanley Community College
Average Net Price: $5,533
Retention Rate: 62%
Graduation Rate: 29%
Salary After Attending: $30,152
Stanley Community College is a two-year community college in North Dakota. The school offers associate degrees and certificate programs to students in the region. Stanley Community College works hard to fulfill the learning requirements of the community it serves. The school creates learning opportunities that are tailored to the changing needs of society. SCC promotes your economic, social, and cultural well-being.
Stanley Community College has a total enrollment of 2,545. Students can earn 15 different degrees or certificates. Some popular programs are Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities, Health Professions and Related Programs, or Education. The teachers at this school are knowledgeable and always willing to help students with their assignments.
9. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College
Average Net Price: $1,978
Retention Rate: 56%
Graduation Rate: 33%
Salary After Attending: $26,321
Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is a higher education college in Valdosta, Georgia. The college hosts 4,773 students. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is a two-year institution which means the highest degree you can earn is an associate’s.
The open admissions policy at this school allows students to earn credit for granted life experience. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College is dedicated to education and the advancement of knowledge.
10. Clovis Community College- New Mexico
Average Net Price: $5,411
Retention Rate: 63%
Graduation Rate: 21%
Salary After Attending: $27,732
At Clovis Community College, the dedicated professors go the extra mile to give you the essential skills to succeed in your future profession. This is a two-year community college in New Mexico started its first classes in 1969. Today, more than 3,000 students attend Clovis Community College.
Niche.com ranked Clovis Community College #5 in Best Community Colleges in New Mexico. The college offers 22 degree and certificate programs with nine being offered completely online. Programs offered by the school include everything from Automotive Technology and Computer Information Systems to Early Childhood Education and Nursing.
11. Salem University
Average Net Price: $21,492
Retention Rate: 40%
Graduation Rate: 31%
Salary After Attending: $32,796
Located in West Virginia, Salem University was originally founded by the Seventh-day Baptist Church in 1888. Since then, the school has developed high-quality degree programs with strong roots in the liberal arts. Salem has had 130 years to perfect its craft–a Salem degree is designed to provide the insight, knowledge, and skills necessary to get ahead in the professional world. If you’re someone that has difficulty multitasking, then this is definitely the school for you. Salem’s unique one-course-per-month format allows you to focus on one class at a time and move forward at an accelerated pace. Salem University offers a wide range of online degrees from the associate to doctorate level spanning multiple disciplines.
9 Best Open Enrollment Colleges Online 2022
|1. Bellevue University|
|2. Florida National University|
|3. Grand Canyon University|
|4. baker college|
|5. Granite State College|
|6. Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs|
|7. Liberty University|
|8. University of Maryland University College|
|9. Strayer University|