Top 25 Online Schools in 2011

Our top degree pages for different areas of study have been well-received so we thought it would be helpful to come up with a ranking of top online schools.

1. UMassOnline

UMassOnline is the clear number one online institution from our research because of its reputation, selection of degrees, and competitive pricing.

The flagship campus of University of Massachusetts is in Amherst, but this tier one university (according to U.S. News & World Report) also has four additional campuses. The school offers 100 online degrees and certificates in various fields such as education, liberal arts, business, public health, nursing, and information technology.

As the online gateway to University of Massachusetts, UMassOnline is accredited by many different leading agencies including AACSB for business programs, ABET for engineering programs, CSAB for information technology programs, NASAD for the arts management program, NCATE for education programs, and CCNE for nursing programs.

The UMass campus faculty teaches all of the 1,500 plus online courses and any degree conferred by UMassOnline is identical to a degree earned on any of the physical campuses.

As an online student, you can take advantage of the university system’s major library collections. Many of the library’s extensive holdings are available online and you can also contact the librarians for assistance.

The school also provides an option for blended learning, allowing you to mix online coursework with campus classes. Blended learning is a useful alternative for programs that require hands-on, practical experience, like nursing.

Sample degree costs:

Associate of Science in Information Technology: $20,520

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology: $41,080
Bachelor of Business Administration: $57,360

Master of Business Administration: $23,640
Master of Education in Instructional Design: $16,020

2. Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers undergraduate and graduate certificates and degrees in over 50 programs. Its business programs have received accreditation by the European Council for Business Education (ECBE), a recognition given to only a few programs in the United States. The school is also accredited by ACBSP.

SNHU also recently received a tier one school ranking from U.S. News and World Report in 2011, two ranks higher than 2010, when it was a tier three school.

Over 95 percent of its graduates gain employment upon graduation and its special partnership with the Navy gives military personnel access to higher education.

You can expect to receive attention from a helpful, student-focused staff. You will have access to advisors, a bookstore, library resources and tutoring. The virtual software called Blackboard has online and phone support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The SNHU online classes are small with an average of 20 students per class. About 2000 online students are enrolled at SNHU. The school recognizes the need for academic advising in areas including program evaluations, course selection and registration, CLEP testing, courses outside SNHU, and changes in majors or minors.

Financial aid is also available, with ninety percent of students taking advantage of financial assistance in the form of work-study, commuter and academic scholarships, loans and need-based grants. Also, SNHU has low tuition rates compared to most online schools. Undergraduate classes are only $302 per semester credit hour and most graduate courses are $591 per credit hour. Unlike many colleges who raised their prices, SNHU announced a tuition freeze for undergrad degrees in the 2010-2011 school year.

Sample degree costs:

Bachelor of Arts – Psychology: $36,240
Bachelor of Science – Accounting/Finance: $36,240

Master of Business Administration: $23,049
Master of Fine Arts – Nonfiction: $25,570

3. Liberty University Online

Liberty University was ranked a competitive college in Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges and is one of the most transfer friendly universities according to U.S. News & World Report.

Liberty has an enrollment of over 15,000 online students and yet offers small class sizes. The undergraduate classes have an average of 25 students while the average graduate class size is 20.

With a tuition rate of $295 per semester credit hour, Liberty’s prices are among the lowest in online learning. Total tuition for bachelor programs is less than $36,000 and less than $20,000 for the MBA and $16,000 for the Master of Science in Nursing.

Liberty offers more than 90 areas of specialization in 40 degree programs ranging from associate degrees all the way up to the doctoral level. Areas of study include education, nursing, business, criminal justice, counseling, and Christian ministry.

The School of Education is accredited by NCATE and the nursing programs are accredited by CCNE.

78% of the students return to enroll for more school instead of switching schools or dropping. 51% of them complete their programs and earn their degrees. Almost a third of the students are military active-duty members, veterans or spouses.

Liberty’s courses are offered in eight-week modules. In addition to 24/7 online access to academic, library, and technical resources, Liberty offers resources for spiritual counseling and prayer.

In U.S. News and World Report’s new 2011 school rankings, Liberty’s ranking rose to tier two status. It had previously been a tier four institution.

