Online Colleges in Maryland

Most Affordable Online Colleges

COLLEGE FINDER

Article Sources

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics' Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), 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"
  • Data is reported for all 11 ranking variables listed in the Methodology section
  • At least 1 percent of students are taking at least some of the classes via distance education
  • "Number of programs offered via distance education" was an integer greater than 0

We ranked the resulting 1,813 colleges on 11 criteria, using provisional 2016-17 data from IPEDS:

  1. Number of programs offered via distance education
  2. Ratio of students participating fully or partially in DE to Total Enrollment
  3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
  4. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
  5. Graduation rate
  6. Retention rate
  7. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Guaranteed, Other)
  8. Services (Academic/Career, Placement for Completers)
  9. Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)
  10. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
  11. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students

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.

Methodology Sources

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources :

  • Key Pens Star-Spangled Banner, History.com, http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/key-pens-star-spangled-banner
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  • University System of Maryland, http://www.usmd.edu/
  • Maryland Independent College and University System, http://www.micua.org/
  • Community Facts, Maryland, U.S. Census Bureau, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml
  • State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates-Maryland, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_md.htm#00-0000
  • Degrees Offered Online at BCCC, Baltimore City Community College, http://www.bccc.edu/Page/282
  • Online Education, Hagerstown Community College, http://www.hagerstowncc.edu/academics/distance-education
  • About Us, Carroll Community College, https://www.carrollcc.edu/About-Us/
  • Distance Learning, Carroll Community College, https://www.carrollcc.edu/student-services/distance-learning/
  • Online Learning, Chesapeake College, http://www.chesapeake.edu/academics/online
  • Fast Facts, Prince George's Community College, http://www.pgcc.edu/uploadedFiles/Content/Student_Activities/opair/Fast%20Facts%202014.pdf
  • eLearning Services, Prince George's Community College, http://www.pgcconline.com/aboutOnlineLearning/degreeCertificatePrograms.html#associate
  • College of Business Online Degree in Management, Coppin State University, http://coppinallbusiness.com/online-program/
  • The Center for Instructional Technology and Online Learning, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, https://www.umes.edu/InstTech/Default.aspx?id=11492
  • UMES Online, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, https://www.umes.edu/UMES-Online/Pages/UMES-Online/
  • Online Programs and Courses, Morgan State University, http://www.morgan.edu/online_education/degrees_and_programs.html
  • Academic Computing and Online Course Support, Bowie State University, https://www.bowiestate.edu/academics-research/provost-and-vice-president-for/academic-computing-and-online-/
  • Online Learning at FSU, Frostburg State Univesity, http://www.frostburg.edu/online/
  • QuickFacts-Baltimore, U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/00
  • Civilian labor force and unemployment by state and metropolitan area, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/metro.t01.htm
  • American FactFinder-Baltimore, U.S. Census Bureau, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml#
  • The Preakness Stakes, Visit Baltimore, http://baltimore.org/article/preakness-stakes
  • Baltimore Key Industries, Visit Baltimore, http://baltimore.org/info/baltimores-key-industries
  • QuickFacts, Hagerstown City, Maryland, U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/2436075
  • Community Facts, Hagerstown City, Maryland, U.S. Census Bureau, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml
  • Welcome to the Crossroads of the Mid-Atlantic, Washington County Department of Business Development, http://hagerstownedc.org/
  • Brief Economic Facts, Washington County, Maryland, Maryland Department of Commerce, http://commerce.maryland.gov/Documents/ResearchDocument/WashingtonBef.pdf
  • Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Salisbury, MD-DE, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_41540.htm#00-0000
