Online education has become a mainstream overnight in a very quickly shifting academic world to meet the evolving needs of today’s students and to meet today’s challenges. When choosing an online school it is imperative that prospective students seek out only accredited institutions to earn their degrees from. Accreditation serves as proof that a school meets education standards and is a quick method to ensure that a school offers legitimate educational courses as opposed to the disingenuous mills that are out there. The most widely recognizable accrediting organization for online institutions is the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, or the DEAC. The DEAC is a private non-profit organization that has been in operation since 1926. Online schools can also attain regional accreditation from smaller, local accrediting organizations.
Top 5 Nationally Accredited Online Colleges
|1||University of People||Pasadena, California|
|2||William Howard Taft University (Taft University System)||Denver, Colorado|
|3||Aspen University||Denver, Colorado|
|4||Martinsburg College||Martinsburg, West Virginia|
|5||Shiloh University||Kalona, Iowa|
There is an important distinction between national accreditation and regional accreditation through business and companies will accept employees with degrees from both institutions for higher learning may not. Many students transferring from a nationally accredited college to a regionally accredited college may find that their credits won’t be accepted, or if a student earned a degree from a nationally accredited institution and desires to earn a graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution may find that they will not accept their previous degree. To see what schools are recognized for their national accreditation see the Department of Education’s website.
The schools listed below are all nationally accredited by the DEAC and are recognized by the Department of Education as well.
Best Nationally Accredited Online Colleges
University of People
The University of the People is the first non-profit, free, American institution for online higher learning that was established in 2009. The mission of University of the People is to make higher education available to anyone, anywhere and to remove barriers that often stand in the way of that possibility. Students can pursue an associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degree from anywhere they have an internet connection. Degrees students can pursue include Business Administration, Computer Science, Health Science, and Education. Those seeking a Master’s degree can pursue a Master of Education or an MBA currently at University of the People.
William Howard Taft University (Taft University System)
William Howard Taft University provides a unique and innovative distance learning model for students around the globe at an affordable cost. The programs offered have been designed with mature working adults in mind that are seeking to advance their career or make a career change without requiring them to relocate or quit their current employment. Currently three schools offer degree granting programs that include the school of Business, the School of Education and the School of Government and Law. Students will find bachelor’s degrees as well as Master’s degrees and Doctoral programs in these schools.
Aspen University is dedicated to provide a flexible and affordable alternative to higher education that allows students to advance their education and their careers. Aspen University provides transparent pricing with affordable monthly payment plans with 0% interest. Students can earn a certificate in Business and Technology, an Associate’s degree in Education, a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, or a Master’s or Doctoral degree in Nursing Practice.
Founded in 1980, Martinsburg College has been providing quality education to veterans, active military, and working adult students for decades. Martinsburg provides a wide array of quality degrees and certificates in areas such as homeland security, healthcare, information technology, finance, telecommunications, and general business. Martinsburg College proudly serves all branches of active military and their spouses including the Navy, Army, Airforce, and Marines. Students can earn certificates in as little as six months or an associate degree in 24 months.
Shiloh University provides an education that is rooted in biblical principles to anyone desiring to advance their education with a backing of Christian principles. The university is dedicated to support each student’s ministry and community of faith through quality and affordable education regardless of where they live. This education prepares students that desire to become church leaders, Bible teachers, or pastors. Once admitted to the university students have many options for degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and even doctoral levels. The degrees currently offered are in Biblical or Pastoral studies, New Testament Studies, Theological Studies, Master of Divinity, and Ministry in Relational Testament.
Columbia Southern University
For over 25 years Columbia Southern University has been providing quality online education for working adults to help them reach their personal educational goals. The programs are carefully designed and taught by experts in their fields to ensure that students are receiving current up to date information and knowledge in their respective fields. While pairing real-world experience with industries most current best practices, students graduate with an edge they will need in the competitive market of today. Students can earn certificates and degrees in a variety of fields such as homeland security, health, general studies, psychology, fire science, and more.
City Vision University
Since 1998 City Vision University has offered affordable online education that offers a large network of ministries, nonprofits and Christian counseling centers. With nearly every faculty member working for a ministry, non profit or Christian counseling center students will learn from experts in their field. No standardized tests are required for admissions and students can transfer credits from any previous education they have had. City Vision University wants to make a college degree available to all. Degree options include an associate in business, a bachelor’s in addiction and counseling, bachelor’s in nonprofit management, bachelor’s in business and an MBA.
