Online College Rankings



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)
  • Information Technology Bachelors- Online
  • Entertainment Business, Master of Science (Online)
  • And more...

 
American InterContinental University Online

You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.

At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended these programs, go to: www.aiuniv.edu/disclosures

Programs Offered:
  • Master's (M.Ed.) - Leadership of Educational Organizations
  • Bachelor of Accounting
  • Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Law Enforcement
  • And more...

 
Purdue University Global

WELCOME TO PURDUE UNIVERSITY GLOBAL

World-Class Education Tailored for Working Adults

Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Globaldelivers a fully personalized online experience tailored for working adults.

Programs Offered:
  • BS in Business Administration
  • MS in Accounting - Audit Specialization
  • AAS in Criminal Justice
  • And more...

 
University of Illinois at Chicago

Study for your graduate education with University of Illinois at Chicago.

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Science in Health Informatics

 
Northcentral University
  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
Programs Offered:
  • International Business - D.B.A.
  • Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
  • MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
  • And more...

 
Los Angeles Film School

Get the career of your dreams with an education from the Los Angeles Film School.

Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Science, Graphic Design (Online)
  • Associate of Science, Music Production (Online)
  • Bachelor of Science, Digital Filmmaking (Online)
  • And more...

 
Ohio University - Online

Ohio University has offered distance learning educational opportunities for more than 100 years.

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Business Analytics
  • Master of Health Administration

 
Platt College
Turn Your Passion Into A Career with Platt!
 
At Platt College, we encourage our students to follow their passions, wherever they may lie, to find a career they love. You’ll find a supportive learning environment and career-focused training designed to help you gain the knowledge and hands-on training you need to succeed. 
Programs Offered:
  • Business Management - Bachelor
  • Veterinary Technology Alternate Route - Certificate
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • And more...

 
Florida Tech

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

Programs Offered:
  • Associate of Arts in Healthcare Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration/Management
  • Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • And more...

 
Concordia University - Portland

Online Learning at Concordia University–Portland

Programs Offered:
  • M.Ed. In Curriculum and Instruction - Trauma and Resilience in Educational Settings
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: The Inclusive Classroom
  • Higher Education (EDD)
  • 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 Ottawa
York 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 | Privacy Notice | Site Map | Cities Site Map | California - Do Not Sell My Info

Copyright 2003- 2020 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.