  • Community Facts, Salisbury, Maryland, U.S. Census Bureau, http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/community_facts.xhtml
  • Brief Economic Facts, Wicomico County, Maryland, Maryland Department of Commerce, http://commerce.maryland.gov/Documents/ResearchDocument/WicomicoBef.pdf
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education, https://www.msche.org/
  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, http://www.acics.org/
  • 2016 Data Book, Maryland Higher Education Commission, Accessed September 2016, http://mhec.maryland.gov/publications/Documents/Research/AnnualPublications/2016Databook.pdf
  • State Financial Assistance Programs and Applications, Maryland Higher Education Commission, Accessed September 2016, http://mhec.maryland.gov/preparing/Pages/FinancialAid/descriptions.aspx
  • Maryland, Institute for College Access and Success, Accessed September 2016, http://ticas.org/posd/map-state-data-2015#overlay=posd/state_data/2015/md
  • Online Programs, Capitol Technology University, Accessed April 2018, https://www.captechu.edu/prospective-students/online-programs
  • Graduate Academics, Capitol Technology University, Accessed April 2018, http://www.captechu.edu/academics/graduate-academics
  • Transferring Credits, Capitol Technology University, Accessed April 2018, https://www.captechu.edu/prospective-students/undergraduate/transfer-students/transferring-credits
  • Accreditation, Capitol Technology University, Accessed April 2018, https://www.captechu.edu/about-capitol/accreditation
  • Degree Programs, Frostburg State University, Accessed April 2018, https://www.frostburg.edu/online/degree-programs-and-courses/
  • Transfer Applicants, Frostburg State University, Accessed April 2018, https://www.frostburg.edu/admissions-and-cost/undergraduate/apply/transfer-applicants.php
  • Accreditation, Frostburg State University, Accessed April 2018, https://www.frostburg.edu/why-fsu/accreditation.php
  • Green Terror Mascot History, McDaniel College, Accessed April 2018, https://ilovethehill.mcdaniel.edu/greenterrorhistory
  • Online Graduate Programs, McDaniel College, Accessed April 2018, https://www.mcdaniel.edu/graduate/online
  • Online Tutoring, McDaniel College, Accessed April 2018, https://writingcenter.mcdaniel.edu/student-resources/online-tutoring/
  • Transfer Students, McDaniel College, Accessed April 2018, https://www.mcdaniel.edu/undergraduate/admissions/apply/transfer-students
  • Accreditation, McDaniel College, Accessed April 2018, https://www.mcdaniel.edu/information/about/mission-and-vision/accreditation
  • Online Degrees, NDMU Online, Accessed April 2018, https://online.ndm.edu/
  • Online Experience, NDMU Online, Accessed April 2018, https://online.ndm.edu/about/online-experience/
  • Admissions, NDMU Online, Accessed April 2018, https://online.ndm.edu/admissions/
  • About, NDMU Online, Accessed April 2018, https://online.ndm.edu/about/
  • Online Learning, UMBC, Accessed April 2018, http://www.umbc.edu/online/
  • Enrollment and Registration Policies, UMBC, Accessed April 2018, http://catalog.umbc.edu/content.php?catoid=17&navoid=881
  • Tutoring, UMBC, Accessed April 2018, https://lrc.umbc.edu/tutor/
  • Accreditation, UMBC, Accessed April 2018, https://about.umbc.edu/accreditation/
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Many people who visit Maryland will remember forever after the amazing seafood dinners chock full of lobsters, oysters, and decadent crabs. The Chesapeake Bay produces this abundance of sought-after food, while also offering its natural beauty as a sailing destination and a landscape to be treasured. The state is home to beauty beyond the bay, as well; Maryland boasts 40 state parks and 7 state forests, all of which make the Old Line State a scenic and gorgeous place to live.

Beyond its greenery and natural goodness, however, Maryland is known for its top tier educational opportunities. Despite its small size, Maryland boasts 95 institutions of higher education, including 14 public, four-year colleges, 16 public community colleges, 20 private nonprofit colleges, and 45 for-profit schools and colleges. 12 of the state's institutions and two regional learning centers make up the esteemed University System of Maryland (USM), which not only teaches students, but also performs research and provides services with the goal of improving quality of life all across Maryland.

Further, many schools in the state offer not only on-campus education, but an array of online learning opportunities. At the best online colleges in Maryland, students have access to not only a variety of degree programs in many different subjects and formats, but many different resources — such as online tutoring, advising and group support — in the bargain.