Abraham Lincoln University
Established in 1996, Abraham Lincoln University is a private, for-profit university that offers certificates and degrees at every level all online. Fulfilling is mission of providing access to education across all degree levels across the globe. Students can stay employed full time while attending and earning their degree making it a viable option for many seeking to advance their careers. Some of the programs offered include business, law, criminal justice, legal studies, and more. Also known for its online law school, students can obtain a law degree while learning from experts in the field.
Huntington University of Health Sciences
Established in 1985 to meet the growing demands for educated and trained nutritionists, Huntington University of Health Sciences continues to provide accessible, affordable and accredited online education. With degrees at every level students will benefit from the flexible model that will allow working adults to maintain employment while attending full or part time in earning their degree. Degree programs include comprehensive nutrition, sports nutrition, dietary supplement science, herbal science, and women’s nutrition. Financial aid is also available for those who qualify.
National Paralegal College
Established in 2003, National Paralegal College has been a leader in online paralegal education and has offered quality accredited programs that have helped individuals advance their careers with the degrees they need. It has grown over the years to offer seven different academic programs and over 100 various courses. The focus of National Paralegal College is to prepare individuals that desire to become paralegals, business experts, or legal professionals. Students can attend live online lectures and interact with professional faculty that are currently employed in their field of expertise. An added benefit is the program that helps students identify potential employment opportunities in their geographic area.
American National University
One of the oldest distance education programs, American National University, a for-profit institution, was established in 1886. Since then it has grown to include multiple campuses in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia. It is dedicated to providing quality educational programs to help students succeed in the modern workforce. With a straight forward tuition and fee schedule as well as accelerated options, students can complete programs faster and cheaper. Degrees are awarded in a variety of fields including accounting, business administration, health information management, medical health services management, cybersecurity, and more.
Originally established as a traditional institution for higher learning in 1951 in California, Grantham University has since moved to Kansas and has become a leader among online educators. Now providing entirely online programs that are 100% flexible to work for working adults that are either earning their first degree or an advanced degree, every program allows students to remain employed while earning a degree. With undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of fields students will find what they need to advance their career. Degree programs include fields such as criminal justice, computer science, business management, strategic communications, healthcare administration, and many more.
Catholic Distance University
Established in 1983, Catholic Distance University has always been dedicated to providing a quality Catholic distance education across the world. Now with every program being available in an online format students anywhere with an internet connection can enroll. The students that choose to enroll come from many different backgrounds such as working adults, military, veterans, parents at home with children, deacons, and more. With a wide array of programs to choose from students can earn degrees in carious fields including liberal arts, theology, educational ministry, and more.
Established in 1993, Westcliff University has grown to include a campus as well as a strong online university network. Students representing 87 countries attend Westcliff each year. With small class sizes, averaging 10 students to each faculty member students receive the individual support many online institutions lose. The rate of enrollment and retention has grown to meet the needs of students during an era where online education has become much more appealing and even necessary. Students receive an education that prepares them with the knowledge and skills to become a valuable member of today’s job market. Programs students can earn degrees include business, information technology, computer science, law, and more.
California Miramar University
With a physical campus in San Diego and a virtual campus that is available worldwide, anyone can earn a quality education from California Miramar University. Students benefit from the award winning programs and technology driven faculty that make this an exceptional value for the cost. California Miramar is also known for how military friendly it is for both active military personnel and their spouses. Faculty are dedicated to helping students reach their academic, personal and career goals to the best of their abilities. Programs available in the online format include business administration, computer information systems, strategic leadership, and more. Each of these degree programs will give students the knowledge and skills they will need to be successful in the current job market.
Sessions College for Professional Design
An institution that is solely online to accommodate the creative artist in the 21st century, Sessions College for Professional Design offers a unique education for a particular niche of students. Established in 1997 it is a private, for-profit college that has a reputation for being one of the best online institutions for aspiring artists. Many things set this institution apart from the rest. First students attend from over 90 countries. Second, students literally learn from hands-on experience for each and every course. The courses are set up as a project based course where students will learn by doing and completing a project. Some of the specific degrees students can earn include digital media, advertising design, graphic design, web design, and more.
Sonoran Desert Institute
Established in 2000, Sonoran Desert Institute offers a unique education for those seeking to earn a degree in firearms technology. Students can attend this small institution or earn the degrees completely online. The programs available are an associate’s degree in firearms technology or a certificate in advanced gunsmithing. Military students and veterans have many options and financial aid opportunities due to the schools expertise in navigation military benefits. They are well trained in the funding process and the unique challenges that military families and veterans many face. Every student is given a high quality education that fits their personal lifestyle and schedule.