Sample degree costs:

Associate of Arts in Management Information Systems: $17,700

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: $35,400
Bachelor of Science in Psychology: $35,400

Master of Business Administration: $19,125
Master of Science in Nursing – Acute Care: $15,300

Doctor of Education: $27,300

4. Western Governors University

An article published by Time recognized Western Governors University (WGU), an accredited and exclusively online university, as “the best relatively cheap university you’ve never heard of.”

WGU has a flat rate, affordable tuition plan that allows you to finish as much of your program each term as you can manage. Instead of the traditional, credit earning system, you progress by finishing evaluations in the form of assignments, tests and papers which measure aptitude and comprehension.

Competency Units (CUs), which are comparable to credits, are acquired by successfully completing the evaluations. If you focus enough time and energy to understanding a subject, you can acquire CUs quicker than the regular course method. In addition, if you are already proficient in a subject, you can finish the related course quickly.

The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) awarded WGU with the Best Practices in Distance Learning award because of its web technology. It also honored WGU as the first national online university to offer a competency-based curriculum, recognizing its success in delivering higher education to employed adults.

Well-known organizations like Microsoft, Oracle, and Google comprise the National Advisory Board. Such businesses endorse WGU, seeing that WGU graduates have pertinent skills needed in the job arena.

WGU excels in education degrees. It is the only fully online school in the nation accredited by NCATE.

Also, WGU has CCNE accreditation for its nursing programs.

Sample degree costs:

Bachelor of Arts in Special Education (K-12): $24,120
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology: $23,120

Master of Business Administration: $13,000
Master of Science in Nursing – Leadership and Management: $16,250

5. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University is one of the cheapest online schools in the nation with tuition rates that are usually lower than the military tuition of other schools. From Fall 2010 to Summer 2011, the rates are $170 per semester hour for undergraduates, $229.50 per hour for graduate students, and $400 per hour for MBA students.

Through its Virtual College, Fort Hays State offers more than 30 online programs in the associate, bachelor, and master level. In addition, you can work toward a Doctorate in Business through a partnership program or pursue various professional certifications.

Fort Hays State has an enrollment of close to 6,000 students and is a tier two school on U.S. News & World Report’s latest college rankings.

The campus faculty teaches all online courses and the Virtual College is accredited by CCNE for the nursing programs and NCATE for the education programs.

Fort Hays State has a strong partnership with the United States military. The school was named one of the Top Military Friendly Colleges and Universities in both 2008 and 2009. Fort Hays State works with each branch of the military to create educational programs tailored to soldiers and sailors alike. Plus, the low rates makes the school one of the most affordable options for military members.

Fort Hays State offers online tutoring, online assistance for academic planning, and extensive career placement assistance through its Career Services division. All of these services are free to students.

Sample degree costs:

Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies: $21,080
Bachelor of Science in Information Networking and Telecommunication – Computer Networking: $21,080

Master of Business Administration in Leadership: $13,600
Master of Science in Education: $7,573

6. American Military University

Don’t be fooled by the school name. American Military University (AMU) is open to civilians too. Plus, civilians get the same low rate in tuition as military members. For example, the undergrad degrees are priced at $250 per semester credit hour. At most other online schools, this rate is only offered to military members.

AMU provides higher education for students interested in professional or liberal arts degrees. Along with the common fields of study like criminal justice, business, education, and psychology, AMU also offers unique programs in emergency and disaster management, homeland security, and strategic intelligence. In total, AMU has a selection of over 70 undergraduate and graduate programs to choose from.

To further lower costs for its students, AMU started a book grant so that undergraduate students would not need to pay for textbooks or the shipping costs for the books. This is a substantial discount since costs for textbooks over the span of a degree program can easily reach thousands of dollars. To quality for the grant, you must be in an undergraduate program and seek academic credit in your courses.

AMU’s online classes are asynchronous, meaning you can login at your own time and convenience to download the class work.

AMU offers a quick path to achieving a degree with courses that start monthly instead of by semester. Many classes are 8 or 16 weeks long. If you have the motivation and time, you can choose the intense eight week classes to finish your degree faster. Also, you can have security that your class will be available in the future because AMU does not drop classes due to low enrollment.

The AMU teachers combine theoretical instruction with real-world practices. They hold degrees from prestigious schools such as Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Notre Dame, and University of Chicago. Many of them boast executive titles at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, the State Department, and the United Nations.

