2018 Best Online Colleges for Student Economic Mobility

mobility-friendly-badge

These 92 schools have the highest upward mobility rates for low-income students. Using data from The Equality of Opportunity Project, SR Education Group identified these online colleges and universities as having the highest percentage of students moving from the lowest income bracket in the United States to the highest. Schools on this list earned a Mobility Score higher than 65, receiving high marks due to their mobility rates, Pell Grant rates, and early career salaries.

In addition to this list, we highlight the 15 Best Online Schools for Student Economic Mobility and the 25 Most Affordable Online Schools for Student Economic Mobility. View our methodology or learn more about SR Education Group.

Find an Online Degree:

Comprehensive List of Accredited Online Schools for Student Economic Mobility (92)

School Annual Tuition Mobility Score
Albany State University $6,000 75.3
Albertus Magnus College $15,300 96.7
Barton County Community College $4,800 70.8
Belhaven University $11,470 85.1
Bergen Community College $9,984 74.2
Bismarck State College $8,775 66.2
Broward College $7,073 73.4
California State University-Dominguez Hills $10,500 97.6
California State University-East Bay $16,344 94.6
California State University-Fullerton $12,750 81.4
California State University-Northridge $17,850 97.2
Carl Albert State College $7,525 66.7
Carlow University $14,850 72.1
Central Texas College $7,050 81.5
Chaminade University of Honolulu $14,430 86.5
Cochise College $3,936 72.5
Craven Community College $8,040 65.9
DePaul University $30,240 78.3
DeVry University $14,610 80.0
Drexel University $34,020 82.1
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide $11,700 85.8
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus $38,418 75.8
Florida Atlantic University $21,595 82.1
Florida International University $9,893 96.9
Fort Valley State University $5,859 79.0
Franklin University $15,270 87.8
Fresno Pacific University $13,500 91.0
Illinois Institute of Technology $45,872 86.9
Jackson State University $11,346 82.7
Lamar University $6,240 79.8
LeTourneau University $10,650 89.3
Loyola University Chicago $19,380 79.6
Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences $12,865 90.1
McNeese State University $12,934 72.3
Mercy College $18,084 87.4
Miami Dade College $13,913 89.1
Mississippi University for Women $18,830 75.8
Monroe College $17,910 86.4
New Mexico State University $22,329 70.7
New York University $36,700 78.0
Nicholls State University $8,250 78.1
Norfolk State University $16,920 88.5
North Carolina Central University $17,207 79.4
North Dakota State College of Science $5,965 71.1
Northwestern State University of Louisiana $9,600 76.7
Nova Southeastern University $10,500 85.4
Nyack College $25,000 90.9
Odessa College $5,490 84.0
Oregon Institute of Technology $11,925 86.6
Pace University-New York $16,650 93.9
Park University $11,970 89.1
Robert Morris University $17,850 69.0
Rochester Institute of Technology $29,340 83.6
Roosevelt University $29,832 84.4
Saint Leo University Online $10,800 89.5
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota $17,100 91.9
South Texas College $22,500 88.4
Southeastern Oklahoma State University $7,950 84.3
Southern Arkansas University $10,560 66.0
Southern University and A & M College $12,323 95.7
Strayer University $14,500 70.7
SUNY College of Technology at Canton $8,000 66.8
SUNY Empire State College $8,000 87.2
Temple University $18,445 83.9
Tennessee State University $27,120 81.5
Texas A & M University-Kingsville $8,915 97.2
Texas Woman's University $18,886 71.9
Thomas Edison State University $14,970 80.8
Union College - KY $6,750 80.0
University at Buffalo $8,000 85.8
University of Arkansas at Monticello $11,700 77.0
University of Bridgeport $9,600 80.3
University of Central Florida $10,866 72.9
University of Florida $9,000 71.7
University of Houston $25,572 94.6
University of Houston-Clear Lake $23,370 87.9
University of Houston-Downtown $19,110 95.7
University of Houston-Victoria $20,226 88.6
University of La Verne $19,950 89.3
University of Louisiana-Monroe $8,750 76.3
University of Maryland University College $14,970 77.9
University of Miami $29,400 76.6
University of Phoenix $11,940 67.7
The University of Texas - Rio Grande Valley $7,499 82.3
The University of Texas at Arlington $14,280 73.1
The University of Texas at El Paso $9,000 97.6
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin $8,912 77.3
University of the Incarnate Word $15,900 76.6
University of Washington - Seattle $9,360 65.8
University of West Alabama $9,750 72.3
Utica College $12,700 93.8
Western New Mexico University $16,131 82.2

2018 Best Online Colleges for Student Economic Mobility

In addition to having high rates of economic mobility for their students, these 15 online schools stand out for their economic diversity. While some schools in the United States have more students from the top one percent of the income distribution than the bottom 60%, these schools have student populations that include a high proportion of students with financial need 2. Using Pell Grant, early career salary, and economic mobility data, SR Education Group has researched hundreds of schools to identify these outstanding online colleges and universities for economic diversity and opportunity. The University of Texas at El Paso tops the list with 59.0 % of undergraduate students receiving Pell Grants and alumni earning an average of $46,300 in their early careers. You can read our full methodology for these rankings here.

