Online Associate Degrees

COLLEGE FINDER

Article Sources

Sources:

  1. Education Still Pays, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed October 2017, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2014/data-on-display/education-still-pays.htm
  2. Facts and Figures, The Lumina Foundation, October 2017, https://www.luminafoundation.org/facts-and-figures
  3. Fact Sheet: Focusing Higher Education on Students Success, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed October 2017, https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/fact-sheet-focusing-higher-education-student-success.
X

Intro to Associate Degrees

Students who are worried about spending too long a time in college but still want to complete a degree program may want to consider an associate degree program. These programs are the shortest full-length degree programs offered at the undergraduate level and are available in diverse areas, such as criminal justice, allied health, information technology and more.

As compared to other degree levels, associate degree programs:

  • Typically take about two years to complete
  • Are widely available through vocational schools, community colleges, trade schools and online colleges
  • Require general education courses, like in math and English, as well as specific courses related to a field
  • Usually offer subject matters in many different fields, not just one or two

Despite these similarities, not all associate degree programs are necessarily the same, even taking into account the differences between different schools and majors. In particular, there are several different formats in which these programs can be completed:

  • Career training: Many associate degree programs are created to help students learn the roles and responsibilities of a specific career. Examples include HVAC; physical therapy assisting; veterinary assisting; nursing (at this degree level, usually for LPN/LVNs or RNs); and radiologic technology.
  • Degree completion options: Other associate degree programs are more general in focus, like sociology or criminal justice, but may offer the ability to transfer to a four-year bachelor's degree program later on. These are often known as "completion" degrees, or sometimes as "2+2" degrees.
  • Quick completion: An associate degree program can be often completed in as little as two years, and sometimes less. In fact, some high schools even allow students to start earning college credit in their senior year via AP classes, offering the opportunity to start an associate degree program with multiple required courses already considered completed.

Benefits of Earning an Online Associate Degree

Earning an associate degree can benefit students in more ways than one, from opportunities for increased pay to better job security. And there are even more benefits for those who pursue such a program online, especially in our world of busy schedules and long commutes. Some of the benefits to completing online associate degree programs include:

  • Higher weekly pay: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) reports that adults who have earned an associate degree have a higher median weekly pay that those with only a high school education or those without a high school diploma.
  • Better job security: Adults who have earned an associate degree also have a lower unemployment rate that those with only a high-school education or some college training (BLS.gov). In fact, the Lumina Foundation (LuminaFoundation.org) reports that four out of five jobs lost during the Great Recession were low-skill jobs that required a high school education or less.
  • Flexibility and affordability: Online associate degree programs can help students to save time and money that others spend on commuting or housing. Some online programs even have rolling admissions, meaning students can find different start dates throughout the year.
  • Promotion/ Work opportunities: The BLS estimates that two-thirds of job openings by 2020 may require postsecondary training. Even in 2018, many employers prefer to hire candidates who demonstrate the needed education for the position and/ or the initiative to go back to school to build their skills. An associate degree program can be an excellent way for working adults to advance their education.

Rankings

Whether you're looking for the highest-quality two-year colleges offering online programs, or the two-year online schools with the lowest impact on your finances, OnlineColleges has a ranking for you. If you'd like to see rankings that you can modify yourself, to find the schools you care about most, try out our Top Colleges Tool.

Best 2-Year Colleges with Online Associate Degree Programs

Using our unique methodology, we bring to you a list of the five best two-year colleges offering distance education programs.

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..
Overall Score
Albany Technical College$2,65459.95%4197.51793
Holmes Community College$2,74049.51%8397.18698
Georgia Piedmont Technical College$2,85054.35%5597.021515
Central Georgia Technical College$2,71443.53%4994.42912
Fayetteville Technical Community College$2,52868.44%3294.153336

Most Affordable 2-Year Colleges with Online Associate Degree Programs

Looking for affordability? Here are the five two-year online colleges with the lowest tuition costs in America.

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..
Overall Score
American River College$1,10428.61%1237.065636
Barstow Community College$1,10465.57%1041.202427
Cosumnes River College$1,10423.08%1229.233315
San Joaquin Delta College$1,10443.87%5191.39548
Folsom Lake College$1,10432.07%28.825151

Article Sources

View Online College Courses Below