The listings featured on this site are from companies from which this site receives compensation. This influences where, how and in what order such listings appear on this site.
Advertising Disclosure
compareonlinecolleges.com is a free online resource that strives to offer helpful content and comparison features to our visitors. We accept advertising compensation from companies that appear on the site, which impacts the location and order in which brands (and/or their products) are presented, and also impacts the score that is assigned to it. Company listings on this page DO NOT imply endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our Terms of Use, all representations and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including pricing, which appears on this site is subject to change at any time.
Close
Best Accredited Online Colleges of July 2024
Launch your career with an online degree program
Ready to start your online degree? Compare our top choices for accredited online colleges
and choose the one that suits you the most.
Best Accredited Online Colleges of July 2024
Ready to start your online degree? Compare our top choices for accredited online colleges and choose the one that suits you the most.
Best Accredited Online Colleges of July 2024
1
Our Most Popular
Online
Campus
Our Most Popular
Classes start on 09/02/2024
  • Choose from 200+ accredited degree programs that can lead to high-demand career opportunities
  • Receive individual support from an academic advisor, from the moment you arrive until graduation
  • Low tuition, financial aid packages (for those who qualify), no application fees for undergraduates
  • Unique services such as 24 hour tech support, tutoring, and online library
Read School Profile
SNHU's popular programs
  • Computer Science
  • Business Administration
  • Psychology
Search Programs
2
Online
Classes start on 08/06/2024
  • Earn your degree through a convenient online format with flexible class & degree program
  • No application fees or standardized testing requirements
  • Study at your own pace with accelerated 5-to-6 week courses with 24/7 student support
  • Earn credit for your work/life experience and military service
Read School Profile
UAGC popular programs
  • Criminal Justice
  • Business Administration
  • Psychology
Search Programs
3
Online
Classes start on 08/26/2024
  • Earn a degree backed by the power of Purdue, one of the nation's most respected and innovative public universities
  • Get personalized support for career planning, coursework, networking, and more
  • Designed for working adults with full lives, who need flexible online learning to advance their careers
  • Get started sooner—new terms start monthly, with open enrollment
Read School Profile
PG's Popular Programs
  • Business Administration
  • Psychology
  • Cybersecurity
Search Programs
4
Online
Classes start on 08/25/2024
  • Offers high-quality education that is affordable, innovative, and flexible with 18:1 student-faculty ratio
  • Doesn't require SAT/ACT scores, there's no application fee and you can complete the entire process online
  • Online accelerated 8-week terms that begin three times a year for bachelor online degree programs
  • Enjoy 1-on-1 mentoring and personalized support from academic advisers, faculty experts, and peers
Read School Profile
Lynn's popular programs
  • Elementary Education
  • Communication and Media
  • Business Administration
Search Programs
5
Online
Classes start on 08/19/2024
  • Offers 150+ areas of study from a Christian and faith-based perspective through high-ranking programs
  • 8-week accelerated courses for faster degree completion available
  • Option to transfer up to 90 credit hours to your degree at Regent Univeristy
  • Registering students will get a personalized call from Regent University within 24 hours of signing up on weekdays
Read School Profile
Regent's popular programs
  • Business Administration
  • Psychology
  • Religious Studies
Search Programs
6
Online
Classes start on 08/01/2024
  • Choose from award-winning programs designed by industry experts to earn respected, career-focused bachelor's and master's degrees from an accredited university
  • Earn your online degree for half the cost of other online universities with a low, flat-rate tuition and scholarships available
  • Flexible scheduling designed to help working professionals fit an online university education into their busy lives or pace ahead
  • Free application and free transcript services that help you gather your transcripts at no additional cost
Read School Profile
WGU's Popular Programs
  • Business
  • IT/Technology
  • Education/Teaching
  • Healthcare/Nursing
Search Programs
7
Online
Classes start on 08/26/2024
  • Take courses 100% online and study when and where you want, at the pace of your life.
  • Earn a degree designed by industry experts with employer needs and your career success in mind.
  • Transfer credits from eligible college coursework and prior career and military experiences to cut the time and tuition required for your degree.
  • Learn from experts who are actively involved in the fields that they teach so you’re up-to-date and ready to get ahead in your career from day one.
Read School Profile
UMass Global's popular programs
  • Psychology
  • Business Administration
  • Information Technology
Search Programs
8
Health Degrees Only
Online
Classes start on 08/13/2024
  • Study from a broad-based curriculum, promoting critical thinking & life-long learning skills
  • Education that values learning, professionalism & commitment to the advancement of the community
  • Attend class any time - day or night - from anywhere with internet access
  • Get one-on-one support and mentorship from faculty and staff dedicated to your career goals
Read School Profile
South's popular programs
  • Healthcare Management
  • Public Health
  • Medical Assisting
Search Programs
Our Top Choice
1
Our Most Popular
Online
Campus
Our Most Popular
Classes start on 09/02/2024
  • Choose from 200+ accredited degree programs that can lead to high-demand career opportunities
  • Receive individual support from an academic advisor, from the moment you arrive until graduation
  • Low tuition, financial aid packages (for those who qualify), no application fees for undergraduates
  • Unique services such as 24 hour tech support, tutoring, and online library
Read School Profile
SNHU's popular programs
  • Computer Science
  • Business Administration
  • Psychology
Search Programs
2,721,357
people have compared online colleges with
Editorial Reviews
University of Arizona Global Campus
Purdue Global
Lynn University
Regent University
Must Reads
Read All
10 Reasons Why People Are Studying Online Today
Top 5 Compelling Reasons to Start an Online Degree Today
Studying Online vs. On-Campus: Which is Better?
Let’s Decode: IT vs. Computer Science Degree
9 Things You Need to Know Before Starting an Online Degree Program
Online vs. On-Campus