Sample degree costs:

Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Care and Education: $15,250

Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice: $30,250
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology: $30,500

Master of Business Administration: $11,700
Master of Education – Guidance and Counseling: $14,400

7. Baker College Online

Baker College, founded 99 years ago, has 9 campuses and 6 branch locations throughout the state of Michigan and an enrollment of over 43,000 students including over 15,000 online students.

Baker offers 23 online programs, predominantly in business, information technology, criminal justice, and health care. Each of these programs is geared towards placing students into viable careers upon completion of their degrees. Indeed, Baker can boast that 97% of their graduates are currently employed.

Baker launched its first online program in 1996. Relevant accreditations include AACN and CCNE for the nursing programs; many technical accreditations for the various health care applied programs; ABET for the engineering program; IACBE for the business programs; and ACOTE and AOTA for the Master’s of Occupational Therapy.

As a Baker College student, a development coordinator will assist you in creating an academic program that meets your scheduling needs. Courses are offered on a quarterly schedule, with specific start and end dates and assigned deadlines for coursework.

The courses are asynchronous so you can work on your assignments at any place and at any time of the day. In the virtual classroom, you can read lectures, participate in discussions, and take exams. You can even work offline on many of the assignments and exercises with word processing software.

Career Services provides assistance with resumes, interviews, referrals, job fairs, and placement programs. All students at Baker are eligible for guidance from Career Services’ employment coordinators.

Baker College Online has a very competitive tuition rate compared to other online schools in the country. Also, you may qualify for financial aid including state and federal grants and scholarships.

Sample degree costs:

Associate of Business – General Business: $19,065

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: $38,540
Bachelor of Science in Psychology: $36,900

Master of Business Administration: $17,640
Master of Science in Information Systems: $19,800

8. Walden University

Walden University offers over 50 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a number of academic fields including: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.), Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Master of Public Health, Education Specialist (Ed.S.), Master of Public Administration, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science, and Bachelor of Science.

The school’s master degree in Educational Change and Technology Innovation was the nation’s first completely online master’s program in education.

Walden’s Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is accredited by CCNE, a national accrediting agency honored by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

The Online Education Database ranked Walden University 14th overall in 2009 in its online school rankings. Walden also ranked 2nd it the “Peer Web Citations” category and 4th in the “Scholarly Citations” category.

Walden offers Mobilelearn-enabled classes, which allows you to learn on the go, online, or offline. The school draws on the knowledge of instructional designers and experienced practitioners in the work force to create a relevant curriculum.

Over 42,500 students are enrolled in Walden’s programs and Walden has a network of over 38,000 alumni across the globe.

Walden’s Student Support Team provides real-time technical assistance via online chat, phone, or email. This team also assists students with scheduling and new student orientations.

Sample degree costs:

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Criminal Justice Management and Administration: $47,540
Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems – Information Systems Management: $47,540

Master of Business Administration: $28,100
Master of Science in Education: $12,930

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology: $66,780

9. Ashford University

Ashford University has reasonable tuition costs for its online degree programs. Bachelor degrees are only $372 per semester credit hour and master’s programs are $541 ($486 for master’s degrees in education).

You can finish a program in as little as one year because of Ashford’s flexible transfer policy. You can transfer up to 99 credits from previous schools and apply them to a bachelor’s degree.

Ashford’s classes are accelerated with a time period of only 5-6 weeks so you can progress to graduation quickly.

The university offers convenient online courses that can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The classes are comparable to email. You can submit class work anytime by just logging in.

Unlike typical semester based systems in traditional university settings, classes run continuously. Ashford provides weekly courses so you don’t have to wait long to start on your classes. After you finish a course, typically you can take another course right away without a break.

With over 40 programs ranging from associate’s degrees to master’s degrees, Ashford has a good selection of degrees to choose from. Areas of study include early childhood education, business, accounting, communication, history, health care administration, English, psychology, and criminal justice.

Adult learners are the target demographic at Ashford. Its classes were built intentionally with their needs in mind. Also, you will not be left with unanswered questions. Ashford assigns you an academic advisor to guide you throughout the whole process – from registration to graduation. Your instructors are easy to reach and you have unlimited access to academic coaching and tutoring.

Sample degree costs:

Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education: $23,808

Bachelor of Arts in Social and Criminal Justice: $44,640
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology: $44,640

Master of Business Administration: $17,853
Master of Arts in Education: $17,496

10. Grand Canyon University

In 2009, Grand Canyon University (GCU) was ranked 7th by the Online Education Database in its overall rankings of online schools. The organization also recognized GCU for its small class sizes. On average GCU only has 13 students per faculty member.

