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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

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 11 ranking variables listed in the Methodology section

We ranked 2,868 colleges on 11 criteria, using 2014 data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the weights specified:

  1. Number of programs offered via distance education: 25%
  2. Percentage of students participating in distance education classes: 7%
  3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate students: 17%
  4. Average out-of-state tuition for undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate students: 7%
  5. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases and media: 7%
  6. Availability of academic/ career counseling services: 9.5%
  7. Availability of job placement services for graduates: 9.5%
  8. Offers dual credit: 4.5%
  9. Offers credit for life experience: 4.5%
  10. Offers advanced placement (AP) credit: 4.5%
  11. Offers credit for military training: 4.5%

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 2014-15 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) 2014-15, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed February 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
, if applicable,
FILTER BYRANKCOLLEGETUITIONSTUDENTS ENROLLED
IN DISTANCE EDUCATION
OVERALL SCORE
STATE
TUITION-
INSTITUTION TYPE-
DEGREE LEVEL-
MILITARY BENEFITS+
RELIGION+
1
South Dakota State University
Administration Lane, Brookings, SD, 57007
$4,341
0.33%
95.4
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
2
Lake Area Technical Institute
1201 Arrow Avenue, Watertown, SD, 57201
$2,616
0.11%
94.8
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
3
University of South Dakota
414 E Clark St, Vermillion, SD, 57069
$4,341
0.47%
91.04
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
4
Augustana University
2001 S Summit Ave, Sioux Falls, SD, 57197
$29,624
1%
90.48
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
5
Northern State University
1200 S Jay St, Aberdeen, SD, 57401
$4,170
0.48%
90.28
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
6
Mitchell Technical Institute
1800 E. Spruce Street, Mitchell, SD, 57301
$3,270
0.23%
90.08
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
7
Western Dakota Technical Institute
800 Mickelson Dr, Rapid City, SD, 57703
$3,235
0.3%
89.24
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
8
Dakota State University
820 N Washington Ave, Madison, SD, 57042
$4,170
0.57%
88.72
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
9
Dakota Wesleyan University
1200 W University Ave, Mitchell, SD, 57301
$24,550
0.35%
80.05
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
10
Presentation College
1500 N Main, Aberdeen, SD, 57401
$17,990
0.73%
75.25
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
11
Globe University-Sioux Falls
5101 S Broadband Ln, Sioux Falls, SD, 57108
$14,040
0.42%
67.62
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
12
Southeast Technical Institute
2320 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, SD, 57107
$2,616
0.36%
64.9
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
13
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
501 E Saint Joseph St, Rapid City, SD, 57701
$4,530
0.09%
61.39
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
14
National American University-Rapid City
5301 South Highway 16, Rapid City, SD, 57701
$12,852
0.86%
48.76
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
15
University of Sioux Falls
1101 W 22nd St, Sioux Falls, SD, 57105
$26,240
0.26%
45.84
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
16
Black Hills State University
1200 University St, Spearfish, SD, 57799
$4,170
0.39%
43.76
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
17
Mount Marty College
1105 W. 8th Street, Yankton, SD, 57078
$22,336
0.2%
21.42
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
18
Oglala Lakota College
490 Piya Wiconi Road, Kyle, SD, 57752
$2,016
0.07%
N/A
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
  Title IV
      Open Admission Policy