Best Online Universities & Colleges

If you’re worried about being able to pay for your online college education, you’re not alone. In survey after survey, students looking at online schooling list affordability as their number one factor in choosing a school. Second, only to affordability is the reputation of the online university or program, which is why you’ve come here to find the best online universities.

Accredited Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

To create our lists of the best online universities, we’ve collected and verified the annual tuitions of the top-ranked colleges offering online degrees. Affordability is only one factor in determining the value of your degree. A cheaper online degree may not provide the greatest bang for your buck. The information we give about how much people make after graduation can help you choose a school that will give you the most value.

Where alumni salaries were available, schools were ranked higher than their counterparts that did not provide ROIs. ROI percentages were calculated by multiplying annual tuition by four to represent four college years.

Best Online Associate’s Degrees | Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees | Best Online Master’s Degrees | Best Online Doctoral Degrees

20 Best Online Universities for 2022

Earn your degree whenever and wherever you want with one of the online universities on our list.

Best Online Associate’s Degrees

RankSchoolAnnual TuitionAlumni SalaryROI ValueROI %
1Georgia State University-Perimeter College$2,850$63,203$60,353554%
2Albany State University$2,945$63,749$60,804541%
3Clovis Community College – New Mexico$2,664$56,415$53,751529%
4Western Nebraska Community College$3,225$53,775$50,550417%
5Allen County Community College$1,920N/AN/AN/A

#1 Georgia State University-Perimeter College

Tuition: $2,850
Alumni Earnings: $63,353

Georgia State University-Perimeter College has served the Atlanta area’s students for more than 50 years. The institution values students’ which is proven by its low student-to-faculty ratio of 20:1. The highest degree an individual can earn at Georgia State University-Perimeter College is an associate’s degree. The college has subjects in English, Fine Arts, Health Professions, History/Political Science, Humanities, Life/Earth Sciences, and Mathematics. A few of the concentrations within these subjects include nursing, dental hygiene, American sign language, film, theatre, and music. The college keeps a high satisfaction rate and prides itself on providing quality education, both online and in-person classes. All of their majors have online options for people who want more freedom and like to work at their own speed.

#2 Albany State University

Tuition: $2,945
Alumni Earnings: $63,749

Albany State University has been a leading secondary higher education institution since 1903. The school has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report and has gotten rankings such as #31 in Top Performers on Social Mobility, #58 in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and has even landed a ranking as a best Top Public Schools. Albany State University has outstanding associate degrees that can be earned 100% online. These degrees include an Associate of Science in Health Information Technology, an Associate of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology, an Associate of Science in the Core Curriculum-Criminal Justice Pathway, and an Associate of Science in Core Curriculum-Health Science Pathway. These are just a few of the degrees offered online. Some other concentrations they offer fall under psychology, sociology, and computer science. Earning your associate’s degree from Albany State University has never been easier. It is guaranteed to help you excel in your career or advance you toward gaining more education upon graduation.

#3 Clovis Community College – New Mexico

Tuition: $2,664
Alumni Earnings: $56,415

The values of excellence, diversity, collaboration, flexibility, optimism, and respect were used to build Clovis Community College in New Mexico. Clovis Community College keeps an open admission policy and has a total enrollment of 3,107 students. Students enjoy the smaller class sizes because they get more personal interaction with their professors and gain more hands-on learning. Niche.com gave the college an overall grade rating of B-. At CCC-New Mexico, you can get up to an associate’s degree, and many of their degrees are set up so that you can work on them online. Clovis Community College in New Mexico offers seven online associate degree programs in behavioral science, business administration, computer information systems, criminal justice, general studies, legal assistant studies (paralegal studies), and liberal arts. Within each of these programs, you’ll find that you can earn certificates and a degree. Earning certificates with your degree will help you excel further within your desired career and help you stand out on your resume.

#4 Western Nebraska Community College

Tuition: $3,225
Alumni Earnings: $53,775

Western Nebraska Community College is a smaller school with 1,825 students. The college is proud of the success of its students, which it achieves through engaged teaching, active learning, accessibility, community involvement, and teaching students how to be ready for the workforce. Niche.com gives WNCC a grade of B-. For such a small school, Western Nebraska Community College has a wide range of online associate degree programs for students to choose from. Some online degrees offer business administration, dentistry (pre), exercise science, nursing, surgical technology, criminal justice studies, human services, chemistry, engineering (pre), and music education. These are just a few of their exceptional programs. Not only are these programs flexible, but you’re guaranteed small class sizes, individual attention, hands-on experience, and the opportunity to network with professionals within your community.

