2018 Top Online Colleges for Value

46% of users found this page helpful Was this page helpful?
Top Online Colleges-2018-Badge

These 10 top online colleges provide the most value to distance students. Out of the 363 schools researched by SR Education Group, these schools have some of the lowest tuition rates and the strongest academics, and provide a breadth of online programs. These degree programs cover popular subjects such as counseling, nutrition, and social work. Top-ranked University of Central Florida has the second-highest academic strength score at 72% and offers undergraduate and graduate tuition rates under $11,000 per year.

Read more about our ranked schools below, view our methodology, or learn more about SR Education Group.

Find an Online Degree:
Rank School Undergrad Tuition Grad Tuition Academic Strength
#1 #1 University of Central Florida Undergrad Tuition $10,866 Grad Tuition $9,842 Academic Strength 72%
#2 #2 University of Massachusetts - Amherst Undergrad Tuition $15,750 Grad Tuition $6,900 Academic Strength 76%
#3 #3 LeTourneau University Undergrad Tuition $10,650 Grad Tuition $9,075 Academic Strength 70%
#4 #4 University of Alabama Undergrad Tuition $10,650 Grad Tuition $9,375 Academic Strength 68%
#5 #5 University of North Dakota Undergrad Tuition $10,911 Grad Tuition $9,523 Academic Strength 66%
#6 #6 Arizona State University Undergrad Tuition $15,300 Grad Tuition $9,216 Academic Strength 69%
#7 #7 West Texas A & M University Undergrad Tuition $9,620 Grad Tuition $7,255 Academic Strength 61%
#8 #8 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Undergrad Tuition $9,600 Grad Tuition $8,550 Academic Strength 62%
#9 #9 Washington State University Undergrad Tuition $11,335 Grad Tuition $9,360 Academic Strength 63%
#10 #10 Regent University Online Undergrad Tuition $11,850 Grad Tuition $11,050 Academic Strength 65%

Top Online Colleges by Program

A  |  B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  |  G  |  H  |  I  |  L  |  M  |  N  |  O  |  P  |  S  |  T  |  W

Top Online Colleges by Type

2018 Top Online College Highlights

  • Undergrad Tuition: $10,866
  • Grad Tuition: $9,842
  • Academic Strength: 72%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
Learn More

The University of Central Florida offers over 80 online degree and certificate programs, and has provided online courses to distance-learning students for 20 years. Degrees are offered at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels and cover subjects such as nursing, engineering, and religious studies. UCF also offers bachelor’s degree completion programs for prospective transfer students. In addition to an online library, bookstore, and writing center, UCF offers a program called What’s Next which aims to prepare students for life after graduation. The university also provides an online academic resource center, online tech support, and academic advising specifically for online learning. Students enrolled in online programs are exempt from campus-based fees such as the technology fee and transportation and access fee.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (24)

Online Master's Degrees (32)

Show More Degrees »

Online Doctoral Degrees (3)

Online Certificate Programs (30)

Show More Degrees »
  • Undergrad Tuition: $15,750
  • Grad Tuition: $6,900
  • Academic Strength: 76%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NEASC CIHE
Learn More

The University of Massachusetts – Amherst offers 54 online degree and certificate programs. Founded in 1863, UMass Amherst is the flagship campus of the University of Massachusetts system. The university has had 16 Fulbright scholars over the years, and it has the strongest academic strength score on this list at 76%. Online programs at UMass Amherst are available at every degree level, and cover subjects including accounting, early childhood education, public health, and nursing, among others. With over 1,000 enrolled students over 10 years, UMass Amherst’s online MBA is a well-established program that allows students to complete the program 100% online or in a part-time, blended format. Students can also take classes at various satellite locations across Massachusetts.

Online Associate Degrees (1)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (18)

Online Master's Degrees (13)

Online Doctoral Degrees (6)

Online Certificate Programs (16)

  • Undergrad Tuition: $10,650
  • Grad Tuition: $9,075
  • Academic Strength: 70%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
Learn More

LeTourneau University, named after its founder, R.G. LeTourneau, is a non-denominational Christian University offering 44 online degree and certificate programs. The university has the third-highest academic strength score at 70%, and the average SAT score of the incoming first-year students is between 150 and 200 points above the national average. Prospective students can choose from programs in criminal justice, business administration, psychology, education, or healthcare administration, among others. LeTourneau’s online courses are offered in an accelerated format, allowing distance students to complete their studies on an expedited schedule. 

Online Associate Degrees (2)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (21)

Online Master's Degrees (19)

Online Certificate Programs (2)

  • Undergrad Tuition: $10,650
  • Grad Tuition: $9,375
  • Academic Strength: 68%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
Learn More

University of Alabama is a long-standing leader in academics and has a history of receiving prestigious national awards for its outstanding faculty, students, and research. It offers 45 online degree programs, including 30 master's degrees in disciplines ranging from education to environmental science. Bama By Distance is the portal through which it offers distance education to working adults. Online students are offered the same tuition rate as traditional, in-state students, making distance education a viable and affordable option for many self-motivated learners. Online classes are available in blended and fully online formats, and web-based technologies such as streaming video and videoconferencing are used to augment standard, real-time lectures.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (11)

Online Master's Degrees (30)

Show More Degrees »

Online Doctoral Degrees (2)