Best Online Colleges in Maryland for 2018-19

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There are so many colleges in Maryland that it can be hard to know where to start looking for the right one for you. If this is your situation, then this ranking may be able to shed some light on the subject. We analyzed data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) with our proprietary methodology, taking into account net price, accessibility, number of programs and more to bring you this: a ranking of the 10 best online colleges in Maryland. (For more details on our methodology, see the bottom of this page; for rankings you can modify with your own selections, see our Top Colleges Tool.)

1

John Hopkins University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$50,410
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
37%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
69
School Type
4-year

John Hopkins University is America's first research university, founded in 1876 with the principle that "teaching and research go hand in hand." The school has produced Nobel Prize winners and has poured large amounts of money into academic research for decades. Fortunately, you don't need to move to Baltimore to attend; Johns Hopkins University offers online programs and courses to its students, supported by a partnership with Coursera.

On- or off-campus, students can pursue online or hybrid courses from many of the school's colleges, including the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, the Carey Business School, the Whiting School of Engineering and the Bloomberg School of Public Health (which supplies its course materials via OpenCourseWare), to name a few.

2

University of Maryland-University College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$7,176
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
89%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
119
School Type
4-year

The University of Maryland-University College was founded in 1947 specifically to educate working adults, servicemembers and other nontraditional students. Enrollment in UMUC does not require the SAT or GRE, and the school has multiple start dates every year to work around busy schedules. Combined with the many ways UMUC allows students to earn credit for previous experiences -- credit by exam, credit for prior learning, credit for military experience and more -- this can make the university an appealing option for transfer students and returning students. UMUC also offers active duty military service members, military spouses, veterans, reservists and members of the National Guard a set of online associate degree programs designed especially for them.

3

University of Maryland-College Park

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$10,181
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
10%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
13
School Type
4-year

The University of Maryland-College Park is the flagship campus of Maryland, and also the nation's first "Do Good" campus. This means that UMD-College Park has designed initiatives with the express purpose of motivating students to "Do Good in their communities and around the world" before and after graduation. This goal extends to "every UMD student," including those pursuing their UMD education online.

Online courses and programs at UMD-College Park are conveyed through the Enterprise Learning Management System Canvas (ELMS-Canvas). Students can enroll in synchronous or asynchronous courses as they please, and have the online resources of the UMD Libraries available to assist them in their studies.

4

Towson University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$9,408
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
16%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
20
School Type
4-year

Towson University is proud to be an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution -- and also to be an institute offering online education to students across the United States. The university's online students can make use of the same resources as their on-campus cohorts, including advising and consultation opportunities.

Students can pursue a number of this school's degree programs online -- including a bachelor's in allied health and numerous graduate programs -- but they can also take certain Towson programs at campuses that are not Towson's. For example, the B.S. in elementary education program can be taken at the College of Southern Maryland, and the P.B.C. in nursing education can be taken at the University System of MD-Hagerstown. This can allow a Towson student who lives remotely but is not fond of the online format to handle distance learning in a different way.

5

Capitol Technology University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$24,272
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
91%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
16
School Type
4-year

Capitol Technology University's online learning features live, professor-led sessions on weekday evenings and Saturdays. Students are able to blend these synchronous sessions (which are recorded and available for replay) with asynchronous coursework at their own convenience.

Though the only fully online degree and certificate programs at CTU are graduate programs in fields such as business administration and computer science, CTU also offers online undergraduate courses that allow students to complete the last two years of a CTU bachelor program partially or entirely online.

CTU may consider transferring completed credits from accredited institutions. The university may also award up to 70 credit hours from any combination of military credits, two-year programs, CLEP and AP exams, professional certifications and work/ life experience.

Accreditation:

  • Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)

Location:

11301 Springfield Road,
Laurel, MD 20708
 
6

Stevenson University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$33,168
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
57%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
3
School Type
4-year

Established in 1947, Stevenson University offers online, hybrid and evening courses and degree programs to suit the needs of the working student. Stevenson students can pursue online degree programs at all levels of learning, undergraduate to graduate. The university even offers a set of "bachelor's to master's" options, designed to help students transition to graduate-level courses during their junior and senior years of undergraduate education.