#5 Allen County Community College

Tuition: $1,920
Alumni Earnings: N/A

Allen County Community College is in the town of Lola, Kansas, and there are 2,540 students. Allen County Community College wants to be known for giving high-quality education and giving people the tools they need to learn for the rest of their lives and make a difference in their communities. The institution offers many online associate degree programs, including farm and ranch management, anthropology, communication, early childhood education, English, graphic design, mathematics, political science, and pharmacy technician. These programs are ideal for those looking for an entry-level position or who want to advance their education by earning a bachelor’s degree. All the professors are trained professionals who’ve worked within your study area for many years. Allen County Community College has a high rate of satisfied students because they work hard daily to give their students a better education and more hands-on experience.

Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees

RankSchoolAnnual TuitionAlumni SalaryROI ValueROI %
1Clayton State University$5,079$68,394$63,315337%
2Kennesaw State University$5,562$68,499$62,937308%
3Georgia Southern University$5,646$65,506$59,860290%
4The University of North Carolina at Pembroke$5,067$57,149$52,082282%
5Valdosta State University$5,463$58,898$53,435270%

#1 Clayton State University

Tuition: $5,079
Alumni Earnings: $68,394

Since it opened in 1969, Clayton State University has been a well-known and award-winning school. Over the years, U.S. News and World Report has awarded the university many rankings, including #20 in Top Performers on Social Mobility and a spot among the best in Top Public Schools and Regional Universities South. Clayton State University offers approximately 17 bachelor’s degree programs entirely online. Many of these programs are student favorites, and even with distance learning, you’ll find the one-on-one attention you need to help you be successful. A handful of their online degrees are Bachelor’s in French, Liberal Studies, Psychology/Human Services, Accounting, Supply Chain Management, Homeland Security, and Emergency Management. Highly trained professionals teach each program, and each program keeps a student-focused model. Many of the programs offer specializations or concentrations, so you can make your program fit your needs and interests as a student.

#2 Kennesaw State University

Tuition: $5,562
Alumni Earnings: $68,499

Kennesaw State University is the second-largest university in Georgia, with over 43,000 students attending. The university holds the prestigious title of being a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution, which is only held by 6% of all colleges and universities in the United States. Niche.com gives Kennesaw State University an overall grade of B. The university offers 15 fully online bachelor’s programs. Individuals can choose from majors that include criminal justice, business, cybersecurity, sociology, political science, information technology, and many more. U.S. News and World Report ranked the school #18 for Best Online Bachelor’s in business programs. Kennesaw State University strives to provide engaging learning and hands-on experience even when you are at home. Many of these programs can be taken as a full-time or part-time student, giving you more flexibility and freedom on when and how to finish your degree.

#3 Georgia Southern University

Tuition: $5,646
Alumni Earnings: $65,506

Georgia Southern University is located in sunny Statesboro, Georgia. The university was built on collaboration, academic excellence, discovery, innovation, honesty, openness, inclusion, and sustainability. Best Value Schools ranked Georgia Southern University among the Top 49 Most Affordable Online Schools in 2021. Along with that ranking, Niche.com gives GSU an overall grade rating of B+. Georgia Southern University doesn’t offer many bachelor’s degrees online, but their online degrees are highly rated and have high student success rates. The online bachelor’s degrees offered at GSU are Bachelor of Arts in World Languages and Cultures, Bachelor’s of Interdisciplinary Studies, Bachelor of Information Technology, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Criminology, and an RN-BSN online program. For students interested in the world languages and cultures major, you’ll have the chance to choose a concentration in French, German, or Spanish studies.

#4 The University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Tuition: $5,067
Alumni Earnings: $57,149

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is a student-driven institution with over 8,000 students attending and 120+ student organizations for individuals to participate in. The U.S. News and World Report have given UNCP many rankings over the years; for the upcoming 2022 school year, they’ve received rankings like #65 in Regional Universities South, #18 in Top Performers on Social Mobility, and #30 in Top Public Schools. For many, earning their bachelor’s degree online is the best option; it allows for flexibility and lets you work at your own pace. The University of North Carolina at Pembroke offers six bachelor’s degrees 100% online. These degrees are a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice, a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, a Bachelor of Integrated Studies in Interdisciplinary Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, an RN-BSN program, and a Bachelor of Science in Birth-Kindergarten Education. There are many different options within these programs, such as specializations, accelerated tracks, and hands-on opportunities.

