2019 Best Online Community Colleges

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These are the country's best online community colleges, ranked by retention rate, number of online associate degrees offered, and online enrollment percentage.

Retention rate was weighted most heavily so that these rankings highlight the schools that serve students best. Learn more about our ranked schools, or search for a list of the best online community colleges in your state.

View our methodology or learn more about SR Education Group.

by-state-2019--Badge

These are the country's best online community colleges, ranked by retention rate, number of online associate degrees offered, and online enrollment percentage.

Retention rate was weighted most heavily so that these rankings highlight the schools that serve students best. Learn more about our ranked schools, or search for a list of the best online community colleges in your state.

View our methodology or learn more about SR Education Group.

Find an Online Degree:
Rank School Annual Tuition Campus Location
#1 #1 Northwest Iowa Community College $5,239 Sheldon (IA)
#2 #2 Bismarck State College $5,340 Bismarck (ND)
#3 #3 Foothill College $1,395 Los Altos Hills (CA)
#4 #4 Wake Technical Community College $2,432 Raleigh, Cary (NC)
#5 #5 Moraine Park Technical College $4,294 Fond du Lac (WI)
#6 #6 North Dakota State College of Science $6,138 Wahpeton (ND)
#7 #7 Palo Alto College $2,580 San Antonio (TX)
#8 #8 Bladen Community College $2,432 Dublin (NC)
#9 #9 Anne Arundel Community College $3,360 Arnold (MD)
#10 #10 Haywood Community College $2,580 Clyde (NC)
#11 #11 Stanly Community College $2,432 Albemarle (NC)
#12 #12 Alexandria Technical & Community College $5,970 Alexandria (MN)
#13 #13 Florida State College at Jacksonville $7,795 Jacksonville (FL)
#14 #14 Maysville Community and Technical College $5,184 Maysville (KY)
#15 #15 Fayetteville Technical Community College $2,052 Fayetteville, Spring lake (NC)
#16 #16 Gaston College $2,432 Dallas (NC)
#17 #17 West Kentucky Community and Technical College $5,070 Paducah (and 5 others)
#18 #18 Northeast Community College $2,880 Norfolk (NE)
#19 #19 Bucks County Community College $4,650 Newtown (PA)
#20 #20 Seminole State College of Florida $2,393 Sanford (and 3 others)
#21 #21 Peninsula College $4,524 Port Angeles (WA)
#22 #22 Central Community College $2,816 Grand Island (NE)
#23 #23 Northern Virginia Community College $5,412 Annandale (VA)
#24 #24 Tri-County Community College $2,280 Murphy (NC)

2019 Best Online Community Colleges by State

All States

2019 Best Online Community Colleges Ranking Details

For each school, we conducted manual research to provide prospective students with more details about the schools' online programs. Explore online degrees offered and accreditation information below.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,239
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Sheldon (IA)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 9
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Located in Sheldon, Iowa, Northwest Iowa Community College offers 23 online associate degree programs. Students can choose from such subjects as accounting, agriculture, nursing, business, computer science, health care and web and graphic design. An Associate of Arts degree is available for students who plan to transfer to a four-year college or university. Not all classes have to be taken online; some can be taken on campus. Most courses have weekly deadlines and are not strictly self-paced. Nearly 35 percent of NICC’s enrollment is comprised of online students, and the school has a 70 percent retention rate. Prospective students can take an online quiz to see if distance learning is a good fit for them.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,340
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Bismarck (ND)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 18
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A total of 18 online associate degree programs are available at Bismarck State College, located in Bismarck, North Dakota. Associate degrees are offered in administrative assistant, cybersecurity and computer networks, electrical transmission systems technology, nuclear power technology, petroleum production technology and many other subjects. Students have weekly assignments, quizzes and tests, and they are required to participate in class discussions and meet deadlines. Information, assignments and updates are communicated through a dedicated BSC email account, and actual coursework is delivered using the Blackboard learning management system. Approximately 42.5 percent of BSC’s students are online learners.

Online Associate Degrees (18)

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Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (18)

  • Annual Tuition: $1,395
  • Accreditation: WASC ACCJC
  • Locations: Los Altos Hills (CA)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 18
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A community college in Los Altos Hills, California, Foothill College offers 15 online associate degrees. Students can choose from Associate of Arts degree programs in anthropology, art history, English, graphic and interactive design, history, humanities, Japanese, music technology, psychology, sociology, Spanish, women’s studies and other disciplines. An Associate of Science in Geography is also available. FC uses the Canvas course management system to deliver all coursework. Some online courses include tests that must be proctored in person, and limited on-campus attendance may be required. Not all fully online courses are offered every quarter or even every year. FC’s graduation rate is nearly 62 percent, and 27 percent of FC students are online learners.

