Top 7 Online Colleges for a Bachelor's Degree
We've reviewed the top schools that bring you the best quality in online bachelor's degree programs. Our editors evaluated the seven top schools according to their flexibility, academics, program diversity and more.
What Makes a Top Online Bachelor's Degree Program?
Earning your bachelor's degree doesn't mean you have to quit your job or live away from your family on a college campus. Online degree programs allow you balance your studies with your work and family responsibilities. Many schools offer online bachelor's degree programs and we evaluated them according to several criteria in order to help you find the top school that is right for you. We used the following factors to evaluate schools: experience teaching online, flexibility and convenience, learning environment, program diversity, program and class availability, student support, and scholarship opportunities. See why we chose these factors or scroll down to jump straight to our list of top schools.
|Experience Teaching Online||Because online learning is a relatively new medium in education, you want to trust your education with a school that has experience in administering online education. The top schools we selected have valid and current regional accreditation, a widely known school brand, years of experience using online learning platforms, and an industry reputation for incorporating the newest technologies and methods for online education. We also selected schools that have expansive alumni networks that students can take advantage of as they search for jobs and develop their careers.|
|Flexibility and Convenience||We believe that flexibility and convenience are among the main benefits of pursuing an education online. Keep an eye out for schools that offer flexible options in terms of scheduling. Options like this may include asynchronous class discussions that span days instead of normal classroom hours, the ability to schedule exam times that fit your calendar, or viewing class video lectures at your own pace. We also preferred schools with mobile learning options, and the following top schools have open enrollment and flexible start dates so you can begin your classes at a time that's convenient for you.|
|Learning Environment||A learning environment with a well-crafted and intuitive design can make the difference between having an enjoyable or frustrating time learning online. Top schools have online classrooms that are simple to navigate, even if you're not a computer whiz. The classroom technologies used by top online schools allow you to intuitively interact with your classmates and instructors, which provide a personal feel to the online learning environment.|
|Program Diversity||We selected schools that offer a wide array of program levels and fields of study so you can choose an academic program that matches your career goals. When you enroll in a school with many program options, you're given flexibility to change your major based on new interests that you may discover during your time studying. The top schools we selected offer degree programs from the associate's degree level to the doctoral level in a wide range of subjects, as well as many continuing education classes.|
|Program and Class Availability||Because one of the main benefits of online learning is convenience, a top online school should have enough program availability so enrolled students have no trouble getting spots in the programs and classes they want. We keep this in mind for our ranking criteria so that only schools with the best program and class availability are mentioned.|
|Student Support||When you're learning from home, you need easy access to technical and academic support services. A top online school should have qualified tech support teams to assist you when computer problems arise, as well as academic support teams to help you as you plan your degree program and select courses. We gave an extra boost to schools with round-the-clock technical support.|
|Scholarship Opportunities||We know that enrolling in college is a significant financial decision, so we favored the schools that helped students ease the financial burden with generous scholarship offerings. Our top schools have scholarships that are available to a variety of students who qualify.|
Top 7 Schools for Online Bachelor's Degree Programs
After looking at many of the schools that offer online bachelor's degrees, we picked the top seven that stood out above the rest.
In 2014, DeVry was ranked in the top 100 on U.S. News & World Report's list of Best Online Bachelor's Programs. The university offers more than 30 online bachelor's degree programs in business, engineering, health sciences, liberal arts and media arts, and it has a year-round calendar that allows you to complete your degree program at your convenience.
Our editors noted DeVry's wide variety of scholarship opportunities and its stellar faculty, who have relevant professional experience and advanced degrees. Additionally, DeVry offers its programs online and on-campus, allowing students to create schedules that work for them.
We liked Grand Canyon University because of the unique nature of its asynchronous online programs: students take just one class at a time. This allows Grand Canyon students to devote their time and energy to a single course instead of many, which is particularly useful for students who are juggling work with their studies.
Grand Canyon offers over 30 online bachelor's degree programs in a variety of specializations. Additionally, the university features a dual enrollment program, through which high school students can get a head start on their degree by taking online courses.
3. Walden University
Walden University's 40 years of educational experience led the school to apply its expertise in crafting a flexible learning environment as the core of its online degree programs. Among its online bachelor's degree offerings are programs in accounting, child development, criminal justice, health studies, psychology, public health and more.
Certain Walden University programs include the Virtual Field Experience, which allows students to observe and learn from field experts through streaming media. Students also can access classroom materials on their mobile devices. In terms of flexibility and convenience, we liked Walden's around-the-clock student support offerings, which include technical support, tutoring, career services and an online virtual library. Bachelor's degree candidates can apply for Walden's merit-based scholarships.
4. Strayer University
Strayer University offers students a quality undergraduate education that's affordable, convenient and supportive. The university's flexible bachelor's degree programs in business administration, accounting, criminal justice, economics, information systems and information technology make it possible to earn a competitive bachelor's degree on your schedule, without interrupting your personal or professional life.
Students can attend classes (on-campus or online) at times that fit their schedules and learn from qualified faculty who bring relevant theoretical and practical knowledge to the classroom. Additionally, Strayer's student resources, such as an extensive alumni network, academic advising, an online library and academic tutoring, are designed to enable Strayer students for academic success.
Full Sail University offers online education for creative minds, and we selected the university for its bevy of services for online students. This includes a career development program that begins the day you enroll and features help with networking, searching for a job and developing a portfolio and resume. The university also has a top-notch technical support team and offers a web-hosted platform where you can communicate with your fellow online students to discuss school as well as outside interests.
Full Sail's fully online degree programs, which prepare students to work in media and entertainment, include more than a dozen bachelor's programs in areas like game design, media communications, and web design and development. The university also offers 10 master's programs.
Disclosure: Some or all of the schools listed may be partners of Education Portal.
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