50 Best Online Colleges Near Me (AL – MO) 2023

“Best online colleges near me” is a popular search query, and for a good reason. There’s never been a better time to pursue a degree via distance education. The field has evolved so much that online learning now rivals in-person instruction in terms of academic rigor and quality. The days of questioning an online degree’s legitimacy are truly over, so there’s no longer any reason to dismiss the appeal of studying via a virtual delivery format. In this ranking, we explore the top online colleges in 25 of the 50 states, selecting two of the best colleges in each state to feature.

Rating and Ranking the Best Online Colleges Near Me (Alabama Through Missouri)

For this ranking, we divided the country in half, not geographically but instead alphabetically. For the first part of this two-part series, our editors probed the top online colleges in the states of Alabama through Missouri, highlighting schools in:
For continuity, we applied our universal undergraduate ranking methodology so that you will see a point value associated with each online college. However, instead of listing these schools according to points, we’ve presented them here alphabetically according to state.

Alabama

The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Huntsville, Alabama

Website

Featured Programs

Points: 13

University of Alabama- Huntsville - logo

Part of the University of Alabama System, the University of Alabama in Huntsville is home to a robust online learning division. Students interested in online education and distance learning options will find programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including online programs in a range of subject areas such as:

  • Nursing
  • Engineering
  • Professional Studies
  • Education

Specific degree programs for online students include:

  • Online BA/BS in Organizational Studies
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity
  • Online Master of Education (M.Ed.): Reading Education

UAH is institutionally accredited to offer online courses by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. At the master’s level, the university’s online program in computer information technology has been ranked among the top 30 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. Financial aid and student services like online tutoring may be available to qualified full-time students interested in earning a degree online. Admission requirements for this online college may include standardized test scores as well as high school transcripts.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,488

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Website

Points: 17

The University of Alabama - logo

If you live in Alabama and are interested in an online degree program, then you may want to consider what The University of Alabama has to offer. UA is home to over 70 virtual programs through its innovative Bama By Distance online program. The school’s wide range of distance education offerings includes both graduate and undergraduate offerings and hybrid and fully online programs. Online students enrolled at UA may get started today earning a degree such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business and Financial Planning
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Criminal Justice
  • Online BS in Healthcare and Nutrition

Individual online courses are also available. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the University of Alabama to award these degrees online in addition to on-campus programs. UA’s online graduate degrees in nursing and engineering have been ranked among the top 20 such programs in the country. The online school offers affordable tuition, and eligible students may apply for financial aid as part of the admissions process. Student services like academic advising may also be available. Applicants should be prepared to meet admission requirements such as test scores and high school transcripts.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,620

Alaska

University of Alaska-Southeast

Juneau, Alaska

Website

Points: 10

University of Alaska-Southeast - logo

Residents of Alaska have just a handful of options for earning a degree virtually. One of their best choices for accredited online colleges is the University of Alaska-Southeast, where they will find a comprehensive e-learning initiative. Types of online degrees conferred 100% online include:

  • Occupational Endorsement Certificates
  • Associate Degrees
  • Bachelor’s Degrees
  • Master’s Degrees
  • Graduate Certificates

Specific credentials for online students span a wide range of vocational and academic subjects and include:

The University of Alaska-Southeast is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to offer online courses in addition to its on-campus programs. The school’s online master’s programs in education have been ranked among some of the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Financial aid is available for full-time students and can be applied toward an online education program during the admissions process.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,960

University of Alaska-Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska

Website

Points: 14

University of Alaska- Fairbanks-  logo

Alaskans conducting a school search for the best online education in the state will no doubt be drawn to the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Through the school’s eCampus, online students can pursue various academic credentials, including undergraduate and graduate certificates and degrees offered online. Examples of 100% online programs for applicants who meet admission requirements include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Justice Administration
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has fully accredited the University of Alaska-Fairbanks to confer these credentials for online learners as well as on-campus students. U.S. News & World Report has ranked its online master’s degree program in criminal justice as one of the top 25 in the nation. The school offers affordable tuition. Plus, applications for financial aid are available to students interested in earning a degree online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,248

Arizona

University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Website

Points: 14

University of Arizona - logo

Students living in Arizona may ask, “What are the best online programs near me?” Nine out of ten of the answers would undoubtedly be the University of Arizona. Here, online students have access to high-quality remote learning programs, despite their busy schedule. This includes those programs that lead to an undergraduate or graduate degree. Standout online education options for applicants who meet admission requirements include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science in Business Admin (BSBA): Accounting
  • Online Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Computing
  • Online Master’s in Applied Nutrition: Nutrition and Wellness
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Data Science

The University of Arizona is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to offer online courses. The school’s online bachelor’s degree program has been recognized as one of the top 10 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. Undergraduate and graduate certificate programs and individual online courses are also available. Enrollment in 100% online classes may qualify students for financial aid in many cases.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,736

Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Points: 12

Arizona State University - logo

One of the top online schools in the nation, Arizona State University is home to a prolific distance learning division that offers more than 200 different online degree and certificate programs. In terms of programs for students earning degrees online, featured offerings include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Anthropology
  • Online BS in Communication
  • Online Master of Computer Science (MCS): Big Data
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Construction Management and Technology

Online courses, certificates and other non-degree awards are also available online at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students who want an online degree and are also interested in affordable study abroad opportunities should definitely consider Arizona State. ASU holds its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News & World Reports has recognized the school’s bachelor’s in business and MBA programs offered online as the best of their kind nationwide. The school offers affordable tuition. Plus, eligible online learners can apply for financial aid to help with tuition expenses.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,710