University of Management and Technology
Established in 1998 by the State Council of Higher Education of Virginia, the University of Management and Technology has earned accreditation by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), the Global Accreditation Center (GAC) of the Project Management Institute (PMI). Closely situated by Washington D.C. many students come from various places and online across the globe. Online programs include business administration, criminal justice, engineering management, health administration, homeland security, and more. Students that are military personnel or veterans can receive financial aid and student support services while attending online.
College of Court Reporting
Established in 1984, the College of Court Reporting has blended online coursework with a fabulous speed building software program that ensures that students online gain the knowledge they need for this profession but also the skills to be successful and marketable. This software program that students will have access to provides hours of studio quality dictation material at various speeds with instantaneous evaluations of their work. This will ensure they gain speed, accuracy and real-time evaluations of their work. Students are also taught how to use the most current tools and software for court reporting. Degrees available include an associate degree or certificate in court reporting and a certificate in voice writing.
International Sports Sciences Association
Founded in 1988 by leading fitness experts, International Sports Sciences Association has trained over 300G students in over 140 countries. ISSA has come to be recognized as a world leader in fitness education and certification. As a teaching institution many personal trainers, athletic trainers, coaches, nutrition trainers, physical therapists, and more earn their certifications online from ISSA. Courses can be taken anytime with maximum support services available for all students. Some of the unique courses students can take include the DNA based fitness coaching, bodybuilding, corrective exercise, group fitness, youth fitness, and more.
University of Fairfax
Established in 2002 in response to events of 9/11 in the United States the University of Fairfax opened to provide flexible online education in cybersecurity available to students anywhere. Since its opening, the University of Fairfax has expanded to offer quality cybersecurity degrees at every level, associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate. Students have the flexibility they need while earning an in-demand degree. It is also a very military-friendly institution for both active military personnel and veterans.
California Intercontinental University
A globally immersed institution, California Intercontinental University offers a flexible online education available to students across the globe. Students enjoy a multidimensional learning experience with courses in strategic networking, executive career coaching, and global immersion. Degree options include an associate in business administration, a bachelor’s in business administration, a master in business administration, and a doctorate in business administration. Students have access to tech support, writing center, math labs, and regular workshops.
American Sentinel University
American Sentinel University was established to help nurses advance their career without having to pause their current employment. Finally a flexible and entirely online path for busy nurses to earn advanced credentials that are necessary to advance their careers. Students can enroll in the RN to BSN program, the MSN program, the DNP program or the Nurse Practitioner program. Students have options to specialize within their given program as well.
American College of Healthcare Sciences
The American College of Healthcare Sciences provides a holistic approach to wellness and offers degrees in holistic education. For those seeking a degree in areas such as aromatherapy, holistic nutrition, herbal medicine, and integrative health, this is a flexible and affordable institution that is accredited to provide such an education. Many students are able to graduate debt free thanks to financial aid and employer tuition assistance programs.
University of Arkansas System eVersity
The University of Arkansas System eVersity has the same high quality courses and degree programs that the University of Arkansas System is known for all rolled into a convenient online format available to students anywhere. Students that have already started a degree but need to complete it can enroll in one of the following degree completion programs; healthcare management, business, information technology, criminal justice, or university studies. Students that are seeking to earn a degree can enroll in one of the following programs; business, healthcare management, criminal justice, and university studies.
California Institute of Advanced Management
California Institute of Advanced Management provides a unique MBA program either on campus or entirely online. Their aim is to bridge the gap between education and application by removing unnecessary exams, unnecessary memorization, and providing an affordable MBA. Students will apply the theory they learn in class by building their experience with large name companies such as Universal Studios, the American Red Cross, and Coca Cola to name a few.
Laurus College opened its doors to educate students in 2006 and has expanded to offer both in person programs as well as entirely online degree programs. Currently students can earn associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees in either a hybrid or entirely online model. Students benefit from virtual classrooms where they can interact with faculty and other students. They can arrange their schedules to fit their life and any other personal obligations they may have. Areas of degree programs include business, digital art, information technology. Medical billing and coding, and web design and development.
This list of nationally accredited online colleges is not ranked in any specific order other than by cost of each institution. Each institution for higher learning on this list is currently accredited through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission. Many may be regionally accredited as well, check individual institutions sites to learn more about their accreditation.
Now, more than ever students are seeking tried and proven online alternatives to higher education that will grant them the knowledge and skills necessary to become marketable in today’s job market.