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Top Colleges 2016

Welcome to OnlineColleges.com’s newly redesigned Top Colleges 2016 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
Dakota State University
820 N Washington Ave, Madison, SD, 57042
$4,722
49.85%
96.96
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
2
National American University-Rapid City
5301 South Highway 16, Rapid City, SD, 57701
$12,492
94.79%
95.46
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
3
Northern State University
1200 S Jay St, Aberdeen, SD, 57401
$4,419
37.95%
93.68
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
4
South Dakota State University
Administration Lane, Brookings, SD, 57007
$4,607
28.03%
93.65
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
5
Southeast Technical Institute
2320 N Career Ave, Sioux Falls, SD, 57107
$2,496
34.56%
93.4
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
6
Mitchell Technical Institute
1800 E. Spruce Street, Mitchell, SD, 57301
$2,912
17.99%
88.35
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
7
Western Dakota Technical Institute
800 Mickelson Dr, Rapid City, SD, 57703
$3,197
24.05%
86.22
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
8
University of South Dakota
414 E Clark St, Vermillion, SD, 57069
$4,607
32.05%
86.04
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
9
Lake Area Technical Institute
1201 Arrow Avenue, Watertown, SD, 57201
$2,496
15.42%
79
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
10
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
501 E Saint Joseph St, Rapid City, SD, 57701
$4,610
4.86%
73.03
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
11
Black Hills State University
1200 University St, Spearfish, SD, 57799
$5,730
39.41%
69.34
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
12
Dakota Wesleyan University
1200 W University Ave, Mitchell, SD, 57301
$14,700
33.68%
59.67
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
13
Globe University-Sioux Falls
5101 S Broadband Ln, Sioux Falls, SD, 57108
$14,040
47.1%
52.45
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
14
University of Sioux Falls
1101 W 22nd St, Sioux Falls, SD, 57105
$16,070
19.59%
48.76
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
15
Presentation College
1500 N Main, Aberdeen, SD, 57401
$17,500
69.82%
40.91
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
      Open Admission Policy
 
16
Mount Marty College
1105 W. 8th Street, Yankton, SD, 57078
$16,099
14.16%
26.02
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
17
Augustana College
2001 S Summit Ave, Sioux Falls, SD, 57197
$29,882
7.4%
24.34
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy
 
18
Colorado Technical University-Sioux Falls
3901 W 59th St, Sioux Falls, SD, 57108
$10,740
52.88%
23.75
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
      Open Admission Policy
 
19
Oglala Lakota College
490 Piya Wiconi Road, Kyle, SD, 57752
$1,478
6.24%
8.54
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      Open Admission Policy
 
20
Sioux Falls Seminary
2100 S Summit Ave, Sioux Falls, SD, 57105
$15,574
22.05%
8.26
  
SCHOOL FEATURES:
Accredited
    Digital Library
  Title IV
      AP Credit
    Placement Services
      Open Admission Policy