Find an Online Degree:
  • Online Degrees: 24
  • Annual Tuition: $9,000
  • Mobility Score: 97.6
  • Pell Grant Rate: 59.0%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
Learn More

The University of Texas at El Paso offers a well-rounded grouping of online programs for all students. Online degrees are available through their UTEP CONNECT platform. UTEP has the lowest net tuition of all research-based universities across the nation, making it an affordable education. Through the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), UTEP strives for ways to help students receive degrees who come from low-income families. With 8 online bachelor's degrees to choose from, UTEP CONNECT gives its students flexibility to complete classes at their pace.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (8)

Online Master's Degrees (13)

Online Certificate Programs (3)

  • Online Degrees: 39
  • Annual Tuition: $10,500
  • Mobility Score: 97.6
  • Pell Grant Rate: 61.0%
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
Learn More

California State University-Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) understands that textbook costs can affect low-income students in a major way. That is why CSUDH created Affordable Learning Solutions (ALS). This allows the faculty to step up and make a positive impact on students who need financial help during college. At CSUDH, there are online classes available for MBA and MPA degrees, which are fully interactive and create a competitive and convenient environment. Degrees in public management, healthcare administration, and criminal justice are some of the options available to online students at CSUDH.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (3)

Online Master's Degrees (22)

Show More Degrees »

Online Certificate Programs (14)

  • Online Degrees: 12
  • Annual Tuition: $8,915
  • Mobility Score: 97.2
  • Pell Grant Rate: 54.0%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
Learn More

When Texas A & M University-Kingsville opened in 1876, it strove to make higher education accessible to low-income students through financial aid programs, such as the Regents Scholars Program and the Aggie Assurance Program. At Texas A & M University-Kingsville, approximately 25% of its undergrad students are first-generation students. Students can participate in many different mentoring programs, from faculty and staff mentors to peer mentors, to guide students through college. Online degree options include MBA, Master of Education in Adult Education, and Master of Science in Industrial Engineering.

  • Online Degrees: 23
  • Annual Tuition: $17,850
  • Mobility Score: 97.2
  • Pell Grant Rate: 53.0%
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
Learn More

At California State University - Northridge (CSUN), low-income students are of the utmost importance. Since 1970, CSUN has used the public service called the CSUN VITA Clinic. This is an income tax service that is free for students who are low-income. After using this service, many low-income students free up money that can be used for school. Some of the same students work in the program to enhance their business education. Other online degrees at CSUN include MA, MS, MPA, BA, MPH, and MSW options.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (2)

Online Master's Degrees (13)

Online Certificate Programs (8)

  • Online Degrees: 117
  • Annual Tuition: $9,893
  • Mobility Score: 96.9
  • Pell Grant Rate: 55.0%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
Learn More

The Affordability Counts initiative, at Florida International University (FIU), gives a more affordable education for individuals working towards a degree. This initiative keeps faculty members accountable for selecting new textbooks that cost $60 or less. Along with reasonable textbook costs, FIU online classes have unique options like a BA in Asian Studies, a BS in Crime Science, and a BS in Hospitality Management. Other undergraduate degrees, graduate certificates, undergraduate certificates, and MOOCs can also be earned at FIU.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (47)

Show More Degrees »

Online Master's Degrees (47)

Show More Degrees »

Online Doctoral Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (22)

Show More Degrees »
  • Online Degrees: 32
  • Annual Tuition: $15,300
  • Mobility Score: 96.7
  • Pell Grant Rate: 50.0%
  • Accreditation: NECHE
Learn More

Albertus Magnus College works to help low-income students receive an education through loans, scholarships/grants, and work-study opportunities. By using this system, Albertus Magnus College is able to help first-year freshmen, transfer, and returning students to make their online education more affordable. This college offers a wide variety of degrees in subjects that include business administration, health care management, writing, sociology, and liberal studies.