Arkansas

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Website

Points: 11

University of Arkansas - logo

Arkansas residents who conduct a school search will soon discover the many distance learning options the University of Arkansas has to offer. Through its Global Campus, the school provides a number of top-rated undergraduate and graduate online programs, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Human Development and Family Sciences
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Executive MBA
  • Online Master of Education (MEd) in Educational Leadership

In addition to online master’s degrees, several doctoral programs traditionally reserved for on-campus students are also available online. The University of Arkansas is fully accredited to award these credentials to online learners by The Higher Learning Commission. Its remote bachelor’s degree program has been ranked among the 25 best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Qualified students pursuing college credits are eligible for financial aid.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,574

University of Arkansas-Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas

Website

Points: 11

University of Arkansas - Little Rock - logo

Another of the top online colleges in Arkansas is the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. The school is known for its high-quality programs for online students earning credentials in popular areas of study such as:

  • Healthcare
  • Computer/IT Services
  • Education
  • Business

Both undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available to on-campus students and remote learners. Examples of the 100% online programs for students who meet admission requirements include:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Criminal Justice
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Education and Promotion
  • Online Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Online Master of Science (MS) In Information Quality

UA-Little Rock is institutionally accredited to award online degrees by The Higher Learning Commission. Its online graduate degrees in computer information technology have been ranked among the top 20 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. Financial aid and academic advising is available to online students interested in earning a college degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,366

California

California State University-San Marcos

San Marcos, California

Website

Points: 14

California State University- San Marcos - logo

If you live in the state of California, a school search for accredited institutions will no doubt yield California State University-San Marcos. Through its Extended Learning (EL) division, the school offers 100% remote bachelor’s and master’s degrees in addition to those degrees reserve for on-campus students. These include the following programs offered online:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sociology (Accelerated)
  • Online RN to BSN (Accelerated)
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Educational Administration
  • Online Master of Public Health

Online courses and certificate programs are also available and require less credit hours. Examples include:

  • Software and Web Development
  • Paralegal
  • Applied Behavior Analysis

The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited Cal State-San Marcos to confer these credentials via distance education. U.S. News has ranked the school among the top 60 regional universities in the West. Online students may apply for financial aid. They are also eligible to receive helpful resources such as technical support.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,727

California State University-Northridge

Northridge, California

Website

Points: 15

CSU-Northridge - logo

As one of the best schools in California, Cal State-Northridge has been offering distance learning programs for over 20 years. Through its Tseng College of Graduate, International, and Midcareer Education, the university offers part-time and full-time 100% online programs, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Sector Management
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Assistive Technology Engineering
  • Online MS in Communicative Disorders
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Instructional Design

CSUN holds the institutional accreditation necessary to award these online degrees from the WASC Senior College and University Commission. U.S. News has ranked the school among the 40 best regional universities in the West. Online students interested in earning a college degree may be eligible for financial aid to fund each online class.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,043

Colorado

Colorado State University

Fort Collins, Colorado

Website

Points: 13

Colorado State University - logo

Among the top schools in Colorado, CSU-Fort Collins offers an impressive number of nationally-ranked distance education programs. Sample 100% online degree offerings include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Fire and Emergency Services Administration
  • Online BS in Human Development and Family Studies
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master of Computer Science (MCS)

Colorado State University-Fort Collins holds its institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission to award its many online programs. U.S. News has ranked its remote bachelor’s degrees among the top 35 nationwide. Helpful resources like technical support and financial aid are available for those students interested in earning a degree. Transfer students are welcome.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,400

University of Colorado

Boulder, Colorado

Website

Points: 14

University of Colorado - logo

Colorado residents who conduct a school search will most likely happen upon the University of Colorado’s expansive 100% online degree options. The school has been offering distance education options since 1996, and today, it has more than 70 different online programs leading to a degree or certificate. This includes remote bachelor’s and master’s credentials such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English Writing, Rhetoric and Technology
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Business Analytics
  • Online MS in Clinical Pharmacy

The school even offers several online doctorate options for those interested in earning a degree at this advanced level. The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited the University of Colorado to offer its many online programs. Its online master’s in electrical engineering programs have been recognized by U.S. News as one of the 15 best in the country. Students enrolled in online courses may qualify for financial aid, and transfer credits may be accepted.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,496

Connecticut

Central Connecticut State University

New Britain, Connecticut

Website

Points: 9

Central Connecticut State University - logo

Online students looking for affordable schools in Connecticut should consider Central Connecticut State University. The school offers three fully online master’s degree programs:

  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Spanish
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Data Science
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): Hospice and Palliative Care

Hybrid degree plans are also available for graduate students, including:

  • Hybrid MS in Strategic Communication
  • Hybrid MS in Supply Chain and Logistics Management

The New England Commission on Higher Education has accredited Central Connecticut State University to offer these online courses and programs. Financial aid may be available to eligible online students intent on earning a degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,542

University of Connecticut

Storrs, Connecticut

Website

Points: 10

University of Connecticut - logo

Students living in Connecticut are apt to come across the University of Connecticut in their search. The school is well-known for its stellar 100% online graduate degrees, including top-ranked master’s programs in nursing, engineering, and business. The school’s many online programs include:

  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing: Adult Gerontology Primary Care
  • Online Master’s of Energy and Environmental Management
  • Online Master of Science in Accounting

The university also offers a variety of graduate certificate programs in liberal arts, education, health, public policy, and more. UConn is fully accredited to award online degrees by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Financial aid is an option for online students who qualify, and transfer credits may be applied to an online degree program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $18,524

