When searching for the best colleges, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the financial data, graduation rates and other hard insights.

Who We Are

The team at College Reviews has over 100 years collective experience in the education industry. Using that experience alongside our team of researchers we have compiled this research. The research is meant to help you make good decisions about the future of your education.

Ranking Methodology

Overall Selectivity (25%)

Though selectivity is not a perfect proxy for college or major/program quality, it is highly correlated with student ability/achievement and institutional expenditures per student–both contribute significantly to the undergraduate learning experience. We looked to a college’s freshman admission rate and average SAT/ACT score (as reported by the College Board) when measuring selectivity.

Major Emphasis (25%)

If a (relatively) high percentage of students at a particular college are studying a specific major, it is likely that the major attracts a relatively high amount of resources. Moreover, if a college enrolls a relatively high percentage of all students (in the U.S.) studying a particular major (i.e. it has a large market share), it is likely that the college has been identified (by both prospective students, employers, and other stakeholders) as a leader in that subject area. Though the latter may appear to encourage bias against smaller institutions or programs, it is important to account for the fact that larger programs may attract more tuition revenue, have a better ability to meet fixed costs, and thus greater opportunity to invest in program/major offerings.

In order to measure major emphasis (i.e. the percentage college’s students enrolling in a particular major) and market share (i.e. the percentage of all students studying a major that are enrolled in a particular college), we relied on data collected by National Center for Education Statistics and as reported by WebCaspar.

In our general rankings we take a look at the top degree programs for that school and compare it to schools with similar demographics to determine it’s 25% consensus.

Peer Review (25%)

In order to derive a peer review score, we look to rankings and “strong programs” data published by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Fiske Guide. Each utilizes thousands of student, faculty, and/or administrative surveys/questionnaires to identify colleges that offer strong majors/programs within a particular field. Alone, peer assessment surveys are subject to a fair amount of bias. However, when evaluated in sum and when considered along with more objective data–such as that examining selectivity, earnings, emphasis, and productivity–they can provide more complete and corroborative insight into the strength of a particular program/major.

Graduate Earnings (25%)

To measure graduate earnings, we relied on data provided by PayScale.com, which indicates both early-career and mid-career wages of students by college and by category of major. For example, PayScale provides salary data for student attending Boston University and majoring in engineering, which is different from salary data for students attending Boston University and majoring in business.

Both early-career wages and mid-career wages were analyzed, given that the former is typically an indicator of how employers perceive the quality of a particular major/program, while the latter indicates how well a major/program may have prepared students for work.

Though PayScale provides important insight into earning differences across institutions, it has significant limitations–data ere self-reported and encompass major groupings rather than specific majors. For example, all social science majors are grouped together, as are majors within the humanities, physical and life sciences, and other broad academic categories. Thus, distinctions between political science and economics or biology and physics are not possible. Nevertheless, given PayScale’s massive sample size (nearly 1.5 million different individuals across approximately 1000 institutions) and ability to gather earnings information for both early-career and mid-career graduates, we believe the use of such data in our analysis was justified.

Here are the best online colleges in the United States.

  1. University of Minnesota Crookston
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    Enrolling nearly 2,000 students, this university offers about 30 undergraduate degree programs through multiple academic departments. The school offers more than a dozen online bachelor’s degree programs such as communication, accounting, and quality management. Students also have the opportunity to pursue a handful of certificates and minors.

    Congrats to University of Minnesota Crookston for earning the #1 spot in this ranking of the very best online colleges, thereby taking the title of the best online college in the country.

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  2. Oregon State University
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    Oregon State enrolls more than 30,000 students across a dozen colleges and a graduate school. The university offers more than 900 online courses and a plethora of degree programs. The online program offers nearly 20 bachelor’s degrees ranging from sustainability to anthropology and nine master’s degrees such as counseling and natural resources and doctoral degrees in education. They also offer a number of certificate programs.

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  3. Northeastern University
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    Northeastern is home to over 20,000 students across nine colleges and schools in Massachusetts, as well as graduate campuses in North Carolina and Washington State. Northeastern’s online program offers nearly 20 bachelor degrees in topics such as finance, English, and political science.

    They offer two dozen master’s degrees such as leadership, taxation, and homeland security, and doctoral degrees in educational and transitional physical therapy. The online program also offers over 20 different certificate programs in various topics.

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  4. Indiana University
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    Indiana University enrolls more than 110,000 students across nine campuses and two centers. Through IU Online, the university offers hundreds of online classes and more than 100 degree programs. Students are encouraged to explore the variety of associate and bachelor degree programs, as well as their nine degree completion programs such as nursing, political science, and business administration.

    The online program also offers over two dozen masters degree programs ranging from data science to strategic management. Last but not least, students are able to earn doctoral degrees in nursing science, instructional systems technology, and nursing practice.

