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Accreditted Online Colleges

Want to know where to go to college in your state? We've got you covered! Our state pages compile data for every accredited college in the nation. Use these guides to learn what online programs are offered in your state and details about each college.

accreditted online colleges

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Chances are, if you are considering higher education in this day and age, you have encountered just as many online learning options as traditional programs throughout your research. As college-age students are among the most adept at using technology for nearly every other aspect of their daily lives, it only makes sense that accredited online colleges would ramp up distance education efforts geared toward this demographic. Online programs have become increasingly diverse and have continued to gain respect among educational institutions in recent years. A 2015 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group concluded that the number of higher education students taking at least one distance education course increased by 3.9% since the previous year, especially at private non-profit institutions.

As schools and students embrace the idea of online learning, more and more employers are following suit; programs do not differentiate between degrees awarded by online accredited colleges and traditional campus universities. Just like degrees completed on campus, online programs offer access to the same high-quality instructors, resources, and course materials, but with the added convenience of flexible scheduling that allows students to meet their work and family obligations uninterrupted. Graduates of accredited online universities are eligible for the same top career opportunities and increased salaries as their campus counterparts, in any field or discipline.

Educational accreditation is a form of quality assurance that evaluates services and operations provided by educational institutions. If the external accreditation agency is satisfied that the institution meets its stringent quality standards, the school will receive official accreditation. While there are various types of accreditation, the process of pursuing accreditation of any kind requires a serious commitment on the part of the institution; completing this lengthy and involved process ensures that a school is worthy of achieving the approval of a national or regional accrediting agency. Confirming that your school or program is properly accredited is crucial when researching your education options, and should be at the top of your list of important considerations.

Any college or university worth its salt will be accredited by a national or regional agency. While it may seem confusing that a school can be deemed equally legitimate with either type of accreditation, this is simply because there are different governing agencies and several different types of accreditation; what is best-suited to one institution or program may not be right for another. That being said, regional accreditation is older, more stringent, and tends to be more respected, as the designation is awarded by only six regional bodies to schools within in a particular section of the U.S. Most nationally accredited institutions will accept credit from regionally or nationally accredited institutions, though regionally accredited schools often do not accept credit from nationally accredited institutions.

Types of accreditation can apply to a whole institution (such as regional accreditation) or a specific degree program, department, or discipline. While institutional accreditation should be a given when researching any school, programmatic accreditation may be particularly important for certain fields of study. Read on for more information on all types of programs offered at accredited online colleges:

Specialized/Program AccreditationWhile entire institutions can earn regional or national accreditation to ensure that the school as a whole meets educational standards, specific departments and degree programs may also pursue specialized educational accreditation. Accreditation for a specific program is carried out by organizations that employ experts on the topic and look at the curriculum of the department or degree program, examining whether it keeps up with current developments in the field and make sure that, where necessary, the school has appropriate laboratory equipment or field experience opportunities.

The Department of Education (DOE) is the arm of the federal government designated to oversee accreditation in the U.S. While the DOE itself does not award accreditation, it does authorize federally recognized accreditation agencies to carry out the process and enforce national standards on its behalf. The DOE maintains a comprehensive database of postsecondary institutions and programs that have received institutional and/or specialized or programmatic accreditation through its national and regional agencies.

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation is the international equivalent of the DOE. Partnered with the CHEA International Quality Group (CIQG), the organization advocates the same standards in high-level academics and accreditation as the DOE through self-regulation at postsecondary institutions around the world. Like the DOE, the CHEA provides a way to standardize best practices in higher education and provides an authoritative voice to help students choose a top-quality program in a global location.

As the digital world has grown up around us in all aspects of our lives, attitudes towards online education have turned increasingly positive in recent years. In fact, enrollment numbers show college students today are accepting and embracing online learning in full force; the major increase in student enrollment growth in 2015 (especially among two-year colleges) was attributed to distance education, even as overall college student enrollment wavered during that time. As colleges and universities continue to expand their online offerings and develop innovative programs for distance students, online learning gains more and more respect in the U.S.

Who Can Apply: LGBTQIA undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full time at a four-year accredited college or university in the United States.Amount: Varies each yearURL: is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

The pandemic fundamentally changed the college experience for many. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the number of undergrads exclusively enrolled in online college courses jumped from 2.4 million to 7.0 million between 2019 and 2020.

Today, more and more students see online education as the most pragmatic path to career readiness. And with new online programs popping up everywhere, it's important to pick the right online university for the job.

The University of Florida secures the top spot on our list this year thanks to its strong student outcomes, affordability, and excellent online program offerings. UF offers top-tier academics, a 17-to-1 student-to-staff ratio, Division I sports (go Gators!), and many cutting-edge research facilities.

A self-described "university for professionals," Golden Gate University is a great choice for working adults looking to boost their careers. You can choose from online, weekend, and evening classes. GGU is known for its high-quality curriculum, small class sizes, strong career placement support, and robust alumni network. The school is also committed to removing financial barriers to education, with most students receiving financial aid.

Union Institute & University is a private university in Cincinnati, Ohio, that offers 100% online and hybrid options. You can pursue degrees in business and leadership, education, healthcare and mental wellness, or public service and social justice.

The University of Central Florida is a large public research university based in the suburbs of Orlando, Florida. The school offers more than 220 degree programs across 13 colleges. Popular majors for UCF undergrads include psychology, computer science, biology, health sciences, and mechanical engineering.

Florida International University is a public university with campuses in North Miami and West Miami-Dade County. The school offers more than 190 degree programs and certificates, with over 130 available online.

Thomas Edison State University is a public university in Trenton, New Jersey. You can choose from more than 100 undergraduate, graduate, and professional certificate options, most of which are also available online.

The University of Missouri is a public university in Columbia, Missouri. It operates as the flagship campus of the four-campus University of Missouri System. The school offers more than 280 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including over 75 online degrees.

Excelsior University (previously Excelsior College) is a private online university in Albany, New York. It offers more than 35 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in business, health sciences, nursing, technology, liberal arts, and public service.

The Lifelong Learning Network is built with flexibility in mind. You can choose from online, in-person, and hybrid learning channels. Each credential can stand alone or be built into a future degree. You have the opportunity to develop a customized career plan, receive professional support, study an industry-aligned curriculum, and join a large global network of alumni and peers.

The University of North Dakota is the state's oldest and largest public university. It's located in the city of Grand Forks. The school offers more than 225 academic programs. Nearly 40% of UND students attend classes exclusively online.

Oregon State University is one of only two designated land-, sea-, space-, and sun-grant universities in the country. This quadruple honor acknowledges that Oregon State is at the forefront of research projects that address society's most urgent challenges, including climate change. And online students are a part of that effort as well: Oregon State offers some of the best online programs in environmental science, computer science, and horticulture (to name just a few). 041b061a72


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