Best Open Enrollment Colleges in 2024

    January 26, 2024 | Admin

    Open Enrollment Colleges

    Attending college likely crosses the mind of more than high school students. Individuals that have been out of high school for a number of years or professionals that want to change careers often consider the idea of returning to school. One issue that could potentially hinder obtaining a college degree is the admissions requirements. Considering open enrollment colleges is an option to overcome hurdles associated with going to college.

    What are Open Enrollment Colleges?

    The admissions process for many colleges and universities is often lengthy, tedious and possibly a frustrating experience. Applicants spend considerable time gathering and submitting a long list of materials for application to the college of their choice and then wait, and wait, often for months before learning whether the school approved their admission. The let-down of a rejection may sometimes be comparable to the job rejection letter. You think that you submitted your best application, completed everything to the best of your ability and still received a rejection.

    One way to avoid the disappointment of college admissions disappointments and lengthy wait times is to apply to open enrollment colleges. Open enrollment colleges typically accept any student that meets basic requirements, such as having a high school education. There are no lengthy essays to submit, no high grade point averages (GPAs) required from high school or previous colleges attended, and no high scores required on the SAT or ACT.

    Prospective students follow basic admissions requirements and likely find themselves accepted to one or more of the open enrollment colleges of their choice.

    Benefits of Open Enrollment Colleges

    There are a number of exciting benefits of choosing open enrollment colleges, compared to colleges that have lengthy or strict admission requirements. The first benefit is that the open enrollment colleges accept nearly every student, so long as the student meets basic eligibility requirements. The admissions requirements typically involve completing the application, submitting any required fee, and having a high school education, with either a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED) being acceptable.

    The open enrollment process means that there is less time between applying to a college and receiving a decision from the school. Colleges and universities that require a shorter, streamlined admissions process through their open enrollment policies do not have to determine the top applicants based on features such as highest GPA or other factors.

    Students get to start college sooner than if they wait months for a decision from a typical college that does not have open enrollment. Many schools with open enrollment or admissions often have a rolling admissions policy. This means that students have the opportunity to start classes at any time. Other schools offer several start dates throughout the year, rather than the traditional strict semester or quarter start dates.

    Another benefit of attending an open enrollment college is the fact that when you start school earlier, you have the potential benefit of graduating earlier than if you would have attended another school. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that students with a higher education earn a higher salary and have more job opportunities compared to individuals without a college degree. Similarly, Northeastern University explains that for many people, earning a college degree is important to success in today’s job market.

    Rank School Location
    1 University of the PeoplePasadena, California
    2South Texas CollegeMcAllen, Texas
    3Sinclair CollegeDayton, Ohio
    4Wayne State College Wayne, Nebraska
    5Peru State CollegePeru, Nebraska

    These open enrollment colleges help students start working towards an improved education and towards presenting themselves as a more competitive candidate in the job market. The tuition rate does not include the cost of fees or materials unless stated in the description of a specific school.


    University of the People

    • Pasadena, California
    • Graduation Rate: 15%

    The University of the People offers several benefits which puts it at the top of the open enrollment colleges. Students simply complete a short online application, choose their admissions pathway, and wait just a short time to speak with an admissions specialist to start your studies at the school.

    There is an outstanding benefit to attending the university in addition to the open enrollment policy. There is no tuition required to attend the University of the People. The school indicates that it is the first non-profit, tuition-free and accredited online university. There are some nominal fees, such as the one-time small application fee.

    Although the degree offerings are more limited than some other schools, students have the opportunity to enroll in an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree program.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $0 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission, WASC Senior College and University Commission
    Visit School Website

    South Texas College

    • McAllen, Texas
    • Graduation Rate: 25%

    Submit your high school diploma or copy of your GED to apply for open enrollment at South Texas College. The school also allows current high school students to start earning college credits. Transfer students need only to submit information related to previous credit hours of study to receive consideration for the credits.

    Complete your choice of dozens of certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree programs at South Texas College. Some students complete one program and continue their education at the school. Students have their choice of six campus locations.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $77 per credit hour
    Accreditation: SACSCOC
    Visit School Website

    Sinclair College

    • Dayton, Ohio
    • Graduation Rate: 17%

    Admissions at Sinclair College is open to all applicants, with the exception of certain international students. Apply online or in person at the Dayton, Ohio Downtown campus location. There are a few programs, such as the Police Science Academy, that may have additional requirements beyond simply completing the application and submitting a high school diploma.

    The school offers dozens of academic program options and has several convenient locations.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $126.03 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
    Visit School Website

    Wayne State College

    • Wayne, Nebraska
    • Graduation Rate: 48%

    Wayne State College allows applicants to self-report their ACT or SAT scores and their high school GPA when they complete their online application to the college. The easy application process allows for reporting any information related to transfer credit considerations.

