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Best Online Colleges in Oregon

Explore the top colleges in Oregon that offer online programs. Learn what programs are available, how long they take and how much they cost. Discover the types of online programs and what to consider when selecting a school.

Best Colleges in Oregon with Online Programs

In order to determine the best colleges in Oregon for an online program, you should consider things like accreditation, program availability, affordability, flexibility and admissions requirements. The top schools in Oregon with online programs are listed below.

1. Oregon State University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Corvallis $11,715 85%

Founded in 1868, Oregon State University has been offering distance education since the late 1800s and 100% distance education programs since 1982. The school boasts a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 70 programs completely online. Online undergraduate students have tuition rates starting at $318 per credit hour and can choose from programs such as business analytics, computer science, psychology and political science. Graduate students have a tuition rate of $560 to $863 per credit and can choose from a variety of programs, like those in finance, engineering, public health, counseling and management.

2. Eastern Oregon University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
La Grande $9,084 97%

Eastern Oregon University has maintained accreditation through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NCCU) since 1931 and has online tuition rates as low as $252 per credit hour. The school emphasizes diversity and integrity in all programs, and the online program is designed to engage with different perspectives. Undergraduate students can choose from 18 online programs, including those in business, communication, sociology, economics and education. Graduate students can select from 4 master's degree programs including teaching, creative writing, business administration and education.

3. Multnomah University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Portland $27,050 100%

Students at Multnomah University enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 and an educational approach that emphasizes compassion and service. With a focus on a Christian perspective, Multnomah offers several online degree programs, including ones in psychology, business management and Bible and theology. Online undergraduate students have a tuition rate of $480 per credit, while graduate students have a tuition rate of $570 per credit hour and can select from several programs, including those in management, justice, leadership and biblical studies.

4. Oregon Institute of Technology

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Klamath Falls $10,485 78%

The Oregon Institute of Technology partners with leading organizations in various industries to offer students unique educational opportunities and it works -- the school boasts a 96% employment rate for graduates within 6 months of graduation. The Oregon Institute of Technology offers 17 undergraduate online programs, which have tuition rates of $195 to $621 per credit hour (depending on student residency). Students can choose from bachelor's degree programs in fields such as business, engineering, health informatics, psychology and information technology. The school is accredited by the NCCU and has a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1.

5. Portland State University

Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
Portland $9,579 82%

Portland State University caters to busy students, allowing them to work independently at their convenience while having access to video conferences and other collaborative tools. More than 7,500 undergraduate students and nearly 1,000 graduate students are enrolled in some level of online coursework at Portland State. Undergraduate students have a tuition rate of $152 to $524 and can choose from ten bachelor's degree programs, including those in public health, public affairs and leadership. Graduate students have a tuition rate of $356 to $719 and can select from programs in disciplines like social work, business administration, education and taxation.

Rank School Name Location Tuition & Fees (in-state) % Receiving Financial Aid
6 Northwest Christian University Eugene $31,410 100%
7 Concordia University-Portland Portland $32,230 100%
8 University of Oregon Eugene $12,720 77%
9 University of Portland Portland $47,818 100%
10 Corban University Salem $33,040 100%
11 George Fox University Newberg $37,280 99%
12 Warner Pacific University Professional and Graduate Studies Portland $6,000 N/A
13 Western Oregon University Monmouth $9,768 95%
14 Pacific University Forest Grove $46,402 100%
15 Oregon State University-Cascades Campus Bend $10,638 77%

All table data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition represents the 2019-2020 undergraduate rate

Learn.org's school ranking methodology categorizes and assesses data from schools and other reliable sources, such as the U.S. Department of Education, and weighs the information based on quality, cost, value and other factors critical to students' academic decisions.

Overview of Online Programs in Oregon

Many online courses allow students to work on tasks at their convenience (referred to as asynchronous learning) and some courses do include some scheduled requirements (such as live class discussions and lectures). A variety of online programs in Oregon do not require students to visit the campus or attend any learning sessions. However, students in more technical programs, like nursing and psychology, often need to complete practicum hours during their program.

The online learning experience may primarily take place in one location online, which is often called a learning portal. The learning portal can include a slew of tools and activities, such as class discussions, video lectures, homework assignments and student grades. In some courses, students will use other websites and/or programs to complete assignments, such as mathematics homework in an online lab. Many online courses utilize course discussions, which enable students to collaborate and discuss course content. Discussions provide students with a network of peers as well as regular opportunities to build upon the knowledge that they are developing.

