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    Best Associate of Arts Degree in 2020

    March 13, 2021 | Staff Writers

    Associate of Arts Degree
    Degree Finder
    BestValueSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

    What is an associate of arts degree?

    An associate of arts degree is an undergraduate degree that can open many doors in future educational pursuits or career paths. An associate of arts degree takes approximately two years to complete. Students can expect to be required to take courses focused on the liberal arts with their choice of electives. Most degrees will include classes in English, history, music, psychology, philosophy, theater, and perhaps a foreign language.

    Oftentimes a minimum requirement in math and science coursework will also be part of the graduation requirements.

    Students that fulfill these courses will have the skills necessary for a variety of career opportunities.

    What can I do with an associate of arts degree?

    Graduates with an associate of arts degree will be prepared to accept employment opportunities in a variety of areas such as accounting, business administration, criminal justice, education, health services, public administration, sales, graphic design, management, and many more. As an associate in arts degree also acts as an excellent springboard for more advanced degrees. If the AA is earned from an accredited institution, then students can transfer to most other universities to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

    Why an associate of arts degree?

    One of the greatest advantages of earning an associate of arts degree is cost. Students that earn their AA either online or at a local community college will save thousands of dollars in tuition compared to the cost of taking the same courses at a four-year college. Even for transfer students to complete their AA at a community college and then transfer to a four-year college they graduate with the same bachelor’s degree at a lower cost than had they attended that college for all four years.

    Another large advantage is for those that use it as a springboard to get accepted to a bachelor program. Some students don’t have the grades in High School to get accepted into the programs they want so earning an AA and getting better grades helps them use that as a springboard to enter the program of their choice. While many AA programs act as a base degree to allow students to transfer many are also comprehensive enough to allow students to learn skills for entry-level positions in many jobs.

    Why earn an associate of art degree through an online program?

    Every year more colleges and institutions for higher learning are making the associate of art degree available in an online format. This has many advantages over the traditional on-campus delivery method. First students have the flexibility to take classes when their schedules permit which allows them to continue working while attending. This convenience is still oftentimes offered at the same low cost of a traditional program. Courses can be taken at a personal pace and students won’t experience the same cost of having to travel to campus every day. One word of caution; be sure the online AA degree is from an accredited college that will transfer to a four-year college or university.

    Rank School Location
    1Southwestern Community CollegeSylva, North Carolina
    2Stanly Community CollegeAlbemarle, North Carolina
    3Mid – Plains Community CollegeNorth Platte, Nebraska
    4Copiah – Lincoln Community CollegeWesson, Mississippi
    5Madisonville Community CollegeMadisonville, Kentucky

    Accredited Online Associate of Arts Degree Programs

    1

    Southwestern Community College

    • Sylva, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 41%

    Southwestern Community College exists to provide high-quality instruction, innovative teaching methods, personalized support for students all at an affordable cost to students. Currently, there is one associate degree of arts available online.

    The entire program with all the required courses is delivered through a high-quality online format. The entire program is 60 credit hours and allows students to choose 15 credit hours of electives. All applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and provide an ACT or SAT score.

    School Overview

    Location: Sylva, North Carolina
    Graduation Rate: 41%
    Tuition: $2,213
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    2

    Stanly Community College

    • Albemarle, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 48%

    For fifty years Stanly Community College has prepared students for transfer degrees, certifications, and job training. Now Stanly offers some of their quality associate degree programs entirely online to accommodate students’ schedules. Currently, Stanly has ten online associate degree programs including an associate in arts degree, early childhood education, accounting, criminal justice, human services, and more. Applicants will need to be high school graduates or have their GED. Those looking to transfer into a four-year degree program at another college can do so seamlessly with the many colleges SCC has transfer agreements with.

    In Fall 2020, the school launched two brand new teacher preparation transfer degrees. The Associate in Arts Teacher Preparation (AATP) and the Associate in Science Teacher Preparation (ASTP) will help future teachers in North Carolina, as well as allow community colleges to train and recruit future teachers. They also provide an online Associate in Science degree.

