Today, college students exist in all age groups. Fortunately, with the improvements in technology and communication, online courses keep getting better and better. But in an era when online learning is nearly ubiquitous, which colleges and programs are the best for students who need to balance their jobs, family life, and school?

David Washington, research editor at OnlineCollegePlan.com, investigated to find out which online schools were the best to attend with criteria including technology used for course delivery, flexibility of classes, average cost of attendance, and academic offerings.

The product of his research is the ranking, “The Top 100 Best Online Colleges.”

The top 10 include:

10. Lewis University – Romeoville, Illinois

Lewis University houses 6,800 students through its five colleges and schools. The school’s online program offers bachelor degrees in business administration, information security and risk management, information technology management, and professional studies, as well as seven online master’s degrees in areas of aviation and transportation, business analytics, and organizational leadership. A doctoral in nursing practice is also offered.

9. University of Alabama at Birmingham, UAB Online – Tuscaloosa, Alabama

UAB has enrolled more than 18,500 students who are pursuing undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The online program offers seven bachelor’s degrees in healthcare management and business topics such as financing and marketing, as well as nearly 20 master’s programs including topics in areas of sociology, civil structural engineering, and elementary education.

8. Florida State University, Office of Distance Learning – Tallahassee, Florida

Florida State has over 42,000 students spread between 16 colleges and more than a hundred facilities, labs, and centers. Through the Office of Distance Learning, the university offers bachelor’s degrees in computer science, public safety and security, criminology and interdisciplinary social science. They also offer nearly 20 master’s degree programs in topics including criminology, business administration, communication disorders, and much more.

7. Fort Hays State University, Virtual College – Hays, Kansas

Fort Hays has about 11,200 students enrolled throughout four colleges. The university offers 40 online degrees through its Virtual College. Students can complete associate’s degrees in general studies and applied technology, as well as two dozen bachelor’s degrees ranging from information networking to business education. Master’s degrees in areas such as health and human performance, liberal studies, and special education are also available.

6. University of North Dakota – Grand Forks, North Dakota

The University of North Dakota has over 15,000 students distributed within 10 academic divisions. They offer more than 220 programs of undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as professional degrees in medicine and law. The online program offers 10 bachelor degrees such as communication, civil engineering, and psychology as well as 20 master’s degrees in programs such as aviation, space studies, and education. On top of that, they offer two doctoral programs in nursing.

(Next page: The top 5 best online colleges)

About the Author:

Meris Stansbury

Meris Stansbury is the Editorial Director for both eSchool News and eCampus News, and was formerly the Managing Editor of eCampus News. Before working at eSchool Media, Meris worked as an assistant editor for The World and I, an online curriculum publication. She graduated from Kenyon College in 2006 with a BA in English, and enjoys spending way too much time either reading or cooking.


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