9 Best Online Associate Degree Programs for 2023

In this ranking, we examine the top values among the best online associate degree programs.

Some people quickly dismiss associate’s degrees as a lesser form of education, especially in a day and age where a bachelor’s degree is not enough in many industries. But have you considered the education you can acquire – and the future career you can secure – with just two years of study? Practical degrees in business, healthcare, law, technology, and design are all well within the bounds of an AA or AS program from a top online college. And by cutting your degree time in half, you’ll save a significant amount of money while waiting less time to start earning those well-deserved paychecks.

Best Online Associate Degree Offerings

9. New England College of Business and Finance

Boston, MA

New England College of Business and Finance logo


Featured Programs

The New England College of Business and Finance, as its name suggests, is an institution uniquely focused on studying:

  • management
  • administration
  • marketing
  • finance
  • other related topics

Given that most of its programs are actually at the master’s and bachelor’s degree levels, NECB might not be the first college you think of for an affordable associates degree online. But don’t dismiss it quite yet: the one AS degree the school does offer (in Business Administration, of course) imparts high-quality training and highly valued skills that you can use to get ahead in the job market. And as an added bonus, if you are currently employed by one of the college’s Corporate Partners (more info available here) you could enjoy a 25% discount on your tuition!

Net Price: $9,563/yr
Score: 50.00

8. Vista College-Online – Closed its doors 2021

Vista College logo

7. Colorado Technical University

Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Technical University - logo


The benefit of attending CTU is right in the name – as a technical university, the school’s focus lies squarely on career-focused programs for the 21st century. Accredited online associate’s degrees are available in:

  • Healthcare Administration
  • Accounting
  • Business

The latter two are available in both online and traditional formats. CTU also offers “learning assessments” that allows new students to demonstrate competency in specific areas, potentially earning academic credit for their past experiences! If you’re a working adult, this could seriously work in your favor and compress your tenure at Colorado Technical University to a fraction of the time.

Net Price: $13,796/yr
Score: 63.74

6. Amridge University

Montgomery, AL

The logo for Amridge University


Although Amridge University only offers a single associate-level program, it’s one of the best online AA degrees for students just starting out in academia. The purpose of the AA in Liberal Studies is to provide online learners with a broad foundation in general education topics as preparation for entry into a bachelor’s degree completion program – either at Amridge or another university. The 64-credit curriculum combines electives, “gen eds,” and subject-specific courses across a wide swath of topics, but all students, regardless of interest, must complete a capstone course titled “You and the American Government.” Finally, an exit exam and General Competency Test serve as a demonstration of your readiness to move on to more advanced classes at the baccalaureate level.

Net Price: $12,992/yr
Score: 64.01

5. American InterContinental University-Online

Chandler, AZ

American InterContinental University logo


Like many online colleges, American InterContinental University emphasizes vocational skills and career readiness in all of its degree programs – and especially in its affordable online associate degree programs. Two options are available for beginning college students at this level:

  • AABA in Business Administration
  • ASCJ in Criminal Justice

But what AIC lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality; 24/7 online support, customized course content, and an extensive digital library are just a few of the resources you could enjoy as a student at American InterContinental. Moreover, its online classes feature discussion boards and interactive content that will keep you constantly engaged – you can even complete group projects through its virtual system.

Net Price: $15,495/yr
Score: 70.33

4. Bryant & Stratton College-Online

Buffalo, NY

Bryant & Stratton College logo


Bryant & Stratton College is undoubtedly one of the best schools on this online associates degree ranking. Why? Because unlike some universities, which only provide a few two-year programs amidst several baccalaureate options, B&S actually offers the majority of its degrees at the associate level! With a strong focus on technical careers that you can train for in 18 months or less, this top provider of inexpensive associate degrees online houses programs including:

  • Nursing
  • Interactive Media Design
  • Office Management
  • Security Technology
  • Medical Assisting
  • Financial Support Services

Net Price: $12,172/yr
Score: 74.45

3. National Paralegal Online College

Phoenix, AZ

The logo fro NPC which has one of the top online associates degree

While National Paralegal College isn’t exactly known for its academic diversity, it is known for enrolling students who know what they want. If you’re committed to a career in the legal field but need a college that offers flexible scheduling, NPC could be the place for you. It has one of the best online associate degree programs available in Paralegal Studies and offers self-paced learning options for busy students. You could take one, two, or three courses at a time as it suits your schedule, studying topics like:

  • personal injury
  • criminal law
  • patents and trademarks
  • white-collar crime

Net Price: $13,709/yr
Score: 81.59

2. Sessions College for Professional Design

Tempe, AZ

The logo for Sessions College

After hearing about the many colleges offering online associate degree programs in technical areas of study, it might be nice to read about some different options! Sessions College offers “the highest quality in online arts education,” with degree programs in:

  • Advertising Design
  • Digital Media, Graphic Design
  • Illustration, Web Design
  • Fine Arts
  • Digital Photography

And just because these subjects are “artistic” in nature doesn’t mean they are less applicable to the job market; Sessions has worked hard to develop accredited associate degrees online that are grounded in a high-quality, relevant curriculum. This is evidenced in the school’s clear mission statement, which aims to “optimize the fully online experience rather than accommodate it.”

Net Price: $12,352/yr
Score: 92.58

1. American Public University System

Charles Town, WV

In terms of quantity, it’s hard to beat a school like American Public University in any associate degree online ranking. APU is also one of the few online colleges to offer an even distribution of both online AS and online AA degrees (associate’s of science and art, respectively). Options of study include:


Database Application Development

Fire Science, History

Public Health

Retail Management

Web Publishing

The school also proudly supports veterans and offers special services to members of the armed services through American Military University, its partner institution. As such, it has tailored several academic programs to those with a military background, including associate degrees in:

  • Counterterrorism Studies
  • Explosive Ordinance Disposal
  • Military History
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction Preparedness

Net Price: $9,572/yr
Score: 92.86

This concludes our ranking of the top 10 values in best online associate degrees.

See our methodology page for more information about how we calculated this ranking.

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By CVO Staff