Online Associate Degrees (1)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (17)

Online Master's Degrees (14)

  • Online Degrees: 19
  • Annual Tuition: $19,110
  • Mobility Score: 95.7
  • Pell Grant Rate: 47.0%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
Learn More

At the University of Houston - Downtown (UHD), low-income students have an opportunity to be a part of the Upward Bound program. This program gives 100 students a year the opportunity at UHD to receive education and training during high school, so they are set up for success when they enter the university. UHD enhances learning for low-income students by offering online classes that use technology like Blackboard to improve the educational process. Also, there is a full range of undergraduate and graduate degrees that can all be completed online.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (16)

Online Master's Degrees (3)

  • Online Degrees: 16
  • Annual Tuition: $12,323
  • Mobility Score: 95.7
  • Pell Grant Rate: 68.0%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
Learn More

Southern University and A & M College uses Title III to help low-income, black, and disadvantaged students earn college degrees. This allows for federal and state aid, in the form of grants and scholarships, to be given to underprivileged and minority students. Another incentive to attend this university involves the online programs. The Southern University System creates opportunities for students to learn online and earn associate, bachelor, and master degrees from public administration, computer science, interdisciplinary studies, and psychology.

Online Associate Degrees (2)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (11)

Online Master's Degrees (3)

  • Online Degrees: 20
  • Annual Tuition: $16,344
  • Mobility Score: 94.6
  • Pell Grant Rate: 47.0%
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
Learn More

California State University, at East Bay, offers affordable programming for low-income students. The Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) supports low-income and first-generation students to have the opportunities that every person deserves when going to a university. Resources are personalized for each student to fit their educational experience. Online programming also helps create a positive college journey through the platform Acalog ACMS. Degrees available online include departments like ethnic studies, hospitality, recreation and tourism, and human development.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (16)

Show More Degrees »

Online Master's Degrees (4)

  • Online Degrees: 58
  • Annual Tuition: $25,572
  • Mobility Score: 94.6
  • Pell Grant Rate: 38.0%
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
Learn More

The University of Houston offers the Cougar Promise, a guarantee that the university will give free tuition money to students from low-income families, depending on each situation. Students from families who make less than $45,000 per year qualify for the program, and Federal Pell Grants are used to help facilitate the process. The University of Houston offers over 30 online degrees, including 16 online master s programs.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (8)

Online Master's Degrees (22)

Show More Degrees »

Online Doctoral Degrees (2)

Online Certificate Programs (26)

Show More Degrees »
  • Online Degrees: 18
  • Annual Tuition: $16,650
  • Mobility Score: 93.9
  • Pell Grant Rate: 30.0%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
Learn More

Pace University - New York is committed to helping low-income students attend its university. Since 2015, Pace University - New York has received over $1 million a year from the United States Department of Education to enhance education for students from low-income families. Furthermore, Student Support Services (SSS) enable low-income students to thrive at the university. Another way students find success is through the school's online programs, available at the undergraduate and graduate level.

  • Online Degrees: 62
  • Annual Tuition: $12,700
  • Mobility Score: 93.8
  • Pell Grant Rate: 37.0%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
Learn More

Utica College provides help for low-income students in the form of the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP). This program focuses on low-income students and minorities in the state of New York. Students need to declare a major and stick with it throughout their entire college career to be eligible. Also, through the CSTEP program, students can earn bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees that are all online. Utica Online has certificate programs, as well, to help further a student's education.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (16)

Online Master's Degrees (33)

Show More Degrees »

Online Doctoral Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (12)

  • Online Degrees: 25
  • Annual Tuition: $17,100
  • Mobility Score: 91.9
  • Pell Grant Rate: 25.0%
  • Accreditation: HLC
Learn More

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota uses financial aid and scholarships to help low-income students. With close to $1 million in aid, Saint Mary's gives low-income students a chance to thrive at its university. Additionally, close to 100% of undergraduates receive some kind of aid to help them during their college careers. Saint Mary's also uses a true mobile experience to help students earn a degree. The platform, Spotlight, enables students to learn subjects like cybersecurity and nursing.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Master's Degrees (24)

Show More Degrees »
  • Online Degrees: 20
  • Annual Tuition: $13,500
  • Mobility Score: 91.0
  • Pell Grant Rate: 56.0%
  • Accreditation: WASC WSCUC
Learn More

At Fresno Pacific University, federal grants are given to Hispanic, low-income students. Also, federal money can be given to professors for professional development to enhance the educational experience. Online programs at Fresno Pacific University include general education classes, theology programs, undergraduate degrees, and graduate degrees. This allows for students to conveniently learn at their own pace in an online environment. Some of the programs include health care administration, adapted physical education, business administration, and kinesiology.

  • Online Degrees: 32
  • Annual Tuition: $25,000
  • Mobility Score: 90.9
  • Pell Grant Rate: 54.0%
  • Accreditation: MSCHE
Learn More

Nyack College gives out close to $10 million in scholarships and grants to low-income students. This creates an environment where the college is able to help almost 90% of the student body financially. The added funding helps students participate in Nyack Online, an interactive platform to help students pursue a degree that will help them achieve their academic goals. The platform allows students the opportunity to improve their community learning and job preparation in an affordable and flexible setting.

Online Associate Degrees (3)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (1)

Online Master's Degrees (28)

Show More Degrees »

References

0% of users found this page helpful Was this page helpful?
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.
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.