Online Certificate Programs (2)

  • Undergrad Tuition: $10,911
  • Grad Tuition: $9,523
  • Academic Strength: 66%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
Learn More

University of North Dakota offers over 200 fields of study to almost 15,000 students from all 50 states and 80 countries worldwide. Its substantial online presence extends 74 degrees and certificates to students around the globe. Among these degrees are 12 bachelor's, 31 master's, 11 doctoral, and 20 certificate programs, in disciplines ranging from aviation, to forensic psychology, to space studies. UND also offers many non-credit online courses. Its online quiz helps prospective students assess whether distance learning is right for them. Courses are offered in both self-paced and standard, semester-based formats. UND's low tuition, with an undergraduate tuition rate of $351.98 per credit and a graduate tuition rate of $432.89 per credit, makes it an affordable option for many distance students.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (12)

Online Master's Degrees (31)

Show More Degrees »

Online Doctoral Degrees (11)

Online Certificate Programs (20)

  • Undergrad Tuition: $15,300
  • Grad Tuition: $9,216
  • Academic Strength: 69%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NCA HLC
Learn More

Known for its innovation in both research and education, Arizona State University has an enrollment of almost 100,000 students. Its online offerings are equally robust and dynamic, with 191 graduate, undergraduate and certificate programs offered. These include 77 bachelor's degrees and 93 master's degrees covering a wide array of subjects, from psychology and engineering, to sustainable tourism and urban planning. ASU's distance course catalog is available on the school website, and enrollment coaches are available to assist with inquiries and online enrollment. Degree unit requirements, start dates, classes, and durations are spelled out clearly in a format that is designed to make decision-making easy. Transfer units may be applied to some online majors.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (77)

Show More Degrees »

Online Master's Degrees (93)

Show More Degrees »

Online Doctoral Degrees (3)

Online Certificate Programs (20)

  • Undergrad Tuition: $9,620
  • Grad Tuition: $7,255
  • Academic Strength: 61%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
Learn More

West Texas A&M University is a public university that has offered degree programs for over 100 years. The university offers 37 online bachelor’s degrees, 12 online master’s degrees, and 4 online certificates. Distance learning students at WTAMU can decide between two class styles: accelerated or self-paced. Those who choose the accelerated format are able to finish a course in six weeks, whereas self-paced classes can be started at any time and must be finished within nine months. Students seeking a more traditional experience can also choose to take online courses on a semester schedule. WTAMU provides a readiness assessment for students who are new to online learning, a free online tutoring service called Smarthinking, and free Microsoft Office software and cloud storage.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (37)

Online Master's Degrees (12)

Online Certificate Programs (4)

  • Undergrad Tuition: $9,600
  • Grad Tuition: $8,550
  • Academic Strength: 62%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
Learn More

Founded in 1884, Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers 90 online degree and certificate programs. Programs cover subjects including allied health, criminal justice, accounting, information systems, public safety administration, teaching, nursing, and more. Online classes at NSU are offered through the course management system Moodle in an eight-week accelerated format, and include lectures, discussion boards, and class meetings through video conferencing. Students have access to free one-on-one tutoring either online or face-to-face for those who live near the physical campus. Online students are exempt from all out-of-state fees, making Northwestern State University of Louisiana an exceptionally affordable choice. Applicants should be prepared to submit transcripts from high school or previous college coursework in addition to standardized test scores.

Online Associate Degrees (1)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (27)

Show More Degrees »

Online Master's Degrees (41)

Show More Degrees »

Online Doctoral Degrees (1)

Online Certificate Programs (20)

Show More Degrees »
  • Undergrad Tuition: $11,335
  • Grad Tuition: $9,360
  • Academic Strength: 63%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: NWCCU
Learn More

For the last 25 years, Washington State University has offered distance learning programs to students around the world. WSU currently has 1,700 enrolled online students and offers around 200 online classes using the Blackboard learning management system. Video tutorials are available for students who are new to the Blackboard system. Online students also have access to one-on-one academic and career advising services, tutoring, an online writing lab, and online tech support which is available 24/7. Online courses are developed with the help of WSU Instructional Designers, and programs are available in subjects such as accounting, criminal justice, education, management, psychology, agriculture, social sciences, and business, among others.

Online Bachelor's Degrees (46)

Show More Degrees »

Online Master's Degrees (16)

Online Certificate Programs (23)

Show More Degrees »
  • Undergrad Tuition: $11,850
  • Grad Tuition: $11,050
  • Academic Strength: 65%
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: SACS COC
Learn More

Regent University Online offers 254 online degree and certificate programs across every degree level. Programs cover a wide range of subjects and interests including business, Christian studies, communication studies, English, leadership studies, psychology, film and TV production, and ministry, among others. Online classes are offered in either eight- or 15-week formats, and Regent uses Blackboard to deliver its distance courses. Through the Blackboard platform, distance students can listen to lectures in real-time, engage with their peers through discussion boards and chat groups, and access their course materials at any time, even on their mobile devices. Regent also provides prospective students with the opportunity to browse an example course before applying to an online program.

Online Associate Degrees (7)

Online Bachelor's Degrees (86)

Show More Degrees »

Online Master's Degrees (135)

Show More Degrees »

Online Doctoral Degrees (21)

Online Certificate Programs (5)

46% 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.