Methodology

In order to be eligible for our disability-friendly lists, schools needed to meet the following criteria:

  • Offer at least four fully-online degrees at the associate level or higher
  • Be regionally accredited by an accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education
  • Have at least 5 percent of the student body made up of students with disabilities

Each school was then assigned a disability-friendly score, based on the following factors:

  • Percentage of the student body made up of students with disabilities
  • Presence or absence of mention of UDL training on the school's website
  • Presence or absence of mention of WCAG compliance on the school's website
  • Presence or absence of mention of accessibility for online programs on the school's website
  • Number of accessbility violations detected on the school's homepage

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:

  • Best Online Colleges for Students with Learning Disabilities: All schools that earned a disability-friendly score of 70% or above whose websites mention that they offer alternative testing accommodations and course subsitution options to students with learning disabilities.
  • Best Online Colleges for Students with Auditory Disabilities: All schools that earned a disability-friendly score of 70% or above whose websites mention that they offer interpreter and CART services to students with auditory disabilities.
  • Best Online Colleges for Students with Visual Disabilities: All schools that earned a disability-friendly score of 70% or above whose websites mention that they offer note taking services and the option to record lectures to students with visual disabilities.

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.

Fully Online Status

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.

Data Sources

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.

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.