    School Overview

    Location: Albemarle, North Carolina
    Graduation Rate: 48%
    Tuition: $2,673
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    3

    Mid – Plains Community College

    • North Platte, Nebraska
    • Graduation Rate: 48%

    With seven campuses across Nebraska, Mid-Plains Community College enrolls over 16,000 students between these campuses and online.

    Graduates of their associate degree programs can either transfer to advance their education or pursue entry-level employment. Currently, Mid-Plains offers 5 online associate degrees in areas such as business administration, library technical assistant, and criminal justice. Applicants need to have a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

    Some programs may require applicants to take a placement exam.

    School Overview

    Location: North Platte, Nebraska
    Graduation Rate: 48%
    Tuition: $3,210
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    4

    Copiah – Lincoln Community College

    • Wesson, Mississippi
    • Graduation Rate: 45%

    Originally founded as an agricultural high school between Copiah and Lincoln counties, Copiah-Lincoln Community College has expanded to serve as a community college for multiple counties. Now Copiah-Lincoln enrolls over 3,000 students per year and more online.

    Students have access to multiple online associate degree programs including arts and humanities, English, health science, education, and business. Applicants need to have a high school diploma and may need to provide ACT or SAT scores.

    School Overview

    Location: Wesson, Mississippi
    Graduation Rate: 45%
    Tuition: $3,180
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    5

    Madisonville Community College

    • Madisonville, Kentucky
    • Graduation Rate: 48%

    Students seeking a quality education at an affordable price have found a perfect solution, Madisonville Community College. With multiple campuses and online programs serving thousands of students, Madisonville Community College is a community where students find confidence, collaboration, and future opportunities. With online associate degrees in areas like mining technology and surgical assistant, students can graduate to pursue entry-level positions or advance their degrees. Applicants must provide high school diplomas or GED equivalent. Most associate degree programs are approximately 65 credit hours.

    School Overview

    Location: Madisonville, Kentucky
    Graduation Rate: 48%
    Tuition: $4,248
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website

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    6

    Seward County Community College

    • Liberal, Kansas
    • Graduation Rate: 43%

    For over 50 years Seward County Community College has educated students within the community to prepare them for entry-level employment or prepare them to transfer to four-year colleges and pursue an advanced degree. The college has grown to include 45 programs and online associate degree options as well. Some of the online associate degrees include business administration, chemistry, and biology.

    All online students pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Applicants will need to provide a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Most programs are between 60-70 credit hours.

    School Overview

    Location: Liberal, Kansas
    Graduation Rate: 43%
    Tuition: $4,200
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    7

    State Fair Community College

    • Sedalia, Missouri
    • Graduation Rate: 47%

    State Fair Community College has over 50 years of experience educating and preparing students for careers and transfer programs. With seven campuses and online options, State Fair Community College enrolls thousands of students each year. Students wanting to earn their associate of arts degree entirely online can do so. If students can attend clinics and a few courses on campus they can enroll in associate degree programs such as medical assistant, health information technology, and more. Applicants will need to submit a high school diploma or GED equivalent and possibly an ACT or SAT score.

    School Overview

    Location: Sedalia, Missouri
    Graduation Rate: 47%
    Tuition: $4,320
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    8

    Roane State Community College

    • Harriman, Tennessee
    • Graduation Rate: 35%

    Educating students for over 50 years, Roane State Community College has nine campuses and online program options to meet the growing needs of the community. Over 6,000 students enroll each year in affordable and flexible programs that help students prepare for more advanced education opportunities or pursue entry-level career options. Currently, they offer online associate degrees in computer information technology, geographic information systems, and health information management. Applicants need to provide a high school diploma or GED equivalent upon applying. Some may need to submit ACT or SAT scores as well. Most programs are between 60 – 70 credit hours.

