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The Best Colleges for Online Studying in the US


Online course creators at Freedom Bound Business analyzed 21 factors including cost of attendance, graduation rate, and the number of different Bachelor’s subjects

New research has discovered the best colleges for online studying in the US, with the University of Florida taking the top spot.  

Online course creators at Freedom Bound Business analyzed 21 factors including cost of attendance, graduation rate, and the number of different Bachelor’s subjects at over 1600 online colleges in the US to determine which is the best pick for students.   

In first place is the University of Florida, with an overall score of 73.41/100. It offers 25 bachelor’s degree subjects, 12 of which can be studied completely online. Students who began their degree ten years ago now earn an average salary of $69,468. Its average out-of-state tuition is $28,659, while graduates’ average student debt is $15,000. The average salary among faculty members is $12,317, the highest in the ranking. Its graduation rate is also the highest in the ranking at 91%. 

In second place is the American Public University System, located in West Virginia. It has a score of 71.47/100. It is an online-only university, with 20 bachelor’s degree subjects available to its 37,245 students. The average tuition at the university is $7,360 and students who began their degree ten years ago now earn an average of $58,699. 

Third is Excelsior University in New York, with a score of 70.14/100. The online-only university has 15,260 undergraduate students and a total of 18 bachelor’s degree subjects. Its students earn an average salary of $71,116 ten years after beginning their degrees, higher than any other university in the ranking.  

George Mason University in Virginia is fourth, with a score of 70.02/100. It has an admission rate of 91%, with 26,339 students currently enrolled. The average out-of-state tuition is $36,579 at this university. The ratio of faculty members to students is 1:16, one of the best in the ranking. Out of the 25 bachelor’s subjects the university offers, eight can be studied completely online. Its students earn an average salary of $69,958 ten years after the start of their degree. 

In fifth place is the Pennsylvania State University, with an overall score of 69.37/100. It currently has 72,229 undergraduate students. The university offers 29 different bachelor’s degree subjects, with six available to be studied completely online. It has the best faculty members to students ratio in the ranking at 1:15, giving students a more personal and supported learning experience. Students who began their degree ten years ago now earn an average salary of $61,185. 

Rank College Score /100 
University of Florida 73.41 
American Public University System 71.47 
Excelsior University 70.14 
George Mason University 70.02 
The Pennsylvania State University 69.37 
University of Missouri-Columbia 69.07 
Western Governors University 68.94 
University of Central Florida 68.78 
Brigham Young University-Idaho 68.77  
10 Florida International University 68.66 

The University of Missouri-Columbia is sixth, with a score of 69.07/100. Its average out-of-state tuition is $30,450 and its graduation rate is 73%. 12 out of its total 24 bachelor’s degree subjects are available to be studied completely online. It currently has 23,092 undergraduate students, who can expect to earn an average salary of $61,073 in ten years’ time.  

Next on the list is the Western Governors University in Utah. It has an overall score of 68.94. It is an online-only university with 107,952 undergraduate students currently enrolled. It offers four bachelor’s degree subjects, with an average tuition of $7,452. The average student debt of graduates is the lowest in the ranking, at just $11,116.  

In eighth place is the University of Central Florida, with a score of 68.78/100. It currently has 59,710 undergraduate students and a graduation rate of 75%. It offers 25 bachelor’s degree subjects, 11 of which can be studied completely online. The average out-of-state tuition is $22,467, with the average student debt of graduates at $18,190.  

Ninth is Brigham Young University in Idaho. Its score is 68.77/100. It has the lowest average out-of-state tuition in the ranking, at just $4,416. It offers 23 bachelor’s degree subjects in total, with 13 that can be studied completely online. The average student debt of graduates is also relatively low, at $13,969.  

In tenth place is Florida International University, with a score of 68.66/100. Out of the 25 bachelor’s degree subjects the university offers, seven can be studied completely online. Currently, the university has 39,936 undergraduate students, who can expect to earn an average salary of $57,946 in ten years’ time.  

On the other hand, the university with the lowest score is North Coast College in Lakewood, scoring 24.8/100. Offering two bachelor’s degree subjects that can be studied online, its retention rate is just 0.9% and the average salary of students ten years after beginning their degree is $12,211.  

Jonathan Pinedo, Founder of Freedom Bound Business, commented on the findings:  

“There are many benefits to online college, especially for non-traditional students such as working adults and parents, who might not otherwise have the opportunity to access higher education. It offers unparalleled flexibility, allowing students to study at a time and place that is best for them, while still having access to an excellent education. This freedom can even improve their choice of degree as they are able to choose online courses that local institutions might not offer. 

“This research provides crucial information for prospective students, hopefully guiding them to choose an online college that aligns with their goals and needs.” 

This information was provided by Freedom Bound Business, experts in online course creation. 

Methodology  

Information from https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/assets/FieldOfStudyDataDocumentation.pdf was analyzed to determine the ranking. 

Indicators were sourced from the above. All indicators were then transformed using the Yeo-Johnson transformation, if they were not already adequately normally distributed. The data was then min-max scaled from 0 to 10, where 0 and 10 represent the worst and best values present in the data. Negative indicators, such as “Cost of Attendance”, and

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