What Is an Online College?

Online colleges provide students with the opportunity to take courses and complete a degree program completely online. This article provides more detail about online colleges.

Overview of Online Colleges

A growing number of students are obtaining their college education through online colleges. These institutions are schools that offer full degree programs over the Internet. Many traditional schools have branches that conduct online degree programs. Working professionals often turn to online colleges so that they can attend class over the Internet and still accommodate their work schedules. The credentials awarded to those who complete online college programs range from basic to advanced, including associate's degrees, doctorates and everything in between.

Important Facts About Online Colleges

Program Frequency Many programs start multiple times per year at various intervals. This varies by college and program.
Entry-level Education High school diploma or equivalent
Financial Aid Scholarships, Grants, Federal and Private Loans, Federal Work Study
Continuing Education Available through some online colleges

Common Subjects

Since online colleges conduct class completely over the Internet, they often deal with subjects that don't require hands-on training. Some topics that are commonly covered by online college degree programs are information technology, business administration, project management and nursing. Some programs, like nursing, may require students to have previous education or experience in the field.

Teaching Methods

The format of online colleges does somewhat limit the teaching methods employed. The fact that the students don't meet in person keeps them from doing many types of collaborative assignments or group work. Most online colleges present recorded lectures in audio or video format and allow students to access them on their own time. Some schools do have students interact with each other through online chat rooms and message boards.

Assessment Methods

Online colleges typically have students submit papers and assignments through email, but some schools also assess student learning by assigning portfolios that are developed throughout the course. This method allows instructors to see the students' progress over time and accurately evaluate their improvement.

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

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Central Christian College of Kansas

    Central Christian College of Kansas responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Central Christian College of Kansas:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    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

  • Purdue University

    Purdue University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • American InterContinental University

    American InterContinental University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American InterContinental University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Technical University

    Colorado Technical University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Technical University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
      • DBA in Management
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    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

  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

    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

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