Program Types

Students can earn many degrees online at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as various certificates. The main types of online programs are discussed below.

Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate students can earn certificates and degrees through online programs in Oregon. Each of these types of programs has its own admissions criteria, but all of them are typically open to students with a high school diploma or an equivalent. Some schools may require (or prefer) students to have a certain GPA on their previous school work as well as an entrance essay and qualifying scores on the SAT or ACT exams.

  • Certificate Programs - Certificate programs vary in length, depending on their topic but typically take one to two semesters to complete. Students can earn certificates in preparation for specific careers (such as office administration) or add certificates to a degree program that expands their learning experience (such as a certificate relating to education to supplement a related degree in education).
  • Associate's Degrees - Associate's degree programs are sometimes called 2-year programs because traditional students finish them in around two years of full-time study. Associate's degrees are available in a variety of fields, such as education and business, as well as general education fields that are excellent for students who plan to transfer to a 4-year program.
  • Bachelor's Degrees - Bachelor's degrees are the highest undergraduate degrees and are available online in countless fields. These programs often take 4 years of full-time study to complete, but students who have previously earned an associate's degree can often finish a bachelor's degree program in 2 years or fewer.

Graduate Programs

Graduate students can also choose from a multitude of online program options in Oregon. The types of programs available to graduate students are discussed below.

  • Certificate Programs - Graduate certificate programs vary by field and outcome. Some of these programs are open to students who have a bachelor's degree while others are meant for students with a master's degree. Certificates are available in several fields, such as education and business, and allow students to increase their understanding of topics relating to their current (or desired) fields.
  • Master's Degrees - Master's degree programs are usually open to students who have completed a bachelor's degree program and take around 2 years to complete. Master's degrees can provide students with a deeper understanding of theoretical and practical topics relating to their field of study. For some positions, such as nurse practitioner, a master's degree is required.
  • Doctoral Degrees - Doctoral degree programs are the highest degree programs available and are often referred to as terminal degree programs or PhD programs (even though some programs lead to degrees with a different title than PhD). These programs consist of advanced study of a specific field and include research and extensive review of theories and practices. Some programs are open to students with a bachelor's degree while others require students to already have a master's degree.

Overview of Program Types

Level Program Admissions Requirements Program Length (full-time)
Undergraduate Certificate High school diploma/GED 1-2 semesters
Undergraduate Associate's degree High school diploma/GED 2 years
Undergraduate Bachelor's degree High school diploma/GED 4 years
Graduate Certificate Bachelor's degree or higher 1-2 semesters
Graduate Master's degree Bachelor's degree 2 years
Graduate Doctoral degree Bachelor's degree or higher 3 to 5 years

Commonly Offered Online Programs in Oregon

There are myriad programs available online in Oregon. Some of the programs that are commonly available to online students are listed below.

Common Undergraduate Programs

Some of the most common undergraduate programs, as well as their related coursework, are shown below.

  • Business Management - Courses can include organizational behavior, accounting, ethics, economics, marketing and leadership.
  • Psychology - Can include courses in human development, counseling, personality topics, psychopathology, social psychology and neuroscience.
  • Communication - Courses in this program might include those in conflict resolution, interpersonal communication, ethics in communication and digital communication.
  • Early Childhood Education - This program may have coursework in early childhood wellness and development, behavior guidance, literature and educational technology.
  • Economics - This program can include coursework in macroeconomics, microeconomics, calculus, econometrics and economics in research.
  • Information Technology - Courses in this program can include those relating to program installation and maintenance, programming, security and databases.
  • Public Health - This program may include courses in health data review, disease and epidemiology, healthcare policies and social health.
  • Computer Science - Courses might touch on topics like programming languages, database management, network security and operating systems.

Common Graduate Programs

Graduate students can pursue a variety of programs online in Oregon. Some of the programs offered online are noted below.

  • Business Administration - These programs include courses in accounting, marketing and related topics and often allow students to choose a concentration area for a more focused curriculum.
  • Education - Students of these programs can typically select a concentration, such as special education or reading, and improve their understanding of topics related to their field.
  • Teaching - These programs typically prepare students for licensure as teachers and include courses that are specific to their desired position.

How Much Do Online Programs Cost in Oregon?

It depends. Most online program costs are split between tuition and applicable fees. Although it varies by school, tuition is often charged per credit hour of coursework and is the largest portion of program costs. Each school's tuition is different, so it's important to inquire about tuition (and other fees) from each school individually. Sometimes tuition is more expensive for students who are considered non-residents, but some schools have a flat tuition cost (especially for online programs). Also, graduate students usually have a higher tuition rate than undergraduate students at the same school.

