As the world rapidly evolves, so do the ways in which we gain knowledge and education. While traditional brick-and-mortar universities have their perks, the past year has shown us the incredible benefits of online learning. The convenience of studying from anywhere at any time has made it possible for people to further their education while still balancing work and personal responsibilities. But with so many online learning options available, how can you be sure you’re choosing the best one for you? In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the top online learning universities to give you a better idea of your options and help you find the perfect fit for your educational needs.
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1. Forbes Advisor’s Best Accredited Online Colleges of 2023
Forbes Advisor has recently released their list of the Best Accredited Online Colleges of 2023, showcasing the top ten online institutions in the United States. The rankings were determined through the analysis of 17 data points across five categories: credibility, affordability, student outcomes, student experience, and application process. Schools that ranked high on the list were fully accredited, nonprofit institutions with relatively low net prices per year, and provided personalized academic advising and mental health services. The University of Florida Online Campus claimed the top spot, offering 25 undergraduate majors, flexible online courses, and access to a network of employer and academic partners through Gator Pathways.
The University of Central Florida’s online campus, UCF Online, secured the second spot on the list. They offer over 100 undergraduate and graduate programs in areas such as criminal justice, engineering, healthcare, and education. UCF Online’s student success coaches are trained to help learners navigate the university’s systems and balance work, school, and personal life. Purdue University’s online campus, Purdue Online, also made the top ten, offering over 200 programs leading to associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees along with certificates and professional development courses. Purdue Online brings together online and hybrid programs from all members of the Purdue University system.
FIU Online, the online campus of Florida International University, also made the list. This public college’s online programs range from undergraduate to doctoral degrees in a variety of areas, including business, healthcare, and education. The University of Arizona Global Campus and Pennsylvania State University World Campus rounded out the top five, offering over 80 and 150 online programs, respectively. All of these institutions offer a variety of start dates, transfer credits, and financial aid options to make online education more accessible and affordable.
Choosing the right online university is crucial for success, and BestColleges has ranked the top 25 schools that offer great programs, support, and strong student outcomes for online learners. Each school must be accredited, offer at least 10 online bachelor’s degrees and three online master’s degrees, and be a four-year institution. The rankings are determined based on the quality of online offerings, student outcomes, and expected return on investment. The University of Florida claimed the top spot, followed by Oregon State University, Arizona State University, Liberty University, and Southern New Hampshire University. Other esteemed colleges with strong online programs include Northeastern University, Indiana University, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
For those looking to pursue an online degree, it’s important to find a program that is right for one’s lifestyle, career goals, and budget. Whether one chooses an institution from Forbes Advisor’s list or BestColleges’ list, the top online universities offer flexible learning opportunities, accessible resources, and a supportive community that sets learners up for success. 
2. BestColleges’ Top Accredited Online Colleges 2023
Online learning has become the norm for many students, and institutions are poised to offer more online degree programs and develop new ones to boost enrollment. Advancements in technology, course design, high-speed internet availability, and more are moving online learning forward. Students enroll in online programs for the flexibility to study from anywhere and work around busy schedules. Accredited institutions usually offer tailored support for students to adjust to online courses and plan their academic futures.
Earning a bachelors degree – in person or online – can open doors to employment opportunities, and students in online programs usually earn the same degree as on-campus students. The curriculum for an online bachelor’s degree typically matches the on-campus curriculum at the same school, and the diploma usually doesn’t state whether that specific degree was earned online or in person. Many online bachelor’s programs require students to complete general education requirements in the arts, humanities, and sciences. Prospective students will likely need to decide between a liberal arts major and one that is more career-focused.
Online degrees have their pros and cons, with students having greater flexibility to learn anywhere and plan around busy schedules, but requiring greater self-motivation, time management skills, and discipline to complete coursework. There’s no face-to-face interaction with an instructor, and networking with classmates may be difficult. A variety of online bachelor’s programs exist, so prospective students should explore all options before enrolling.
Choosing the best online college is the one that fits the student’s needs. As students evaluate programs, they should consider how each school’s research resources and reputation line up with their career interests and goals. An online program’s accreditation, tuition, and flexibility are other factors that come into play. The BestColleges’ Top Accredited Online Colleges 2023 ranking includes schools that offer great programs, lots of support, and strong student outcomes for online learners. The ranking is based on the quality of online offerings, student outcomes, and expected return on investment. 