    School Overview

    Location: Harriman, Tennessee
    Graduation Rate: 35%
    Tuition: $4,453
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    9

    Holmes Community College

    • Goodman, Mississippi
    • Graduation Rate: 38%

    Established for over 100 years Homes Community College has grown to be the largest community college in the state of Mississippi. Enrolling over 6,000 students per year and offering a variety of associate degrees and programs, Holmes Community College is a perfect fit for students wanting a quality education at an affordable cost. Now offering entirely online associate degrees in areas such as medical billing and coding technology, paralegal technology, medical office technology, and more. Many certifications are also offered online. Applicants need to provide a high school diploma or GED equivalent and may need to submit ACT or SAT scores.

    School Overview

    Location: Goodman, Mississippi
    Graduation Rate: 38%
    Tuition: $3,110
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    10

    Florida Southwestern State College

    • Bonita Springs, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 37%

    Florida Southwestern State College has five campuses to serve students of Florida as well as an assortment of entirely online programs. Students can enroll in one of nine online associate degree programs including an associate of arts degree, accounting, business administration, criminal justice, human services, and youth development, and more.

    Applicants will need to submit a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Some may need to submit ACT or SAT scores as well.

    School Overview

    Location: Bonita Springs, Florida
    Graduation Rate: 37%
    Tuition: $2,500
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    11

    Frontier Community College

    • Fairfield, Illinois
    • Graduation Rate: 70%

    Frontier Community College is an eastern Illinois College that provides many areas of study online. Students can complete an associate of arts degree entirely online as well as elective credit hours online. They do provide other hybrid programs for students able to attend campus for some courses. Entirely online programs include medical assistant, sport management, and general studies. Most programs require 60 to 70 credit hours to complete. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED as well as submit an ACT or SAT score.

    School Overview

    Location: Fairfield, Illinois
    Graduation Rate: 70%
    Tuition: $9,743
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    12

    James Sprunt Community College

    • Kenansville, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 28%

    A member of the North Carolina Community College System, James Sprunt Community College was originally founded as a private school for boys back in 1784. The college has since adapted and grown to serve over 5,000 students annually. Currently, students can enroll in one associate of arts degree program. Free online tutoring is also provided. This program is entirely online and requires approximately 60 credit hours to be completed. James Sprunt features an open enrollment policy admitting all interested students.

    School Overview

    Location: Kenansville, North Carolina
    Graduation Rate: 28%
    Tuition: $2,570
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    13

    Niagara County Community College

    • Sanborn, New York
    • Graduation Rate: 29%

    Just minutes from Buffalo New York and Niagara Falls, Niagara County Community College has been served students since 1962. Though many of the associate degrees offered at Niagara County Community College are meant to prepared students to transfer to a four-year college, some can help students gain employment upon graduation. Students can pursue an online associate of arts degree in areas such as health studies, psychology, and human services. These programs are approximately 60 credit hours.

    School Overview

    Location: Sanborn, New York
    Graduation Rate: 29%
    Tuition: $4,923
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    14

    Laramie County Community College

    • Cheyenne, Wyoming
    • Graduation Rate: 28%

    Opening in 1968 as a full-service comprehensive community college, Laramie County Community College has expanded to have several locations and serve thousands of students. Now Laramie County Community College offers numerous online courses, certifications, and associate degrees. Some of those degrees are small business management, early childhood education, and health information technology management. Most of these programs are approximately 60 credit hours. Applicants will need to be high school graduates or hold a GED.

    School Overview

    Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
    Graduation Rate: 28%
    Tuition: $3,426
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    15

    Western Piedmont Community College

    • Morganton, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 32%

    As a member of the North Carolina Community College System, Western Piedmont Community College has been educating students for over 50 years.

    Despite the large beautiful campus, more than 60% of the students attend online. Currently Western Piedmont enrolls more than 7,000 students per year.

    The online associate degrees now offered are an associate degree in business administration, information technology, and paralegal technology. Each program has core and major-specific courses. The programs are approximately 65 credit hours. Applicants will need to provide a high school diploma or GED.

    School Overview

    Location: Morganton, North Carolina
    Graduation Rate: 32%
    Tuition: $2,577
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    16

    Vance Granville Community College

    • Henderson, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 28%

    Educating students for over 50 years, Vance Granville Community College offers a large array of programs and certifications.

