Ranking Methodology

At, we sort through thousands of online schools to find the very best options based on the factors most important for busy students like you. We understand the reasons you may be looking to pursue an online degree. You may already be working full time, have to take care of family, live in a geographically remote area, or simply want to study from the comfort and convenience of your own home or other places you choose. That’s why we’ve researched dozens of specific study areas and have ranked the best schools in those areas based on affordability, resources, online offerings, student feedback, and overall student success. The majority of the schools on our lists were ranked based on a combination of these factors and represent the best overall option for students seeking online degrees. The following sections provide a guide for lists largely determined by specific factors.


Student Success

Perhaps the most important factor to consider when pursuing any degree from any school is the potential for student success. Students should look for online programs that have high graduation rates as well as high probability for future success in salary, job outlook, or career fulfillment. The following lists took the acceptance and graduation rates, as well as expected salary within a few years of graduating to determine inclusion and order of the lists. The best schools had high graduation rates, good acceptance rates, and great job and salary outlook.


Cost of Attendance

Annual tuition cost and total cost of attendance is a hugely important factor in considering an online school. Of course, you as a student want a quality education from a well-respected program, but you also don’t want to spend years and years in debt due to your college education. The following lists order the schools with the best cost of attendance based on program quality.


Another important factor for consideration is the type of resources colleges and universities provide for students. Online students may be disadvantaged by the limited number of resources available at a distance. Access to tutoring, academic and career advisement, and the school’s library can make completing a degree much easier and less stressful. The following lists rank schools based off of the amount and quality of student resources available online.

Student Feedback

 The best feedback and advice often comes from people similar to you. Such is the case in evaluating online schools. Students that have or have not passed through a program with success can tell you the best and worst qualities of online degrees and programs and help you know if the program is right for you. The following lists were ordered based off of student feedback from past years.



For students interested in nursing, completing a program from a school that is likely to help you pass the NCLEX exam is extremely important. Attending a school with high NCLEX pass rates improves your chances of being well-prepared for the exam and making progress towards a fulfilling career. The following two lists take into account NCLEX pass rates for evaluating schools.