3. University of Florida Online
The University of Florida Online is a premier institution offering fully online bachelor’s degree programs to students across the globe. UF Online provides an unparalleled education to determined individuals who want to break through barriers in their academic pursuits, no matter where life takes them. UF Online offers 25 majors across the college, including the Warrington College of Business and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, providing learners with invaluable skills and knowledge to excel in their chosen professions. UF Online is the #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Program in the U.S. News & World Report 2023 rankings, providing an affordable tuition fee and financial aid options to ensure every determined student can earn their place in the Gator Nation.
The UF Online bachelor’s degree program is designed to provide equal access to the same world-renowned faculty on UF’s residential campus, giving students access to the same experiences, including research internships and study abroad opportunities, as their on-campus counterparts. Dedicated advisors provide students with insightful advice and guidance throughout their academic journey, making them feel connected and engaged with the learning materials and fellow students. UF Online is ranked in the top 10 by the U.S. News & World Report in three different programs, including Best Online Bachelors Programs, Best Online Bachelors Programs for Veterans, and Best Online Bachelors in Business Programs.
UF Online also offers an exceptional faculty that utilizes engaging techniques and technology to provide students with a unique outlook on the art of statistics and business administration. Graduates like Laura, who pursued sports management, Krishan, who chose to do it his way by becoming an entrepreneur while feeding his passion for music, and Andrew, who took advantage of UF Online’s criminology & law program to climb the ladder in his law-enforcement career, have been leveraging their degrees to make a significant difference in their fields.
Completing a fully online four-year degree with UF Online is now easier than ever. The university provides an accredited UF degree that ensures all students gain access to exclusive career services that help them succeed in their careers. Moreover, UF Online’s reCAPTCHA helps prevent automated form spam, guaranteeing that only genuine students get enrolled in the program. To join the Gator Nation, all you need to do is tell UF Online more about yourself, and they will help you take the first step toward a brighter future. 
4. University of Central Florida Online
The University of Central Florida (UCF) is recognized as one of the top 10 best online bachelor’s programs in the United States and ranks second in the state. UCF’s innovation in online learning allows students to earn their degree in less than four years by taking a mix of online and face-to-face courses. About 49.4 percent of UCF’s total student credit hours are in online and blended modalities, with 33 percent of total student credit hours fully online.
UCF received 22 awards for excellence in online teaching from the Online Learning Consortium/Sloan Consortium. Each course is designed with research-informed best practices for experiential learning, and UCF provides extensive training to instructors to ensure that this quality is maintained. Online courses at UCF are designed to be accessible and affordable, ensuring that all students, regardless of their background, have equal access to quality higher education. The university’s student-centered approach focuses on ensuring that students are set on the path to success.
Almost 90 percent of all UCF students have taken at least one online or blended course with similar success rates as in face-to-face courses. UCF’s OBD programs maintain the same policies, course expectations, faculty, and learning activities as their on-campus counterparts. Online students may participate in campus activities, including commencement.
UCF is ranked No. 8 out of 360 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, tying for first in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. The university earned high scores in faculty credentials and training, faculty and student engagement, and services and technologies. The online learning environment at UCF invests in faculty development programs to reduce barriers and promote student success. UCF’s innovative use of technology aligns with its commitment to accessibility, affordability, and quality. 
5. Purdue University Online
Purdue University online is among the best online learning universities that offer a wide range of online degree programs across the Purdue University system. Students can choose from over 200 online and hybrid programs that include associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees and certificates. Purdue’s online learning and hybrid degree programs offer top-quality curriculum, and students can access outstanding faculty in a convenient, flexible format from anywhere. Moreover, the online resources are available 24/7, and students can attend live virtual seminars and interact with faculty and other students as per their schedule.
Financial planning is essential when deciding on the best program that suits your needs. However, all Purdue institutions offer competitive tuition and fees and comprehensive financial aid and payment programs. Purdue University is committed to making world-class online education accessible to everyone, and all types of students online leverage the most successful instructional technologies with proven teaching pedagogies. As a result, Purdue University’s online programs set a high standard for educating students.
Purdue Global is an accredited online university that offers a range of professional-focused programs that include nursing, IT support, health care administration, and project management, among others. Purdue Global’s programs focus on providing a path for working adults to earn recognition and respect from employers by leveraging their prior learning credits towards earning their degrees. Moreover, Purdue Global’s Center for Career Advancement team provides one-on-one support from day one of class to graduation and beyond, helping students plan their careers, build resumes, and connect with employers.