Delaware

Delaware State University

Dover, Delaware

Website

Points: 10

Delaware State University - logo

Among the most affordable schools in the state of Delaware, Delaware State University offers flexible online programs. This includes half a dozen online bachelor’s degree programs and nearly as many master’s degree offerings. Specific options for online learners include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology
  • Online BS in Public Health
  • Online Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Online Master of Sport Administration (MSA)

Delaware State holds its institutional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. U.S. News has ranked the online school among the best national universities in the country. Online students intent on earning a degree may be eligible for financial aid and other helpful resources.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,358

University of Delaware

Newark, Delaware

Website

Points: 13

University of Delaware - logo

Delaware natives will likely be impressed by the number of online programs offered by the University of Delaware. The school specializes in distance education for graduate students, including top-ranked master’s degrees in education, business administration, and engineering. Featured online programs include:

  • Online MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Online MS in Accounting Practice
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master of Public Administration

The University of Delaware is accredited to offer online courses and programs by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. U.S. News has ranked the online school’s graduate programs in education among the 25 best in the country. Financial aid is available to help online learners reduce costs as they earn college credits.

Undergraduate Tuition: $15,020

Florida

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida

Website

Points: 11

Florida Atlantic University - logo

Florida Atlantic University is one of the most affordable schools in Florida and across the United States. The school is home to both undergrad and graduate distance education programs, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Criminal Justice
  • Online Bachelor of Business Admin (BBA): Marketing
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Exercise Science and Health Promotion
  • Online MS in Biomedical Engineering

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Florida Atlantic University to offer these online programs. Its master’s in nursing programs have been ranked among the 35 best such programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Qualified students should explore their financial aid options, including federal financial aid, to offset the online degree cost. Transfer students with official transcripts are welcome to apply.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,879

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Website

Points: 14

University of Florida - logo

One of the best online institutions in the United States, the University of Florida is known for its top-ranked distance bachelor’s degree programs and its high-quality online master’s degree programs in education and business. Dozens of other online degree programs are available through the university’s distance education initiative, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Public Relations
  • Online BS in Microbiology & Cell Science
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Aerospace Engineering
  • Online MS in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology

UF’s remote bachelor’s in business program, as well as its online master’s in education offerings, have both been ranked #1 in the nation by U.S. News. The school is fully accredited to award online credentials by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Financial aid is available in order to help students afford the online degree cost, and official transcripts documenting transfer credits may be accepted.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,876

Georgia

University of Georgia

Athens, Georgia

Website

Points: 12

University of Georgia - logo

Prospective students living in Georgia may find themselves searching “online colleges near me.” For those students, the University of Georgia may rise to the top of their search results. The school hosts a robust online learning format that features first-rate distance learning programs, particularly in the field of education.  Examples of available 100% online degree programs include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Special Education
  • Online EdS in Educational Psychology, Gifted, and Creative Education
  • Online MEd in Reading Education
  • Online MEd in Workforce Education

A variety of other online grad programs are also available in fields like nutrition, business, social work, liberal arts, and journalism. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the University of Georgia to offer these online programs. U.S News has ranked the school’s online master’s degree programs in education among the top 5 nationwide. Online enrollment qualifies students for federal financial aid in most cases.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,068

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw, Georgia

Website

Points: 13

Kennesaw State University - logo

Kennesaw State University is not only one of the best schools in the state, but it also has the distinction of being one of Georgia’s most affordable online institutions. Still, the school doesn’t skimp on quality; U.S. News has ranked its distance education programs in business, education, engineering, and computer information technology as some of the best in the country. Additional online degree offerings include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice
  • Online BS in Cybersecurity
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Art and Design
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has institutionally accredited Kennesaw State to offer online courses and degrees for online learners. Financial aid is available to help students pay for tuition.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,436

Hawaii

University of Hawaii-Manoa

Honolulu, Hawaii

Website

Points: 9

University of Hawaii - Manoa - logo

The University of Hawaii at Manoa may be the first school that appears when Hawaiians search “online colleges near me.” This school is well-known for its online MBA program, but it offers several other online college programs as well, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Social Work
  • Online Bachelor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Online Master’s in Learning Design and Technology
  • Online Master’s in Kinesiology and Rehabilitation Science

UH Manoa is institutionally accredited to award these online degrees. Its online graduate degree program in business has been ranked among some of the best in the country by U.S. News. Qualified students should consider the school’s financial aid awards designed to help students pay for college.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,186

University of Hawaii-West Oahu

Kapolei, Hawaii

Website

Points: 10

University of Hawaii- West Oahu -  logo

Among the best and most affordable schools for distance learners in Hawaii is the University of Hawaii-West Oahu. Here, the focus is on distance learning programs for undergraduate students, including flexible online degree offerings such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Creative Media
  • Online Bachelor of Arts in Business Admin: Hospitality and Tourism
  • Online Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration: Justice Administration
  • Online Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences: Early Childhood Education

The WASC Senior College and University Commission has fully accredited UH-West Oahu to offer these 100% online college programs, including bachelor’s degrees. U.S. News has called it one of the 20 best regional colleges in the West. Eligible students should explore the school’s financial aid options as well as other helpful resources like career planning.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,584

Idaho

University of Idaho

Moscow, Idaho

Website

Points: 12

University-of-Idaho - logo

Students residing in Idaho are likely to stumble upon the high-quality distance learning programs offered by the University of Idaho. Known for its top-ranked online graduate programs in engineering, the school also has online learning opportunities for undergraduates, including online degree options like:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminology
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology
  • Online BS in Organizational Sciences
  • Online BA in Communication

The University of Idaho has been institutionally accredited to offer these online programs by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. U.S. News has recognized the school’s online master’s in engineering programs among the top 100 such programs in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,340

