Attending college online may seem risky, and online degree accreditation can be confusing when you're just starting to pursue a degree. AccreditedOnlineColleges.org aims to offer the web's best resource for finding online educational opportunities. We are proud to host a searchable directory that will help you find the colleges that fit your educational needs.
Want to know where to go to college in your state? We've got you covered! Our state pages compile data for every accredited college in the nation. Use these guides to learn what online programs are offered in your state and details about each college.
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If you spend your time and money on a degree, you need to know that it will actually net the end result – usually a job – that you desire. Accreditation helps to ensure that your education meets the standards required by potential employers or for further educational opportunities. Accreditation exists as a check on schools, ensuring that students study at legitimate institutions. A university that has been assessed by an accrediting body can provide proof that it meets the current exacting standards for higher education. As the process is expensive, accreditation also limits the extent to which disreputable educational institutions can successfully function as “diploma mills” that provide degrees with little or no educational value.
Every school on our list has been carefully checked for accreditation and we provide a list of the programs they offer and information on their accreditation for your reference.
You can search our database in a number of different ways, including one or a combination of the following:
You can also browse listings for each state in the U.S. independently.
You may find that you create a search so specific that it does not return any results. If this happens to you, consider making your search broader.
Many accredited higher educational institutions offer online programs to meet the growing demand for online study, and while not every subject is best suited for online courses, programs often compare favorably to traditional study.
Pursuing your degree online puts you in control. Traditional school programs demand regular attendance, and are often tailored to the rhythms of campus life, which can be at odds with work and family life. While some courses have virtual “meetings” occasionally, these are usually for the benefit of collaborating with other students for particular projects or assignments. Most classes simply set deadlines for projects or tests and allow you to work at your own pace. Some online programs even let you learn faster than traditional programs and earn your credits at an accelerated pace. Similarly, if you are studying “part time,” taking a course when you can while accumulating credit towards a degree, online study lets you better manage your time.
Online study also lets you study wherever you want. You are not limited to local institutions, and you don’t have to move or change your life around to pursue online studies. You are also not limited to what subjects or programs you can study. An online college accredited to teach Russian literature or nanotechnology may be thousands of miles away, but online courses are instantly at your fingertips.
Online study has benefits even for traditional students. Courses from accredited online schools should transfer for credit to your current institution (although you should confirm this with your advisor), letting you study subjects your school doesn’t offer or earn credit when your schedule is busier than usual. Blended courses, which combine internet-based instruction with occasional campus visits, are also available, combining some advantages of both online and offline study.
Despite these benefits, do not assume your course of study will be easy simply because it is offered online. Any accredited online school will deliver a challenging, high-quality curriculum. While you will be able to study at any time, you will still need to take time out of your schedule to focus on coursework. You need discipline and self-motivation to complete your classwork on time. Some courses hold regular meetings through videoconferencing, and nearly all have some deadlines for coursework. In addition to these skills, you need reliable access to a computer with an Internet connection, as well as some skill in navigating online content, although these are relatively easy to learn.
Verifying accreditation is a vital step, but there is more to finding the ideal school for you among the huge numbers of accredited online universities out there. Take your time researching potential schools and making your choice.
First, consider your goals. In addition to your degree, do you want to network with other professionals? Are you already working in a field and seeking to improve your skills, or are you changing careers? Are you established professionally or pursuing a degree straight from high school? Considering your personal goals and even your personality can guide your choices as you search accredited online schools. For instance, if you value networking a great deal, choose a school close enough to you to permit you to attend blended courses.
Once you have your broad goal in mind, get specific. For instance, state your goal to study business and marketing in order to further your personal business, versus simply getting your MBA. This will help you find a program that suits your specific needs with the best faculty and coursework to get there. Getting specific will also help you find programs accredited in the particular subject you want to study. While a nationally or regionally accredited institution will provide an adequate program, you can be sure a programmatically accredited school has been carefully studied by experts in that field.
Finally, decide how you will fund your education. Accreditation is vital in this respect, as many programs that offer grants, benefits (such as the GI Bill) or subsidized student loans will only provide them to students enrolled at accredited institutions. This is to protect the interest of the public, as well as to prevent you from accidentally misusing benefits or grants at an illegal diploma mill, or having to take out costly, high-interest loans to earn your degree. Similarly, if you have saved money for your education, an accredited program will help guarantee that hard-earned money is put to good use. Online study is often less costly than studying in traditional schools, especially when you compare the cost of an Internet connection and a personal computer to the price of regular travel to campus or dormitory costs. However, costs for books and tuition can still be significant, even for online schools.