Best Online Colleges, Universities, and Schools: Shaping Your Future in 2023


Best Online Colleges, Universities, and Schools: Shaping Your Future in 2023

In today’s digitally-driven world, education is no exception. Online colleges have become a go-to choice for those who seek to shape their careers and futures on their own terms. The year 2023 presents a plethora of opportunities for online learning, and we are here to guide you towards the best online colleges that can make a difference.

By Dr. Alex Brener Crypto expert | www.helsinki.reviews


The landscape of higher education has been dramatically altered by the ongoing global pandemic. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the number of undergraduates exclusively enrolled in online college courses surged from 2.4 million to 7.0 million between 2019 and 2020. This transformation signifies a significant shift in the way students perceive and pursue their education. As online programs continue to expand and evolve, the decision to choose the right online university becomes pivotal. Your choice should align with your lifestyle, career goals, and financial considerations. That’s where we come in. We have meticulously curated a list of the top 25 online schools for 2023.

Here’s a step-by-step table outlining how to apply to an online program at most colleges and universities:

Step Number Application Step Description
1 Choose Online Programs Research and select online programs that match your goals and interests.
2 Check Admission Requirements Review the admission requirements of your chosen online programs.
3 Create an Application Account Visit the college’s admissions portal or website and create an application account.
4 Fill Out the Online Application Complete the online application form with personal information, educational history, and program choices.
5 Pay Application Fees (if required) Some colleges charge an application fee. Pay this fee using the specified payment methods.
6 Submit Transcripts Arrange for your high school and/or college transcripts to be sent to the admissions office.
7 Prepare Standardized Test Scores (if required) If required, submit your standardized test scores (e.g., SAT, ACT) directly to the college.
8 Write a Personal Essay Craft a personal essay or statement of purpose as per the program’s guidelines.
9 Secure Letters of Recommendation Request letters of recommendation from teachers, professors, or professional contacts.
10 Prepare for Interviews (if required) If interviews are part of the application process, be ready to attend them or submit any required materials.
11 Complete Financial Aid Forms (if applying) If seeking financial aid, complete required forms (e.g., FAFSA) and submit them by the deadlines.
12 Review and Edit Application Carefully review and edit your application before submission to avoid errors and inaccuracies.
13 Submit Your Application Once you’ve reviewed your application, submit it through the online portal or system provided by the college.
14 Keep Track of Application Status Monitor your application status through the college’s application portal. Ensure all documents and materials are received.
15 Respond to Admission Decisions Once you receive admission decisions, follow the instructions provided by the college, such as accepting or declining offers.
16 Secure Financial Aid (if applicable) If you receive financial aid offers, review them, and complete any necessary steps to secure your financial assistance.

NOTE: Remember that specific requirements and deadlines

**Featured Online Schools**

*Before diving into the rankings, learn about start dates, transferring credits, financial aid, and more from the universities below:*

**Online Bachelor’s Degree: University of London**

– The University of London, in partnership with LSE, offers supported online degrees in economics, management, finance, and social sciences. These programs cater to students of various ages and experience levels, making it accessible to everyone.

**How We Rank Top Online Colleges**

Every year, we conducts extensive evaluations of schools to create the annual Best Online Colleges ranking. We gather data from sources like the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (hosted by the NCES) and College Scorecard (hosted by the U.S. Department of Education) to ensure the most accurate assessment.

Our ranking criteria include:

  • – Accreditation: Each school must be an accredited, public or private, nonprofit institution.
  • – Four-Year Programs: Each school must offer a minimum of 10 online bachelor’s degrees and three online master’s degrees across various subjects.
  • – Location: Schools must be located in the continental U.S., Alaska, or Hawaii.

Beyond these criteria, we employ a proprietary methodology to identify the 25 best online colleges in the nation. Our approach places particular emphasis on the quality of online programs, student outcomes, and the return on investment that you can expect.