Online Associate Degrees (18)

Online Certificate Programs (36)

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  • Annual Tuition: $2,432
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Locations: Raleigh, Cary (NC)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 28
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At Wake Technical Community College, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, nearly 23 percent of the total enrollment is made up of online students. The college offers 36 online associate degrees. Associate of Applied Science programs are offered in such disciplines as accounting, advertising and graphic design, business administration, human resources management, business analytics, cosmetology, fire protection technology, office professional, supply chain management, web designer and many other subjects. An Associate of Arts is also offered for students who wish to transfer to a four-year college or university and earn an undergraduate degree. Online courses begin on the first day of the term, and coursework is delivered via the Blackboard learning management system. Courses are offered in a hybrid format as well.

Online Associate Degrees (28)

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Online Certificate Programs (73)

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  • Annual Tuition: $4,294
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Fond du Lac (WI)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 11
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A public technical college located in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, Moraine Park Technical College offers 10 online Associate of Applied Science degree programs: accounting, administrative professional, business analyst, health information technology, information technology (mobile applications developer, software developer, and web development and design specialist), leadership and organizational development, marketing and social media management, paralegal, and water quality technology. Courses are not self-paced; students regularly have assignments with deadlines. The college has a 75 percent retention rate, and nearly 31 percent of the total enrollment is online students. MPTC uses the Canvas course management system to deliver all coursework.

Online Associate Degrees (11)

Online Certificate Programs (12)

  • Annual Tuition: $6,138
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Wahpeton (ND)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 10
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North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, North Dakota, offers 11 online associate degree programs. Distance learners can choose from such fields as administration and finance, business technology management, health information technician, medical coding, paramedic technology, pharmacy technician and web design/web developer. Transfer degrees are available for those who are undecided about their major, but want to complete general requirements to transfer to a four-year institution. The Blackboard learning management system is used to deliver course material. Nearly half — 47.5 percent — of students at NDSCS are online learners, and the school has a 70 percent retention rate.

  • Annual Tuition: $2,580
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Locations: San Antonio (TX)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 10
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Among the best online community colleges is Palo Alto College, located in San Antonio, Texas. Nineteen online associate degree programs are available at PAC. These programs include Associate of Applied Science degrees in administrative assistant, business management, logistics and supply chain management, information security and assurance, computer support specialist and network administrator. An Associate of Arts is offered, as well as two Associate of Arts in Teaching programs. The degree programs are available fully online through the Canvas course management system, which lets students use multi-way video conferencing to interact with fellow students and instructors. PAC has a retention rate of 67 percent, and nearly 27 percent of their students are learning online.

Online Associate Degrees (10)

Online Certificate Programs (28)

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  • Annual Tuition: $2,432
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Locations: Dublin (NC)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 9
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Located in Dublin, North Carolina, Bladen Community College offers nine online associate degree programs. Associate of Applied Science degrees are available in business administration, information technology, medical office administration, office administration, early childhood education and criminal justice. Associate of Arts, Associate of Science and General Education transfer programs are also available. BCC uses the Moodle learning management system to deliver coursework, and the degree programs are completely online with the exception of the Criminal Justice degree, which is available only in a hybrid format. There are no additional fees solely for distance learning. Nearly 25 percent of BCC’s total enrollment is comprised of online students, and the college has a retention rate of 80 percent.

Online Associate Degrees (9)

Online Certificate Programs (30)

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  • Annual Tuition: $3,360
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Locations: Arnold (MD)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 14
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Anne Arundel Community College, located in Arnold, Maryland, offers 25 associate degrees that can be earned online. An Associate of Applied Science in Business Management degree is available with several tracks, including advertising and marketing, business communications, financial accounting, leadership, small business management and social enterprise. Associate of Arts degree programs are available in gender and sexuality studies, psychology and as a transfer degree. AACC uses the Canvas Learning Management System to deliver coursework. Students have access to course material 24/7 but must adhere to course timetables regarding assignments and deadlines. Online students have full access to online tutoring, technical support and other services. About 17.5 percent of AACC’s students are online learners, and the college has a 69 percent retention rate.

Online Associate Degrees (14)

Online Certificate Programs (19)

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  • Annual Tuition: $2,580
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Locations: Clyde (NC)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 9
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Six online associate degree programs are available at Haywood Community College, located in Clyde, North Carolina. These include degrees in accounting and finance, business administration, criminal justice technology, early child education and medical office administration. An Associate of Arts is also available. HCC uses the Moodle online management system to deliver coursework, and the college’s website has video tutorials to guide students on how to use the system. The retention rate at HCC is 73 percent, and approximately 36 percent of students enrolled at the institution are online learners.

