Those looking for distance learning options will find many online colleges in Missouri. Both public and private institutions in the state have begun offering comprehensive degree programs for undergraduates and graduates alike. Missouri has more than 189 post-secondary institutions. Of these, 50 offer online programs. A total of nine are public four-year colleges or universities and six are public community or technical colleges and 35 are private colleges, universities, or career and vocational schools.
Of the online colleges in Missouri, the one with the greatest number of programs online is Park University, which is a 4-year research university. The school offers 60 online programs.
At 6.6 percent, the Missouri unemployment rate is lower than the national average of 7.5 percent. General economic growth is slow, unfortunately. The state appears to be treading water in many industries. The largest industry in Missouri is trade, transportation, and utilities, employing around 519,000 people. Other major employers include businesses and government organizations, education and health services, and manufacturing. One area experiencing recent expansion is the leisure and hospitality industry, which grew 3.6 percent between November 2012 and April 2013.
The state has about 2,588,450 workers. The three biggest industries are:
- Administration: 9 percent
- Retail: 12 percent
- Agriculture: 2 percent
The average wage in Missouri is less than the national average. In the US, workers earn approximately $42,871 per year. However, in Missouri, workers earn approximately $39,780 per year. The highest paid workers in the state earn over $72,400 annually, while the lowest paid workers earn under $16,900 annually. The median annual income for employees is about $30,740.
Tuition for online college courses varies based on factors including the type and location of the institution as well as the program. On average, public four-year colleges and universities in Missouri charge students approximately $6,397 per year. Public community and technical colleges charged students an average of $2,847 per year. Tuition for students at private accredited online colleges ranged from $7,016 to $39,400 per year.
To offset tuition costs, Missouri college students received an estimated $19,696,974,200 worth of financial aid each year. While some of this aid was in the form of loans that had to be paid back, approximately 48 percent of this aid was in the form of scholarships and grants. Institutional grants account for a reported 86 percent of the scholarships and grants.
School accreditation is the process where an official accrediting body evaluates a university in order to determine whether the institution is operating in accordance with certain educational standards. Online universities in Missouri must meet these standards to be accredited and have their degrees sanctioned by employers and other higher learning institutions. An employer or a higher academic body has the right to request repeating classes or a whole degree at an accredited school before accepting you as an employee or a student.
Online colleges and universities in Missouri are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Each of the programs listed above has been accredited by the HLC. School accreditation information should be readily available on schools’ websites; make sure to check when looking into other online schools.
Distance Learning Resources
- Missouri Distance Learning Association is a non-profit organization for students and educators looking to explore online education options throughout Missouri.
- Job Seekers in Missouri is a state-wide job search engine. Search openings, referral information, and career guides for public and private sector positions throughout the state.
- Missouri Online School Directory is a website for searching through online programs by institution, degree, and subject.
- Missouri Grants and Scholarships is the website from the Missouri Department of Education. Review and apply for grants, scholarships, and other financial awards.
- State Library eJournals is an online directory from the Missouri Library’s digital archive. Browse through full-text electronic journals and other reference materials.
- Economy at a Glance is an updated report on economic trends in Missouri from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Filter employment trends by industry, city, and broader geographic area.
Missouri, named from the Missouri Native American tribe name meaning “town of the large canoes”, is located in the Ohio Valley region of the United States. The state, which has an area of 69,707 square miles, is the 21st largest in the nation. Approximately 55°F is Missouri’s average annual temperature.
Missouri has the 18th largest population in the nation. It has 115 counties with a reported population of 5,988,927 residents. About 40% of those living in Missouri are less than 30 years old. With approximately 19 percent of its population identifying itself as belonging to a racial or ethnic minority group, the state has one of the least diverse populations in the US.
Missouri’s capital city is Jefferson City. However, the state’s largest city is Kansas City, which has a population of 459,787 residents. Of the state’s residents, an estimated 13 percent reside in the greater Kansas City area. Some of the other populous cities in Missouri are St. Louis, Springfield, Independence, and Columbia.
Missouri residents typically have a higher than average level of education as compared to those around the country. According to the 2010 Census, a reported 21 percent of the state’s residents over the age of 25 have graduated from high school, 6 percent have at least an associate degree, 5 percent have degrees at the bachelor’s level or higher, and 1 percent hold a graduate level degree.