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  5. Arizona State University
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    Arizona State enrolls nearly 100,000 students across 16 colleges and schools. ASU Online offers a myriad of bachelor’s degree programs such as business, art history, justice studies, and film. They also offer master’s degrees in English, nutrition, legal studies, electrical engineering, and more.

    Students also have the opportunity to pursue a doctoral degree in biobehavioral health, innovation, and leadership. ASU consistently ranks as one of the best online colleges.

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  6. University of North Dakota
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    The University of North Dakota has over 15,000 students distributed within 10 academic divisions. They offer more than 220 programs of undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as professional degrees in medicine and law.

    The online program offers 10 bachelor degrees such as communication, civil engineering, and psychology as well as 20 master’s degrees in programs such as aviation, space studies, and education. On top of that, they offer two doctoral programs in nursing.

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  7. Fort Hays State University
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    Fort Hays has about 11,200 students enrolled throughout four colleges. The university offers 40 online degrees through its Virtual College.

    Students can complete associate’s degrees in general studies and applied technology, as well as two dozen bachelor’s degrees ranging from information networking to business education.

    Master’s degrees in areas such as health and human performance, liberal studies, and special education are also available.c

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  8. Florida State University
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    Florida State has over 42,000 students spread between 16 colleges and more than a hundred facilities, labs, and centers. Through the Office of Distance Learning, the university offers bachelor’s degrees in computer science, public safety and security, criminology and interdisciplinary social science.

    They also offer nearly 20 master’s degree programs in topics including criminology, business administration, communication disorders, and much more. It’s no surprise to find FSU ranked as one of the best online colleges, as the school excels in many areas.

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  9. Alabama-Birmingham
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    UAB has enrolled more than 18,500 students who are pursuing undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

    The online program offers seven bachelor’s degrees in healthcare management and business topics such as financing and marketing, as well as nearly 20 masters programs including topics in areas of sociology, civil structural engineering, and elementary education.

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  10. Lewis University
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    Lewis University houses 6,800 students through its five colleges and schools.

    The school’s online program offers bachelor degrees in business administration, information security and risk management, information technology management, and professional studies, as well as seven online master’s degrees in areas of aviation and transportation, business analytics, and organizational leadership.

    A doctoral in nursing practice is also offered.

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  11. Drexel University
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    Home to 25,000 students over a dozen schools and colleges, Drexel has one of the nation’s largest cooperative education programs.

    Drexel Online offers roughly 80 certificate programs, as well as doctoral programs in topics such as educational leadership and management, nursing practice, and health science in rehabilitation services.

    Drexel Online has received several accolades as one of the best online colleges.

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  12. Penn State World Campus
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    Penn State World Campus joined the highly respected Pennsylvania State University in 1998.

    The World Campus offers a hefty list of online programs, with more than 120 online programs leading to a variety of certificates, as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees.

    World Campus is home to more than 10,000 students in fields ranging from engineering, technology, business, healthcare, and more.

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  13. Concorde Career Colleges
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    Concorde was formed in 1988 as a Delaware corporation. With programs designed to jump-start your career in as few as nine months, Concorde has accredited programs in health care fields such as dental and medical specialties. Concorde currently operates 16 campuses in eight states throughout America and focuses on the population that is seeking a career-focused education. Concorde’s Online campus is fantastic for those students who need the flexibility to work and go to school at the same time.

    One reason Concorde Online is considered one of the best online colleges is that it uses its Canvas(TM) technology – an online learning management system that makes it easy to stay on track with your online education. Concorde Career College is accredited through the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

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  14. Western Governors University
    MERIT: 64
    Average Cost: $6,380

    Ne soleat suscipit appellantur usu, ex vim integre delectus, est habeo fabellas et. An iudicabit periculis adversarium mel, in nam minim debet petentium, vitae consul propriae ei qui. Ex sea malorum expetendis voluptatibus, te iusto soleat saperet eum, scripta invenire dissentias at pri. Ornatus corrumpit mea ei, sed ne brute iusto mandamus, eos cu dicant nonumy. Ferri disputationi cum te, id pri persius utroque.

    Putent ullamcorper delicatissimi eum ei. Tamquam consequat voluptatibus sit ut, quidam fastidii duo ea, eam ei aperiam vivendum consulatu. Te meis libris constituto pro, autem bonorum utroque duo ei, ius at debet atomorum. An munere assueverit ius. Id sea erant possit ceteros. Eu mea ignota iriure dolorem.

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  15. Minot State University
    MERIT: 62
    Average Cost: $8,453

    Ne soleat suscipit appellantur usu, ex vim integre delectus, est habeo fabellas et. An iudicabit periculis adversarium mel, in nam minim debet petentium, vitae consul propriae ei qui. Ex sea malorum expetendis voluptatibus, te iusto soleat saperet eum, scripta invenire dissentias at pri. Ornatus corrumpit mea ei, sed ne brute iusto mandamus, eos cu dicant nonumy. Ferri disputationi cum te, id pri persius utroque.