    The school offers more than 130 programs of study at the undergraduate and graduate level. There are many opportunities for students to choose to complete an online program, rather than the traditional on-campus degree program.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $186 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, IACBE, NASAD, CAEP, NDE, CACREP
    Visit School Website

    Peru State College

    • Peru, Nebraska
    • Graduation Rate: 35%

    Peru State College offers open enrollment applications for all prospective students. The admissions process requires students to submit a basic application, along with a copy of high school or GED graduation. Students that enroll to complete their degree online do not have to submit any test scores such as the ACT.

    The school accepts year-round applications, and offers year-round academic programs of study at the undergraduate and graduate level. The college also offers dual enrollment for high school students that want to start earning early college credits.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $186 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, NCATE
    Visit School Website

    Rasmussen University

    • Bloomington, Minnesota
    • Graduation Rate: 37%

    Rasmussen University provides a student-centered approach to learning, and offers open enrollment for applicants to the school. The college provides a simple process for completing basic information and contact an admissions counselor that walks each student through the applications process.

    Choose your pathway to the future from a number of certificate programs, associate or bachelor’s or master’s degree options.

    School Overview

    Tuition and fees per year: $12,233
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, ABHES, CAHIIM, CCNE
    Visit School Website

    Ivy Tech Community College

    • Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Graduation Rate: 13%

    Ivy Tech Community College realizes that obtaining some official documents often takes considerable time, and allows applicants to initially submit unofficial documents when applying to the school. The application is free to submit and takes just 10 to 15 minutes of your time. Students receive a quick approval in most cases and are able to choose their path to the future.

    Choose your preferred program from dozens of options ranging from business to automation and robotics, construction, computer science, or engineering. Some students immediately enroll in a healthcare program or nursing program.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $292.57 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
    Visit School Website

    Washburn University

    • Topeka, Kansas
    • Graduation Rate: 39%

    There are just a few steps to applying to Washburn University and preparing for your future when you choose your academic program from more than 200 options. Washburn University offers certificate programs, associate degree programs, bachelor’s master’s and doctoral programs.

    Complete the application, and pay the nominal application fee. Students over the age of 21 are not required to submit ACT or SAT scores. Do you have prior college credits? Submit them for consideration along with your application. Start your educational program soon after completing your applications requirements.

    The school is ‘committed to making a high-quality education accessible to everyone,’ making the school one of the top open enrollment options.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $300 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, AACSB, ACJS, ACS, CAHIIM, CAPTE, CCNE, JRCERT, NASAD
    Visit School Website

    CUNY Staten Island

    • New York City, New York
    • Graduation Rate: 30%

    The City University of New York (CUNY) Staten Island location offers a quick and easy application process, requiring only a completed application and small application fee, and high school or GED transcript. There are no required SAT or ACT requirements.

    The school offers dozens of world-class academic and research program opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate level.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $305 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, ACS, CAEP, ACEN
    Visit School Website

    Granite State College

    • Concord, New Hampshire
    • Graduation Rate: 59%

    Complete a free admissions application to Granite State College and enjoy the benefits of applying to an open enrollment school that has a reputation as a school with an easy enrollment process. It takes only minutes to submit an online application, and a short time to hear back from the school with your enrollment information. The prospective student submits an official high school transcript or proof of GED, and proof of any transfer credits for consideration.

    The school offers certificate programs, associate degree programs, as well as bachelor’s degree and master’s degree programs.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $314 per credit hour
    Accreditation: NECHE, CCNE, PMI Global Accreditation Center, TEAC
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    Wiley College

    • Marshall, Texas
    • Graduation Rate: 57%

    Wiley College challenges prospective students to ‘Go forth inspired’ as they apply to the college. The college makes a point of advising students that applying early offers them the best chance of receiving financial aid if the student wishes to apply for it. Students have the opportunity to apply online in approximately 30 to 45 minutes time. The open enrollment process is also an easy task for transfer students and for international students.

    The school, founded in 1873, only offers one associate’s degree, which is in criminal justice. There are 20 bachelor degree programs in the arts and sciences and various professions.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $337 per credit hour
    Accreditation: SACSCOC
    Visit School Website

    Lewis Clark State College

    • Lewiston, Idaho
    • Graduation Rate: 29%

    Take 15 minutes out of your busy day and you have the time to complete an application at Lewis Clark State College, one of our top-ranked open enrollment colleges. The school does not require submission of test scores for any applicant over 21 years of age. Submission proof of high school graduation with your application or with the assistance of an admissions counselor.

    The rolling admissions process provides for quick processing of applications and an average of just a one to two-week waiting time before receiving an answer on your admissions application.