    With over 40 associate degrees students can enroll in on-campus and 10 associate degrees students can earn entirely online there is something for every interest. Some of the online associate degrees include medical office administration, supply chain management, and information technology business support.

    Graduates can either transfer to a four-year college to earn their bachelor’s degree or pursue entry-level employment. Applicants will need to provide a high school diploma or GED equivalent. They may need to submit ACT or SAT scores as well.

    Associate degree programs at between 60 and 70 credit hours.

    School Overview

    Location: Henderson, North Carolina
    Graduation Rate: 28%
    Tuition: $1,948
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    17

    Shoreline Community College

    • Shoreline, Washington
    • Graduation Rate: 35%

    Students seeking a large variety of programs have found the place for affordable, quality, and expand educational opportunities, Shoreline Community College. Opening their doors in 1964, thousands of students are educated every year, many go on to advance their education or pursue employment opportunities. Currently, there are ten online associate degrees students can enroll in. Some of the online associate degrees are information technology, criminal justice, health information, and more. Many students can graduate in under two years when they attend full-time.

    School Overview

    Location: Shoreline, Washington
    Graduation Rate: 35%
    Tuition: $3,873
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    18

    Wytheville Community College

    • Wytheville, Virginia
    • Graduation Rate: 35%

    Wytheville Community College prepares students for successful careers in a variety of areas such as business, computer technology, public service, healthcare, and more. Many graduates transfer to four-year colleges while others pursue entry-level career options.

    Students needing a more flexible schedule can enroll in their online associate degree in general administrative support technology. Applicants will need to provide a high school diploma or GED equivalent as well as submit ACT or SAT scores.

    School Overview

    Location: Wytheville, Virginia
    Graduation Rate: 35%
    Tuition: $4,725
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    19

    Hutchinson Community College

    • Hutchinson, Kansas
    • Graduation Rate: 35%

    Offering over 75 areas of study, students have options at Hutchinson Community College when it comes to choosing a degree or certification program.

    Hutchinson first opened their doors to students in 1928 and have since expanded to welcome over 5,000 students per year to their campus and online programs. Online associate degrees include programs in art, business administration, automation engineer technology, and biology. Every applicant will need to submit a high school diploma or GED equivalent, some programs may have other requirements for enrollment as well.

    School Overview

    Location: Hutchinson, Kansas
    Graduation Rate: 35%
    Tuition: $3,520
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    20

    Spartanburg Community College

    • Spartanburg, South Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 34%

    Spartanburg Community College offers an expansive variety of programs, courses, and certifications. Every year more than 5,000 students enroll to begin their education at Spartanburg.

    Currently, Spartanburg offers an entirely online associate of arts degree that is designed for students to transfer smoothly into a bachelor’s program at a four-year institution. The online AA degree is approximately 60-66 credit hours.

    Applicants will need to submit a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

    School Overview

    Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina
    Graduation Rate: 34%
    Tuition: $5,742
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    21

    Hillsborough Community College

    • Tampa, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 30%

    Established in 1968, Hillsborough Community College is a member of the Florida College System and enrolls a staggering 47,000 students each year.

    Offering a large base of courses and degrees students can use their education from Hillsborough as a springboard for an advanced degree or they can use it as a foundation for entry-level career opportunities. Currently, there are 10 associate degrees offered online in various fields including education teacher preparation and business management.

    Applicants will need to provide a high school diploma or GED equivalent and they may need to submit ACT or SAT scores.

    School Overview

    Location: Tampa, Florida
    Graduation Rate: 30%
    Tuition: $2,506
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    22

    Richmond Community College

    • Hamlet, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 23%

    Richmond Community College is part of the Carolina Community College System that allows them to access the partnerships the colleges have with workforce development programs. Now offering a wide base of online courses and degrees, Richmond Community College has stepped up significantly in the last decade to provide these innovative online courses. Currently, students can choose between 8 fully online associate degrees including healthcare management technology, cybersecurity, accounting, and finance. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and submit an ACT or SAT score.