Boise State University

Boise, Idaho

Website

Points: 12

Boise State University - logo

Another of the best online colleges in the state of Idaho is Boise State University. The school is home to nearly a dozen innovative undergraduate programs, including online degree offerings such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Integrated Strategic Communications
  • Online BA in Public Health
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Imaging Sciences
  • Online RN to BSN

The school offers even more distance learning options for graduate students, including standout options like:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Genetic Counseling
  • Online Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Online Doctor of Education (EdD) in Educational Technology
  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Leadership

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has fully accredited Boise State to confer online credentials at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Financial aid may be available to help students pay for degrees offered in an online format.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,060

Illinois

University of Illinois-Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Website

Points: 12

University of Illinois-Chicago - logo

The University of Illinois-Chicago, offers accredited distance education programs through its Extended Campus. Offerings encompass both fully online and hybrid options and degree plans for students seeking a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Specific options for an online degree program include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Information Management
  • Online Bachelor of Business Admin (BBA)
  • Online Master of Education (MEd) in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment
  • Online Master of Public Health (MPH): Public Health Informatics

The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited the University of Illinois-Chicago to offer these online college programs. U.S. News has ranked the school’s online undergraduate programs #2 in the nation. Qualified students, including online learners, should apply for financial aid to reduce costs of the online learning format.

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,126

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, Illinois

Website

Points: 13

University of Illinois - Urbana- Champaign - logo

Illinois residents who search “online colleges near me” will find a comprehensive suite of distance education options at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. These online learning options span full-time and part-time programs. Students enrolled in online classes may pursue the Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Sustainability and the Environment at the undergraduate level. Graduate students, on the other hand, have many more options for 100% online degrees, including:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Aerospace Engineering
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master of Computer Science (MCS): Data Science
  • Online Master of Education (MEd): Diversity & Equity in Education

The Higher Learning Commission has extended institutional accreditation to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to award online degrees and certificates. U.S. News has recognized the school’s online grad programs in education and engineering among the ten best such programs nationwide. Financial aid is an option for most online students.

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,635

Indiana

Indiana University-Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana

Website

Points: 12

Indiana University - Bloomington - logo

Students contemplating online education should definitely consider Indiana University-Bloomington. In terms of distance learning, the school offers dozens of fully remote bachelor’s programs such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Artificial Intelligence
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Data Science
  • Online BS in Health Sciences
  • Online BS in Informatics

Even more distance education options are extended to graduate students, including online degree programs like:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Data Analytics
  • Online MS in Health Informatics
  • Online MS in Human-Computer Interaction
  • Online Master of Education (MEd) in Instructional Systems Technology

IU-Bloomington holds institutional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission to offer online classes. Many of its online college programs have been highly ranked by U.S. News including the school’s online master’s degree programs in business and education. Financial aid is available to help students pay for their education, and this includes online learners.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,333

Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

Website

Points: 14

Purdue University - logo

If you search “online schools near me” and end up on Purdue University’s website, then you’re in luck. This accredited university doubles as a hub for all things distance education. Here, prospective students will find a wide range of online learning options from associate’s degrees to doctoral programs and non-degree awards like professional certificates. For students seeking a bachelor’s degree online in liberal arts, health sciences, computer sciences, and more, options include:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Sociology
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Health Care Administration
  • Online BS in Cloud Computing and Solutions
  • Online BS in Psychology: Addictions

These programs are ideal for students just entering the job market. The school is also home to several nationally ranked grad programs in disciplines like engineering and education. Purdue University is institutionally accredited to confer these online degrees by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,125

Iowa

Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa

Website

Points:

Iowa State University - logo

If you call Iowa home, you might discover Iowa State University in your search for “online colleges near me.” In addition to on-campus programs, the school offers two distinct online degree programs for undergraduates looking to take classes virtually:

  • Online Bachelor of Science in Early Childcare Education and Programming
  • Online Bachelor of Liberal Studies

Graduate students attending the university online have many more options, including:

  • Online Master of Business Analytics
  • Online Master of Engineering: Engineering Management
  • Online Master of Education (MEd): Educational Technology
  • Online Master of Science in Agricultural Education

The school’s online grad programs in education and computer information technology have both been ranked by U.S. News as some of the best distance education options in their respective fields. Iowa State is fully accredited to offer online programs by The Higher Learning Commission. Qualified applicants, including online learners, should consider applying for financial aid. Student support services are available.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,634

University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Website

Points: 13

University of Iowa - logo

As one of the top schools in Iowa, the University of Iowa offers excellent on-campus and distance learning opportunities for prospective students. This includes fully remote bachelor’s degrees such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Enterprise Leadership
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Sport and Recreation Management
  • Online BA in Social Work
  • Online BS in Radiation Sciences

The university also offers top-ranked master’s degree programs in education and nursing. U.S. News has recognized its online master’s in educational administration program as one of the 15 best such programs nationwide. The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited the University of Iowa to award these online degrees and credentials. Financial aid packages may be available to help students afford college.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,942

Kansas

University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

Website

Points: 12

University of Kansas - logo

Another clear contender in the search for top online distance education providers in Kansas is the University of Kansas. The university is known best for its stellar college programs for graduate students, but options for undergraduates are also available. Examples of available online degrees include:

  • Online Bachelor of Applied Science in Exercise Science
  • Online Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHS)
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology

Some of the school’s top-ranked online master’s degrees include:

  • Online Master’s in Special Education
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master’s in Educational Administration
  • Online Master’s in Nursing

KU is one of several colleges and universities institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to offer multiple online programs. Its special education graduate program has been recognized as the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report’s school rankings. Online enrollment may qualify students for financial aid awards.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,166

Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas

Website

Points: 12

Kansas State University - logo

Students living in Kansas will find Kansas State University among their numerous options for online learning. The university is an excellent choice for distance learners due to its wide range of online degree programs for prospective students. At the bachelor’s level, online degree offerings for adult learners include:

  • Online Bachelor of Applied Business and Technology
  • Online Bachelor of Early Childhood Education
  • Online Bachelor of Hospitality Management
  • Online Bachelor of Integrated Computer Science

KSU also offers a host of online graduate programs, including top-ranked programs such as:

  • Online Master’s in Engineering
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Online Master’s in Computer Information Technology

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Kansas State University to offer on-campus and online programs. The school’s bachelor’s degree programs have been ranked among the top 50 such programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report’s school rankings. Financial aid is available as are student support services.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,420

Kentucky

University of Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Website

Points: 11

University of Kentucky - logo

Known for its top-notch online graduate degree programs in education, the University of Kentucky is also a solid option for undergraduates looking for online educational opportunities in the state. In total, the school offers more than 60 different fully online degree programs for distance learners. At the bachelor’s level, prospective students can complete coursework for the following programs:

  • Accelerated Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Online Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHS): Medical Laboratory Science
  • Online Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (BASW)
  • Online Bachelor of Liberal Studies (BLS)

For students seeking a master’s degree online, standout options include:

  • Online Master of Applied Statistics (MAS)
  • Online Master’s in Applied Environmental and Sustainability Studies
  • Online Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC): Counselor Education
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Information Communication Technology

UK is fully accredited to offer these online programs for adult learners by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school’s online master’s in education programs have been ranked among the 15 best in the nation by school rankings from U.S. News.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,610

Eastern Kentucky University

Richmond, Kentucky

Website

Points: 11

Eastern Kentucky University - logo

One of the most affordable colleges in Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University also happens to be one of the best. Its robust distance learning program is home to over 50 online programs, including options for both undergraduate and graduate students. Standout bachelor’s degree programs online include:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Fire Protection Technology
  • Online BS in Homeland Security
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Paralegal Science
  • Online BA in Political Science

Prospective students interested in pursuing a graduate degree will find top-ranked master’s degree programs in nursing and education. EKU is institutionally accredited to award on-campus and online credentials to adult learners by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In terms of school rankings, U.S. News has rated the school’s online bachelor’s degree program as one of the top 75 in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,752

Louisiana

Louisiana State University  

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Website

Points: 13

Louisiana State University -  logo

Students who reside in Louisiana will find Louisiana State University among their list of options for on-campus and online learning. Here, distance learning students can choose from over 100 different online degree and certificate options, including bachelor’s degree online programs such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communication Studies: Human Relationships
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice: Criminal Psychology
  • Online BS in Finance: Insurance
  • Online BS in Information Systems and Decision Sciences

Graduate students can also complete coursework via distance education at LSU. The school’s nationally ranked programs include:

  • Online Master’s in Engineering
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master’s in Educational Administration

Louisiana State University is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award online degrees and credentials to adult learners. The school’s online master’s in engineering programs have been ranked among the 35 best in the nation by U.S. News.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,958

University of New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

Website

Points: 12

University of New Orleans - logo

In addition to being one of the best on-campus schools in Louisiana, the University of New Orleans is also one of the most affordable online colleges in the state. The school’s offerings in terms of undergraduate options for distance learners are somewhat limited, but the university makes up for this with the quality of these programs. Bachelor’s degree-seeking students can complete coursework for four fully online degree options in liberal arts:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy
  • Online BA in English
  • Online Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Online BA in Romance Languages

Twice as many programs are available to graduate students, including an online PhD in Urban Studies, as well as:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Transportation
  • Online MS in Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • Online MS in Urban Studies
  • Online MS in Engineering Management

The University of New Orleans holds its institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. As for school rankings, U.S. News has ranked the school’s online master’s in engineering programs among some of the best in the nation for adult learners.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,072

Maine

University of Maine

Orono, Maine

Website

Points: 10

University of Maine - logo

If you’re in Maine and search “online schools near me,” chances are you’ll happen upon the University of Maine. As a distance education provider, the school offers online degree and certificate programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to a general Bachelor of University Studies program, prospective students may choose from four other distinct online bachelor’s degree programs:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science
  • Online BA in Economics
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Admin: Management
  • Online BS in Surveying Engineering Technology

Many more online graduate programs are available, however, and standout options include:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Data Science and Engineering
  • Online MS in Nursing: Nurse Educator
  • Online MS in Spatial Informatics
  • Online Master of Social Work (MSW)

The New England Commission of Higher Education has accredited UMaine to award both on-campus and online credentials. The school’s online MBA program has been ranked among the 100 best in the country by U.S. News.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,986

University of Maine-Fort Kent

Fort Kent, Maine

Website

Points: 11

University of Maine-Fort Kent - logo

Among the most affordable online education providers in the state of Maine, the University of Maine-Fort Kent has a respectable distance education program that includes both online associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs. At the bachelor’s level, undergraduate students can pursue credentials at this regionally accredited college such as:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Allied Health
  • Online BS in Cybersecurity
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online BS in Business Management

A self-designed online bachelor’s program is also available for prospective students who want to complete coursework for their own custom course of study. UMFK is institutionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education to confer these college degrees on-campus and online. Admission requirements vary by program, but students can expect to submit official transcripts from high school and/or associate degree programs.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,505

Maryland

University of Maryland-College Park

College Park, Maryland

Website

Points: 12

University of Maryland- College Park - logo

The University of Maryland-College Park is best known for its online grad programs in engineering and business administration. Other online degree options for graduate students include:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Applied Economics
  • Online Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Clinical Psychological Science
  • Online MS in Geospatial Information Sciences
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in International Relations

