dcsimg



Schools in the USA

Online College Rankings

In the US, a whole industry has arisen focused on the ranking of universities and colleges, with the majority of these rankings focused on bachelor's and master's degree programs at traditional, campus-based universities and colleges. This doesn't mean there is no information to consult for online colleges, though.

National and international organizations such as US News & World Report, The Princeton Review, The Washington Monthly, BusinessWeek and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) based in Shanghai, China, regularly publish general rankings designed to identify the "best" graduate and undergraduate institutions according to quality and value. The most commonly ranked programs are business and engineering. Some of these have rankings in additional publications, such as Forbes, Financial Times and Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. Less "official" rankings can also be found in Rugg's Recommendations on the Colleges, Consumer's Digest, and in student-based resources like StudentsReview.

Some online divisions of major universities and colleges will therefore cite the ranking of their on-campus university or its programs as an indicator of the online division's quality. US News & World report does rank online graduate MBA programs and has a searchable e-learning section, but doesn't offer rankings of undergraduate online colleges or programs. Other potential sources of information are the professional associations for different disciplines or fields: these organizations sometimes publish reports of student surveys on various schools and programs, which provide still more school or program "rankings."

For specifically online-centered information, the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) presents awards for achievement in distance education, so looking to see who they have honored may help supplement your ranking. Less officially, certain websites--from those that are in the business of advertizing online schools to unbiased consumer watchdog and advocacy groups--specialize in distance education and offer their own rankings of online colleges and programs. Some also provide student reviews of online programs. Beware, though, that each of these may have its own agenda, and the legitimacy of these sites, like many on the Internet, is not immediately clear.

Remember also that online colleges can be university, community or career colleges. In fact, enrollment in public two-year colleges' distance education programs continues to grow at an annual rate of 17 percent, according to a recent survey by the Instructional Technology Council. Therefore, you may want to look at rankings of those institutions in The Washington Monthly or Community College Week magazine and then check which ones on the list offer online programs. You can also scan journals about community and career colleges--for instance CommunityCollegeTimes.com or Career College Central--to see what might be said about online schools and programs. As well you may want to scan more general journals about university and particularly online education in America (such as Education Week or eSchool News) to see which schools are mentioned and what is said about them. This kind of news may not be ranking per se, but the information is yours to use and interpret.

Each of these sources, however, uses its own particular set of criteria for evaluating schools and programs. In the case of the controversial Gourman Report (which looks at undergrad programs in all fields), the author specifically refuses to disclose his methodology. How then should all these rankings be interpreted?

First, most ranking reports come with data to support conclusions, and while data collection may be criticized, the creators of these reports usually make an effort to show that statistics are comparable. So the reports can be used by you to compare colleges on the basis of the data provided.

Second, the statistics that come from the rankings can also suggest topics that need to be studied in more detail. For instance, if a school has a high acceptance rate, high tuition fees but a low graduation rate, you may want to ask why.

All US college rankings have one other thing in common: they are a list of institutions and schools. Scanning the list might suggest a school that you had not considered or perhaps even heard of. Used this way, the rankings can help expand your list of online colleges that can then be researched in more detail.

However, you should never judge based on rankings alone. Rankings are important, but there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration. Schools that are less prominent may have a program that suits your needs better than any nationally ranked schools. Often times, smaller schools have the strongest relationships with industries and employers. Once you have accumulated this information, you can create your own online college and university ranking.
 



Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Full Sail University - Online
Push Your Creativity To The Next Level
Programs Offered:
  • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Internet Marketing, Master of Science (Online)
  • Music Production, Bachelors of Science (Online)
  • And more...

 
Georgetown University

Georgetown University is a private, not-for-profit, accredited university located in Washington, DC. Founded in 1789 by John Carroll, Georgetown is America’s oldest Catholic and Jesuit University.

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Professional Studies in Sports Industry Management
  • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate
  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
  • And more...

 
Platt College
Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
Programs Offered:
  • Veterinary Technology Alternate Route - Certificate
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Veterinary Technology - Associates

 
Regis College

Regis is a leading Catholic university in greater Boston with undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in the arts, sciences and health professions devoted to engage, serve and advance in a global community.

Programs Offered:
  • Online Master of Health Administration

 
Saint Xavier University

Saint Xavier University, Chicago’s oldest Catholic university, has a long history of educating students to prepare them for professional success and lay the foundation for personal fulfillment.

Programs Offered:
  • Nurse Educator Certificate
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Clinical Leadership
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nurse Educator
  • And more...

 
Columbia International University

For nearly a century, Columbia International University has educated people from a biblical worldview to impact the nations with the message of Christ. 

Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Science in Business
  • Associate of Arts in Business
  • Master of Business Administration

 
American University - MBA

American University’s Kogod School of Business has been educating business leaders since opening its doors in 1955 as Washington D.C.’s first university-level school of business.

Programs Offered:
  • MBA

 
Liberty University

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

Programs Offered:
  • Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
  • Doctor of Ministry: Evangelism & Church Planting
  • M.Div: Homiletics
  • And more...

 
Jacksonville University

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

Programs Offered:
  • MSN Leadership in Healthcare Systems
  • Master of Science in Applied Business Analytics
  • RN to MSN in Clinical Nurse Educator
  • And more...

 
Logan University

Logan is a non-profit university founded in 1935. Logan University has remained grounded in chiropractic education, while continuously enriching academic options with degree offerings in health sciences since 2012.

Programs Offered:
  • Doctor of Health Professionals Education
  • Master of Science - Sports Science & Rehabilitation
  • Master of Science - Nutrition & Human Performance
  • And more...

 
Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Oregon
University of OttawaYork University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
Music
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Policy Statement | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2017 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.