Today online education is becoming more mainstream and much more valued. More institutions for higher learning have developed high-quality online programs that have earned full accreditation and can provide complete degrees entirely through an online delivery method. Finding the fastest bachelor’s degree online is more widely available and provides many benefits to the student. A traditional, four-year, on-campus bachelor degree mold doesn’t work for everyone. Some prospective students need to work full-time or have family obligations, but that shouldn’t prevent them from earning their degrees. A bachelor’s degree is an essential requirement for most careers that offer a good salary with benefits and stability. As a result, more Americans are seeking alternatives to a traditional brick and mortar educational experience, hence the fastest online bachelor’s degree.
A traditional bachelor’s degree can take a minimum of four years to complete, that is a lot of time and money. The cost and time continue to increase each time a student needs to enroll in another semester to work towards their bachelor’s degree. With many online bachelor’s degrees, there are fast-track options or accelerated options that help students not only earn degree faster but also cheaper. This is the most affordable bachelor’s degree option. Here’s how: Look for an online college program that allows for maximum transfer credits, learns if you can “test out” of certain courses, ask if credits can be granted for work/life experience. Students that have attended some college or earned an associate degree can easily transfer those credits towards a BA degree. Adults that have no college experience can still complete a degree on an accelerated path as well though work/life competency credits and opportunities to test out of courses.
One of the greatest benefits of online programs is hands-down the flexibility they provide. Students can continue working while earning their degree. Flexibility also works for students raising young families that desire to earn a degree. Many of the fastest online bachelor’s degrees take significantly less time to earn than their traditional four-year brick and mortar college counterpart. Continue reading to learn more about institutions that offer the fastest bachelor’s degree online.
|1||Linfield College||McMinnville, Oregon|
|2||Central Michigan University||Mount Pleasant, Michigan|
|3||California Baptist University||Riverside, California|
|4||Lewis University||Romeoville, Illinois|
|5||Eastern Kentucky University||Richmond, Kentucky|
The Fastest Bachelor’s Degrees Online
A private liberal arts university, Linfield College is one of the oldest private colleges on the west coast. Linfield has been providing online education for over two decades and currently offers ten fully accredited online degree programs. There are several options for minors as well as certificates that can be earned online. Students can also accelerate their degree by taking advantage of the school’s credit for prior knowledge policy. This allows students to earn up to 30 credits for an experience like on the job, non-credit workshops, travel, family, life experience, and volunteer responsibilities. Some online bachelor’s degrees include an Rn to BSN, History, Management, Accounting, Marketing, more.
Central Michigan University
A public institution, Central Michigan University has an online global campus that offers 15 high-quality accelerated bachelor’s degree programs. Every one of the online degrees can be completed according to each student’s individual schedule, offering great flexibility. CMU provides great support to each student through the educational journey through tutoring, advising, peer mentors, and the online resource center. CMU offers accelerated courses through 8, 12, and 16-week increments. Some online bachelor’s degrees include Political Science, Psychology, Nursing, Business Administration, and more.
California Baptist University
A private institution for higher learning, California Baptist University makes it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as two years, which is half the time as at a traditional on-campus program. That will heavily depend on any transfer credits a student brings with them from the previous college experience. The online bachelor’s degrees are designed with working adults in mind. California Baptist University offers a wide array of fully online bachelor’s degrees including accounting, liberal arts, criminal justice, English, Public Health, and more. With a great deal of flexibility and excellent transfer options, California Baptist University is a solid choice for those seeking an online degree.
Lewis University has a long and successful history in serving adult students in the Chicagoland area. More than 40 percent of the total student population are adults who balance work, family responsibilities, and community commitments while attending classes and keeping up with coursework. Accelerated undergraduate and graduate programs are taught in eight-week sessions in face-to-face and online formats.
Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) provides adult students with several non-traditional alternatives for earning college credit for prior learning experiences through proficiency examinations, transcript evaluation, and the development of a prior learning portfolio, saving you time and money.
Eastern Kentucky University
Whether you are seeking to start, finish, or advance your education Eastern Kentucky University Online has a program for you. A public institution located in Richmond, Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University has been providing flexible online education for years. Benefits of an online bachelor’s degree from EKU are the flat tuition rates, 8-week terms, and online tutoring and resources. With six start dates per year, students can enroll earlier and get started. EKU offers 24 bachelor’s degrees in a variety of fields such as social work, policy studies, criminal justice, communications, accounting, finance, and more.