GCU has popular online programs with an enrollment of over 10,000 online students. These students are spread across GCU’s 45 bachelor, master, and doctoral programs in fields such as business, liberal arts, education, nursing, and health sciences.

The university has been regularly featured in the Student Guide to America’s 100 Best College Buys. The total tuition for the MBA program is lower than average at $20,400. The Master of Science in Nursing is $20,160, which is less expensive than most other online schools.

GCU’s bachelor’s degree in nursing is accredited by CCNE and its business programs are accredited by ACBSP. The university’s business school, Ken Blanchard College of Business, was recognized by Fortune magazine as a top five school for an online entrepreneurship degree. All business majors are taught entrepreneur skills to help their companies succeed.

GCU does not charge an application fee and fully completed applications are typically processed in 1-3 business days. Within this time period, your application will be reviewed and then you will be notified about your acceptance status.

Sample degree costs:

Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies: $52,200
Bachelor of Science in Accounting: $52,200

Master of Business Administration: $20,400
Master of Science in Psychology – General Psychology: $16,740

11. Saint Leo University Online

Saint Leo University’s Center for Online Learning provides higher education for students from over 33 countries. The school offers over 25 degree programs from the associate level to the master level in a variety of fields including business, criminal justice, psychology, and social work. Saint Leo also offers 5 graduate certificates.

The Center was founded in October 1998 to provide education for the growing computer savvy adult learners familiar with multimedia presentations. It offers the best attributes of traditional classroom instruction combined with the new innovations in technology.

The same educational degrees conferred to on-campus students are available to online students. Upon graduation, your degree will not have an online distinction.

Saint Leo provides an online tutoring service called “Smarthinking,” which has the convenience of 24/7 accessibility.

Online classes are kept small and are only taught by full-time faculty members. Saint Leo does not employ teaching assistants to teach its online courses.

Saint Leo University bears the title of a “Military Friendly School,” according to G.I. Jobs magazine’s list of top schools in 2011. This yearly list recognizes community colleges, trade schools and universities who rank in the top 15 percent of those who cater to the nation’s student-veteran and military populations. Today, Saint Leo is in the top 10 of enrollment for military personnel.

Sample degree costs:

Associate of Arts in Business Administration: $27,900

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology: $56,730
Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems: $56,730

Master of Business Administration: $21,924
Master of Science in Criminal Justice: $13,752

12. Northcentral University

Northcentral University (NCU) offers online degrees from the bachelor level all the way up to the doctoral level. The school uses the faculty mentoring approach in order to deliver individualized attention to students. NCU faculty members are trained to teach online so you will receive the support you need in a strong virtual learning environment.

All NCU business degrees are accredited by ACBSP. NCU uses communication tools like bulletin boards, chat rooms, and email messaging and does not require face-to-face sessions or location specific residencies.

The NCU online bookstore gives you a convenient way to purchase textbooks for your courses. You can locate the required books by searching with your course number and then pay online with a credit card. The books are shipped directly to you via FedEx, UPS, or USPS. The bookstore also has many used books that cost less than the new books. At the end of a course, you can often sell back the textbooks to NCU.

Academic Advisors at NCU help you select courses and stay on track towards your degree goals while Ambassadors, or previous graduates, provide practical guidance in both the online education experience as well as future career paths.

NCU is the first 100% online University to offer accredited doctoral degrees. It is also the only 100% online institution accredited by ACBSP that offers bachelor, master, and doctoral business degrees.

Sample degree costs:

Master of Business Administration: $21,035
Master of Education: $14,195

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology: $38,750

13. Drexel University Online

Drexel University began offering online degree and certification programs in 1996; launched a completely mobile web portal for students in 2002, the first of its kind; and appears regularly on the “Best Online Graduate Programs” list published by US News & World Report. Also, Drexel is a tier one school in U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 college rankings.

Drexel Online offers 100 different programs, providing Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, various post-graduate certificates, and professional certifications. The online programs are taught by the campus faculty, and any degrees conferred are identical to those earned by students on campus.