Pursuing an online degree offers a flexible and convenient way for students to advance their education and career prospects while empowering students to study from a diverse range of courses at their own pace from any device. Explore the different benefits that an online degree offers and how it adapts to your studying style.

Online Campus
Flexibility
Studying online allows students to choose their own schedules, perfect for working professionals.
Lower costs
Save on transportation, books and living expenses.
Study at your own pace
Choose your own study schedule and pace to fit your needs.
Study anywhere on any device
Access lessons, assignments and study materials from anywhere on any device.
Networking opportunities
Network with students all over the world from different backgrounds.
Student support
Receive dedicated student and academic support to help guide you through your studying experience.
Social activities
While you won't be able to meet your peers in person, you can still participate in virtual social activities that fit your schedule.

Accredited College Online: The Basics

Online universities have been around for a long time and have only increased their popularity. The most important thing to know about studying at an accredited online university is that it is just like studying at a regular university – just online. In fact, the best online universities are usually just online versions of actual brick-and-mortar universities.

Benefits of Online Universities

If the best online colleges are just online versions of the best bricks-and-mortar colleges, then you’re probably wondering why anyone would go to the effort of studying online. The truth is there are actually lots of benefits to taking a college degree online.

Convenience

Traditional brick-and-mortar colleges require you to attend classes in person, even if that means relocating to the other side of the country. But colleges with online degrees let you study from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection, allowing you to live and work wherever you want while pursuing your degree.

It can take time for studying (and working) remotely to come naturally. In fact, people still search for terms like “online college near me” and “college near me online”, as if location matters when studying at an accredited college online. However, once you get used to the idea of studying at a location of your choice, you’ll wonder why anyone ever attended school in person.

Flexibility

One of the benefits of taking a college degree online is the flexibility. At a traditional brick-and-mortar school, students have no choice but to attend classes at the time their professors decide. But online classes are often offered on demand, meaning you can access them at a time of your choosing. You can even repeat sessions if you feel you missed out on something the first time.

Good online colleges offer you the flexibility to build your degree around your work. Work during the day? No problem, you can take your classes at night. Too busy to study full-time? The best accredited online colleges let you complete your degree half-time or even part-time.

Affordability

The price of a university education has risen to unmanageable proportions for most Americans, with many private schools charging more than $40,000 per year in tuition and fees. Since college online schools don’t have the same kind of overheads as their bricks-and-mortar equivalents, they can afford to charge significantly less in tuition and fees.

Because colleges with online programs allow you to study remotely, that means you don’t have to pay any of the additional charges associated with learning on campus. For starters, online degree colleges have zero dorm costs, zero eating out costs, and zero membership fees for various on-campus amenities you may never end up using. It also costs nothing to get from your home to your accredited online university.

Our Top 3 Picks for Online Colleges

Our Top Choice

In a Nutshell

SNHU has more than 200 programs ranging from accounting and finance to technology and social sciences, and you can earn an Associate, Bachelor’s, or Master’s Degree from SNHU. The school is known for being affordable and flexible.

Features

  • Choose from 200+ accredited degree programs that can lead to high-demand career opportunities
  • Receive individual support from an academic advisor, from the moment you arrive until graduation
  • Low tuition, financial aid packages (for those who qualify), no application fees for undergraduates
  • Unique services such as 24 hour tech support, tutoring, and online library

Pros

  • Helpful advisors and student resources
  • Affordable tuition & financial aid packages/scholarships
  • Easy to transfer credits

Cons

  • Can be difficult to follow tech-focused programs online
  • Not a lot of break time between sessions

In a Nutshell

The University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC) is an accredited online university with flexible programs. It makes higher education more accessible for many working adults and provides dozens of degree options in numerous areas of interest.

