In order to be eligible for our disability-friendly lists, schools needed to meet the following criteria:
Each school was then assigned a disability-friendly score, based on the following factors:
All schools that earned a disability-friendly score of 70% or above were eligible to appear in our lists of the Best Online Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities, Best Online Colleges for Students with Auditory Disabilities, and Best Online Colleges for Students with Visual Disabilities.
Each of those lists was compiled according to additional criteria:
Annual tuition numbers for these schools were manually researched and represent the bachelor's degree level if the school offers at least one online bachelor's degree or the master's degree level if the school offers at least one master's degree and no online bachelor's degrees. Out-of-state tuitions were used unless in-state tuition is offered to all online students. Tuition was calculated assuming full-time status. Unless otherwise stated, bachelor’s programs were assumed to require four years to complete and master’s programs were assumed to require two years.
Schools with programs that require some on-campus coursework were still considered for our rankings if the amount of in-person work was limited to less than two weeks worth of in-person requirements. This allows students to retain their current employment or other personal responsibilities.
The data used to determine the disability-friendly score was collected from schools' official websites, the College Board school database, and the National Center for Education Statistics. The NCES is the primary governmental entity for gathering and presenting data related to education. The NCES data is updated annually as soon as it becomes available. The NCES does not release data into downloadable formats until it has been approved, so the most currently available data will not be for the most recent academic year.
Program data including available degrees, tuition rates, accommodations offered to students with disabilities, and details about program coursework were collected from schools' official websites, reflecting data for the 2018-2019 school year. Programmatic accreditation and profit status of schools were collected from official websites of the accreditation agencies or from the National Center for Education Statistics.