Relevant accreditations include NLN, CCNE, JRCERT, and NAACLS for the nursing program; ALA for the world-class library science program; ABET for the engineering program; AACSB for the business school; LCME, AMA, and AAMC for the college of medicine; CEPH for the school of public health; and APA for the university’s psychology programs.

Drexel is also distinguished by its active partnership with private businesses and public institutions in tailoring degree programs for employees and members. More than 250 organizations currently work with Drexel to provide higher education alternatives for their staff.

However, even with its sterling reputation and useful features, Drexel does not earn a higher ranking in our list because of its cost, which is usually much higher than other online schools.

Sample degree costs:

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: $116,440

Master of Business Administration: $58,000
Master of Science in Educational Administration – Collaborative Leadership: $32,400

14. Capella University

Capella University offers a wide selection of degrees online, starting with bachelor’s degrees and moving up to graduate degrees in the master and doctoral level. Capella has 114 concentrations and 15 certificate programs in fields of study such as public safety, public health, human services, psychology, information technology, education and business.

The majority of Capella’s student body consists of graduate students (46% MS/MBA and 36% PhD/PsyD), with only 18% of students in an undergraduate program and only 1% working towards a certificate program. The average student age is 39.

Capella was one of the four schools in 2010 to receive an award from The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes.

Also, Capella was the first online school to participate in the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) of the North Central Association back in 2000. The schools involved in this program dedicate themselves to continuous quality improvement initiatives like the ones in the business workforce.

AQIP involves a different method of accreditation review. Instead of being reviewed every ten years, AQIP schools are reviewed every year.

The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has accredited Capella University’s MS programs in Marital, Couple, and Family Counseling, Mental Health Counseling, and School Counseling.

Capella’s bachelor and master degrees in Information Technology with a concentration in Project Management were both given accreditation by the Project Management Institute (PMI) Global Accreditation Center for Project Management (GAC).

Sample degree costs:

Bachelor of Science – Criminal Justice: $54,900
Bachelor of Science – General Information Technology: $54,900

Master of Business Administration – General Business Administration: $31,584
Master of Science – Curriculum and Instruction: $19,680

Doctor of Philosophy – General Psychology: $60,345

15. University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix was launched in 1976 as a practical, local alternative for adults seeking higher education. From its inception to today, the university has exploded in size, with a current enrollment of nearly a half-million students. In 2010, Phoenix has a dominant market share of adult higher education, with over 200 locations and an extensive array of online programs.

While its locations are centered in North America, online programs are accessible in many countries. Students can obtain degrees in more than 100 different programs, at all higher education levels, including doctoral. The school also offers a wide variety of professional certifications, ranging from health care to criminal justice. It boasts an impressive online library, a helpful supplement for online learners.

University of Phoenix has an open enrollment admission policy. All you need is a high-school diploma, GED, or its equivalent to quality for admission. Its Prior Learning Assessment process allows many students to obtain credits by applying practical life experiences, work expertise, and professional education towards course requirements.

The university also possesses a variety of specialized accreditations including ACBSP for its business programs; CCNE for the nursing programs; TEAC for the Master of Arts in Education; and CACREP for some of its Master of Science in Counseling programs.

University of Phoenix has an alumni mentoring program for students who want educational and career guidance from previous graduates. The school’s alumni association has grown tremendously and close to 29,000 alumni have shown interest in becoming a mentor.

Sample degree costs:

Associate of Arts with a concentration in Foundations of Business: $23,500

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration: $69,600
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology – Software Engineering: $69,600

Master of Business Administration: $26,025
Master of Arts in Education – Administration and Supervision: $23,915

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology: $79,755

16. Post University Online

The Online Education Database, which ranks online schools, recognized Post University as one of the top 20 online schools in the nation. Post also ranked in the top 10 for financial aid.

Post offers close to 40 programs for associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees and graduate and professional certificates. Post’s degrees cover a variety of majors including business administration, human services, education, computer information systems, legal studies, and early childhood education.

Some of the degrees have multiple concentrations. For example, the MBA program has 5 specializations to choose from: Corporate Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Leadership, and Marketing.

You can finish a bachelor’s degree in 18 months or a master’s degree in 12-24 months with Post’s 8-week accelerated courses. The courses are offered six times every year.

Post’s classes focus on real-world knowledge, enabling you to immediately use your new skills in the workforce. You will have many chances to interact with your classmates and professor since Post keeps its classes small.