Features

  • Earn your degree through a convenient online format with flexible class & degree program
  • No application fees or standardized testing requirements
  • Study at your own pace with accelerated 5-to-6 week courses with 24/7 student support
  • Earn credit for your work/life experience and military service

Pros

  • $0 application fee
  • 50+ degree programs to choose from
  • Flexible online programs that work around your schedule
  • 24/7 support

Cons

  • Lower-than-average graduation rates
  • No options for in-person learning

In a Nutshell

Purdue Global provides an accessible online route to gain qualifications that can further your career. Ideal for busy people who want to study remotely, Purdue Global still offers a high level of student support, both academically and in helping you make progress at work. With a free three-week trial, you can test it out with no commitment. And there are plenty of options for financial aid, including experiential credits.

Features

  • Earn a degree backed by the power of Purdue, one of the nation's most respected and innovative public universities
  • Get personalized support for career planning, coursework, networking, and more
  • Designed for working adults with full lives, who need flexible online learning to advance their careers
  • Get started sooner—new terms start monthly, with open enrollment

Pros

  • Qualifications from Associate’s to doctoral degrees
  • Range of options for financial aid and assistance
  • Free three-week trial period

Cons

  • Courses only in professional subjects
  • No dedicated internship program

Improves your career prospects

Not surprisingly, degrees from good online colleges improve your job prospects. Whatever your career ambitions – whether it’s to be an engineer, lawyer, software developer, or CEO – you’ll need a degree. As we’ve shown already, online colleges that are accredited offer everything you get from traditional colleges and a whole lot more.

Employers are increasingly accepting of graduates of college online programs. Not only does a degree from an accredited online university have the same status as a degree from a brick-and-mortar university, but it also shows that you are resourceful, self-motivated, and able to work remotely.

Comparing the Top Online Colleges

There are hundreds of good colleges online, but no two online universities are exactly alike. Here are a few tips for finding the best college online for your needs.

Accreditation

The most important thing to look for when comparing online universities is accreditation. Anyone can set up an online learning site, but only a nationally accredited online college or regionally accredited online colleges can actually claim to offer a degree with any value.

First and foremost, an online accredited university should be certified by one of the six regional accrediting organizations: HLC, WSCUC, NWCCU, SACSCOC, MSCHE, or NECHE. Their online programs should also carry accreditation from the relevant bodies, e.g. AACSB (For MBA programs) or CCNE (for nursing programs).

Cost

The online college school market is a competitive space, which means there are plenty of schools vying to be considered among the most affordable online colleges. Cheap online accredited colleges can be found (depending on what your definition of cheap is), but remember: they must be accredited, otherwise it’s not worth the cost.

If you’re looking for the cheapest online colleges, we recommend compiling a shortlist of five to 10 schools with an accredited degree in your field of study. Then, compare the tuition and fees from the various schools to figure out which of these are the cheapest colleges online.

We’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: online colleges are affordable, but the key is to search for cheap accredited online colleges and not just any online college.

Financial aid

Although online colleges are affordable, they are not free and for many people the only way to attend an online college school is with financial aid.

At a minimum, your online accredited university should offer federal financial aid (FAFSA), which encompasses all federal loans and assistance. The best online universities offer a range of other options including scholarships, grants, military benefits, and alumni discounts.

Collaboration

Studying remotely doesn’t mean having to study alone. Good online colleges offer a range of collaboration tools, ensuring you benefit from the wisdom of your classmates. The best online colleges offer a variety of ways to connect with your peers, including weekly shared learning sessions, instant messaging, community tools, and shared blogging platforms.

User-friendly platform

It probably goes without saying, but any accredited online university worth its salt has to have a user-friendly platform. By this, we mean students should be able to use the platform without any training, the platform should be accessible and online at all time, and tech support should be available (preferably 24/7) to help out with any issues. Mobile access is another plus.

How to Apply For Online Colleges

If you’re wondering how to apply to online college, the truth is it’s quite similar to applying for a brick-and-mortar school. For bachelor’s degrees, you’ll need to have graduated high school and passed any admissions tests (e.g. SAT, ACT). For graduate programs, you’ll need to show proof of an undergraduate degree and meet any other requirements pertaining to the specific degree (e.g. MBA, medical school requirements).

Finding the Best College Online

Whether you’re studying online or on campus, the best school for you depends on your personal preferences. In order to get the most out of your online learning experience, begin by compiling a list of your top colleges online. Then go ahead and narrow the list down to your favorite options by comparing for affordability, convenience, and other parameters.