**Our Methodology**

Our methodology comprises four key factors, each contributing a specific weight to the overall ranking:

– **Return on Investment (ROI) (50%):** To gauge your ROI, we compare the net cost of your education to your expected earnings as a new graduate.
– **Full-time Retention Rates (15%):** We select schools with strong retention rates because student persistence is a critical indicator of program quality.
– **Online Offerings (15%):** Schools must offer high-quality online programs, degrees, and certificates.
– **High Graduation Rates (20%):** We prioritize schools that ensure you reach the finish line.

*But we’re not just about rankings. We’re about you and your journey toward the right educational path.*

**Top Accredited Online Colleges and Schools**

Our Team compiled these rankings using publicly available provisional datasets from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Please note that program-specific information may vary.

**#1 Best Online Colleges, Universities, and Schools: University of Florida**

– Location: Gainesville, FL
– Program Length: 4 years
– Online + Campus
– The University of Florida, located in Gainesville, is renowned for its strong student outcomes, affordability, and excellent online programs. It offers over 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees across 16 schools of study.
– Notable Fact: UF recently announced that sitting U.S. senator Ben Sasse will become the school’s 13th president in early 2023.

**Average Undergrad Tuition:**
– In-state: $4,477
– Out-of-state: $25,694

**Average Graduate Tuition:**
– In-state: $10,770
– Out-of-state: $27,335


**#2 Best Online Colleges, Universities, and Schools: Golden Gate University**
– Location: San Francisco, CA
– Program Length: 4 years
– Online + Campus
– Golden Gate University, situated in the heart of San Francisco’s financial district, offers over 60 degree programs. It is tailored for working adults and known for its high-quality curriculum and small class sizes.
– Notable Fact: GGU has a long history of serving the U.S. military, with a strong legacy of supporting veterans in their educational journeys.

**Average Undergrad Tuition:**
– In-state: $12,456
– Out-of-state: $12,456

**Average Graduate Tuition:**
– In-state: $19,620
– Out-of-state: $19,620

#4 Best Online Colleges, Universities, and Schools: Thomas Jefferson University

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Online + Campus
  • Thomas Jefferson University is a private research institution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offering 200+ undergraduate and graduate programs across 10 colleges and four schools. Its distinctive “Nexus learning” approach prepares graduates for an ever-changing world and job market.
  • Notable Fact: Jefferson’s nursing graduates achieve top scores in Pennsylvania on national licensure and certification exams, demonstrating the school’s commitment to academic excellence.

Average Undergrad Tuition:

  • In-state: $40,680
  • Out-of-state: $40,680

Average Graduate Tuition:

  • In-state: $21,420
  • Out-of-state: $21,420


#5 Best Online Colleges, Universities, and Schools: University of Central Florida

  • Location: Orlando, FL
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Online + Campus
  • The University of Central Florida, based in Orlando, Florida, offers 220+ degree programs across 13 colleges, specializing in space science, psychology, computer science, biology, health sciences, and mechanical engineering.
  • Notable Fact: UCF plays a significant role in space research and exploration, with its Stephen W. Hawking Center for Microgravity Research and Education contributing to safer space travel.

Average Undergrad Tuition:

  • In-state: $4,478
  • Out-of-state: $19,810

Average Graduate Tuition:

  • In-state: $6,916
  • Out-of-state: $25,759


#6 Best Online Colleges, Universities, and Schools: Florida International University

  • Location: Miami, FL
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Online + Campus
  • Florida International University offers 190+ degree programs, with 130+ available online, focusing on business and various fields. It’s known for its excellent online bachelor’s degree programs and overall teaching quality.
  • Notable Fact: FIU boasts the renowned Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and hosts the Food Network South Beach Wine and Food Festival.

Average Undergrad Tuition:

  • In-state: $4,721
  • Out-of-state: $16,529

Average Graduate Tuition:

  • In-state: $8,912
  • Out-of-state: $21,393


#7 Best Online Colleges, Universities, and Schools: Thomas Edison State University

  • Location: Trenton, NJ
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Online
  • Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, New Jersey, offers 100+ undergraduate, graduate, and professional certificate options. Most students are non-first-time, part-time students, making it an excellent choice for working adults.
  • Notable Fact: TESU awards an average of 38 credits for prior work, life, or military experience, saving students time and money.