The curriculum for on-campus students is the same for online students. You will be taught by the on-campus faculty who hold PhD degrees and have real world experience in their areas of expertise.

Upon graduation, you will receive the same traditional diploma given to on-campus students. The degree will not have any indication that it was earned online.

Post provides different support services including a virtual library, tutoring, and advising.

Sample degree costs:

Associate of Science in Early Childhood Education: $29,925

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: $57,000
Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems: $57,000

Master of Business Administration: $26,775
Master of Education: $16,500

17. Colorado Technical University Online

Colorado Technical University (CTU) has five physical campuses and a robust online program. CTU Online offers all levels of degrees in a variety of industries including information technology, engineering, health sciences, business, and criminal justice. CTU also works closely with the Project Management Institute in providing project management related courses and experience.

CTU differs from many universities in that it offers at least half of its degree programs online. In 2009, Sitecore named the school’s web site the Best Education Site in North America.

CTU’s Department of Military Education focuses on helping active military personnel, veterans, and their families obtain their higher education goals. CTU Online is a perfect vehicle for active-duty personnel working towards an academic degree as they can take classes from wherever they are deployed.

CTU is a DANTES-affiliated university and a member of the Servicemembers Opportunity College.

While most university educations result in a degree only at the end of one’s coursework, CTU’s program emphasizes achieving incremental certificates. Many programs at the university allows you to add credentials to your qualifications as your education proceeds.

Another differentiating factor for CTU Online is its single-price approach. All required books and course materials are included in the cost of the program. This makes it much simpler to gauge the overall cost of your online education.

Also, CTU provides each online student a dedicated financial aid advisor. The advisor will personally guide you through the financial aid process.

Sample degree costs:

Associate of Science in Business Administration: $23,900

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: $54,500
Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration: $56,240

Master of Business Administration: $30,498
Master of Science in Computer Science – Software Engineering: $27,990

18. Strayer University

Strayer University has two types of online classes to choose from: asynchronous and synchronous.

In asynchronous classes, you can log in to the virtual classroom at any time of the day, 7 days a week, to work on your assignments. This option gives you the most flexibility in your schedule.

If you work better with a set schedule and appointments, you can choose the synchronous classroom format. Synchronous classes meet weekly at the same time, usually at night or on the weekend. You will interact with the instructor and other students in real time as you would in a traditional physical classroom.

The professors at Strayer come armed with experience in the realities of the workforce and have expertise in their areas of study. Also, they have received specialized training for creating a stimulating online education environment.

Online tutoring is offered for free to all Strayer students in the introductory courses of informational systems, math, business, English and accounting.

Strayer offers degrees and certificate programs in the following academic disciplines: education, public administration, health services, information systems, management, criminal justice, economics, accounting, and business.

The average age of a Strayer student is 34 and most students hold full time employment while taking classes. Because of this, working adults with similar backgrounds can feel at ease with classmates that are progressing towards comparable life and professional goals.

Sample degree costs:

Associate in Arts in Information Systems: $30,300

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Criminal Justice Administration: $60,600
Bachelor of Science in Accounting: $60,600

Master of Business Administration – Management: $24,600
Master of Education – Adult Education and Development: $24,600

19. Herzing University

Herzing University was founded expressly to provide students with the education required to succeed in the computer industry. The university has grown from a single institute in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to an eight-state multi-campus system that offers associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in more than 30 programs.

Herzing’s online division emphasizes technology, business, health care, design, and public safety. Master’s degrees are available in business administration and nursing.

A fully accredited university, Herzing also holds specific accreditation from ABHES for its medical assistance programs.

Typical online classes at Herzing are 8 weeks long, shorter than many other institutions. Most students take two classes at the same time.

The classes are asynchronous so you do not have to be online at a specific time for lectures, seminars or meetings. Also, Herzing’s classes are small. The average class size is 18 students and each class is capped at 25 students maximum.

The average student spends between 8 and 10 hours per class each week reading and working on assignments. An associate’s degree is typically earned in 18 to 24 months while a bachelor’s degree is often achieved in 3 years.

Herzing’s tuition and fees are transparent and competitive. All textbooks are included in tuition. The books are real physical textbooks instead of ebooks. The only fee for any program is a $25 one time enrollment fee. Herzing does not charge online, technology, or graduation fees that many other schools tack on.

