Earning a bachelor’s degree is becoming increasingly important for career advancement and higher earning potential. However, going back to college or pursuing a degree later in life can be challenging if you have to balance work, family commitments, and other responsibilities. Luckily, thanks to advancements in distance education, there are now more accredited online bachelor’s degree options than ever before.
Online bachelor’s programs allow students to access lectures, coursework and interact with professors all from the comfort of home. This makes earning a bachelor’s degree much more accessible for non-traditional students. However, not all online bachelor’s programs are created equal. Students need to do their research to ensure the online program they choose has solid accreditation from a regional or national accrediting body.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best accredited online bachelor’s degree programs across various subject areas. We’ll provide information on each program’s admission requirements, course format, areas of specialty, and more. Whether you’re researching business, information technology, healthcare, communication or other popular undergraduate majors, our goal is to help you find the ideal accredited online program to achieve your academic and career ambitions.
Key factors we considered in evaluating programs include:
- Accreditation status
- Faculty qualifications, experience and awards
- Innovative technologies used for course delivery/online platform
- Student support services
- Affordability and financial assistance options
Ready to learn about some of the top contenders for best online bachelor’s degree programs? Read on for our analysis and recommendations in a variety of subjects.
Why Get a Bachelor’s Degree Online?
Pursuing an online bachelor’s degree offers a range of distinctive advantages over a traditional on-campus degree. For some working professionals and lifelong learners, earning a bachelor’s degree through an accredited online program is a flexible and powerful alternative. Here are some of the reasons why an online bachelor’s degree makes sense for many students:
- Convenience: Online programs allow you to complete coursework on your own schedule, from anywhere. This enables students to balance school, work and family responsibilities more easily. You also avoid the time and expense of commuting to classes.
- Flexibility: In addition to asynchronous class formats that you can access at your convenience, many online degrees include accelerated or fast-track options to complete your degree faster. This flexibility helps non-traditional students fit school into their lifestyle.
- Affordability: Online bachelor’s degrees offered by public state universities are often cheaper than campus-based equivalents at private colleges, especially when factoring in room and board savings. Online programs also minimize costs like transportation and parking.
- Equivalent Academic Rigor: As online education evolves, bachelor’s degrees earned via distance learning must meet stringent standards set by accrediting bodies. Top online degrees carry the same academic distinction as on campus programs.
- Valuable Skills Development: Success in online classes requires key abilities like time management, independence and self-motivation. Mastering online learning prepares students for remote, technology-enabled workplaces.
From cost savings to convenience, pursuing your bachelor’s degree online has many inherent perks. Ensure any program under consideration has solid accreditation, and the flexibility plus distinctive advantages of online learning can help more students access educational advancement.
Top 10 Schools for Accredited Online Bachelor’s Degrees
When researching online bachelor’s degree programs, accreditation should be the first factor you examine. Regional and national accreditation help ensure online programs meet stringent curriculum and learning standards. Here are 10 universities with a wide variety of highly ranked, accredited online bachelor’s programs:
- Arizona State University: ASU offers over 30 online bachelor’s including business, criminology, communication and interdisciplinary studies. Their online degrees carry the same curriculum as their renowned on-campus programs.
- University of Florida: With over 35 online bachelor’s specializations, top-ranked UF provides flexible and engaging online degree pathways for students worldwide.
- Oregon State University: Oregon State has over 25 bachelor’s programs available entirely online, including economics, computer science and natural resources.
- Bellevue University: This private, non-profit university focuses on providing career-relevant online bachelor’s aimed at working adults across over 50 degree programs.
- Champlain College: With a student-focused approach based on flexibility, Champlain is best-known for their high-quality online Bachelors in Accounting degree track.
- Fort Hays State University: Between their career-oriented online Bachelors program and affordable tuition rates, Fort Hays serves non-traditional students exceptionally well.
- Excelsior College: Excelsior’s customized online degrees are designed to help students maximize transfer credits and graduate quickly by leveraging their existing knowledge.
- Southern New Hampshire University: Offering 200+ online Bachelor’s specializations from business to creative arts, SNHU provides unmatched online degree variety with academic rigor.
- University of Wisconsin: Highly ranked for online education, University of Wisconsin provides 20+ online Bachelor’s programs ranging from nursing to engineering.
- Western Kentucky University: WKU has over 15 online Bachelor’s degrees available fully online or in hybrid formats to suit each learner, from education to healthcare.
This list provides only a sample of accredited and reputable universities catering to online students with broad or specialized academic interests. As you compare online program options, prioritizing accreditation is critical to ensure your degree carries weight and distinction regardless of learning format.
How Much Does an Online Bachelor’s Degree Cost?
The cost of earning an online bachelor’s degree can vary across schools and programs, but remains highly affordable compared to on-campus alternatives. In terms of tuition fees, online bachelor’s students can expect to pay, on average:
- $325 per credit hour at non-profit public universities
- $400 per credit hour at private non-profit schools
- $350 per credit at accredited for-profit institutions
Most undergraduate degrees require around 120 total credit hours to complete. Based on these national averages, total tuition fees work out to:
- $39,000 for a full online bachelor’s degree from a public university
- $48,000 total for a bachelor’s from private non-profits
- $42,000 total tuition fees for online for-profit bachelor’s
Of course, costs vary based on degree subjects as well. High-demand fields like IT, engineering or computing carry higher rates. Overall though, pursuing an accredited online bachelor’s results in serious cost savings by avoiding housing, commuting, and other expenses.
Financial assistance is readily available, too – 9 in 10 online students qualify for loans, grants, scholarships or reimbursement to reduce their out-of-pocket degree costs. Military/veteran benefits like the GI Bill also offset the price tag substantially.
Do I need to visit campus to complete an online bachelor’s degree?
Most online bachelor’s programs do not require any campus visits, allowing completion of all credit requirements through distance courses. Some schools offer optional or elective on-campus intensives.
How do I choose the right online bachelor’s degree program?
Consider your career goals, budget, and family/work commitments. Compare program quality indicators like accreditation, curriculum, faculty excellence and student satisfaction rates.
What kind of internet access or bandwidth is need for my online classes?
While requirements differ between schools, most online bachelor’s programs need at least high-speed cable or DSL internet connectivity capable of video streaming without disruption for live remote lectures or discussions.
What happens after I earn my accredited online bachelor’s degree?
After graduating, you can apply knowledge from your online bachelor’s immediately within your career. Further education options include master’s degrees or professional credentials like MBAs which are also widely accessible via remote learning.
Pursuing an online bachelor’s degree offers significant advantages in flexibility, affordability, and accessibility for non-traditional students balancing work and family responsibilities. However, not all programs carry equal academic merit or outcomes in the job market.
By carefully researching accredited online schools and degree pathways matched to your professional ambitions, you can obtain a distinguished bachelor’s degree expanding your skills, credibility, earning potential, and personal growth trajectories on your own schedule.
With a data-driven approach comparing program quality, innovative technologies for engaging learning, satisfied graduate outcomes, and prudent tuition strategies, the opportunities and value of online bachelor’s credentials stand ready to meet the diverse needs of lifelong learners in achieving their highest academic and career aspirations.