    Putent ullamcorper delicatissimi eum ei. Tamquam consequat voluptatibus sit ut, quidam fastidii duo ea, eam ei aperiam vivendum consulatu. Te meis libris constituto pro, autem bonorum utroque duo ei, ius at debet atomorum. An munere assueverit ius. Id sea erant possit ceteros. Eu mea ignota iriure dolorem.

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  16. University of North Alabama
    MERIT: 60
    Average Cost: $8,310

    Ne soleat suscipit appellantur usu, ex vim integre delectus, est habeo fabellas et. An iudicabit periculis adversarium mel, in nam minim debet petentium, vitae consul propriae ei qui. Ex sea malorum expetendis voluptatibus, te iusto soleat saperet eum, scripta invenire dissentias at pri. Ornatus corrumpit mea ei, sed ne brute iusto mandamus, eos cu dicant nonumy. Ferri disputationi cum te, id pri persius utroque.

    Putent ullamcorper delicatissimi eum ei. Tamquam consequat voluptatibus sit ut, quidam fastidii duo ea, eam ei aperiam vivendum consulatu. Te meis libris constituto pro, autem bonorum utroque duo ei, ius at debet atomorum. An munere assueverit ius. Id sea erant possit ceteros. Eu mea ignota iriure dolorem.

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  17. Missouri State University
    MERIT: 58
    Average Cost: $8,850

    Ne soleat suscipit appellantur usu, ex vim integre delectus, est habeo fabellas et. An iudicabit periculis adversarium mel, in nam minim debet petentium, vitae consul propriae ei qui. Ex sea malorum expetendis voluptatibus, te iusto soleat saperet eum, scripta invenire dissentias at pri. Ornatus corrumpit mea ei, sed ne brute iusto mandamus, eos cu dicant nonumy. Ferri disputationi cum te, id pri persius utroque.

    Putent ullamcorper delicatissimi eum ei. Tamquam consequat voluptatibus sit ut, quidam fastidii duo ea, eam ei aperiam vivendum consulatu. Te meis libris constituto pro, autem bonorum utroque duo ei, ius at debet atomorum. An munere assueverit ius. Id sea erant possit ceteros. Eu mea ignota iriure dolorem.

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  18. William Woods University
    MERIT: 55
    Average Cost: $8,350

    Ne soleat suscipit appellantur usu, ex vim integre delectus, est habeo fabellas et. An iudicabit periculis adversarium mel, in nam minim debet petentium, vitae consul propriae ei qui. Ex sea malorum expetendis voluptatibus, te iusto soleat saperet eum, scripta invenire dissentias at pri. Ornatus corrumpit mea ei, sed ne brute iusto mandamus, eos cu dicant nonumy. Ferri disputationi cum te, id pri persius utroque.

    Putent ullamcorper delicatissimi eum ei. Tamquam consequat voluptatibus sit ut, quidam fastidii duo ea, eam ei aperiam vivendum consulatu. Te meis libris constituto pro, autem bonorum utroque duo ei, ius at debet atomorum. An munere assueverit ius. Id sea erant possit ceteros. Eu mea ignota iriure dolorem.

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  19. Southeast Missouri State University
    MERIT: 53
    Average Cost: $8,520

    Ne soleat suscipit appellantur usu, ex vim integre delectus, est habeo fabellas et. An iudicabit periculis adversarium mel, in nam minim debet petentium, vitae consul propriae ei qui. Ex sea malorum expetendis voluptatibus, te iusto soleat saperet eum, scripta invenire dissentias at pri. Ornatus corrumpit mea ei, sed ne brute iusto mandamus, eos cu dicant nonumy. Ferri disputationi cum te, id pri persius utroque.

    Putent ullamcorper delicatissimi eum ei. Tamquam consequat voluptatibus sit ut, quidam fastidii duo ea, eam ei aperiam vivendum consulatu. Te meis libris constituto pro, autem bonorum utroque duo ei, ius at debet atomorum. An munere assueverit ius. Id sea erant possit ceteros. Eu mea ignota iriure dolorem.

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  20. McNeese State University
    MERIT: 52
    Average Cost: $7,559

    Ne soleat suscipit appellantur usu, ex vim integre delectus, est habeo fabellas et. An iudicabit periculis adversarium mel, in nam minim debet petentium, vitae consul propriae ei qui. Ex sea malorum expetendis voluptatibus, te iusto soleat saperet eum, scripta invenire dissentias at pri. Ornatus corrumpit mea ei, sed ne brute iusto mandamus, eos cu dicant nonumy. Ferri disputationi cum te, id pri persius utroque.

    Putent ullamcorper delicatissimi eum ei. Tamquam consequat voluptatibus sit ut, quidam fastidii duo ea, eam ei aperiam vivendum consulatu. Te meis libris constituto pro, autem bonorum utroque duo ei, ius at debet atomorum. An munere assueverit ius. Id sea erant possit ceteros. Eu mea ignota iriure dolorem.

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