#5 Valdosta State University

Tuition: $5,463
Alumni Earnings: $58,898

Valdosta State University has expanded leaders’ minds since it opened its doors in 1913. Valdosta has been recognized for a variety of accomplishments since its inception. For the upcoming 2022 school year, it’s been ranked by U.S. News and World Report in National Universities, Top Performers in Social Mobility, and in Top Public Schools. Niche.com gave Valdosta State University an overall grade rating of B-. VSU has a wide selection of online bachelor’s degrees for students. Some majors that individuals can pursue are criminal justice, management, organizational leadership, French, psychology, Spanish, workforce education/development, and office administration/technology. Any of these programs will open the door to various careers for you. After graduating from one of these programs, some of the most popular professions students have gone into include CIA Agent, Behavioral Therapist, Foreign News Correspondent, Business Analyst, Bilingual Educator, and Corporate Instructor.

Best Online Master’s Degrees

RankSchoolAnnual TuitionAlumni SalaryROI ValueROI %
1Georgia Institute of Technology$2,700$91,152$88,452844%
2Eastern Illinois University$3,438$70,176$66,738510%
3Midway University$3,750$66,244$62,494442%
4Augusta University$4,140$61,888$57,748374%
5American College of Education$3,760N/AN/AN/A

#1 Georgia Institute of Technology

Tuition: $2,700
Alumni Earnings: $91,152

Georgia Institute of Technology is a prestigious secondary-educational institute that holds recognition as a top 10 public research university. Georgia Tech has a mission to “develop leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition.” The university has very high rankings from the U.S. News and World Report, including #4 in Most Innovative Schools, #10 in Top Public Schools, #38 in National Universities, and many other very good rankings. Niche.com gave GIT an overall grade rating of A+ for academics, value, and diversity. Georgia Institute of Technology has 13 online master’s degree programs, including aerospace engineering, cybersecurity, medical physics, operations research, analytics, computer science, manufacturing leadership, and mechanical engineering. Three of their online master’s programs are professional master’s degrees–these are their applied systems engineering, manufacturing leadership, and occupational safety/health degree.

#2 Eastern Illinois University

Tuition: $3,438
Alumni Earnings: $70,176

Eastern Illinois University was founded in 1895 and is home to over 7,000 students. It’s found itself as a highly-ranked school since its opening. The U.S. News and World Report has ranked it #54 in Regional Universities West, #23 in Best Colleges in Veterans, #12 in Top Public Schools, and #48 for Best Value Schools. Eastern Illinois University has 19 online master’s programs, including one professional master’s degree. Some of their most popular online master’s degrees are Master of Science in Cybersecurity, Master of Science in Health Promotion, Master of Science in Talent Development, Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics: Nutrition Education, Master of Arts in Political Science, Master of Arts in Aging Studies, and a Masters in Business Administration. The best thing about their online programs is most of them have concentrations within the degree, allowing students to focus their attention on their desired specialization.

#3 Midway University

Tuition: $3,750
Alumni Earnings: $66,244

Midway University is located in Midway, Kentucky, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The U.S. News and World Report ranked Midway #98 in Regional Universities South and #25 in Top Performers on Social Mobility. Midway University doesn’t offer many online master’s degrees but the ones they provide include Master’s of Business Administration, Master’s in Education, and Master of Science in Nursing. Each of these degrees is unique in its own way and offers exceptional advantages. The online MBA program has 5 concentrations for students to choose from equine management, health care administration, human resource management, sport management, and tourism/event management. In your Master’s in Education program, you’ll take your classes online while leading in the classroom and gaining real-world experience. In the Master of Science in Nursing program, you’ll choose to do a Nursing Administration or a Nursing Education track. Each program is flexible to your needs.