Purdue University continues to expand the frontiers of knowledge and its applications to help build a better world. All institutions across the Purdue University system are accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. Purdue Global is also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Purdue Global does not guarantee employment placement or career advancement. Financial aid is available to those who qualify.
In conclusion, Purdue University online and Purdue Global have established themselves among the best online learning universities. With their wide range of programs, student support, and top-quality curriculum, they provide students with a world-class education accessible from anywhere. They invest in their students’ success by leveraging their prior learning credits, allowing them to save money and time while earning their degrees. 
6. Florida International University Online
Florida International University Online (FIU Online) is one of the top universities for conducting fully online courses. With over 20 years of experience in online education, FIU Online offers students the opportunity to earn a degree while maintaining their work and personal schedules. At the forefront of solving global problems, FIU Online is recognized with an R1 Carnegie ranking. It is a South Florida anchor institution and has produced over 200,000 alumni in 33 countries, making it a solutions center for the world’s toughest challenges. Given the flexibility of online learning, FIU Online’s courses are highly interactive, allowing students to log in anytime from anywhere to complete their coursework.
FIU Online offers over 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across a wide range of disciplines, including health services administration, information technology, nursing, business, public administration, and special education. These programs are taught by award-winning instructors who provide instruction on campus. FIU Online has produced graduates who have demonstrated improvement in their career prospects, and of the 13 students surveyed, all would recommend this school to others. FIU Online has over 48,000 students enrolled in online courses each year, making it one of the largest online learning providers in the nation.
FIU Online is a legitimate institution, fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees and certificates. Federal data shows that FIU Online graduates from its online programs in computer engineering and high-ranking fields generally earn higher salaries than graduates from other programs.
While getting into FIU Online is moderately difficult, with an acceptance rate of only 58%, with the right combination of scores and transcripts, it is achievable. Overall, if you’re looking for a credible, flexible, and interactive online education experience, FIU Online is an excellent option to pursue. By merging technology and modern learning practices, FIU Online makes the thinkable possible, ensuring students stand out from the competition with personalized learning experiences. 
7. Arizona State University Online
Arizona State University Online is one of the best online learning universities in the country. With over 300 online programs available, it is a popular choice for students seeking quality education with flexibility. ASU Online is accredited by 15 agencies, and its renowned faculty and exceptional student experience have gained the acclaim of prestigious ranking organizations like U.S. News & World Report, Times Higher Education, and the National Science Foundation.
ASU Online is among the top 10 for bachelor’s degrees in the U.S. seven years in a row. It offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields like psychology, communication and media studies, business administration, law, education, fine arts, and more. The university’s commitment to innovation and sustainable development has earned it top rankings in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings and the National Science Foundation Higher Education Research and Development rankings.
ASU Online is a legitimate university accredited by an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. It is widely recognized as a leader in education innovation, particularly for its digital learning programs. EdPlus is a department of ASU focused on making college more accessible for students by creating better online degree programs and partnering with companies to offer education benefits for employees.
ASU Online has a large and diverse student population, making it a popular option for adult students returning to education. It is the most popular for psychology, communications, and business majors. Career outcomes for ASU graduates depend on their degree and major, and top employers include the university itself, tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple, and companies like Northrop Grumman, Boeing, and Banner Health system.
Overall, Arizona State University Online is an excellent choice for students seeking a quality online education from a prestigious university with a commitment to innovation, sustainability, and accessibility. Its range of degree programs, top rankings, and career outcomes make it a top contender among online learning universities. 
8. University of Massachusetts Amherst Online
The University of Massachusetts Amherst Online is a top choice for students seeking online education. With a diverse array of accredited schools and colleges, such as Isenberg School of Management, Elaine Marieb College of Nursing, and Stockbridge School of Agriculture, students receive a high-quality education tailored to fit their busy lifestyles. The faculty members who teach on-campus also teach online, ensuring students receive the same level of education as their in-person peers. According to U.S. News & World Report, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Online is ranked No. 16 out of 360 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.
In addition to its excellent ranking, the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a wide range of degree completion opportunities through the UWW Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. This allows students to earn their degree at their own pace while balancing other responsibilities. The University of Massachusetts Amherst Online also ranks highly in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans and in Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs (tie).