Online Associate Degrees (9)

Online Certificate Programs (19)

  • Annual Tuition: $2,432
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Locations: Albemarle (NC)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 3
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One of 58 community colleges in the North Carolina Community College System, Stanly Community College, located in Albemarle, offers 10 associate degree programs online: accounting, business administration, criminal justice technology, early childhood education, human services technology and information technology with three different tracks (business support, cybersecurity and network management). An Associate of Arts and Associate of Science for transfer are also offered. SCC’s retention rate is 68 percent. Students can access their coursework 24/7 through the Canvas learning management system, and an app is available for both Apple and Android. Online learning incorporates streaming and prerecorded videos, live chat rooms, forums and real-time classroom sessions. More than half — nearly 54 percent — of SCC’s total enrollment is made up of online students.

Online Associate Degrees (3)

Online Certificate Programs (19)

  • Annual Tuition: $5,970
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Alexandria (MN)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 15
Learn More

Approximately 4,000 students are enrolled at Alexandria Technical & Community College in Alexandria, Minnesota, and 27 percent are online learners. The college offers a total of 16 online programs, nine of which are associate degree programs. They include Associate of Arts degrees in economics, history, liberal arts and sciences, psychology and sociology. Students can also choose degrees in business, accounting, legal administrative assistant and speech-language pathology assistant. Several of the degree programs are designed for easy transfer to a four-year college or university. The community college has a 61 percent retention rate and a 71 percent graduation rate.

  • Annual Tuition: $7,795
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Locations: Jacksonville (FL)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 11
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Florida State College at Jacksonville, part of the Florida College System and one of several schools in the system to be designated as a state college, offers 20-degree programs online. Associate of Science degrees are available in accounting technology, business administration, computer information technology, criminal justice technology, early childhood management, office administration, supply chain management and other disciplines. The Blackboard learning system is used to deliver coursework. Online courses follow the same schedule as those on campus, so students can expect assignments, exams and various projects with deadlines. Remote testing is available. Twenty-two percent of the students enrolled at FSCJ are online learners.

Online Associate Degrees (11)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (10)

Online Certificate Programs (17)

  • Annual Tuition: $5,184
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Locations: Maysville (KY)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 16
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Located in Maysville, Kentucky, Maysville Community and Technical College offers 10 online associate degree programs. An Associate of Applied Science in Medical Information Technology is offered as a general degree or with one of five tracks: electronic medical records, medical administrative, medical coding, medical office management and medical transcription. An Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice degree is available as a general program or with one of three tracks: corrections, law enforcement, and security loss and prevention. MCTC has a retention rate of 69 percent, and approximately 28.5 percent of the college’s enrolled students are learning online.

Online Associate Degrees (16)

Online Certificate Programs (37)

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  • Annual Tuition: $2,052
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Locations: Fayetteville, Spring lake (NC)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 20
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Fayetteville Technical Community College in Fayetteville, North Carolina, offers 18 associate degree programs online. Students can earn an associate degree in such fields as accounting and finance, business administration, criminal justice technology, early childhood education, fire protection technology, hospitality management, intelligence studies and school-age education. Associate of Science, Associate of Arts and Associate of General Education degrees are also offered. All degree programs are available 100-percent online. A full 35 percent of the total student enrollment at FTCC are online learners, and the college has a retention rate of 63 percent.

Online Associate Degrees (20)

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Online Certificate Programs (68)

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  • Annual Tuition: $2,432
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Locations: Dallas (NC)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 4
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Located in Dallas, North Carolina, Gaston College offers four associate degrees online. Two Associate of Applied Science degree programs are available: computer programming and web technologies. Also, an Associate of Arts and Associate of General Education are available as transfer programs for students who wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university. All degrees are available 100-percent online. Approximately 26 percent of GC’s students are distance learners, and the college has a 74 percent retention rate. Online and on-campus students are free to use computers at all GC campuses.

  • Annual Tuition: $5,070
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Locations: 6 Cities (KY)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 28
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With 25 online associate degree programs and a retention rate of 64 percent, West Kentucky Community and Technical College, located in Paducah, makes the list of 2019 Best Online Community Colleges Nationwide. Some of the degrees offered are in business administration systems, computer and information technologies, criminal justice, logistics and operations management, marine technology and medical information technology. Multiple tracks are available for each, and Associate of Arts and Associate of Science transfer degrees are offered as well. The programs are fully online, and students can arrange for proctored exams in their own locale. Approximately 22 percent of WKCTC’s students are online learners.

