An Introduction to AccreditedOnlineColleges.org (AoC.org)

AoC.org was created in 2013. The founding team had one mission: create an easy to use and credible product that connects students to accredited online colleges. These three requirements (easy to use, credible, and only promoting accredited colleges) were important to the team because at that time everyone felt that’s exactly what students could not quickly access off the internet.

In 2013, many websites were being hastily created and as a result, misled students to the wrong programs. These websites were misleading because they promoted only programs the website was affiliated with, such as predatory for-profit programs, and even unaccredited colleges as well. They did not utilize government data to show students the full scope of what’s really available. Even worse, legitimate resources like College Navigator were outdated and not leveraging modern day designs and technology to make the search as easy as possible for students. There just weren’t any good choices.

There are now nearly 1000 accredited colleges offering online programs. We live in a day and age where going to college online is a real alternative. Many times, it’s even more affordable and convenient, and at the end of the day, you’ll still receive the same education as your campus peers.

And this led us to create AoC.org.

Our Mission in Detail

AoC.org was designed to be very easy to use

  • We focused on keeping the architecture small and easy to navigate. We didn’t want students landing on our site and being confused as to how to find more information. You won’t find hundreds of endless categories or our content split over multiple pages. We did our best to keep every major topic limited to one single page. The total page count of the site is kept below 200 and any new page must fit within our major categories in the top navigation bar.
  • We focused on creating intuitive and useful school directories. You’ll find these directories on most of our pages, like our Nursing Degree page or Online Colleges in Texas writeup. One of the core functions of AoC.org is to allow students to search for the perfect online program using filter like: by subject, degree level, or school type. If a student wishes to get in-depth and detailed with their search, our directories allow that too with over 15 search commands and the ability to query a college and view their entire program listing.

AoC.org’s content must be credible

  • We utilized legitimate research sources for all our content. Our sources include: Ed.gov, NCES College Navigator, ED Data Inventory, and actual college websites. Any research our writing team discovered that couldn’t be sourced back to a real, authoritative source, could not be used.
  • We had a high bar for editing out content that wouldn’t be useful to students. Every page was kept very simple and concise on purpose: short introductions, information about every degree available, and related licensing or career information. We cut out everything else, such as redundant descriptions of classes or details on obscure careers students would not need to know. These topics are common in other college search websites because they increase word count and search engine visibility. We did our best to avoid these practices and edit out the noise.

AoC.org can only promote accredited online colleges

  • We only present accredited colleges on our site. Why is accreditation important? Online colleges around the nation want to obtain an accredited status for many important reasons. A college’s academic reputation has a great deal to do with its accreditation status. Accreditation also ensures that graduates’ credits can transfer to other colleges, as well as be accepted by potential employers. All in all, accreditation signifies a school’s credibility, academic reputation and the quality of its instructors. Accreditation also means that a student can rest assured that they are investing their time and money in a degree program that will provide them with the desired end result.
  • We make it easy for students to learn about each college’s accreditation status. In our directories, the first link to the right of the school name is “Accreditation Info”. This information is updated frequently to ensure students receive the most up to date verification.
  • We created a standalone resource so you can learn everything about college accreditation. You can access this by visiting our Accreditation Guide.

2015: Website Upgrade to v2.0

In 2015, we decided it was time to refresh everything on the site. Even though we update our data periodically throughout the year, the team felt we could better serve our audience by re-designing the entire site as well as re-writing our primary content.

Here’s what we did in 2015 to improve our user experience

  • Homepage re-designed: We created a better landing page experience so users can quickly learn about our content and navigate to their desired location.
  • Improved the visual theme: The overall width was extended and fonts optimized for maximum readability. A table of contents module was added as well.
  • Directories were re-designed: This allows easier access and more filtering options.
  • 80% of content was re-written: Everything was updated and outdated content was deleted. We also added many new types of undergraduate degrees including a brand new graduate degree department.
  • More transparency: Our sponsored school search tool is now labeled so it’s clear we are affiliated with these schools. We’ve also created a Disclosure Guide to explain how we generate revenue.

How AoC.org Generates Revenue

In addition to being credible, we want to be transparent. All throughout the site you’ll find a sponsored school search tool. This allows a quick way for students to get in touch with an accredited college offering a program they’re interested in. The schools students find using this tool are affiliated with AoC.org. When a student completely fills out a form, we receive commission from the sponsored school in return. We only receive commission if the form was filled out from the sponsored school search tool, not if the student visits a school’s site on their own and signs up.

We’ve done our best to make this clear as to not mislead students. For more information about how we generate revenue and our sponsored school search, visit our Disclosure Guide.

How to Contact Us

Visit our Contact Page to get in touch!

If you’re interested in sending us mail, here’s our physical mailing address:

113 Cherry St #64337
Seattle, WA 98104-2205


Accredited Online Schools