Special Report

The Best Online Colleges

Methodology

To determine the best online colleges, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on academics, admissions, finance, and student life from school data clearinghouse Niche. We considered schools with a grade of at least B+ in Niche’s 2021 Best Online Colleges in America report. Niche’s ranking includes four-year colleges and universities that are entirely online or offer a majority of their degrees online, and whose student body consists of at least 25% distance-learning students. Data on each school’s physical location also came from Niche. Supplemental data on admission rates in the 2019-20 academic year, median earnings in 2015 of students who entered university in the and 2004-05 academic year, and the most common degree awarded in the 2017-18 academic year came from the National Center for Education Statistics of the U.S. Department of Education.