Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees and Programs

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Pursuing an accredited online bachelor’s degree can help you take the next step in your career – without leaving your home. Through your program, you’ll attend online lectures, study from home, manage a busy schedule and interact virtually with professors and classmates.

An online college degree may appeal to those who want more flexibility in completing their education, or who want to take classes while working full time or parenting. Choosing where to enroll online will likely be challenging, but below you’ll find tools, advice and other resources to make your search easier.

Online Bachelor's Degrees and Programs
Online Bachelor’s Degrees and Programs

Best Online Bachelor’s Programs

U.S. News evaluated several factors to rank the best online bachelor’s degree programs, including graduation rates, faculty credentials and support services available remotely.

#1 University of Florida $500 Rolling Yes
#2(tie) Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University–Worldwide $465 Rolling Yes
#2(tie) University of Illinois–Chicago $379 Rolling Yes
#4(tie) Medical University of South Carolina $658 Rolling Yes
#4(tie) Texas A&M University–College Station $276 Jan. 15 Yes
#4(tie) University of North Carolina–Charlotte $747  Yes
#7 Arizona State University $552 Rolling Yes
#8(tie) Oregon State University $346 Rolling Yes
#8(tie) University of Central Florida $716 Rolling Yes
#10 University of Arizona $533 Rolling Yes
#11(tie) CUNY School of Professional Studies $350 Rolling Yes
#11(tie) Ohio State University–Columbus $390 Rolling Yes
#11(tie) Utah State University $382 Rolling Yes
#14 University of Georgia $326 May 1 Yes
#15 George Washington University $635 Rolling Yes

How to Choose the Best Online Bachelor’s Program for You

Choosing an online undergraduate program is an important decision. The best online program for you is one that fits your needs, budget and schedule.

To find your best-fit program, use online resources and put in the research. A 2021 survey called Voice of the Online Learner by Wiley Education Services found that 30% of online students surveyed said their desire to achieve personal growth was the most influential factor in their decision to pursue a degree, followed by career advancement or promotion within their current profession, at 26%.

Think about your desired area of study and how it can set you up to enter different industries. Cost, flexibility and format of an online program are other factors that come into play when selecting a program. Make sure the programs you’re interested in are fully online or in your ideal format.

Then review admission requirements and application fees and compare the availability of financial aid. Look into details about the school, like what fees you have to pay on top of your tuition – including book, course material and online delivery fees – and information about student services and the faculty. The availability of support services for online learners can show how much a school values the student experience. Students who are switching from in-person learning to an online format may need technical support, for example.

How to Apply to an Online Bachelor’s Degree Program

Prospective students should note deadlines for things like the school’s admissions application, financial aid and test score submission, as online program academic calendars and deadlines may differ from on-campus offerings.

You must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for federal loans, grants and work-study jobs. Nearly all students who apply for financial aid qualify for some form of it. Because of the complex nature of the FAFSA and financial aid, many schools have advisers to guide prospective students through the process.

Online students likely need to fill out the Common Application, which is accepted by nearly 900 schools, including some colleges located outside the U.S. Applicants typically have to submit an essay or statement of some kind. Prospective students with work experience should emphasize their professional skills in their application. Admissions officials look for essays that showcase an applicant’s personality, and a good way to do that is by including a powerful anecdote.

Letters of recommendation are often required from undergraduate online students. These may come not only from teachers and school counselors but also current or previous employers who can speak to a student’s work ethic.

Students may need to submit SAT or ACT scores, their high school transcript, and, depending on the program’s requirements, the student’s prior work experience and previously earned credit hours.

Students coming in with college credits may be able to forgo taking the SAT or ACT if enough credits transfer.

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