The best accredited online college is different for every applicant, so prospective students should be sure to figure out their academic priorities before applying to schools. Online schools are usually designed to give schedule flexibility to students who are employed or have other time constraints, so that they can work towards a degree for promotion in their field. To help prospective students on their search, there are a wide variety of national rankings of top online colleges and universities that use different methodologies for selecting the best schools. Our ranking of the Top 100 Best Online Colleges is based on the following methodology:
- Freshman Retention Rate, to ensure that schools are explaining their expectations and making resources available for students as soon as they are enrolled.
- Graduation Rate, to ensure that schools are providing engaging coursework and helpful advisors to help students finish their degree in the expected time frame.
- Average Net Price of Attendance, to ensure that schools are offering competitive price points per credit hour for their degrees.
- Overall Grade from Niche, to ensure that previous students and alumni were satisfied with their educational experience.
- Mid-Career Average Annual Pay, to ensure that graduates are achieving their professional expectations.
If these criteria are important priorities for your education, you will find a wide range of programs that meet them on our ranking. Some of the schools that ranked the highest on our list include:
- Georgia Institute of Technology: Coming in at the top spot in our ranking, Georgia Tech has over 40 years of experience in offering great educational experiences for distance learners. Their twelve different online Professional Education degrees are highly renowned for their ability to provide their graduates with professional job placement and promotion. As a public university, Georgia Tech offers great rates for in-state students, as tuition came out to $12,418 for the 2017-18 school year.
- University of California, Berkeley: Consistently ranked one of the top universities in the nation, UC Berkeley has pushed the envelope by offering their quality curriculum in over 20 majors in an online format. Regardless of whether students are taking classes online or on campus, in-state tuition came out to $14,170 for the 2017-18 school year, making it a great deal for top educational quality.
- University of Virginia: Founded in 1819 by former president Thomas Jefferson, UVA is a top public research university that has increased its online learning options, now offering 18 various undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates. Tuition for the 2017-18 school year came out to $16,853 for in-state students.
- Stanford University: Coming in at number four on our list, Stanford is one of the most prestigious universities in the country with over 45 online degree options for students to choose from. As a private university located near Silicon Valley, Stanford is one of the top choices for prospective students looking to enter the field of computer technology, making it one of the best online schools for computer savvy students. Tuition came out to $49,617 for the 2017-18 school year.
If any of the best online colleges that are featured on our list of Top 100 Best Online Colleges interests you, be sure to visit their school website to request more information.