Special Report

The Best Online Colleges

4. University of Colorado Denver
> Location: Denver, CO
> Admission rate: 63.6%
> Median earnings of workers 10 years after entry: $56,400
> Most common degree: Business, management, marketing, and related support services

The University of Colorado Denver is one of just four colleges on this list that have received an A- overall grade from Niche. The school received B+ grades for its academics and value, and an A for its diversity.

University of Colorado Denver students tend to earn much more than those who attended other schools that ranked among the best online colleges. Most UCD students who work earn over $56,000 per year a decade after leaving the school, with an average earnings of $71,200 — one of the 10 highest averages out of the hundreds of colleges for which there is data.

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3. Oregon State University
> Location: Corvallis, OR
> Admission rate: 80.6%
> Median earnings of workers 10 years after entry: $49,600
> Most common degree: Engineering

Oregon State University is one of the top three online colleges in the country. It has an overall A- grade from Niche, and as a large state school, it has one of the highest enrollments on this list, at nearly 25,000. Nearly half of all these students took at least one class online in the fall of 2019.

The point of college, online or not, is to give students knowledge and skills, which could also help them in the workforce. Most working Oregon State students earned over $49,000 a decade after entering the school, with an average earnings of $56,700 — both figures among the highest of all colleges.

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2. Florida International University
> Location: Miami, FL
> Admission rate: 58.6%
> Median earnings of workers 10 years after entry: $46,300
> Most common degree: Business, management, marketing, and related support services

Of the nearly 42,000 Florida International University students in the fall of 2019, more than two-thirds took either some or all of their classes online. FIU offers 36 different online bachelor’s degrees programs, including computer engineering, biological sciences, economics, hospitality management, and more.

FIU ranks as the second best online university in large part because it received an overall A- grade from Niche. The school also received an A- grade for its professors and its value.

Source: Billy Hathorn / Wikimedia Commons

1. LeTourneau University
> Location: Longview, TX
> Admission rate: 45.5%
> Median earnings of workers 10 years after entry: $48,200
> Most common degree: Engineering

LeTourneau University ranks as the best online college in America, largely because it received very high marks from Niche for its diversity, academics, and value. Of all the schools that rank among the best online colleges, LeTourneau University is the only one with an admission rate under 50%.

Nearly 45% of students at the Longview, Texas-based school took all of their classes online in the fall 2019 semester, even before the COVID-19 pandemic moved nearly all classes online. LeTourneau University offers 19 bachelor’s degree programs and three associate’s degree programs to its online students.