Going to college is a completely different experience than it used to be. In fact, these days when someone is getting ready to head away for school, there’s a good chance that they won’t actually be heading away at all. The dream of the virtual campus is one that has finally been fully realized, and modern students are now able to get their diplomas online, in many cases without ever having to even step foot into a classroom or lecture hall. Through videos, texts, and online homework and forums, the student can work at his or her own pace to get a degree, while still being able to work and fulfill other responsibilities at home. So, if all of this sounds like a great idea, here are five of the best online colleges for 2014.
1. Walden University
In 1995, Walden University began offering the nation’s first totally online master’s program in education. Since that time, Walden has become a completely online school, with no physical campus to speak of. Walden’s student body consists of nearly 50,000 students from all over the world, most of whom also work full time. Walden’s flexible programs allow students to get an education without disrupting the other aspects of their lives. As far as tuition goes, Walden is considered a low to mid-range school, and offers many different financial aid and scholarship opportunities. The school offers bachelor’s, master’s, and even doctoral degrees.
2. Independence University
Formerly known as the California College for Health Sciences, Independence University is a non-profit distance learning center that offers degrees in fields such as graphic design, business administration, information systems, as well as numerous health-related programs. The school was founded to help meet the educational needs of working adults and offers certification programs designed to assist those who have other responsibilities than simply attending school.
3. Everest University Online
Offering programs in a variety of fields, Everest University Online is well known for it’s top-rate instructors and noteworthy accreditation. Everest offers courses that move at the student’s pace, and allow for one-on-one interaction between students and instructors. Everest offers degrees in paralegal, homeland security, business, and more. It also has career placement services to help you make the transition from student to employee once graduation is finished.
4. Strayer University Online
Strayer University has over 100 campuses located in 24 different states. However, over half of the students enrolled at Strayer take all of their courses online. Strayer’s accelerated programs allow students to get through college quickly, easily, and prepared to enter the job market. Strayer also helps its students along the path to graduation by awarding credits for eligible work or life experience.
5. Liberty University Online
Currently the largest private, non-profit online university in the country, Liberty University also has the highest graduation rates of any leading online college. Liberty offers over 150 online degrees, ranging from associate to doctoral levels. Liberty also offers special military benefits as well as other financial aid options and has an extensive support and tutoring network designed to help students with whatever problems they may be facing.
Julie Openfield works as a student advisor. She has over two decades’ worth of experience assisting students achieve their goals. She is also an adjunct college professor teaching business and marketing.