College Comparison Tool
Methodology for “Overall Score”
Using the most recent final data available from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) — in this case, for the 2016-17 school year — 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 the provisional 2016-17 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 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
Welcome to OnlineColleges.com’s College Comparison Tool. This tool allows you to compare different colleges that offer online programs, using the most recent provisional data available from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
- To use the tool, simply click the “Add College” button and type in the name of the school you wish to add to the comparison.
- Compare up to three schools at a time by adding them with the “Add College” button. You can replace a school in the comparison by clicking the pencil icon in the upper right corner of a school’s name box.
- If you wish to move the schools around in order to compare them more easily, drag and drop them using the three dots at the top of the school name box.
NOTE: Our "Overall Score" for each school reflects the scores assigned by our Top Colleges Tool. For more details on how we arrived at this score, please see our methodology at the bottom of this page.
We hope our College Comparison Tool will be able to help you find the online college that is right for you in the 2019-20 school year!