Stevenson's online students can benefit from one-on-one advising, small class sizes, career counseling and coaching services, and multiple start dates. The Stevenson Career Connections online system can help students to find job postings from numerous employers, allowing students to start networking on a possible job opportunity before even finishing their degree program.

7

Frostburg State University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$8,702
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
29%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
5
School Type
4-year

Frostburg State University offers a fully online RN-to-BSN program, as well as fully online master's degree programs in nursing, business administration, and recreation and parks management. They also offer blended degree programs, balancing both online and face-to-face instruction for those seeking their master's in special education or computer science.

To assist online learners, FSU offers helpful tips to acclimate students to the digital learning environment, as well as 24/7 help desk support for technical issues. For students who have already established their academic career, FSU allows the transfer of up to 70 credits from a community or junior college, or up to 90 credits from a four-year college or university.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP, formerly NCATE)
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)

Location:

101 Braddock Road,
Frostburg, MD 21532
 
8

McDaniel College

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$40,580
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
20%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
7
School Type
4-year

McDaniel's mascot is the Green Terror. What is the Green Terror? It's changed forms multiple times over the years, from a wolf to a bobcat to a leopard, but through its many imposing incarnations it continues to symbolize a goal of excellence and perseverance to McDaniel College.

Online learners at McDaniel can pursue master's degree programs in fields such as gerontology, school librarianship and TESOL, all offered completely online. The school's online offerings also include specialized certificate programs and course sequences that can help students to develop skill sets in certain areas.

Transfer students interested in McDaniel College may be pleased to know that the school accepts up to 64 approved credit hours from community colleges and up to 96 approved credit hours from four-year institutions.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)
  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

Location:

2 College Hill,
Westminster, MD 21157
 
9

Notre Dame of Maryland University

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$35,019
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
19%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
2
School Type
4-year

Notre Dame of Maryland University was the first Catholic college for women in the United States to award a four-year baccalaureate degree. The school offers a series of on-campus and online degrees to serve both women and men. Fully online bachelor's degree programs are offered in the fields of business, liberal arts and nursing. The school's graduate programs include master's programs in gifted education or analytics, and a Ph.D. in higher education leadership for changing populations.

Resources specifically for online learners include a personal success coach and a technical support help desk that is accessible 24/7 via phone, email and online chat. Students who have completed graduate-level work at another university may be eligible to transfer up to six credits from a similar program.

Accreditation:

  • Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

Location:

4701 N Charles St,
Baltimore, MD 21210
 
10

University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Tuition & Fees/Year Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
$11,264
Distance Education Participation Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8%
Number of Programs Offered Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
8
School Type
4-year

Part of the University System of Maryland, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County is an honors university that offers distance learners several fully online master's degree program options: TESOL, emergency health services, information systems and more. The university also offers several post-baccalaureate certification programs in the aforementioned fields. Distance learners can benefit from an online writing center and a plethora of career resources.

Students who seek to transfer to the Graduate School at UMBC should know that the school may award up to six semester-hours of transfer credit for approved academic coursework previously completed at a regionally accredited institution.

Accreditation:

  • Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP, formerly NCATE)
  • Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems
  • Maryland State Department of Education

Location:

1000 Hilltop Circle,
Baltimore, MD 21250
 

Affordable Online Colleges in Maryland for 2018

There are numerous online colleges in Maryland that offer low tuition rates. The following lists present several of the most affordable two- and four-year online colleges in Maryland based on the lowest in-state tuition. The data used was reported by the schools to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, part of the National Center for Education Statistics.

If you are interested in seeing a ranking of the top online colleges in Maryland based on quality or a multitude of other factors, please use our Top Colleges tool.

