online liberal arts

2017 Ranking: The 25 Best Online Liberal Arts Colleges

College Choice Releases 2017 Ranking of the 25 Best Online Liberal Arts Colleges.

College Choice, an authority in college and university rankings and resources, has published a ranking of the 25 Best Online Liberal Arts Colleges for 2017.

Life in our increasingly complex, intersectional world makes many students assume that only a technical, skills-based education will help them succeed. And yet, a classical education—that is, a liberal arts education—can be one of the best ways to the new demands coming from employers across industry sectors.

A solid multidisciplinary education develops the skills and knowledge students will need in their careers: oral and written communication skills, the ability to think critically, problem solving prowess, plus a theoretical foundation in both the sciences and humanities.

“Online programs in education are an affordable, accessible, and flexible way to earn an advanced degree, especially if you find yourself in a situation that makes going back to school either logistically or financially problematic,” Christian Amondson, managing editor of College Choice, said of the ranking. “Despite the stigma online programs once held, they have mostly shed those stereotypes and have increasingly solid reputations, in large part because online programs are developed and taught by the same faculty who teach the traditional, on-campus courses.”

College Choice developed its list by looking at institutional excellence along with return on investment—the differential between tuition costs and average early career earnings. The figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, U.S. News & World Report, and The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).


The ranking for the 25 Best Online Liberal Arts Colleges finds Oregon State University in the top spot. Pennsylvania State University World Campus is in second, and Arizona State University rounds out the top three.

The entire ranking, listed in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Arizona State University

Azusa Pacific University

California Baptist University

Champlain College

Colorado State University

Columbia College

DePaul University

Duquesne University

Eastern Oregon University

Fort Hays State University

Granite State College

Indiana University–Purdue

Northeastern University

Oregon State University

Pennsylvania State

Regent University

Saint Leo University

St. John’s University–New York

University of Illinois–Springfield

University of Maine–Augusta

University of Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth

University of Nebraska

University of Wisconsin

Westfield State University

College Choice is an independent online publication dedicated to helping students and their families find the right college. The site publishes rankings and reviews that try and make finding the best colleges for different interests easier and more fun, as well as resources to help students get into, pay for, and thrive at the college of their choice.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

eCampus News Staff