Top 5 Online Colleges of 2014

83402617Every year, online colleges become more prevalent than the last. More students attended online college in 2014 than ever before, and each subsequent year is expected to set a new record. In a time that’s so technologically integrated, it’s easy to see why. These schools take the daily technology that already runs our lives – like computers, smartphones, and tablets – and use them as a vehicle for a fully-functioning college learning experience. Without leaving the home or rearranging their schedules, students are able to earn degrees and certifications of varying levels.

With all that in mind, you can imagine how schools are trampling all over one another to earn a reputation as one of the best online schools. They’re advancing their curricula and updating their technology to name themselves the top choices for online schools. Here are a few that went above and beyond in 2014.

Kaplan University
Whether they’re looking to acquire a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate’s degree, many students turn to Kaplan. It boasts an incredibly low net tuition cost and a disproportionately comprehensive program offering. There are eleven major areas of study that Kaplan offers: Social and Behavioral Sciences, Business, Criminal Justice, Education, Fire Science, Health Sciences, Legal Studies, Nursing, Technology, Special Military Programs, and General Courses. All programs are highly interactive, which means that 75% its students end up graduating, which is extremely high in the online landscape.

Southern New Hampshire University
Over 100 online bachelor’s programs are offered at SNHU, and scheduling is incredibly flexible. The complete ability to customize the learning experience seems to be what draws so many students to the school’s online programs – and the students that do attend seem to be highly motivated. Results from a recent poll showed that nearly 100% of all respondents attended all their online SNHU lectures and completed all their coursework. Most agreed that SNHU was their top choice in online schools.

Liberty University Online
Liberty allows students to get any degree from high school diploma all the way up to postgraduate studies, and all of this can be done online. For college students, the school offers an extremely comprehensive list of over 100 online degree programs, and they also offer intensive courses for students who want to earn degrees quickly. The school has received a number of awards and rankings for affordability and the quality of their degree programs. For example, it was ranked 8th for “Best Online Nursing Degree” by TheBestSchools.org, and the same list ranked it #1 for “The Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Psychology.”

Indiana Wesleyan University Online
One of the reasons students love to attend Indiana Wesleyan Online is because their online courses feel similar to on-campus courses: they have a low enrollment capacity for smaller classes and a more intimate learning experience. The school also prides itself on being just as rigorous on online students as on-campus students. It’s a great place to earn a degree if you’re wary about the quality of online learning, and it’s also incredibly affordable.

American Public University
For students that want the social aspect of traditional schooling but aren’t able to visit a campus regularly, American Public University might be the right pick. The school fosters online learning “communities” which function much like clubs for niche discussions, making it easy for students to make study partners and engage in conversation. In 2009, APU received the Ralph E. Gomory Award for Quality Online Education, and the Association for Continuing Higher Education gave APU the Creative Use of Technology Award. At $8,839 (net) per year, it’s another affordable school.