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has fully accredited the University of Maryland-College Park to confer on-campus and online credentials. Its online MBA has been recognized by U.S. News as one of the top 10 in the nation. Student support services are available to online learners.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,955

University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Baltimore, Maryland

Website

Points: 13

University of Maryland - Baltimore County - logo

Maryland residents who search “online universities near me” will find the University of Maryland-Baltimore County among their handful of options. Known primarily for its online graduate programs in computer information technology, the school also offers a number of other online programs, including:

  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in TESOL
  • Online Master’s in Instructional Systems Development: Training Systems
  • Online MS in Emergency Health Services

Several online post-baccalaureate certificates are also available in these same areas of study. UMBC is institutionally accredited to award these college degrees by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. U.S. News has ranked the school’s online MS in Information Systems among the top 40 online master’s programs in computer information technology nationwide. Admission requirements vary by program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,280

Massachusetts

University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts

Website

Points: 12

University of Massachusetts - Amherst - logo

Dubbed “the University Without Walls (UWW),” the University of Massachusetts-Amherst’s online school is one of the best in the state and arguably the nation. UWW offers online courses as well as full undergraduate and graduate degree programs online, including top-ranked options like:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Hospitality & Tourism Management
  • Online Master Education (MEd): Bridges to the Future
  • Online Master of Science (MS): Clinical Nurse Leader
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)

UMass-Amherst holds the institutional accreditation necessary to offer on-campus and online programs by the New England Commission of Higher Education. U.S. News has awarded top ratings to the school’s online master’s degree programs in nursing and business administration. Admission requirements vary from one program to the next. Still, official transcripts are almost always required.

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,439

University of Massachusetts-Lowell

Lowell, Massachusetts

Website

Points: 12

University of Massachusetts-Lowell  - logo

Students who live in the state of Massachusetts may discover the University of Massachusetts-Lowell after searching “online universities near me.” Those who do will find a wealth of distance learning options, including both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that can be completed entirely online. One of our regionally accredited schools, UMass Lowell offers the following programs online for undergraduate students:

  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Information Technology
  • Online BS in Criminal Justice
  • Online BA in English

Programs for grad students are even more plentiful and include highly rated programs in criminal justice, business, liberal arts, and computer information technology. The New England Commission of Higher Education has fully accredited UMass-Lowell to confer these online college credentials. U.S. News has ranked the school’s online master’s degree program in criminal justice among the top five nationwide. Online students enjoy the same school support services as on-campus students.

Undergraduate Tuition: $15,698

Michigan

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Website

Points: 11

University of Michigan- Ann Arbor - logo

If you live in Michigan and are searching for “online universities near me,” you may want to consider the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, especially if you’re a graduate student. The school’s online learning program features over a dozen different options for distance learners seeking a master’s degree online, including:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Population and Health Sciences
  • Online Master of Engineering in Automotive Engineering
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN): Leadership, Analytics, and Innovation
  • Online Master of Social Work (MSW)

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor is institutionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award college credentials online and on-campus. The school’s online graduate programs in engineering have been ranked among the very best in the nation by U.S. News.

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,178

Ferris State University

Big Rapids, Michigan

Website

Points: 12

Ferris State University - logo

One of the most affordable online schools in Michigan, Ferris State University offers over a dozen online programs for undergraduate students seeking a bachelor’s degree. Examples of these online degrees for distance learners include:

  • Online Bachelor’s in Digital Media Software Engineering
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration
  • Online Bachelor’s in Information Security & Intelligence

Several options are also available to grad students, including:

  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Online RN to MSN
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Information Security & Intelligence

Ferris State is fully accredited to offer these college programs by The Higher Learning Commission. The school’s master’s program in computer information technology has been ranked among the 25 best in the country by U.S. News. Online learners can access the same school support services like career advising and tutoring as in-person students.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,740

Minnesota

Minnesota State University-Moorhead

Moorhead, Minnesota

Website

Points: 10

Minnesota State University Moorhead - logo

Students living in or near Minnesota may find Minnesota State University- Moorhead on their radar. Here, they will find high-quality online degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Examples of the school’s most popular distance learning options include the following online degrees:

  • Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA)
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Curriculum & Instruction

The Higher Learning Commission has fully accredited MSUM to award these degrees and credentials to on-campus and distance learners. U.S. News has ranked many of these programs among some of the best online degrees available nationwide, particularly those in business, education, and nursing.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,468

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Website

Points: 13

University of Minnesota- Twin Cities - logo

Arguably one of the top online institutions in Minnesota and the country at large, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers a wide range of distance learning options, including full online college programs as well as online certificates. For undergraduate distance learners, bachelor’s degree online offerings include:

  • Online Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Psychology
  • Online Bachelor of Manufacturing Management
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in International Business
  • Online BS in Information Technology Management

Programs available to grad students include:

  • Online Master of Healthcare Administration
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coaching
  • Online MA in Applied Child and Adolescent Development

These remote college programs are made possible through the university’s accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. U.S. News has recognized the school’s online master’s programs in engineering and computer information technology as some of the best in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,723

Mississippi

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, Mississippi

Website

Points: 10

Mississippi State University - logo

Mississippi State University is a hard-to-miss option for Mississippians who find themselves searching “online universities near me.” Here, undergraduate students will find nearly a dozen different options for bachelor’s degrees online, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Educational Psychology
  • Online BS in Industrial Technology
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Communications: Public Relations
  • Online BA in History

Even more online options are available at the master’s level, including:

