Top 5 Online Colleges in the US

by A Guest Author

Remember when it seemed there was a Starbucks on virtually every corner? Eventually that explosion maxed out and the company came back down to earth, closing some of its stores.

It's not too different today in the world of online colleges. Fully online colleges have been springing up all across the Internet and joining them are a large group of brick and mortar colleges—both private and public—that are devoting significant resources to establishing online programs.

Rating them is not the easiest thing to do. High school seniors checking our prospective colleges often venture out and visit campuses—not so easy with online colleges. For our rating we took into account factors such as accreditation, number of programs offered, student retention rates, awards and student-faculty ratios.

1. National University
National University says it's the second-largest, non-profit, private college in California. It has a long list of campuses throughout California and Nevada as well as an extensive online presence. Online degree programs stretch across virtually all of the university's schools, including business and management; education; engineering, technology and media; and letters and sciences. Students can get anything from a degree in English to construction engineering technology.

2. Everglades University
This private, non-profit university is based in Florida and has several campuses throughout the state. It offers online bachelor's degrees in business, alternative medicine, renewable energy, construction management, disaster management, aviation technology, aviation management and applied management. There are graduate programs in entrepreneurship, aviation science and business administration. The university works to keep class size down and serve adult learners.

3. Southern New Hampshire University
SNHU, a private, non-profit university, has received a lot of honors, including a ranking in the US News and World report annual comparison of colleges and universities throughout the United States. The magazine also noted it as one of the most affordable among "Tier 1" schools. In a survey conducted by, its online bachelor's degrees ranked in the top 20 in the nation. Online undergraduate degrees are available in more than 60 areas, from traditional degrees such as accounting to technological studies, including robotics and cybersecurity.

4. Northeastern University
Yes, a university that was founded in 1898—not 1998—is rapidly becoming a leader in online higher education. More than 70 programs, certificates and degrees spread across six Northeaster colleges are offered, including everything from bachelor's to doctoral degrees. Online students can study health sciences, art, business, computers, engineering, science, social science and the humanities.

5. Abilene Christian University
Online graduate programs are becoming increasingly popular and important to professionals who want to push their careers further but can't afford to walk away from their jobs. ACU offers widely recognized online graduate degree programs, including several geared toward educators and others specializing in leadership, human resource development and conflict resolution. The university's online efforts have been recognized by The Princeton Review, Apple computer, and others. A distinctive with this university is its Christian emphasis.

We have only touched on five excellent online universities. However, they cover a wide range of academic areas. One of the best ways to connect with an online program is to talk to professionals in your field to get first hand knowledge. And, if you find others who have dropped out of programs for any reason, this should make your especially cautious.

About the Author

Chris Turberville-Tully is a marketing strategist for ITI Education, a UK education program for aspiring dental surgeons, general practitioners, specialized dental implant surgeons and others.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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