    School Overview

    Location: Hamlet, North Carolina
    Graduation Rate: 23%
    Tuition: $2,516
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    23

    Ulster County Community College

    • Stone Ridge, New York
    • Graduation Rate: 31%

    Students looking for accelerated and traditional paths to earning an associate degree can find what they are looking for at Ulster County Community College. Ulster offers more than 60 programs and several online programs as well including associate degrees in computer science, individual studies, and criminal justice. Some associate degrees can be completed in as little as 17 months through accelerated pathways. Applicants must provide a high school diploma or GED equivalent as well as take a placement exam as part of the application process.

    School Overview

    Location: Stone Ridge, New York
    Graduation Rate: 31%
    Tuition: $4,880
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    24

    John Wood Community College

    • Quincy, Illinois
    • Graduation Rate: 29%

    Founded in 1974 John Wood Community College has expanded to host thousands of students and provide quality online associate degree options. The cost of tuition remains the same for all students regardless of residency, both traditional students and online students pay the same tuition. Online associate degrees offered are an associate of arts degree, an associate of science degree, and an associate of general studies. Online students that take two courses per semester graduate within two years. Applicants will need to submit a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

    School Overview

    Location: Quincy, Illinois
    Graduation Rate: 29%
    Tuition: $8,190
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    25

    Broward College

    • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    • Graduation Rate: 22%

    A nationally ranked and affordable option for higher education, Broward College is a place where every student can transform their life. With multiple associate degree programs available there is something for every student. Wanting to earn an associate degree online? Broward has 29 associate degrees available online of those 10 are associate of arts degrees. Those include programs like compute science, English, finance, political science, psychology, and more. Applicants will need to submit a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Some may need to submit ACT or SAT scores as well.

    School Overview

    Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Graduation Rate: 22%
    Tuition: $2,460
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    26

    Clovis Community College

    • Fresno, California
    • Graduation Rate: 20%

    Established in 1992, Clovis Community College has provided affordable education and a springboard for career development and advanced educational opportunities. The online offerings for students enrolled at Clovis are very diverse. Students also have access to the many student services that traditional students have access to. Some of the online associates of arts degrees include liberal arts, early childhood education, and more. Applicants need to submit a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Some may need to provide ACT or SAT scores. Certain programs may require other enrollment requirements.

    School Overview

    Location: Fresno, California
    Graduation Rate: 20%
    Tuition: $2,664
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    27

    Lenoir Community College

    • Kinston, North Carolina
    • Graduation Rate: 19%

    Lenoir Community College has prepared tens of thousands of students for higher degrees and technical jobs through their partnerships within the community. Lenoir enrolls more than 16,000 students each year. There are several associate degree programs students can enroll in with an associate in arts, associate in arts in business administration, and associate in arts CCPP. They offer many more associate degrees online check them out here.

    School Overview

    Location: Kinston, North Carolina
    Graduation Rate: 19%
    Tuition: $2,558
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website
    28

    Pennsylvania Highlands Community College

    • Jamestown, Pennsylvania
    • Graduation Rate: 18%

    With a small student to faculty ratio, Pennsylvania Highlands Community College offers the same quality education for online students that traditional students receive. Currently, Pennsylvania Highlands offers five online associate degrees including medical billing and coding, paralegal studies, and more. Some programs are focused on career training for entry-level career opportunities while others are focused on preparing students to transfer to a four-year college to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

    School Overview

    Location: Jamestown, Pennsylvania
    Graduation Rate: 18%
    Tuition: $8,130
    Tech Support: Yes
    Financial Aid: Yes
    Visit School Website

    With so many accredited online associate degree options from schools across the country, there is going to be one that fits the needs of each student. From affordable tuition to financial aid and student services, online education has never been more accessible and thorough than now. Students can earn an associate of arts degree in as little as two years and use that as a springboard to transfer to a four-year college into a bachelor’s program or they can pursue an entry-level career position. Either way, an affordable associate of arts degree is very versatile.

    Schools have been ranked using a matrix of affordability, graduation rate, and several programs available. Please contact us with any questions.

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