Also, Herzing bachelor’s degree students and alumni receive a 15% tuition discount if they choose to take master’s level courses at Herzing.

Herzing provides its students with 24/7 technical support. Also, you can get assistance at the school’s Career Services Department. Personalized help is provided for resume writing, interview preparation, salary negotiation, and job search efforts. These services are available to alumni for life.

A Herzing education equips you to find a job. 97% of available graduates in 2008 started jobs in the area they studied at Herzing University Online.

Sample degree costs:

Associate of Science in Computer Science: $33,150

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: $53,125
Bachelor of Science in Accounting: $52,275

20. Jones International University

Jones International University is the first fully-online university to become regionally accredited.

Jones’ programs focus on highly-marketable and top-earning degrees in the education and business field. Jones offers over 40 programs from certificates and bachelor’s degrees all the way up to doctoral degrees. The coursework is delivered completely online to suit the scheduling needs of busy professionals.

The classes are project-based, meaning theory is directly applied to solving real-world problems. As a result, you can immediately apply what you learn to work situations as the class progresses. This format will help you stay engaged with your assignments as you see real life benefits from them.

To participate in the online classes, you will only need minimal technology skils. All that is required is a computer connected to the internet and basic computer skills.

Jones also offers live 24/7 technical support, available 365 days a year including holidays and weekends, so you don’t have to worry about technology and can focus on learning.

Jones’ exclusive patent-pending career services module – Total Professional Advantage – is available to every student. In this module, you can interact with a certified career counselor. You will learn how to create a professional profile including a portfolio that employers can review and develop a professional development plan.

Jones provides 24/7 online access to its E-Global Library.

Sample degree costs:

Bachelor of Business Administration: $59,400

Master of Business Adminstration: $27,540
MEd in Education Leadership and Administration: $18,000

Doctorate of Education in K-12 Leadership: $51,120

21. Kaplan University

Kaplan University is based in Davenport, IA, and has campuses in three other states, but it is primarily known as an online school of higher education. With more than 3,600 faculty and staff members and over 66,000 online and campus-based students, Kaplan is a major provider of adult education in North America.

Kaplan is actually a subsidiary of the Washington Post Company, and provides a variety of other educational services to individuals and institutions.

Kaplan University’s areas of specialty include business, education, information technology, nursing, criminal justice, and health sciences. Students can obtain associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees and professional certificates in over 80 programs.

If you are interested in law, you can earn Juris Doctor degrees from Kaplan’s Concord Law School.

Kaplan is a fully accredited institution and its Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is accredited by CCNE.

Thanks to its connections with the Washington Post Company, the school offers a wide array of library services through LexisNexis.

It also collaborates with the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Alabama. Their extensive collection is available to Kaplan students, including over 60,000 ebooks. Physical books may be checked out from the library remotely and are delivered to your doorstep.

Career advisors are readily available for all online students of Kaplan. Services provided include resume reviews, interview preparation, professional networking, and job recruitment.

To foster beneficial interactions with other students, Kaplan has clubs and organizations you can join. These clubs reflect students’ interests and can help you stay motivated to excel in your studies.

Sample degree costs:

Associate of Applied Science in Information Technology: $33,390

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: $66,780
Bachelor of Science in Psychology: $66,780

Master of Business Administration: $26,460
Master of Science in Education: $17,710

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22. University of Maryland University College

The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) has offered online classes since 1994. Today, UMUC is the largest public university in the nation with over 100 online programs leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees and certificates.

In 2009, over 196,000 students were enrolled in online courses at UMUC. In the same year, UMUC offered nearly 760 different online courses.

The programs offered at UMUC are created to teach necessary skills and create competent, knowledgeable workers. The school continuously keeps up with the latest concepts, information, and practices in a number of different fields, ensuring its curriculum is updated to reflect the latest trends in an industry.

UMUC’s WebTycho online classroom assists students in organizing a portfolio of class notes and assignments, navigating class discussions by organizing them in tabs, and communicating with classmates and instructors.

As a student, you have access to many online support services including information and library services with more than 100 total databases.

UMUC’s online MBA program received The Instructional Technology Council’s 2010 award for Outstanding eLearning Program and the IMS Global Learning Consortium’s 2009 award for the Distance Program of the Year.

The faculty members at UMUC are all experts in their industries. Besides having respectable professional and academic credentials, they hold executive or high ranking positions in the fields they teach.

