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Top Colleges 2017

Welcome to OnlineColleges.com’s newly redesigned Top Colleges 2017 tool. We ranked more than 2,500 accredited colleges and universities on a variety of factors, including affordability, student services and the availability of online programs. The result is a list of the best online colleges in the U.S. that is built into this interactive tool.

The filters on the left let you create customized lists of schools based on the factors that are most important to you, including location, price and religious affiliation, among others. Choosing the right school is the first step toward success in higher education, and we’re excited to help you get started.

Browse Online Colleges
by selecting filters that matter to you most

STATE
TUITION
INSTITUTION TYPE
DEGREE LEVEL
MILITARY BENEFITS
RELIGIOUS AFFILATION
1 San Joaquin Delta College Type: Public
5151 Pacific Ave, Stockton, CA 95207
OVERALL SCORE
98.64
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
41.8%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
4.2%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
2 Foothill College Type: Public
12345 El Monte Rd, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
OVERALL SCORE
96.44
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
45.3%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
14.6%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
3 San Diego State University Type: Public
5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA 92182
OVERALL SCORE
95.2
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
28.1%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
10.2%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
4 California State University-Fullerton Type: Public
800 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831
OVERALL SCORE
92.8
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
28.6%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
10.2%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
5 California Baptist University Type: Private
8432 Magnolia Ave, Riverside, CA 92504
OVERALL SCORE
92.72
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
46.3%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
8.9%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
6 De Anza College Type: Public
21250 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino, CA 95014
OVERALL SCORE
92.28
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
19.6%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
5.6%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
7 California State University-Long Beach Type: Public
1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840
OVERALL SCORE
91.6
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
16.2%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
9.7%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
8 California State University-Chico Type: Public
First and Normal Sts, Chico, CA 95929
OVERALL SCORE
91.28
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
27%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
9.4%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
9 California State University-East Bay Type: Public
25800 Carlos Bee Blvd, Hayward, CA 94542
OVERALL SCORE
90.96
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
49.5%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
14.6%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
10 California State University-Fresno Type: Public
5241 N Maple Ave, Fresno, CA 93740
OVERALL SCORE
90.44
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
27.7%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
7.2%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
11 Saddleback College Type: Public
28000 Marguerite Pky, Mission Viejo, CA 92692
OVERALL SCORE
90.32
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
43.5%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
8.7%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
12 Irvine Valley College Type: Public
5500 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92618
OVERALL SCORE
89.4
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
32%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
10.5%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
13 California State University-Sacramento Type: Public
6000 J St, Sacramento, CA 95819
OVERALL SCORE
87.84
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
24.8%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
11.7%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
14 The Master's College and Seminary Type: Private
21726 Placerita Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91321
OVERALL SCORE
87.13
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
22.6%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
7%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
15 San Jose State University Type: Public
One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192
OVERALL SCORE
87.09
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
19.6%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
10.9%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
16 College of the Canyons Type: Public
26455 Rockwell Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91355
OVERALL SCORE
86.21
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
29.8%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
6.9%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
17 California State University-Dominguez Hills Type: Public
1000 E Victoria St, Carson, CA 90747
OVERALL SCORE
85.81
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
26.5%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
18.8%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
18 Azusa Pacific University Type: Private
901 E Alosta, Azusa, CA 91702
OVERALL SCORE
84.77
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
20.9%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
5.2%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
19 National University Type: Private
11255 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037
OVERALL SCORE
84.69
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
69.3%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
21.3%
SCHOOL FEATURES
      Open Admission Policy
20 Biola University Type: Private
13800 Biola Ave, La Mirada, CA 90639
OVERALL SCORE
84.37
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
14.7%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
4.7%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
21 California State University-Northridge Type: Public
18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330
OVERALL SCORE
84.29
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
38.8%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
14.1%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
22 Simpson University Type: Private
2211 College View Drive, Redding, CA 96003
OVERALL SCORE
83.81
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
29.3%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
13.9%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
23 Orange Coast College Type: Public
2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
OVERALL SCORE
83.49
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
16.2%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
9.8%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
24 San Francisco State University Type: Public
1600 Holloway Ave, San Francisco, CA 94132
OVERALL SCORE
83.33
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
21.7%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
12.1%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
25 San Diego Christian College Type: Private
200 Riverview Parkway, Santee, CA 92071
OVERALL SCORE
82.33
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
48.6%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
16.8%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
26 Moorpark College Type: Public
7075 Campus Rd, Moorpark, CA 93021
OVERALL SCORE
81.97
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
20.4%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
8.2%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
27 Golden West College Type: Public
15744 Goldenwest St., Huntington Beach, CA 92647
OVERALL SCORE
81.89
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
