We all know that college classes are readily available online. But you can find many great online colleges specifically geared for digital instruction only. That means the instructors know both the philosophy of and the tools for this particular type of modern-day teaching.
There are more online colleges every day, or so it seems. Therefore, here’s a helpful guide to our five favorite online colleges.
Purdue University Global
You can’t go wrong with the online version of an academically-sound Big 10 University. Not only are the online programs of PUG tailored for adults, but one great unique feature of Purdue is that provides one-on-one mentoring, which is so crucial in the online environment.
The college is structured around three main tracks, the Open College, which allows students to transfer previous credits; the ExcelTrack courses, which allow swift students to graduate more quickly; and the traditional interactive classroom path.
Programs: 175, including Aviation, Criminal Justice, Communication, Business, and Fire Science
Tuition: For undergrad programs, $371/credit hour; for IN residents, $280
Niche: Purdue Global offers online students to forge an experience somewhat similar to that of campus students with its 25 student organizations. The institution is flexible with its plans and gives military discounts.
Colorado State University Global Campus
One of the great things about CSU’s online education is how forward-looking it is. Many of their programs are in specific, finely-tailored fields that can be put to use in the current world. This is a great school for folks who want to apply a degree to a career with a future.
Programs: Computer Science, Healthcare Administration and Management, Interdisciplinary Professional Studies; certifications in Data Management and Analysis, Cybersecurity, and more
Tuition: $350/credit hour/$8,400 annual
Niche: SCUG is a not-for-profit university; accordingly, its tuition is lower than analogous online institutions, and when one considers that it consistently ranks in the top 10 national by the major rankers, this affordability is all the more impressive.
University of Florida Online
Though you may know UF as a brick-and-mortar school, its online programs are highly developed, well-known, and great for continuing learners. The online degree learners earn are the same as those achieved on campus; online students have access to an accomplished faculty.
The instruction is both synchronous and asynchronous, and the school emphasizes that they strive not to compromise the rigor of in-person programs.
Programs: more than 100 programs, and 25 majors, including Anthropology, Criminology, Business Administration, Advertising, Health Education, Geology
Tuition: $129.18/credit hour
Niche: University of Florida flourishes by applying its resources as an institution of higher learning that has operated since 1853 to online instruction. They offer a nice hybrid of older-school, established liberal arts education and flexible digital learning. They value education as personal enrichment in addition to career credential, offering quite a few Humanities and Social Science programs hard to find online.
Strayer merged with Capella Education in 1996, and the resulting mega-college operates under the name Strayer. What started as a business school in 1892 has now become one of the heavyweights in online learning.
Students receive a laptop with Microsoft software upon enrolling, and for every three classes they complete, they get access to a free one.
Programs: Associate, Bachelor’s, and Master’s. Bachelor’s programs are Accounting, Applied Science in Management, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, and Information Technology.
Tuition: See the calculator. Many discounts are available, including one for military personnel
Niche: Strayer has a somewhat unique distinction among online colleges, in that it has a large minority population. According to the most recent government data, 58% of Strayer students are African-American, and 81% non-white. The school offers mainly programs that translate into career advancement.
Western Governors University
Formed in Utah in 1995, this private institution uses a unique and rare competency-based model of instruction. It takes into account a student’s current knowledge and allows them to progress as soon as they’ve shown mastery of material, as opposed to the traditional semester/quarter model.
Programs: IT degrees such as Cloud Computing, Software Development, and Cybersecurity and Information Assurance; Health and Nursing degrees such as R.N., and Health Information Management; and business degrees such as Marketing and Accounting, and a full range of Education degrees.
Tuition: Bachelor’s: $6,670/year
Niche: Not only does WGU implement their competency-based model, but they pride themselves on the fact that 42% of their recent students completed their degrees without going into debt. This unique institution seems to truly care about its students.