2017 Best Online College Rankings

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In order to help students make smarter decisions about education, we created OnlineU.org, a site dedicated to outcomes-based rankings of online colleges.

OnlineU released a completely unique set of rankings: the 25 most affordable online degrees by subject. This is the first site to offer accurate tuitions for online degrees, broken down by subject. We also offer rankings for the best value and top online colleges.

Our rankings focus on factors that are meaningful to students before and after they graduate. You can read more about our rankings factors here.

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Ranking Factors

All of the data used for our rankings comes from the official school website of the college, the National Center for Education Statistics, the US Department of Education, or from GradReports.com, another SR Education Group property dedicated to college reviews. Here is an overview of the main rankings factors:

  • Tuition: All of our rankings heavily weigh tuition costs, as these can dramatically impact a student's life after graduation. All of our tuition data is either from the NCES or is as reported on the official school website.

  • Recommendation Rates: We collect two major rates through our student reviews: how many students would recommend the school to others and how many students believe their degrees impacted their careers.

  • Default Rate: The US government reports 3-year student default rates, which is the percent of students who do not make the required payments on their loans for the 3 years after graduation.

  • Accreditation: Only schools with regional or national accreditation were considered, but those with regional accreditation were generally ranked higher as this is considered the most prestigious form of accreditation.

  • For-Profit vs. Non-profit Status: As non-profit schools tend to have better career outcomes, non-profits status was a consideration.

  • Student Services: A school that provides dedicated career and academic advising to online students was generally ranked more favorably.

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This website offers school details to prospective students as an informational resource. The appearance of a school listing on this website should not be interpreted as an endorsement by the school of this site.

Our tuition numbers reflect data collected from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Recommendation rate refers to the percent of students who said they would recommend this school based on reviews submitted to our partner site, GradReports.com.
This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.