Abound Awards Colleges and Universities for Best Practices in Non-Traditional Undergraduate Education


College resource for adults announces 2022 list of on-campus and online institutions with valuable degree-completion programs

AUSTIN, Texas, — Abound, a college search engine for degree-seeking adults, has recognized a new cohort of awarded institutions for 2022. These schools have been recognized for excellence across undergraduate programs for the online, adult, military, and returning student population in providing exemplary services and a high-quality affordable education to all students regardless of their age, full-/part-time status, or work schedule.

Abound: Finish College, a college search resource for non-traditional programs, does an annual review to find the colleges with the best educational resources for online students and undergrad adults over 25. Through this careful process, Abound is pleased to announce its 2022 lists that adhere to Abound’s unique set of criteria. The Four As—Accessibility, Affordability, Acceleration, and Advancement—encompass the qualities that students will want in order to get the best education for their individual goals and circumstances. 

The Abound selection team created a statistical model based on the Four As to identify, score, and weigh over 20 data points for more than 2,000 colleges across the country. The final results of the model were used as a guide, rather than the final word, to determine the awarded institution lists. Schools were scanned and removed from consideration for reported quality issues, low affordability marks, and less than stellar outcomes indicators for adult students (e.g. part-time student graduation rates). The team also considered schools with smaller online or adult programs that have long track records of excellence.

Each list has an even balance of schools that vary by location, size, religious affiliation, public or private status, and prestige. Different students thrive in different environments, so the diversity of cultures, available resources, and teaching styles give everyone something to choose from. Schools are not ranked from top to bottom, but are rather presented as a whole to celebrate the merit of their unique set of programs, class format options, and resources.

Gaetan Giannini, Ed. D., an advisor to Abound with experience in senior leadership positions at private four-year and community colleges, notes the importance of this out-of-the-ordinary focus on adult students. “In a college search landscape full of rankings, Abound seems unorthodox,” he says. “But the ‘Four As’ model effectively targets the aspects of college that actually matter to student success, not prestige or name recognition. Doing away with a hard numerical order is a welcome change.” 

Traditional college rankings are informed heavily by the size of endowment, faculty salaries, and selectivity, while Abound’s cohort measures quality based on adult student engagement, accessible resources, and career preparation. “Abound: Finish College is a leading resource for prospective adult college students. I’m impressed by the amount of care that went into the hands-on interviews and research for every school on the site,” says Giannini, whose administrative accomplishments and research focus are on the non-traditional learner. “These schools are excellent institutions that will cater to their adult and online students and prime them for a successful life after they graduate.”

  • Best Affordable Online Colleges 2022: Finding a school that fits your needs and your budget can be tough. But it’s not just about the sticker price. From our 100 Best Online Colleges 2022 list, we’ve weighed colleges on 8 different data points: financial aid awarded, per-credit hour price, rates of student loans and repayment, and more. These schools have met our high-quality standard and deliver strong outcomes for online students without breaking the bank.
  • Best Colleges for Adults 2022: Even before the burst of online learning, many schools have excelled in creating flexible and affordable on-campus options that fit adult students’ needs. The list was curated by addressing data points within four main areas: Accessibility, Affordability, Acceleration, and Advancement. More on the methodology here.
  • Best Colleges for Military and Veterans: Servicemembers and veterans have education benefits available to them and need to choose a school that best fits their needs. From our Best Colleges for Adults 2022 and Best Online Colleges 2022 list, we’ve weighed colleges on 14 different data points to indicate a college’s commitment to military and veteran students. These points include dedicated support staff, credit for military experience, significant military student body, and more.

“Our qualification process is informed by the kinds of things that students care about most,” said Tyson Schritter, COO of Abound. “‘How will it help my career?’ ‘Can I fit classes around my schedule?’ ‘Will I be able to afford it?’”

“COVID-19 and its precarious effects on the economy have only emphasized the importance of high-quality adult education opportunities. The Abound cohort have been consistent key players in students’ development for a brighter future and a stronger workforce.”

About Abound: Finish College

Abound: Finish College focuses on colleges and universities that offer regionally accredited undergraduate degrees for adult and returning students. It is just one facet of the Abound college guidance system for degree-seeking adults, which helps students find the best place to earn an undergraduate degree, graduate degree, or MBA. The colleges in the cohort are nationally recognized for program excellence and offer courses on campus, online, or both.

eCampus News Staff