35.9%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
12.9%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
28 Ohlone College Type: Public
43600 Mission Blvd, Fremont, CA 94539
OVERALL SCORE
81.49
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
30.6%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
8.5%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
29 California State Polytechnic University-Pomona Type: Public
3801 West Temple Avenue, Pomona, CA 91768
OVERALL SCORE
80.25
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
26.6%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
9.8%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
30 California State University-San Marcos Type: Public
333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd, San Marcos, CA 92096
OVERALL SCORE
79.85
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
20%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
11.9%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
31 Coastline Community College Type: Public
11460 Warner Ave., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
OVERALL SCORE
79.21
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
84.8%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
19.2%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
32 West Los Angeles College Type: Public
9000 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230
OVERALL SCORE
77.17
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
48.4%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
16.5%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
33 California State University-San Bernardino Type: Public
5500 University Pky, San Bernardino, CA 92407
OVERALL SCORE
76.97
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
18.9%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
12.5%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
34 Shasta College Type: Public
11555 Old Oregon Trail, Redding, CA 96003
OVERALL SCORE
76.37
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
44.5%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
5.1%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
35 Fullerton College Type: Public
321 E Chapman Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832
OVERALL SCORE
76.25
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
19.7%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
9.6%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
36 University of San Francisco Type: Private
2130 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117
OVERALL SCORE
75.69
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
5%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
4.8%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
37 Citrus College Type: Public
1000 W Foothill Blvd, Glendora, CA 91741
OVERALL SCORE
75.53
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
19.3%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
8.1%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
38 University of California-Los Angeles Type: Public
405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095
OVERALL SCORE
74.54
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
5.2%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
7.4%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
39 Santa Rosa Junior College Type: Public
1501 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401
OVERALL SCORE
73.74
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
20.9%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
5.2%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
40 West Valley College Type: Public
14000 Fruitvale Ave, Saratoga, CA 95070
OVERALL SCORE
73.38
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
37.7%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
11.2%
SCHOOL FEATURES
      Open Admission Policy
41 Glendale Community College Type: Public
1500 N Verdugo Rd, Glendale, CA 91208
OVERALL SCORE
72.26
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
19.6%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
7.8%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
42 Sierra College Type: Public
5000 Rocklin Road, Rocklin, CA 95677
OVERALL SCORE
72.18
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
26.3%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
7.8%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
43 Crafton Hills College Type: Public
11711 Sand Canyon Road, Yucaipa, CA 92339
OVERALL SCORE
72.06
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
20.3%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
10.1%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
44 Los Angeles Mission College Type: Public
13356 Eldridge Avenue, Sylmar, CA 91342
OVERALL SCORE
71.94
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
14.6%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
9.7%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
45 California State University-Stanislaus Type: Public
One University Circle, Turlock, CA 95382
OVERALL SCORE
71.9
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
31.1%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
9.9%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
46 San Diego Miramar College Type: Public
10440 Black Mountain Rd, San Diego, CA 92126
OVERALL SCORE
71.3
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
28.4%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
17.9%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
47 California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo Type: Public
1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
OVERALL SCORE
71.02
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
3.1%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
3.6%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
48 Santa Monica College Type: Public
1900 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
OVERALL SCORE
70.9
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
24.5%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
6.9%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
49 Sonoma State University Type: Public
1801 E Cotati Ave, Rohnert Park, CA 94928
OVERALL SCORE
70.66
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
7%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
9.4%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
50 Chaffey College Type: Public
5885 Haven Ave, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737
OVERALL SCORE
69.22
TUITION
$$$$
STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
11.6%
PERCENT OF TRANSFER STUDENTS
7.4%
SCHOOL FEATURES
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy

Methodology and Sources

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, we generated a list of colleges and universities that met the following criteria:

  • Level of institution is either “Four or more years” or “At least 2 but less than 4 years”
  • At least 1% of students are taking at least some of the classes via distance education
  • Data is reported for all 14 ranking variables listed in the Methodology section

We ranked 2,503 colleges on 14 criteria, using 2015 data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the weights specified:

  • Number of programs offered via distance education
  • Ratio of students participating fully or partially in distance education to total enrollment
  • Average in-state tuition for undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate students
  • Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases and media
  • Graduation rate
  • Retention rate
  • The availability of the following tuition plans:
    • Payment plan
    • Guaranteed tuition plan
    • Other alternative tuition plan
  • The availability of academic/ career counseling services
  • The availability of job placement services for graduates
  • The availability of virtual reference services
  • Offers dual credit
  • Offers credit for life experience
  • Offers advanced placement (AP) credit
  • Offers credit for military training

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools’ tuition amounts are based on 2015-16 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

Sources

  1. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2015-16, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed February 2017, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
, if applicable,