Average Undergrad Tuition:

  • In-state: $7,182
  • Out-of-state: $9,342


#8 Best Online Colleges, Universities, and Schools: Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

  • Location: University Park, PA
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Campus
  • Pennsylvania State University – World Campus offers 175+ career-enhancing degrees and certificates, making Penn State’s educational experience accessible to all, regardless of location.
  • Notable Fact: Penn State World Campus has over 750,000 alumni in 171 countries, providing an extensive network for new graduates.

More Details

#9 Best Online Colleges, Universities, and Schools: University of Missouri

  • Location: Columbia, MO
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Online + Campus
  • The University of Missouri in Columbia offers 280+ undergraduate and graduate programs, with 75+ available online. It excels in fields like journalism, medicine, writing, and law.
  • Notable Fact: Mizzou has a remarkable list of famous alumni, including playwright Tennessee Williams and actor Brad Pitt.

Average Undergrad Tuition:

  • In-state: $9,330
  • Out-of-state: $27,612

More Details

#10 Best Online Colleges, Universities, and Schools: Oklahoma State University

  • Location: Stillwater, OK
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Online + Campus
  • Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, offers 300+ undergraduate majors and minors, 200+ master’s, Ph.D., and graduate certificate options.
  • Notable Fact: OSU is renowned for its academics, affordability, and quality of student life. It has the largest university student union globally.

Average Undergrad Tuition:

  • In-state: $5,357
  • Out-of-state: $20,877

More Details

Pros and Cons of Online Degrees

After nearly three years of a pandemic that forced a global shift towards online learning, it’s essential to understand the pros and cons of pursuing an online degree.


  • Flexibility: Online learning allows you to adapt to your schedule, with options for accelerated programs or part-time study.
  • Accessibility: Study from anywhere, anytime, eliminating the need for relocation, commuting, or childcare.
  • Affordability: Many online programs offer cost savings compared to traditional in-person education.
  • Minimized Opportunity Costs: Balancing work and study, online students can continue building their careers while earning a degree.
  • High Student Satisfaction: According to our 2023 Online Education Trends Report, 75% of students consider online education equal to or better than in-person learning, with 96% reporting a positive return on investment.


  • Reduced In-Person Interaction: Online students may miss out on the interpersonal interactions that in-person classrooms offer.
  • Limited Networking: Building a network can be more challenging in a remote learning environment.
  • Self-Motivation Required: Online learning demands self-discipline and time management.
  • Low Persistence Rates: Dropout rates are generally higher for online learners, mainly due to lower motivation, inadequate technical skills, and conflicts in workloads.

How to Choose an Online College

Choosing the right online college is a crucial decision. Here are key factors to consider:

  • Costs: Beyond tuition, consider additional costs like technology, books, supplies, and fees.
  • Financial Aid: Look for schools offering better financial aid packages, scholarships, and grant-based aid to lower your expenses.
  • Accreditation: Ensure the school is properly accredited, especially if you require professional certifications or federal financial aid.
  • Learning Format: Decide if you can accommodate in-person requirements or need a fully online program. Also, consider whether you prefer synchronous or asynchronous courses.
  • Student Resources: The best online colleges provide robust support systems, including advisors, tutors, career services, internship programs, and mentorship opportunities.

How to Apply to an Online Program

Online schools typically have similar admission requirements, which may include an online application, official transcripts, standardized test scores, a personal essay, and letters of recommendation. Some institutions may require interviews, financial aid forms, application fees, or transcript evaluations.

Keep in mind that the average student applies to about six colleges, so allocate sufficient time for the application process. Your choice of an online college is a significant step

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are online colleges, universities, and schools?

  • Online colleges, universities, and schools offer degree programs that can be completed primarily or entirely online. They provide students with the flexibility to pursue higher education without the need to attend physical classes on a traditional campus.

2. How do online programs differ from traditional on-campus programs?

  • Online programs provide a more flexible learning experience. Students can typically access course materials, participate in discussions, and complete assignments at their own pace and on their schedule. Traditional on-campus programs require physical attendance for lectures and coursework.

