What Makes a Good Online School?

If you're interested in attending college via the Internet, it's important to choose a good online school. A good online school should be accredited and held in high esteem by employers. This article describes some of the characteristics of a good online school and tips for selecting one.

Online School Recognition in National or Regional College Rankings

Each year, the U.S. News and World Report prepares and publishes a list of America's best colleges. With the growing interest in online education, this publication started compiling a list of the schools offering the best online bachelor's degree programs. In 2015, the top four schools on this list were:

  • Pennsylvania State University - World Campus
  • Daytona State College
  • University of Illinois - Chicago
  • Western Kentucky University

These schools indicated that students could complete all of the requirements for a degree online; however, the types of degree programs offered might be limited. Therefore, aspiring applicants might want to contact schools to confirm a program's availability.

Important Facts About Online Schools

Common Courses General education courses, such as English, math, science and history; program-specific courses
Program Levels Certificate, diploma, undergraduate, graduate; varies according to school
Degree Fields of Study Varies according to school, but commonly include business, psychology, criminal justice
Other Requirements Some online degree programs may require offline clinical hours and/or internships

Criteria for Selecting a School

Accreditation

The accreditation status of online schools is available via the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) website. Good online schools may be accredited through DETC, or they may maintain accreditation through one of the regional accreditation organizations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Employer Recognition

The reputation of any school is an important component of its status. Potential employers should recognize a good online school's programs when hiring. A positive perception of the quality of the employees who previously earned a diploma or degree from the school helps future graduates looking for work. When selecting an online school, prospective students should consult recent graduates about the quality of their experiences with the institution.

Longevity

Checking the history of a school is another way to check its quality. Online schools associated with larger brick-and-mortar institutions have the advantage of name recognition, as well as a longer history. Students should always look into how long a college or university has offered online education.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Winthrop University

    Winthrop University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Winthrop University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Loyola University New Orleans

    Loyola University New Orleans responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Loyola University New Orleans:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regis University

    Regis University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regis University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint John's University

    Saint John's University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint John's University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Benedictine University

    Benedictine University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Benedictine University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

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