Online Colleges

Updated November 8, 2022 ยท 3 Min Read

Online colleges and universities are rapidly rising in popularity. Over the past decade, online education has moved from being a component part of distance 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.

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Online education plays an integral role in expanding educational opportunities for not only traditional students, but those starting or continuing their education and in need of greater flexibility: parents, full-time workers, military service members, and those wanting to attend a program in a location that's physically distant. Over the past decade, online education has moved from being a component part of distance education endeavors, to one of the ways to obtain a degree period. As it stands, the average student in American higher education will take at least one class online in their course of study.

This year marks the 10th straight year of increasing online course and degree enrollments. With one-in-four students planning to take a distance course this year (close to 6 million students in total), it's safe to assume that online education has reached a level of maturity that would be students can trust.

In fact, it would be hard to have not heard of some of the top schools that provide online education in a variety of fields. Some top ranked online providers include:

  • The University of Pennsylvania
  • The University of California Los Angeles
  • The University of Southern California
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • And many more...



Top Online Colleges

Our 25 Best Online Colleges for 2016

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Higher Ed Resources

Research and entertaining features

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State Guides

Guides on in-state online colleges

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Accreditation and Online Education

A guide to finding accredited online schools

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How Rankings Work At BCR

Our ranking methodology

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Comparing College Rankings

How our college rankings compare to others

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Featured Online Programs

Explore programs of your interests with the high-quality standards and flexibility you need to take your career to the next level.

In the ever-expanding world of online education, it can be hard to sift through all the information available on online academic programs. At Best College Reviews (BCR) our goal is to provide quality commentary and guidance for the process of choosing and succeeding in online education. Unlike other prominent higher ed sites that focus on ranking schools based on what makes them quality non-online institutions, we strive to provide information and ranking tailored to the needs of online learners. We know that many online learners are seeking flexibility, affordability, and academic rigor in their degree programs, and have tailored our approach to online education coverage accordingly. For more detailed information, check out the methodology section of any of our rankings, as well as our feature on comparing college ranking sites, and our overview of our ranking process.



Online Business Degrees

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Online Education Degrees

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Online Technology Degrees

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Online Health and Nursing Degrees

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Online Liberal Arts and Humanities Degrees

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Online criminal Justice and Legal Degrees

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Fine Art and Design Degrees

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Online High School Degrees

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While many of the top online universities offer quality programs and support across the board, it's prudent to see what offerings are available in the specific field in which you want to study. At Best College Reviews we've created over 70 rankings on a subject by subject basis, and at the associates, bachelors, masters, and doctoral levels. If you know the broad field of study that you would like to pursue, check out our categories above. If you aren't sure what you want to study, no sweat! Check out our list of rankings and see what piques your interest, or just check out our ranking of the best online universities overall.

State Guides

Find Information on Online Colleges in Your State Today!


Though one of the best reasons to pursue an education online is the flexibility to live and work wherever while obtaining a degree, there are many perks to seeking an online education in your geographic region. In-state tuition often applies to online programs as well, saving local online students a great deal of money. For some programs, a greater range of support services is available in person, making periodic trips to campus useful. Many programs offer intensive study sessions on-campus, accelerating time until degree. And many universities offer a greater range of courses through on-campus programs than those that are fully online.

While there are many great programs that can be taken entirely online, living close enough to campus to take advantage of support services and price cuts are always a plus.

Check out our in-state guides for:

  • Quality location on relocating
  • The 15 Best Online Universities in the State
  • A database of all in-state online offerings
  • In-depth coverage of online learning opportunities and expenses in the larger cities of each state
  • State-specific online resources

More Best College Reviews Resources

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