Sample degree costs:

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: $61,128
Bachelor of Science in Psychology: $61,128

Master of Business Administration: $29,148
Master of Education in Instructional Technology: $21,747

23. South University

South University offers degrees in every education level from associate degrees to doctoral degrees. The school features an online classroom, called the Campus Common, where qualified faculty members facilitate online learning and interaction.

Many of South’s instructors are experts in their field, where they serve as professional practitioners. Along with their industry experience, faculty members are knowledgeable in online instructional methods and know how to create a supportive and interactive educational environment.

For over a century, South University has provided higher education and individual educational guidance to students. As an online student, you can expect the same degree, quality of teaching and service, and availability of learning options offered at any of South’s seven campuses.

You will consult with and receive your degree from the Savannah, Georgia campus.

Course loads can be customized to meet the needs of your life/work schedules.

South also provides resources to help you with your educational and career goals. These services include contacts to professionals in your field of study, career services, interactive student forums, student organizations and clubs, tutoring, and an exhaustive online library.

South supports students on the fast track, offering two 5 1/2 week accelerated classes in each of its four quarters over the school year.

If you are interested in the legal field, South’s Paralegal and Legal Studies have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

If you are interested in the nursing field, South’s Nursing programs are accredited by CCNE.

Sample degree costs:

Associate of Science in Allied Health Science: $33,480

Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management: $66,960
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology: $66,960

Master of Science in Nursing: $18,480

24. Argosy University

Argosy University was created in 2001 through the merger of three institutions of higher learning: the American School of Professional Psychology, the University of Sarasota, and the Medical Institute of Minnesota.

Each of these institutions had a separate educational focus, and the resulting university has four distinct colleges of learning: psychology and behavioral sciences, business, education, and health sciences.

Argosy has campuses in 12 states and in Washington, D.C., and also offers online programs from all four colleges. Students may earn bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

Graduate programs at Argosy are especially popular. Argosy has one of the largest graduate student communities in the nation.

Argosy’s online programs are provided by the Phoenix, Arizona campus. Online students are essentially enrolled at the Phoenix campus, which will issue any transcripts and earned degrees.

Argosy is flexible with the amount of classes you choose to take over a school year. You are free to take a lesser class load if you foresee busy months ahead. On the other hand, if you have a lot of free time and/or are willing to work hard, you can take more courses and finish your degree at a quicker pace.

Argosy has distinguished its online programs by adapting online learning approaches from the Socrates Distance Learning Technologies Group, a leader in web-based learning and development strategies. All of Argosy’s online instructors have received extensive training from Socrates, preparing them for delivering rigorous online classes.

As a student, you will have access to a wide array of support services, including 24-hour technical support, academic advising, on-demand tutoring, career services, and an extensive online library.

Military personnel and veterans are a key component in the Argosy online student community. They and their adult dependent family members have access to specialized services and reduced tuition.

Sample degree costs:

Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: $63,000
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: $63,000

Master of Science in Management: $23,580
Master of Public Administration: $23,580

Doctor of Education in Counseling Psychology: $52,700

25. DeVry University

DeVry University is widely recognized for its excellent online programs in growing industries. The university offers over 30 degrees in three educational levels: associate, bachelor, and master.

You can choose from five different colleges within DeVry: Business and Management, Engineering and Information Sciences, Health Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Media Arts and Technology.

The courses at DeVry are designed with industry standards in mind. DeVry holds relevant accreditation with CAHIIM for its health information degrees. Its Project Management major and concentration are accredited by the Project Management Institute’s Global Accreditation Center.

With DeVry’s year round classes, you can dedicate extra hours and finish programs on an accelerated pace. For example, you can complete an associate degree in just over a year, a bachelor degree in three years, or master’s degree in one year.

DeVry helps many students out financially with 7,500 scholarships that total up to $25 million. Also, over 85% of the student body receives financial aid including federal, state, and local loans and grans.

You can speak with a DeVry qualified financial advisor to explore your education funding options.

DeVry complements its education and financial aid with an active career services department. Over 90% of its graduates are employed in their area of study within six months of degree completion.

Sample degree costs:

Associate in Web Graphic Design: $32,400

Bachelor in Computer Information Systems: $64,800
Bachelor in Business Administration – Accounting: $64,800

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering: $24,475