Arizona State University
A public institution, Arizona State University has offered online degrees for decades and have developed successful support systems to ensure student success. Students can earn an accelerated bachelor’s degree in over 50 areas of study. Online students have access to support services, online tutoring, disability services, military services, career services, and a success center. ASU’s online programs have been recognized by the U.S. News and World Report and ranked at #2 in the nation for their online programs.
Upper Iowa University
Upper Iowa University has been providing students with online educational options for decades and has developed innovative methods to ensure student success in their online degree programs. Through their Self-Paced Programs, students have flexible schedules that work for them while still having access to personalized instruction through one-on-one interactions with professors. The courses are asynchronous and are rotated on an 8-week format plus a 6-week summer term for those seeking to accelerate their degree more. Students have 34 bachelor’s degree options available through the Self-Paced online programs. Some of the bachelors include software engineering, history, psychology, criminal justice, Mathematics, marketing, management, forensic science, and many more.
University of Memphis Global Campus
University of Memphis Global (UofM Global) has been a leader in online learning since 1995, and since has continued to grow not only the amount of degrees offered fully online, but their quality as well. UofM Global classes are taught by University of Memphis faculty and are dedicated to student success. With no tuition increase for the last seven years, students also benefit from a degree that is the same as an on-campus degree and is at the same cost. Students can expect advising, career services, an online library, tech services, and learning support all upon their first day as an online student. Some of the degree options include real estate, healthcare leadership, English, accountancy, and many more.
Becker College is dedicated to helping adult learners earn their degrees by providing high-quality and affordable education across the nation. Designed with the adult learner in mind and working professionals that are earning a degree while working full-time Becker College has developed innovative online programs to help students succeed. As a career institute, Becker offers four fully online programs: Nursing, Business, Legal Studies, and Criminal Justice. The Business Administration degree can be completed, start to finish, in just three years.
Western Governors University
Western Governors University provides an online, affordable competency-based education that relies on students’ knowledge rather than time spent in a classroom. Students can go at their own pace completing courses and saving money the faster they complete them. Students will get credit for the skills and knowledge they already possess. Many students can complete a bachelor’s degree in as little as two years without any prior college credits. Once courses are completed students can move on to the next courses without being charged any additional tuition more during that term. There are a variety of majors in Business, Information Technology, Education, and Health Professions.
Indiana Wesleyan University
A private evangelical Christian institution, Indiana Wesleyan University is well respected and provides students with a comprehensive liberal arts education. Designed with the adult learner in mind, many of the online bachelor’s degree programs are able to be completed in an accelerated pathway. Those accelerated degrees include business, technology, management, leadership, counseling, education, nursing, and more. Each student is assigned a personal academic advisor to ensure the success of all online students. The academic advisor will guide each student to the courses they need to complete and other services if they need them. Students also have access to the complete online library.
At Columbia College students can earn their degree at their own pace and on their own schedule. Columbia College allows students to earn as many credits as they desire to, with 8-week terms students can earn more credits much faster than at a traditional college on 16-week terms. Columbia College caters to the adult learner that has Military or family obligations but still wants to earn a degree. They can earn it anytime, anywhere. There are plenty of degree options as well including political science, English, finance, healthcare management, and more.
Gwynedd Mercy University
A private Catholic institution, Gwynedd Mercy University allows students to earn fast bachelor degrees online through their accelerated programs. Students can enroll in one course at a time during each five-week course. This allows students to focus and complete the coursework for one course at a time. This design allows students to complete required courses for their degree at a much faster pace. Degrees offered in the accelerated format include degrees in the following areas: Business, Education, Nursing, Counseling, and Psychology. Within these areas, there are multiple majors students can choose from.
Western New England University
Western New England University offers several fast track bachelor degree options online. For those that do not know what they want to major in can join their exploratory program. Each program is focused on career readiness with experiential learning and hands-on experiences. Many students are able to participate in internships in their desired fields. Some of the accelerated programs include a Law Program, Accounting, Business Administration, Computer Science, Communication, and many more. One particular Business Administration degree can be completed in as little as one to two years!