  • Online Master of Professional Accountancy
  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity & Operations
  • Online MS in Computational Engineering
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching: Special Education

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Mississippi State to award on-campus and online bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The regionally accredited college’s graduate offerings in engineering and business have been ranked among the 75 best such programs in the nation by U.S. News.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,220

University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Website

Points: 10

University of Southern Mississippi - logo

One of the most affordable online distance education providers in the state of Mississippi and beyond, the University of Southern Mississippi doesn’t skimp on quality. In fact, the school offers nationally-ranked online bachelor’s degree programs for undergraduate distance education students, including:

  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Child & Family Sciences
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA)
  • Online BS in Industrial Engineering Technology
  • Online Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy

An even more impressive list of college programs is available to the school’s grad students. Standout options for these distance learners include:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Coaching and Sport Performance
  • Online MS in Criminal Justice
  • Online MS in Human Capital Development
  • Online PhD in Nursing Leadership

The University of Southern Mississippi is institutionally accredited to award these online credentials by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school’s undergraduate offerings for distance learners have been ranked among the top 75 in the nation by U.S. News.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,204

Missouri

Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Website

Points: 12

Southeast Missouri State University -  logo

One of the best and most affordable schools in the state of Missouri, Southeast Missouri State University boasts more than 30 top-ranked online college degrees for undergraduate and graduate students alike. This includes roughly a dozen online bachelor’s programs such as:

  • Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS): Applied Technology
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS): Child Development
  • Online BS in Family Studies
  • Online BS in Healthcare Administration

Online degrees for grad students are even more abundant and include options like:

  • Online Master of Science (MS) in Applied Nutrition
  • Online MS in Applied Computer Science
  • Online Master of Arts (MA) in Elementary Education
  • Online Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Southeast Missouri State University is institutionally accredited to confer college credentials for on-campus students and distance learners by The Higher Learning Commission. The school’s online bachelor’s degree programs in business have been ranked among the top 40 in the nation by U.S. News. Online tutoring may be available.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,715

University of Missouri

Columbia, Missouri

Website

Points: 13

University of Missouri - logo

Missouri residents interested in online learning will likely discover what the University of Missouri has to offer distance learning students. Undergraduate students will find several nationally ranked online bachelor’s programs at this best online college, including:

  • Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration
  • Online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Fitness Programming and Management
  • Online BS in Information Technology
  • Online RN to BSN

Grad students can also choose from first-rate online master’s programs in the fields of business, education, and nursing. Examples of these online degrees include:

  • Online Master of Science in Education (MEd) in Early Childhood Special Education
  • Online Executive Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Online Master of Science: Family Nurse Practitioner

The University of Missouri holds the institutional accreditation necessary to confer these online degrees for distance learners by The Higher Learning Commission.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,475

About Online Colleges and Schools

In today’s society, so many of our daily activities take place online. Increasingly, learning activities are happening virtually, too. Even before the pandemic, colleges and universities across the United States were developing online programs at a breakneck pace. Today, most accredited institutions have an online learning division for distance learners, and hundreds of them offer fully online programs.

Quantity isn’t the only thing that’s improving, though; the quality of these online college programs has reached an all-time high. While online colleges used to be associated with the term “diploma mills” because of their low rigor, today, some of the best online colleges are housed within accredited colleges and universities, even prestigious ones like Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania, for example. And you only need a high school diploma to apply!

The result of this uptick in distance learning opportunities is that online students juggling work and family responsibilities now have tons of choices for earning a degree online. When they search “accredited online colleges near me,” for example, they’ll find affordable online colleges alongside some of the best online colleges for specific subject areas as well as schools that emphasize either undergraduate or graduate education. They’ll also find full-time and part-time program options. The choices for a quality education online are almost dizzying.

Choosing the Best Online Universities

While having options is always a good thing, too many choices for earning a degree via distance education can pose a significant challenge for students deciding between numerous schools. There’s no right or wrong answer per se, but there are certainly some guidelines distance learners will want to follow to narrow down your choices for getting a quality education online.

Identify Accredited Online Schools

To ensure that the online providers you’re considering are, in fact, legitimate, you’ll want to check for the school’s accreditation. Typically, accredited online universities are either regionally or nationally accredited. Another thing to confirm is that the school’s accrediting body is approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Common examples include:

  • The Higher Learning Commission
  • The Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • The New England Commission of Higher Education
  • The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • The WASC Senior College and University Commission

To get started, a complete list of approved agencies can be found on the U.S. Department of Education’s website. You can also speak to an admissions representative prior to the enrollment process.

Check Tuition Rates

While it’s true that money isn’t everything, it’s definitely a factor you should consider when paying for college credits. After all, student loans in the U.S. have reached staggering heights, and you don’t want to take on any unnecessary debt in exchange for credit hours. The good news is that most online universities provide in-state tuition discounts for students, whether or not they actually live in the state. This loophole of sorts can save you thousands of dollars per year on your education costs. Still, tuition can vary quite a bit from school to school, so this is something you’ll want to keep in mind. Plus, there is always financial aid to consider.

Evaluate Flexibility

It’s a common misconception that all online institutions are the same in terms of flexibility. This isn’t the reality, though. In fact, each online college you consider will have its own unique characteristics that determine how flexible your learning schedule will be. For example, many colleges offer both full-time and part-time options for distance learning, but this isn’t the case for every school. Moreover, some online programs require students to be online at certain times to participate in virtual activities, while others are more lenient when it comes to earning a degree. While one method is not better or worse than the other necessarily, you’ll want to ensure that the school’s online learning requirements will fit into your schedule before you decide to get started with a certain program.