#4 Augusta University

Tuition: $4,140
Alumni Earnings: $61,88

Augusta University is recognized as Georgia’s health science and medical college, serving students since 1828. The university is a research institution awarding individuals with undergraduate, graduate, and professional level degrees. August University has received many rankings, including landing among the best in Top Performers on Social Mobility, National Universities, Nursing, and Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report. Augusta University has 8 online master’s degrees which consist of, Master in Business Administration, Master of Education in Counselor Education, Master of Arts in Teaching Programs, Master of Science in Epidemiology, Master of Science: Information Security Management, Master of Education with a Major in Instruction, Master of Science with a Major in Kinesiology, and Master of Education in Educational Leadership. A multitude of these programs offers concentrations and internships or hands-on experience in the field you’re pursuing. Practicing your skills within the community will not only give you the advantage you need to be successful, but it’ll give you opportunities for networking with the professionals you meet.

#5 American College of Education

Tuition: $3,760
Alumni Earnings: N/A

American College of Education is a reputable private online institution in Indianapolis, Indiana. The most significant benefit to an all-online university is that they know the highest quality way to teach through distance learning. The Higher Learning Commission accredits the American College of Education. Regarding online master’s degree programs, ACE provides 24 programs for individuals to study under. Some of their most popular programs are Master of Education in Special Education, Master of Education in STEM Education, BSN to MSN, Master of Healthcare Administration, Master of Business Administration in Social Impact, RN to MSN, and a Master of Education in Advanced Studies. Graduates have gone on to be very successful, with 97% of graduates believing that their professional skills are more advanced after graduating from their programs.

Most Affordable Online Doctoral Degrees

RankSchoolAnnual TuitionAlumni SalaryROI Value ROI %ROI %
1Liberty University$5,500$72,022$66,522327%
2Mississippi State University$7,335$74,405$67,070254%
3Bethel University – Minnesota$6,720$66,964$60,244249%
4The University of St Augustine for Health Sciences$3,770N/AN/AN/A
5American College of Education$5,595N/AN/AN/A

#1 Liberty University

Tuition: $5,500
Alumni Earnings: $72,022

Liberty University is a religious university with Christian-based values instilled within all they do in hopes of improving tomorrow’s world. LU has a total enrollment of over 100,000 students and has an online student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1, allowing plenty of one-on-one time with professors. Liberty University has 11 doctorate degrees that can be earned from the comfort of your own home. A few of their most popular doctorate degree programs consist of a Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Public Administration, Doctor of Strategic Leadership, Doctor of Worship Studies, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Doctor of Education, and Doctor of Music Education. Many of these programs offer classes online, but you’ll need to complete an internship within your community to practice the skills you’ve learned in a real-world setting.

#2 Mississippi State University

Tuition: $7,335
Alumni Earnings: $74,405

Mississippi State University is a top research institution and strives to allow all students to expand their knowledge through hands-on learning. The university has landed many rankings on U.S. News and World Report, including Best Value Schools, Best Colleges for Veterans, Top Public Schools, and among the best in National Universities. Mississippi State University has an array of different online doctorate degree programs, including Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science, Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Engineering, Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/ Systems Engineering, Doctor of Philosophy in Community College Leadership, Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering with concentrations in Aerospace Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Engineering Education, and Mechanical Engineering. These highly advanced programs are best for students who enjoy a challenge and can stay focused.

#3 Bethel University – Minnesota

Tuition: $6,720
Alumni Earnings: $66,964

Bethel University-Minnesota is a Christ-centered institution with core values of being Christ-followers, character-builders, truth-seekers, world-changers, and reconcilers. According to the U.S. News and World Report, Bethel University-Minnesota has landed rankings among National Universities, Top Performers in Social Mobility and Nursing. Niche.com has given the university an overall grade rating of B. The online doctorate degrees at Bethel are a Doctor of Nursing Practice, an Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership, and an Ed.D. in K-12 Administration. All of these degrees can be completed within 2-3 years but may require a dissertation to be done before graduation. As a doctorate-level student, you’ll be expected to conduct research with experience-based knowledge.

#4 The University of St Augustine for Health Sciences

Tuition: $3,770
Alumni Earnings: N/A

The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences was created to build up tomorrow’s healthcare workers through innovative, hands-on learning. The institution is highly recognized and only offers graduate-level degrees making it a more competitive school to be accepted into. Those who are accepted must uphold themselves to professional and ethical standards of conduct. The doctorate-level degrees that can be achieved online from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences include a Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy, a Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. These degrees are focused on physical therapists, occupational therapists, and nurses who are seeking to advance their skills and credentials even further. The program is designed for working professionals to take classes on their own time and gain any hands-on learning intermittently as needed. Each of these online programs has a high graduation rate and may include specializations for individuals looking to focus their careers.