A private Christian liberal arts institution, Rochester University provides high-quality education online for busy students. With the adult student in mind, the online accelerated bachelor degree options are designed to be completed quickly without requiring transfer credits. Students can transfer any prior college credits they may have but the accelerated programs are designed to help them graduate earlier without needing transfer credits to do so. Seven degrees are designed to participate at an accelerated pace, these programs are Christian Ministry, Computer Information Systems, Management, Early Childhood Studies, Psychology, Strategic Leadership, and Mass Communications.
Boston University provides innovative online bachelor degree completion programs to students anytime, anywhere. For almost two decades Boston University has offered award-winning online educational programs for students worldwide, helping them pursue their goals and future careers. Students will connect with world-class faculty, other highly motivated students, and exceptional staff. With opportunities to gain specialized skills, students can excel in some of the most competitive industries. The online bachelor’s programs are completion programs so students will need to have transfer credits to participate in these accelerated programs. See each program to know the requirements for enrollment.
Colorado State University Global
Colorado State University Global offers an innovative approach to online learning. Students have a variety of methods to accelerate their degree through options such as transfer credits, college-level exams to test out of courses, and portfolio experiences. Students have a wide array of course options to enrich their experience on top of the fifteen bachelor degree programs offered. These courses are offered al a carte to add to their core courses for their degree. This would require a little more time but adds extra skills and opportunities to students to enrich their experience. Students can enroll with the peace of mind knowing they will have expert faculty and fixed tuition fees.
At Liberty University, students will be able to find programs and courses that will help them achieve their educational and career goals. With over 130 bachelor’s degrees available in a flexible online format, there is something for everyone. Courses are administered in 8-week terms allowing students to accelerate their degree. Students can transfer credits from the previous college, earn credits from previous job training such as EMTs, law enforcement, license in aviation, real estate, and more. Students can submit an Experience Portfolio for credit as well. Students have access to academic advisors immediately upon the enrollment process and throughout their experience at Liberty University.
Located in Boston, Northeastern University offers a variety of online bachelor degrees and degree completion programs. There are many pathways to accelerate their degree through transfer credits and proficiency tests. Students that have experience in technology, information, business, health, liberal arts, or education can apply for an assessment to earn credit as well. Students are allowed to apply for transfer credits from the previous college experience, up to 50% of their required graduation credits to accelerate their degree. There are currently three-degree completion programs and ten bachelor programs available online. A few of the online bachelor’s programs include Analytics, Healthcare Administration, Finance and Accounting Management, Information Technology, Leadership, and more.
Champlain College Online
Named the best private online college by Intelligent.com, Champlain College Online has a long history of providing dependable and accredited online programs. Champlain offers a distinct catalog of nine accelerated online bachelor’s degree programs designed to meet the needs of adult learners.
Through career-focused courses presented in a 7-week accelerated format, students learn in intentionally small, engaging online classrooms led by devoted scholar-practitioner faculty. Baccalaureates include accounting, cybersecurity, healthcare administration, and more.
Albertus Magnus College
The online education at Albertus Magnus College surpasses many larger schools offerings due to their many online programs and support services. Albertus Magnus has been providing quality degree completion and accelerated degree programs since 1985 to help working adults earn their degrees while meeting other life obligations. The new Online & Flex Programs approach is an innovative and accelerated pathway for students to earn their degrees faster than ever. With thirteen bachelor degree options, students will find a program that works for them. A few of the online bachelor’s programs include Sociology, Humanities, Healthcare Management, Finance, Communications, Accounting, and more.
For anyone seeking to earn a fast bachelor degree online, these schools offer some of the best and more affordable programs in the nation. Each school and its online programs are accredited and recognized across the country. Online degrees are ideal for working adults, those with family obligations, or anyone who needs a flexible schedule while earning their degree. Many of these programs have various options to accelerate them with or without previous college experience. Find a program that fits your educational and career goals and apply today!
Colleges offering accelerated online bachelor’s degrees have been ranked using a matrix of cost, number of online bachelor programs, and student support services.