  • School Type - 2 Years
  • School Type - 4 Years
  • COLLEGE NAMETUITION & FEES/YEAR
    Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    DISTANCE EDUCATION PARTICIPATION
    Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    NUMBER OF ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
    Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
    SCHOOL TYPE
    Baltimore City Community College$2,57833%12-year
    Hagerstown Community College$5,28035%72-year
    Chesapeake College$5,51243%32-year
    Carroll Community College$5,57827%12-year
    Harford Community College$5,65932%42-year
  • COLLEGE NAMETUITION & FEES/YEAR
    Tuition and fees per year refers to the average in-state tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduates and, if applicable, graduate students as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    DISTANCE EDUCATION PARTICIPATION
    Distance Education Participation refers to the percentage of students taking either some or all of the courses via distance education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
    NUMBER OF ONLINE PROGRAMS OFFERED
    Number of programs offered refers to the count of degrees and certificates offered via distance education at any level as of 2016, according to the National Center for Education Statistics..
    SCHOOL TYPE
    University of Maryland-University College$7,17689%1194-year
    Coppin State University$7,43843%14-year
    Morgan State University$7,63616%34-year
    Frostburg State University$8,70229%54-year
    Salisbury University$9,36412%24-year

College Accreditation in Maryland

College is a long journey filled with difficult decisions. One decision that's easy to make, however, is choosing a college that's properly accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting body. Accreditation means students are undertaking degree programs that adhere to widely accepted educational standards and are valid.

The main accrediting body for many technical schools, community colleges and four-year colleges and universities in Maryland (and the District of Columbia) is listed below:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

However, some technical and career colleges in Maryland are accredited by the following:

  • Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)

Some of the smaller religious schools and private colleges in Maryland may be accredited by a different accrediting body. Students can check online with the Department of Education to see how a prospective college is accredited.

School Interviews

Want to know what it's like attending online college in Maryland? The following interviews are from leading educators in the state who weigh in on the benefits of college life in Maryland.

Marcia Watson
Now that online learning is coming of age, we know more about how students can learn most effectively in the online environment.

Marcia Watson

Vice Provost

University of Maryland University College

Q. Can you tell us a little about the online programs offered at your school?

UMUC employs a student-centered learning model that emphasizes learning through doing. The UMUC model is NOT built around taped lectures. Instead, students and faculty are together in a highly interactive classroom where students are presented with tasks that are drawn from the real-world of the intended career. Students learn, and demonstrate their learning, through structured projects that may involve working in groups. The goal is to prepare students to be able to accomplish the kind of tasks that they will be doing on the job. For environmental management, for example, that means conducting an environmental assessment or writing a management plan. For this reason, UMUC seeks to hire faculty who are scholar-practitioners, with actual experience in the fields they teach.

Q. What advice would you give to students interested in an online degree program?

Students who are most successful in online programs are those who have good time management skills, who are willing to take responsibility for their own learning, and who are goal-oriented. Good communication skills are very important: contact with the professor and with other students may be largely in writing, or through synchronous verbal sessions, and it helps to be able to express yourself clearly and to understand what others are saying, in the absence of the body language cues that are present in a traditional classroom.

And it goes without saying that a certain amount of familiarity with a computer or mobile device is essential. In addition, a wise student will research the various online programs that are available, looking at time commitment needed, costs, student support services, faculty credentials, program accreditation and reputation, and other aspects. The traditional college experience usually starts with a campus tour where prospective students can learn if the school is right for them, and it's just as important to find the right fit with an online program.

Q. How do you anticipate online learning might evolve in the coming years?

When online learning first started, the approach was to try to mimic the traditional classroom, for example, by providing live or pre-taped lectures along with "study hall" kinds of sessions. Now that online learning is coming of age, we know more about how students can learn most effectively in the online environment. Online learning offers three potential areas of development:

  • providing an enriched multimedia learning environment that harnesses the power and interactivity of the Internet to go well beyond what traditional textbooks and lectures could provide; 
  • offering a personalized learning environment that uses software to assess what a student already knows, and what areas need more work; 
  • making use of mobile devices so that students can study anywhere, anytime, and can stay in touch with faculty and with advisers at the touch of a button.

We are already seeing greater access to education across the globe because of online options. I hope that continues and expands.