#5 American College of Education

Tuition: $5,595
Alumni Earnings: N/A

American College of Education is a reputable private online institution in Indianapolis, Indiana. The most significant benefit to an all-online university is that they know the highest quality way to teach through distance learning. The American College of Education has provided top-quality distance education to undergraduates and graduates. Among their many programs, ACE has 6 doctorate level degrees, including a Doctor of Education in Curriculum/Instruction, a Doctor of Education in Instructional Technology, a Doctor of Education in Leadership, a Doctor of Education in Nursing Education, a Doctor of Education in Public Health Education, and a Doctor of Education in Second Language Instruction. These degree programs can be completed within 3-years and are ideal for professionals interested in teaching within their career fields.

Online Universities Stats & Facts

The cost of college can vary widely depending on factors such as the type of institution (public or private), location, and program of study. Here are some statistics on the cost of college, with links to sources:

  • According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the average net price for full-time students at public colleges and universities for the 2018-2019 academic year was $12,620 for in-state students and $23,160 for out-of-state students when taking at least 50% of their courses online (https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cga.asp).
  • According to National Center for Education Statistics data, the average net price for full-time students at private non-profit colleges and universities for the 2018-2019 academic year was $24,020 when taking at least 50% of their courses online (nces.ed.gov).
  • According to National Center for Education Statistics data, the average net price for full-time students at private for-profit colleges and universities for the 2018-2019 academic year was $16,770 when taking at least 50% of their courses online (nces.ed.gov).
  • According to a report by the Babson Survey Group and the University of California, Davis, the average tuition and fees for a fully online bachelor’s degree at a public institution for the 2018-2019 academic year was $6,360 for in-state students and $18,390 for out-of-state students (https://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/gradelevel.pdf).
  • According to a report by the Babson Survey Group and the University of California, Davis, the average tuition and fees for a fully online bachelor’s degree at a private non-profit institution for the 2018-2019 academic year was $27,290 (onlinelearningsurvey.com).
  • According to a report by the Babson Survey Group and the University of California, Davis, the average tuition and fees for a fully online master’s degree at a public institution for the 2018-2019 academic year was $10,380 for in-state students and $22,190 for out-of-state students (onlinelearningsurvey.com).
  • According to a report by the Babson Survey Group and the University of California, Davis, the average tuition and fees for a fully online master’s degree at a private non-profit institution for the 2018-2019 academic year was $25,620 (onlinelearningsurvey.com).
  • According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the average net price for full-time students at public colleges and universities for the 2018-2019 academic year was $12,620 for in-state students and $23,160 for out-of-state students when taking at least 50% of their courses online (nces.ed.gov). This includes undergraduate and graduate students.
  • According to National Center for Education Statistics data, the average net price for full-time students at private non-profit colleges and universities for the 2018-2019 academic year was $24,020 when taking at least 50% of their courses online (nces.ed.gov). This includes undergraduate and graduate students.
  • According to National Center for Education Statistics data, the average net price for full-time students at private for-profit colleges and universities for the 2018-2019 academic year was $16,770 when taking at least 50% of their courses online (nces.ed.gov). This includes undergraduate and graduate students.

Traditional Universities Stats & Facts

  • According to data from the College Board, the average published tuition and fees for full-time in-state students at public colleges and universities for the 2021-2022 academic year were $10,560 for four-year institutions and $4,480 for two-year institutions (https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/average-published-tuition-and-fees-and-room-and-board-rates-over-time).
  • According to data from the College Board, the average published tuition and fees for full-time out-of-state students at public colleges and universities for the 2021-2022 academic year were $26,820 for four-year institutions and $12,990 for two-year institutions (CollegeBoard).
  • According to data from the College Board, the average published tuition and fees for full-time students at private non-profit colleges and universities for the 2021-2022 academic year were $35,830 (CollegeBoard).
  • According to National Center for Education Statistics data, the average net price (total cost minus grant and scholarship aid) for full-time students at public colleges and universities for the 2018-2019 academic year was $12,620 for in-state students and $23,160 for out-of-state students (https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cga.asp).
  • According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, the average net price for full-time students at private non-profit colleges and universities for the 2018-2019 academic year was $24,020 (https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/)

Online Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.