Online college is gaining in popularity. Even people who enrolled in traditional colleges are studying online to complete their associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or even master’s degree, letting adults achieve many of their ambitions without giving up on their lives. If you’ve completed an associate’s degree and aren’t ready for a master’s just yet, don’t worry. There are a lot of online learning options for people who want to complete a bachelor’s.
You can be carrying out a business or taking care of your family alongside studying for a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or working a full-time job while pursuing an online program for an undergraduate degree in psychology to help you garner a successful career in the future. Online degrees help you create a flexible schedule for yourself and also help you learn self-discipline and other organizational skills.
Online bachelor’s degrees are convenient and give undergraduates a realistic opportunity to change their lives all from their homes with a lower tuition rate than a regular bachelor’s program. So, if you are looking for an accelerated online bachelor’s degree that you can study without giving up on your side hustles, then you have come to the right place.
In this article, we will dive headfirst into all the details about the fastest bachelor degrees online. We will discuss what online bachelor degrees provide, the different types of online education, their advantages, the cost drivers, FAQs, and, of course, some of the best fastest bachelor’s degrees online.
Types of Online Bachelor Degrees
If you think online bachelor’s degrees only come in one variation, then you are wrong! Different degrees have different requirements, and these requirements distinguish the type and model of online education that different fields use.
There are two major categories in which we can differentiate online degree programs which are as follows:
- 100 percent online degree completion program
Some programs are entirely based on online education. You get all of the lectures, tests, discussions, instructions via the internet. You will only contact your teachers via a specified online communication platform, and that is how your entire degree will go.
In this type of online degree program, you have control over when and where you want to attend your lectures to complete your college degree. You may also choose an accelerated program to complete your degree and reach graduation in a much shorter time.
This model is ideal for people who have a time-consuming job or have to take care of their families. You can easily tailor your studies according to your liking, and if you already have an associate degree, you might have a head start. In this case, it is worth looking into an accelerated bachelor program.
Some of the degrees that might fall into this category of accelerated degree are a psychology degree, and accounting degree, criminal justice, and business administration undergraduate degree.
- The hybrid model of online education
The hybrid model of online education is one where you study through online classes and face-to-face classrooms. You will get virtual video lectures, online tests, and discussions, but you will also have to come to the university to do practicals or use labs.
These types of college degree courses are known as correspondence courses or hybrid courses. Most engineering degrees or technical degrees have acquired a hybrid model of education as they offer the best of both worlds, though you may find them with other bachelors degree programs as well.
However, hybrid education usually makes it mandatory to attend a specific number of classes in physical classrooms while completing a bachelor degree through an online degree program. So, this is not for people who want to customize their coursework according to their routine.
Choosing an Online Bachelor’s Degree Program
Before talking about the various accelerated online bachelor degrees that you can find in the market, let’s go over the different advantages that online degree completion has over traditional degrees.
One of the things that you learn if you opt for a degree online is discipline. From the moment you get accepted into a program, you are responsible for making a place for yourself in the class, studying even when you have every reason to mute the teacher and scroll through Instagram, and learn the different concepts. You are accountable for your education, which comes in handy later if you decide to pursue a higher level accelerated degree
- Improve time management and organizational skills
Since you will be held accountable for reading all of the assigned material for your online courses for your undergraduate degree, doing homework on time, taking time out for studying, and preparing for tests, you will be able to manage your time more efficiently and learn how to organize and prioritize different tasks throughout the day.
- Knowledge of different communication platforms
One thing that you will exceed while opting for an online degree is your proficiency in using different social media platforms to collaborate with your classmates and professors.
One of the major advantages that an online degree completion program has is flexibility. You can easily attend classes whenever you find time for them. You can complete your homework whenever and wherever you are. Many working men and women as well as people with families that require 24/7 care choose online degrees because of the laid-back, easy-to-follow course schedule.
- Ease of accessibility to faculty
In face-to-face classes, you have a specific time during which you can ask your professor questions. In this time, the professor also has to listen to every student and address their concerns. So, sometimes, you might not get a chance to communicate with your teacher.
In online settings, it is easier to set up a time where you can have one-on-one communication with your teacher and have them answer all your queries.
Furthermore, you can easily send them a text and ask them your questions whether it’s during class or later on. In face-to-face classes, you can only go to your professor’s office during visiting hours.