Dr. Cyntha L. France

Director, Faculty Development Center & Professor of Instructional Design

Chesapeake College

Q. What kind of online programs does your school offer?

Chesapeake College offers two fully online programs. One is an A. A. in liberal arts and sciences and the other is an A. A. in business administration. The majority of courses in the general education program are regularly offered in an online format. These online courses and programs have been in place for seven or eight years. The college provides these online options principally to meet the needs of students for flexibility in scheduling. Many of our students work and have families to care for, so finding time to come to campus is often difficult. Our online course registrations make up about 16% of our total registrations.

Q. Are online students treated differently than students on campus?

Online students need and deserve access to the same support services that on-campus students enjoy. We have done a fine job providing online access to library and tutoring services. Many of our online classes include an “embedded” librarian or tutor who is very familiar with the class, and is easily accessed by students through the course site on our learning management system. Technical help is available 24/7 via phone or email. Teachers in online classes are committed to meeting certain course-delivery standards, including rapid responses to questions, timely grading, and encouragement of active engagement. Much work has been done on course design to ensure that they are well organized, meet the student learning outcomes shared by on-campus counterparts, offer many opportunities for significant interaction with the instructor and other students, and include fair and authentic assessments. Students (with certain restrictions) can register for classes and pay for them online.

Q. What does it take to succeed in online courses?

Students who are considering enrolling in an online course or program need to think seriously and honestly about how well they can manage their own time. Success in an online course usually requires that a student log in on a regular basis to participate in the class and complete the work as scheduled. Too often, the tendency is to put off doing work in an online class. You don’t have a defined meeting time, and no instructor is standing in front of you demanding that you turn in your work. I think that’s the most common barrier to success for students in online courses. Sustaining the effort over a long degree program can be difficult.

Q. How do you see online education changing?

I’m no futurist, but it does seem to me that online education in the future will be everywhere. It will be provided by corporations, interest groups, individuals, as well as more traditional educational institutions. I think we will see more movement toward competency models, away from traditional degree programs. Learning experiences will become increasingly social, making use not of social media and real-time video and audio connections. We are already seeing greater access to education across the globe because of online options. I hope that continues and expands.

Financial Aid in Maryland

There are a number of state financial aid opportunities available for students planning on attending a Maryland college or university. To help you get started with your financial aid research, below is information on various grants, scholarships and loans that may be available for Maryland students.

Maryland Gift Aid: Grants & Scholarships

Maryland offers a number of grants and scholarships. Some are for a broad group of applicants, while others are specific to industry interest.

1.Educational Assistance Grant
Type : Grant
Criteria:
Applicant must be a resident of Maryland attending a Maryland school and demonstrate financial need.
Award Amount
$2,700
Application Deadline
March 1
Renewable
Renewable up to three years if recipient reapplies and maintains a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA.
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
2.Senatorial Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a resident of Maryland and demonstrate financial need. Other requirements vary by senator.
Award Amount
$2,000
Application Deadline
March 1
Renewable
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
3.Part-Time Grant
Type : Grant
Criteria:
Applicant must be a Maryland resident enrolled in at least six but not more than 11 credits per semester at a Maryland school.
Award Amount
$1,000
Application Deadline
March 1
Renewable
Renewable up to eight years.
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL
4.Delegate Scholarship
Type : Scholarship
Criteria:
Applicant must be a Maryland resident. Other requirements vary by delegate.
Award Amount
$15,700
Application Deadline
March 1
Renewable
Reapplication required for renewal.
Yes
Repay Required?
No
School Specific Scholarship?
No
Application URL

To get the lowdown on different types of grants and scholarships, be sure to check out our Ultimate Guide to Grants and our Ultimate Guide to Scholarships.

Maryland Loans

Although Maryland has several industry-specific Loan Assistance Repayment Programs, there are no state-specific loan programs. Maryland students who need loans to cover the cost of tuition should look into federal student loan programs.

Learn more about student loans in the Ultimate Guide to Student Loans.

Additional Resources for Financial Aid in Maryland

  • The Maryland Higher Education Commission website is a comprehensive resource for all state-issued aid. The organization is responsible for administering all of the state financial aid programs.
 
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