Students who choose the University of Massachusetts Amherst Online can expect a flexible, inclusive, and engaging learning experience. With a score of 84 out of 100 in engagement, the university emphasizes a high-touch approach to online learning. Faculty members receive extensive training, and students have access to the latest technologies and services. This ensures that students receive the support they need to succeed in their studies.
Whether pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have numerous opportunities to conduct hands-on research that makes a difference. The university’s Rising Researcher program recognizes exceptional undergraduate researchers who excel in their work, challenge their intellect, and exercise exceptional creativity. With 110 undergraduate majors and 127 graduate programs offered on-campus and online, students have hundreds of opportunities to explore their interests and build skills.
In conclusion, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Online is a top choice for students seeking a high-quality online education. With excellent rankings, a wide range of degree completion opportunities, and a flexible, engaging, and inclusive learning experience, students can earn their degree while balancing other responsibilities. Whether pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree, students have numerous opportunities to explore their interests and build skills that will help them make their mark on the world. 
9. Pennsylvania State University World Campus
Pennsylvania State University World Campus is a leading institution that offers more than 35 bachelor’s degrees. The courses focus on providing students with the necessary skills and knowledge for career success. Students are supported by academic advising, technical support, a world-class library, and career counseling. Highly-respected Penn State faculty, who are experts in their respective fields, deliver the programs. Penn State World Campus is ranked No. 25 out of 360 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs according to a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.
Penn State World Campus provides an accessible quality Penn State education that meets the needs of individuals who seek a higher education beyond the traditional campus experience. The campus offers more than 150 accredited graduate degrees, undergraduate degrees, certificates, and minors. The programs are taught by the same faculty who teach in the academic colleges at Penn State. This means the degree or certificate earned online is the same as the one received by on-campus students. Students can choose from various topics at all program levels and start earning their Penn State degree or certificate online.
Penn State World Campus offers excellent resources to support students’ education journey. As a student, you have access to one of the largest research library collections in North America. There are millions of books, e-books, maps, CDs, DVDs and more. You can access thousands of journals and databases without paying. Members of the World Campus & Continuing Education HelpDesk are available seven days a week to assist students with computer or technical concerns. If a health issue disrupts your coursework, the Student Affairs department can help. Penn State World Campus is committed to providing all the support a student needs to succeed.
Penn State World Campus is an excellent choice for those seeking online learning options. It has consistently ranked high in the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs category. Its students receive the same education quality as on-campus students, making it a reliable option for those who prefer online learning. Penn State World Campus offers a broad range of programs, a top-notch library, and expert faculty and staff. The institution’s commitment to providing unmatched support to its students sets it apart from other universities. Penn State World Campus stands as a leading institution in online learning that prepares students for career success. 
10. University of Illinois Springfield Online
The of Illinois Springfield (UIS) is a top-ranked institution offering over 50 online programs with 20 years of experience in online education. UIS is ranked No. 1 in Illinois and No. 3 in the Midwest in 2023 rankings. UIS provides its online students with flexibility and convenience with the same high quality as its on-campus programs. Whether your goal is to complete a degree, learn new skills, advance your career or find a new profession, UIS has a program to fit your needs. UIS online programs lead to a University of Illinois degree from anywhere in the world.
UIS offers various professional development and certificate programs for those who want to expand their specific skills to assist in advancing their careers. The School of Education at UIS has also integrated their Master of Arts in Education program, providing students with more opportunities to integrate curriculum, instruction, and content in high-demand areas. UIS also offers Illinois teaching endorsements in K-12 technology, English as a Second Language, and Learning Behavior Specialist 1, with additional certificates available in leadership, learning, legal aspects in education, and higher education online pedagogy.
One of the unique features of UIS is its student-centered approach. Students take control of their learning, and ideas are encouraged and supported. UIS supports its students with over 85 student organizations, offering rich cultural experiences on campus. UIS also has 15 intercollegiate NCAA Div II athletic teams, offering opportunities to participate in sports at a competitive level. Additionally, many volunteer opportunities are available for students to give back to the community.
UIS has a strong alumni network, and students can hear firsthand from their alumni about their experiences and the careers they have pursued after graduation. UIS is a member of the Online Professional and Engaged Learning program, promoting learning through initiatives in four departments: Center for Online Learning Research and Service (COLRS), Continuing and Professional Education (CAPE), and the UIS Alumni Association. For those interested in UIS online programs, admissions located in University Hall Room 1080 can be reached at 217-206-4847, or contact via email at email@example.com for more information.