- No Transportation
Since you will be doing everything online, there is absolutely no reason to commute between university and home.
If you opt for a more practical degree that requires different credit hours for labs, you might have to visit the university once or twice during your semester. But other than that, you can roll out of bed, open your laptop and take your classes whenever you deem appropriate during the class.
- Affordable Alternative
Online education is becoming the new norm anyway. If you are thinking of enrolling in an online bachelor’s degree, you will most probably be acquiring fewer expenses than if you were going for an on-campus degree.
Though there are costs associated specifically with online education like technology costs, and program amenities, it still is much less expensive than traditional means.
- Personalized Learning Environment
As discussed above, online classes give you the freedom to do coursework whenever possible. They also allow students to take classes or cover as much coursework as possible whenever they want.
Whereas, in brick-and-mortar universities, you have to take certain classes on certain days, and you must sit through the entire class and pay attention. Most online classes are recorded, and you can also go back to them if you do not understand anything.
- Reach Graduation Faster
As mentioned in the above point, you can cover a lot of coursework in a much shorter time as compared to traditional face-to-face classes. This suggests that you can also reach your graduation much faster.
However, this solely depends upon the type of program you have chosen and its requirements.
- Diversification and Globalization
Online education does not limit you to teachers and students that belong to a certain geographical location. And have a definite type of culture and ideas. You will be exposed to people from all around the globe. This will help you gain a global perspective and understand different cultures, traditions, communication skills, ideas, ethics, and backgrounds.
Typical Cost of an Online Bachelor’s Degree
Though online education is considered an inexpensive alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar Universities. It does have a few cost drivers that you should pay attention to, and it’s a good idea to look into federal student aid.
In this section, we explore the various factors that most probably will affect the expenses you incur when you apply for an online degree and during the entire course. The following are the changes that the majority of online students have to bear throughout their degree.
- Tuition Fees
This is the biggest and the primary cost driver that makes you decide if you even want to opt for college, period. When it comes to an online degree, the university gives you many options to make the payment. Some universities offer monthly tuition payments with no interest whereas others require you to pay the entire semester fee in one go.
If you are an employer who is going to attend college via employer-sponsored programs you might have a direct billing choice that can be delayed as late as the middle of the semester. However, these conditions severely depend upon the university you chose.
Different universities offer different types of tuition charges and options to pay them. So, before you choose a program, make sure to thoroughly go over the tuition structure and payment methods.
- Course Material
Most of the professors give you all of the material that you might need to get through the quizzes and assignments. All of the case studies you might be reading and solving will have a cost and these are mostly included in the tuition fee.
However, sometimes, you might have to buy a book or two to better understand a course. You might also need to spend money a bit on stationary to jot your notes down and work on your assignments. Though these costs might be minor, they can tip the scale and cause disarray in your financial plans.
- Credit Transferring Costs
Whether you are studying in a face-to-face university or online. If you change your major or shift from one university to another, you will have to transfer your credit hours and this might have additional costs.
Though the credit transfer is not a simple process in online education. It can be smoothly carried out to most degrees.
- Technological Expenses
An online education solely relies on your laptop and internet connection. So these are some of the costs that you will incur during your entire degree. When it comes to a laptop, you might need one that can perform efficiently no matter how heavy the load is and also, the type that can easily download a few software.
When it comes to the internet, you will need an excellent internet connection that will let you take your classes without any disruption or distortion.
In some cases, you might also have a technology fee based on a per-credit-hour or per-term/semester basis. This fee covers all the charges linked with technology improvements, the learning management system, and tech support.
- Official Transcript Costs
Though you might need not worry about this when you start your degree, you are charged additional fees for an official transcript or graduation as well.
- Transportation Costs
As discussed above, there are two modes of online education; 100 percent online education and hybrid online education. While you might not need to worry if your entire degree is online, there are a few transportation costs that you will have to add to your books.
It is always wise to check the requirements of your major to find out if it requires you to travel to the university or an office in case internships are mandatory. For example, if you are applying for business, while you might not be required to attend on-campus classes, you will be required to do one or more internships before graduation.
On the other hand, if you are enrolling in a program that requires certain credit hours in the labs, then you will undeniably incur these charges so it is better to pay heed to these before enrollment.