Consider Your Learning Style

While it’s important to ensure you can make it to class and afford the cost of your tuition, you need to think further ahead to choose the very best online college for you. What will the course be like once you’re enrolled? Will you be able to maintain interest in the material long enough to earn college credits? What will your grades look like? To answer these questions, you need to ponder your learning style and how it might mesh with the many colleges you’re considering. If you’re reasonably self-driven and you already have a passion for your subject of choice, then you may do fine with an asynchronous course delivery method or a less hands-on approach to instruction. On the other hand, if you thrive off one-on-one instruction and need more structure to remain engaged, then an asynchronous online college program featuring live course content may be more beneficial to your academic performance. These are all important things to consider before you get started with an online degree.

Frequently-Searched Types of Remote Colleges “Near Me”

When prospective distance learners search for remote colleges, they’re often looking for a specific type of academic degree program. Here are some of the most popular searches associated with the search term “online colleges near me,” as well as some information about the programs available for each type of online college program.

Remote Colleges Near Me for Nursing

Because healthcare is such an in-demand field, online college programs in nursing are plentiful. Whether you want to earn an entry-level nursing credential after high school such as an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or pursue a graduate degree in nursing, you should have little difficulty finding an online college program to fit your academic and career goals. Some common distance learning offerings for prospective nurses and degree seekers include:

  • Online Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Online Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)
  • Online Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN)
  • Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Online RN to BSN
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Most schools offering college programs for nurses feature concentrations that enable students to specialize in a specific sub-field of nursing. Some of these available concentrations may include:

  • Nursing Education
  • Nurse Midwifery
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Gerontology
  • Neonatal Nursing

It’s important to note that online nursing programs usually require some type of clinical experience in addition to online coursework. This portion of the program cannot be completed online, but some programs do allow students to select the site where they will fulfill their clinical hours required for college credits.

Online Colleges Near Me for Social Work

Social work is another common field for distance learners who want to get started earning a degree. Students looking for the best online schools in this area of study often do so with a specific degree or credential in mind. Most schools offer the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and the Master of Social Work (MSW) for degree seekers. While online colleges for social work may not offer much in terms of variation for types of degrees, they do offer more choices when it comes to specializations. Popular concentrations for social work degree plans include:

  • Adult Social Work
  • Children, Youth, and Family Social Work
  • Community Social Work
  • Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Planning and Administration

The top online colleges for social work are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Choose one of these programs to ensure you’re getting a quality education.

Online Schools Near Me for Business

Along with healthcare, business is one of the fastest-growing fields right now, so it’s not surprising that many colleges would offer programs in this area of study. Some of the best online universities for business have programs at every level of postsecondary education, from associate’s degrees to post-graduate credentials. Some of these credentials for degree seekers may include:

  • Online Associate’s in Business Administration
  • Online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Business Administration
  • Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA)
  • Online Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Business is a broad field, so you can expect that the top online colleges in this discipline will offer various areas of emphasis for distance learners to choose from. Examples include:

  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • International Business
  • Management
  • Marketing

There are three large accrediting bodies that evaluate academic programs in business. When looking for an online delivery format in this particular field, you should check for accreditation by one of the following to ensure a quality education:

  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
  • International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE)

Online Universities Near Me for Early Childhood Education

Those distance learners who have a passion for teaching young children may find themselves searching for schools in the field of early childhood education. That’s because positions in this field often require a professional credential or degree in addition to a teaching license. Fortunately for students who prefer distance learning to get started earning a degree, online universities offer numerous academic programs for aspiring ECE educators. Some of these program offerings may include:

  • Online Associate’s in Early Childhood Education
  • Online Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education (Teaching License)
  • Online Master’s in Early Childhood Education

Separate undergraduate degree tracks are typically available for those students who aspire to obtain a teaching license versus those who want to work in early childhood education program planning and development.

If you’ve ever dreamed of getting a college degree after high school, there is no time like the present. Distance education is no longer a work-in-progress. Instead, it has become a viable option for students all over the country who either require or prefer virtual learning instead of traditional in-person instruction but still want a quality education. Affordable online colleges exist that rival face-to-face opportunities at some of the nation’s most distinguished colleges and universities. So what are you waiting for? Begin your search for “online colleges for me” today, and get started earning a degree!

Frequently-Asked Questions About Online Learning

If you’re serious about earning college credits online, we’d advise you to get all of your questions answered before making an enrollment decision. This is by far the best way to get started. Below, our editors have compiled a handful of frequently asked questions about online programs. As you peruse these, keep in mind that the information provided here is general and not intended to represent any specific school or program.

Q: Which online universities are legitimate?

A: Be sure to check that the schools you consider are accredited by a regional or national accreditation agency approved by the U.S. Department of Education. These are the only online schools that can be regarded as legitimate quality education providers.

Q: How do I find the best online universities near me?

A: Keep in mind that the best online universities for you may not be the same ones that benefit someone else. That’s because there is no one-size-fits-all solution to higher education. Instead, distance learning is often a highly individualized process. You’ll need to evaluate each school on your list for features that you value, such as affordability, convenience, and interactivity, for instance. This is a good way to get started toward finding the right school for you.

Q: Which remote college is the cheapest?

A: If you’re looking for the most affordable remote colleges, you may consider Florida Atlantic University or the University of North Georgia, both of which are associated with tuition costs of less than $5,000 per year.

Q: How long does it take to complete online programs?

A: It depends on the program. While a bachelor’s degree usually takes four years for online students to complete, most associate’s and master’s degrees can be completed within two years. Still, accelerated and part-time program options exist that may shorten or lengthen the time required for earning a degree. Consider your other obligations such as family responsibilities prior to selecting one of these options.

This concludes our ranking of the best online colleges in AL through MO.

Sources