In addition to tuition, students typically have other applicable fees. These can include things like registration fees (once per semester or term), distance education fees and course materials fees (which may be charged per class. Because fees vary by school, program and length of time in school, there isn't an easy way to estimate fees without contacting schools directly. However, for the sake of example, the tuition and fees are shown below as $1,000 to $5,000.

The table here shows a broad estimate of costs for different online programs in Oregon.

Program Tuition (per credit) Required Credits Total Tuition Fees Total Costs
Associate's degree $200 60 $12,000 $1,000 $13,000
Bachelor's degree $200 120 $24,000 $2,000 $26,000
Master's degree $350 40 $14,000 $3,000 $17,000
Doctoral degree $400 60 $24,000 $5,000 $29,000

Financial Aid for Online Programs in Oregon

Online students in Oregon can qualify for just as much financial aid as their on-campus peers. There are several types of aid available to students from public and private organizations. Students interested in financial aid should first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is free and provides a few key benefits:

  • Students can send the results of their FAFSA to several of their candidate schools directly through the FAFSA page.
  • After completing the FAFSA, students may immediately see some of the federal aid that they qualify for.
  • By completing the FAFSA, students are eligible for significantly more types of financial aid than those who do not complete the FAFSA.
  • The FAFSA can be renewed in future years with some information already filled out from the initial application, which can save a lot of time.

Once students have completed the FAFSA, they can find financial aid through a multitude of sources. A few great places to look are:

  • The financial aid offices at their schools
  • The U.S. Department of Labor's CareerOneStop
  • Oregon's Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC)
  • Local businesses and organizations
  • A huge variety of private organizations and websites

Some of the key types of aid are summarized below.

Financial Aid Awards/Grants/Scholarships (without repayment)

Students can obtain financial aid awards that do not have any sort of requirement or obligation associated with them. These awards include grants and scholarships and are offered by private organizations as well as the government. Some of the awards available to online students in Oregon are listed below.

  • Alice and Mason White Memorial Scholarship - This scholarship is available to Oregon high school graduates who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon Scholarships - Available to undergraduate students with a GPA of 3.3 or higher who are pursuing a qualifying engineering program.
  • Andy Aitenhead Scholarship - Available to undergraduate students who are at the sophomore level or higher with excellent academic performance who are majoring in a STEM program.

Financial Aid with Repayment/Obligation

There are two types of financial aid that involve some sort of repayment or obligation: student loans and work-study.

  • Student Loans - Student loans are offered by the federal government, state governments and private lenders. Loans usually require repayment (except for certain loan forgiveness programs). Students should use these as a last resort and instead utilize government loans before obtaining private loans.
  • Work Study - Work-study is a program that the federal government funds and participating schools offer. Through work-study, students are able to work part-time (often in a position relating to their program) and earn funds that they can use to pay for school or other expenses.

How to Choose an Online School in Oregon

There are several things that you should consider when choosing a school in Oregon for an online program, some of which are listed below.

Accreditation

Accreditation represents certain standards of quality being met or exceeded and can apply to a school (institutional) or a program (programmatic). Some types of financial aid require students to attend an accredited school and some careers require students to graduate from an accredited program. Once you have determined what program you're interested in, find out what accreditation applies to the program (if any) and ask each candidate school about its accreditation.

Cost

As noted above, the cost of an online degree program in Oregon can vary by school and student. You can get an estimated total cost of attendance from each of your candidate schools by asking your admissions counselors or financial aid offices. Compare the costs for your school choices and ask each one's financial aid office about any financial aid that may be offered by the school itself. Keep in mind that there are tons of outside sources that offer financial aid.

Faculty

The faculty that you have in your program can make a huge difference in your experience. Faculty with real-world experience in the field that they teach may be able to offer more insight as they teach you. In addition to experience, it's helpful to have faculty who are available. Because you will learn from a distance, faculty who respond to your questions quickly can be more beneficial than those who take two days to respond.

Programs Offered

When reviewing schools for the programs that you're interested in, make sure that they offer one that fits your criteria. Some programs may offer different options or concentrations, and some programs may have more stringent admissions requirements than others. You'll also want to confirm whether or not the programs have any on-campus requirements and if they offer the flexibility (part-time or full-time, asynchronous or synchronous) that fits your needs.