Checking these requirements will help you plan better as well as manage your financials more easily.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does it take to complete an online bachelor’s degree?
Different majors require different numbers of credit hours and thus they have different completion times. While one bachelor’s degree might take you only 15 months, another one might last for as long as two years (24 months). So, there is no exact standard period that requires to complete an online bachelor’s degree.
Although if you are looking for rough estimates then let us discuss it as well. Bachelor’s degrees usually last for 36 to 48 months (three to four years). However, most professionals estimate that an online degree can be completed within 15 to 24 months (1.3 years to two years) since you can accelerate your studies and study for longer hours.
Why should your online college be accredited?
Let us first grasp the concept of accreditation. Accreditation or an accredited college/university means that the institute is officially approved and authorized to carry out its operations. It is the process in which agencies outside of the institute evaluate the performance of the programs that the school is providing.
In America, the Department of Education, CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation). Or both of these organizations grant accreditation to various universities across the country.
In the United Kingdom, the system is different. The quality checking agency for higher education is QAA. And these external examiners are responsible for assuring the quality of education given in these universities. Though there is no accreditation system, the government has control over the power of awarding the degree. And also, which institutes follow the criteria of being a university.
Whether you opt for a degree with an American or a UK institute. It is important to check the accreditation and quality assurance. This will help you assess if the program is worth investing in. And if the school is meeting the standards of quality education which are set by the esteemed agencies we mentioned above.
So, yes, it is important to know if your online college is accredited (or quality assured). Accreditation not only ensures that you get the best type of online education, but it also increases your chances of securing a well-paying job after graduation.
What can you do with an online bachelor’s degree?
Everything! You can do everything with an online bachelor’s degree that you would expect from a traditional degree. An online version of every imaginable degree is present, and you can go for anyone you like. You will get the same job opportunities, internships, and quality of education as students who go to a brick-and-mortar university.
As long as you make sure that you opt for an accredited university, all is well. On the contrary, you might be missing a few things, such as a chance to participate in on-campus events, join societies, and get to know your colleagues on a more personal level.
Other than that, there are hardly any disadvantages to an online bachelor’s degree and plenty of online class tips to help you get the most out of your education. Besides, with the blessing of top-notch technology and the ability to connect with anyone at any time, you can interact with your classmates and professors without any problem.
Why are online bachelor’s degrees perfect for adult students?
Online bachelor’s degrees are perfect for adult students as they give every person with commitments to get an education that will help them start up their career. There are various conditions for why people do not go to college. Sometimes, it has to do with finances, but other times we are faced with different circumstances that force us to drop out.
Irrespective of the struggles, online education gives not only adults but everyone to get quality education from anywhere around the world. Whether you are a part-time employee, a committed parent, or someone who cannot go on the campus for any reason. An online bachelor’s degree will give you the opportunity that your circumstances stole from you.
These degrees are comparatively more affordable, self-paced, and give you the same experience that an on-campus degree would have provided.
What is the employment outlook for graduates of online bachelor’s degree programs?
The employment outlook for graduates of online bachelor’s degree programs is very favorable. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), almost 42 percent of employers will consider a graduate with an online bachelor’s degree.
Furthermore, according to a study, 61 percent of the Human Resource Leaders believe that online education is just as remarkable, if not more, than face-to-face education. Seventy-one percent of the firms will readily hire a candidate that graduated from an online program within the last year.
Online Bachelor’s degrees are in the mainstream now, like online certificate programs before them. Many people have started to drop out of their traditional on-campus programs and shifted to online programs because it is a more convenient and flexible option. If you are also thinking about enrolling in an online bachelor’s degree, check out the above-mentioned accelerated degrees.
All of them have unique aspects that make them stand. One thing to consider while choosing an online bachelor’s degree is the different costs associated with online education.
As we discussed, there are two basic types of education in the online world: 100 percent online and hybrid. Both of these modes have their own set of cost drivers, which you need to pay heed to before enrolling in a program.
Lastly, one last piece of advice for everyone applying for online degrees is that you should always follow your passion, whether it’s business, media, architecture, computer science, or whatever interests you. Research your choices, and choose a program that you sincerely like.
Choose a program and a degree that you are positive you will adore, or put it more appropriately, that you will be happy to put in the effort to complete.