    The college offers dozens of certificate programs, associate degree and bachelor degree programs, sure to meet the career goals of the many applicants to the school.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $356 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
    Visit School Website

    Shawnee State University

    • Portsmouth, Ohio
    • Graduation Rate: 24%

    Shawnee State University offers unconditional acceptance for every prospective student that meets some basic admissions criteria. The open enrollment university requires that applicants complete the application that best meets their status, such as a first-time college student, a transfer student, or an online student. Students that have their ACT or SAT test scores available should submit the information along with their application.

    The school offers online degrees and traditional degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $358.48 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, CAAHEP, NAB, ACEN, CAPTE
    Visit School Website

    Baker College

    • Flint, Michigan
    • Graduation Rate: 16%

    Baker College makes the application process fast, convenient, and easy for prospective students that want to avoid the lengthy, tedious application and enrollment process at many other colleges. Students simply answer a few online questions, and an admissions counselor guides the individual through the application and enrollment process.

    The school offers a wide variety of academic programs, ranging from associate’s degrees to graduate degrees, including some accelerated programs for students that want to complete their degree as soon as possible, rather than the lengthier traditional format program.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $415 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, ACF, IACBE, NAYEC, TEAC, ABET, CAPTE, CAHIIM
    Visit School Website

    City University of Seattle

    • Seattle, Washington
    • Graduation Rate: 41%

    City University of Seattle has locations in the U.S., and abroad. Students in the United States have the option of studying at the campus location or completing their program online, while international students have the option of completing their program from their home country.

    Applicants in the United States enjoy the rolling admissions policy, which means that the school accepts applications and announces decisions throughout the year. Students simply complete the application and submit required transcripts.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $420 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
    Visit School Website

    Bellevue University

    • Bellevue, Nebraska
    • Graduation Rate: 59%

    Bellevue University ranks among the top schools with open enrollment, based on its easy enrollment process. Individuals that are interested in enrolling at the school complete a simple application, submit proof of high school completion, and any transfer credits from another school.

    If a student has been dismissed from another university or college and a period of one year has passed, the individual may apply for admission to Bellevue University, a school that offers associate degrees, bachelor degrees, masters and doctoral degree programs.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $425 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, ACBE, CACREP, CCNE, IACBE
    Visit School Website

    Weber State University

    • Ogden, Utah
    • Graduation Rate: 39%

    Weber State University has made the admissions process an easy task for all applicants. Simply submit a copy of your high school diploma or GED documentation along with your application, and transcripts for any previous college credits. There are no ACT or SAT test score requirements.

    The school quickly reviews each application, taking just a matter of a few days up to two weeks time. This school allows for quick approval, which means that students likely get to enroll at the school much sooner than if applying to some other schools with a longer or stricter admissions and enrollment policy.

    The school offers more than 255 undergraduate and graduate programs.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $458.18 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, ABET, NASM, AACSB, CAHIIM, ACEN
    Visit School Website

    Northeastern University

    • Boston, Massachusetts
    • Graduation Rate: 84%

    Northeastern University offers an easy admissions process, making open enrollment a stress-free experience. Students simply submit their application to the school, along with an official high school transcript, official GED, or an official associate’s degree transcript that indicates the degree conferral and the date. Students with transfer credits should submit that information when submitting the application.

    Northeastern University offers more than two-dozen programs, including programs offered in the traditional classroom, hybrid programs and programs completed in a fully online format.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $541 per credit hour
    Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), ABET, ACPE, CAPTE
    Visit School Website

    Salem University

    • Salem, West Virginia
    • Graduation Rate: 19%

    Salem University offers an easy application and enrollment process for students at all academic levels. Students entering the school for the first time as an undergraduate student need only submit the application and proof of high school graduation. If you have a college degree, submit the transcript of your previous degree. Some programs, such as nursing programs, may have additional application requirements.

    The open enrollment allows students to start the process to earn an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree or doctoral degree in their chosen academic area. The university also offers some post-graduate certificates.

    School Overview

    Tuition: est. $550 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission, ACBSP, CAEP, CHEA
    Visit School Website

    Briar Cliff University

    • Sioux City, Iowa
    • Graduation Rate: 44%

    Briar Cliff University believes in helping you chase your dreams and reach your goals by being one of the open enrollment colleges that makes the application process an easy one. Apply whenever you want, and get started on your dreams of completing a college education.

    Admissions counselors guide students that need help to make for an easy application and enrollment process.

    Choose your academic degree from dozens of options, including online programs for studenets that need the flexibility of online learning.

    School Overview

    Tuition: $1,034 per credit hour
    Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
    Visit School Website


    We searched for schools across the U.S. that qualified as accredited open enrollment colleges. We narrowed our list to schools that truly offered an easy admissions process, and ranked each accredited school by tuition. The listed cost of tuition is the in-state rate for undergraduate students.

    Do you need help finding the right college or university featuring open enrollment policies? We can help you find the best school for you based on the program that you select.

    Find the program that’s right for you

    Whether you’re trying to start your career or make a big change, we can help you find the perfect school to help you reach your goals.

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