Online Associate Degrees (28)

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Online Certificate Programs (55)

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  • Annual Tuition: $2,880
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Norfolk (NE)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 18
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A public community college system in northeast Nebraska, Northeast Community College has four campuses: Norfolk, O’Neill, Sioux City and West Point. The college offers 15 associate degree programs online. Two Associate of Applied Science degrees are available: business and administrative professional. Associate of Arts programs are offered in such disciplines as accounting, agriculture, behavioral science, business administration, criminal justice (two tracks), education elementary, and social science. A general studies program is available, as well as two partnership degrees in early childhood education and library and information services. The Canvas learning management system is used to deliver coursework. NCC’s retention rate is 70 percent, and approximately 16 percent of the student body consists of online learners.

Online Associate Degrees (18)

Online Certificate Programs (7)

  • Annual Tuition: $4,650
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
  • Locations: Newtown (PA)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 21
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Bucks County Community College, a two-year institution of higher learning near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers 24 online associate degree programs. Students can choose from many different subjects, including business administration, computer science, emergency management, English (3 tracks), entrepreneurship and small business management, fire science, history, psychology, social work, and technical entrepreneurship. Coursework is delivered entirely online by the Canvas learning management system, but some programs require an internship or field work; proctored testing may also be required. Approximately 12 percent of BCCC students are online learners, and the college has a retention rate of 68 percent.

Online Associate Degrees (21)

Online Certificate Programs (6)

  • Annual Tuition: $2,393
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Locations: 4 Cities (FL)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 24
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Located in Sanford, Florida, Seminole State College of Florida offers 17 online associate degrees. The school’s Associate of Science programs are offered in such subjects as administrative office management, computer programming and analysis, entrepreneurship and business management, social media and marketing, and supply chain management. An Associate of Arts is available as well. Several online bachelor’s degree programs are also offered at SSCF. Coursework is delivered via the Canvas learning management system, and technical support is available 24/7, 365 days a year. Nearly 19 percent of SSCF’s total student enrollment is comprised of online learners.

Online Associate Degrees (24)

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Online Bachelor's Degrees (13)

Online Certificate Programs (32)

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  • Annual Tuition: $4,524
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Locations: Port Angeles (WA)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 33
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Located in Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula in northwest Washington, Peninsula College offers 27 associate degrees online in nine categories: administrative office systems, business administration, computer applications technology, criminal justice, cybersecurity and computer forensics, homeland security and emergency management, hospitality and ecotourism, information technology, and multimedia communications. Multiple tracks are available for several of the degree programs. An Associate of Arts transfer degree is also available. Peninsula College also offers an online Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management. The college delivers course material via the Canvas learning management system. Approximately 27 percent of PC’s total student body is enrolled in online courses.

Online Associate Degrees (33)

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Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (31)

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  • Annual Tuition: $2,816
  • Accreditation: HLC
  • Locations: Grand Island (NE)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 14
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Central Community College is a two-year public college with three campuses in Nebraska: Columbus, Grand Island and Hastings. The college offers eight associate degree programs online. Associate of Applied Science degrees are offered in business administration, business technology, health information technology, information technology and systems and quality technology. Both an Associate of Arts and Associate of Science transfer degree are available as well. The Moodle learning management system is used to deliver coursework. Training workshops are offered, and students can access course material 24/7. Central Community College has a retention rate of 68 percent, and approximately 25 percent of the student body consists of online learners.

Online Associate Degrees (14)

Online Certificate Programs (32)

  • Annual Tuition: $5,412
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Locations: Annandale (VA)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 15
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With six campuses and four centers in the state of Virginia, Northern Virginia Community College is the second largest multi-campus community college in the United States. Fifteen online associate degree programs are available. Students can choose from such disciplines as accounting, business administration, business management, general studies, information technology, information systems technology, liberal arts, science, and social sciences (several offer multiple tracks). Course material is delivered via the Blackboard learning management system, and students considering distance learning can try a sample course on the college’s website. Approximately 11 percent of NVCC’s students learn online, and the college has a 73 percent retention rate.

Online Associate Degrees (15)

Online Certificate Programs (17)

  • Annual Tuition: $2,280
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Locations: Murphy (NC)
  • Online Associate Degrees: 8
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Eight online associate degree programs are available at Tri-County Community College, located in Murphy, North Carolina. Disciplines include accounting, criminal justice, early childhood education, and office administration. TCCC uses the Moodle learning management system, and students can access coursework 24/7 from any location with high-speed Internet access. Online courses cover the same material as traditional, on-campus courses. Students receive a library account number and can access books, magazines, videos and databases online. Microsoft Office is provided free of charge to each student. Approximately 35 percent of students enrolled at the college are online learners.

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