3. What types of degrees can I earn from online colleges?

  • Online colleges offer a wide range of degree programs, including associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and even some doctoral degrees. These degrees span various fields, from business and healthcare to liberal arts and sciences.

4. How do I choose the best online college for me?

  • Choosing the right online college involves considering factors such as program availability, accreditation, cost, and student support services. Research each college’s offerings, faculty expertise, and resources to determine the best fit for your goals.

5. What are the benefits of online education?

  • Online education offers benefits like flexibility, convenience, cost savings (especially in terms of commuting and housing expenses), and the ability to balance education with other responsibilities like work and family.

6. What are the downsides of online education?

  • Online education may require strong self-discipline and time management skills. Some students may miss the in-person interaction and networking opportunities that come with traditional campus-based programs.

7. Are online degrees considered equal to degrees from traditional universities?

  • The legitimacy of online degrees depends on factors such as accreditation, program quality, and the reputation of the institution. Many accredited online colleges offer degrees that are considered on par with traditional degrees.

8. How do I apply to an online program?

  • Applying to an online program typically involves creating an account on the college’s website, filling out an online application, submitting transcripts, standardized test scores (if required), a personal essay, and letters of recommendation. The specific requirements may vary by institution.

9. Can I get financial aid for online programs?

  • Yes, you can apply for financial aid when pursuing an online program. This includes federal aid programs, scholarships, and grants. Be sure to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine your eligibility.

10. How long does it take to complete an online degree?

  • The duration of an online degree program varies based on the level (e.g., bachelor’s, master’s), field of study, and whether you choose to attend full-time or part-time. Typically, a bachelor’s degree takes about four years, while a master’s can take two or more years.

11. Are online degrees right for working adults?

  • Online degrees are often a great fit for working adults because they offer the flexibility to study while balancing employment and other responsibilities. Many online programs are designed with working professionals in mind.

12. Are online colleges accredited?

  • Many online colleges and universities are accredited by recognized accrediting bodies. Accreditation ensures that the institution meets specific educational standards, and it’s an essential factor when choosing an online program.

13. What is the average cost of an online degree?

  • The cost of an online degree can vary significantly depending on the college, degree level, and field of study. It’s essential to research tuition, fees, and available financial aid options for the program you’re interested in.

14. Do employers value online degrees?

  • Many employers value online degrees from accredited institutions as long as the programs are reputable and relevant to the field. It’s important to choose a respected and accredited online college to ensure the value of your degree.

15. Can I transfer credits from a traditional college to an online program?

  • Transferring credits from a traditional college to an online program is often possible, depending on the institutions involved and the compatibility of coursework. Many online colleges accept transfer credits, making it easier to continue your education.

Tag List:

Best Online Colleges, Top Online Universities, Best Online Schools, Online Degrees, Accredited Online Education, Online College Programs, Higher Education Online, 2023 College Rankings, Online Learning, FAQs about Online Degrees

About the Author: Dr. Alex Brener

Dr. Alex Brener is a seasoned crypto expert with a passion for blockchain technology and its applications. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the field of cryptocurrencies, making complex concepts accessible to a broader audience.

  • With a strong academic background, Dr. Brener holds a doctorate in Computer Science from a prestigious institution and has dedicated his career to researching and understanding the intricacies of blockchain, digital currencies, and the evolving crypto landscape.
  • Dr. Brener’s expertise extends beyond theoretical understanding; he actively engages with the crypto community, staying up-to-date with the latest trends and developments. His insights and analyses are highly regarded in the field, making him a sought-after authority in the world of cryptocurrencies.
  • In addition to his academic and professional endeavors, Dr. Brener is the founder of “www.helsinki.reviews,” a platform where he shares valuable insights, reviews, and information related to the crypto world. His commitment to educating and informing the public about cryptocurrency is evident in his work, making him a trusted source for those seeking clarity in the complex realm of digital assets.
  • As an author, researcher, and advocate for the crypto space, Dr. Alex Brener continues to contribute to the growing body of knowledge surrounding blockchain technology and digital currencies. His dedication to demystifying crypto-related topics and fostering a deeper understanding of this innovative field is an invaluable asset to both newcomers and experienced enthusiasts alike.


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