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Online Colleges in
WISCONSIN

Online Colleges in Wisconsin

Article Sources
  • College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed October 24, 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
  • QuickFacts, U.S. Census Bureau, accessed October 24, 2016, http://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/00
  • U.S. News & World Report, accessed October 24, 2016: Wisconsin Colleges, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/wi?_mode=list; University of Wisconsin - Madison, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/university-of-wisconsin-3895; University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/uw-whitewater-3926; Marquette University, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/marquette-university-3863; University of Wisconsin - Platteville, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/uw-platteville-3921; University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/uw-oshkosh-9630; University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/uw-la-crosse-3919; Concordia University Wisconsin, http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/concordia-mequon-3842
  • Labor Market Information, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, accessed October 24, 2016, http://www.floridajobs.org/labor-market-information
  • Degree Programs - Online Education, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, accessed October 24, 2016, https://www.uwlax.edu/online/academics/degree-programs/; 0
  • Top Universities, Center for World University Rankings, accessed October 24, 2016, http://cwur.org/2016.php
  • Tuition and Fees by Sector and State over Time, The College Board, accessed October 24, 2016, https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-fees-sector-state-over-time
  • Labor Market Information, Job Center of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, accessed October 24, 2016, http://wisconsinjobcenter.org/labormarketinfo/
  • Occupational Information Included in the OOH, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed October 24, 2016, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/About/Occupational-Information-Included-in-the-OOH.htm
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed October 24, 2016: Statisticians, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Math/Statisticians.htm; Biochemists and Biophysicists, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Life-Physical-and-Social-Science/Biochemists-and-biophysicists.htm; Personal Financial Advisors, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Personal-financial-advisors.htm; Software Developers, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/software-developers.htm;
  • Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, accessed October 24, 2016: May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Wisconsin, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_WI.htm; May 2011 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Wisconsin, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2011/may/oes_wi.htm; Statisticians, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes152041.htm; Biochemists and Biophysicists, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes191021.htm; Personal Financial Advisors, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes132052.htm; Software Developers, Applications, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes151132.htm;
  • Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, accessed October 24, 2016, http://www.cfp.net/
  • Best Computer Programming Certifications for 2016, Tom's IT Pro, accessed October 24, 2016,http://www.tomsitpro.com/articles/programming-certifications,2-274.html
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The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) counts more than 100 universities, vocational academies and other campus-based and online schools and colleges in Wisconsin, according to 2016 data, and degree programs available all across the state can help you enhance your knowledge and energize your career.

Snapshot: Education in the Badger State

Here's a detailed breakdown of how many of each type of institution were tallied by the NCES in 2016:

Institution type No. offering bachelor's degrees No. offering associate's degrees No. offering certificates and other non-degree awards No. offering advanced degrees (master's, Ph.D., etc.)
Private for-profit2222476
Private nonprofit2572224
Public15272715

Students in traditional as well as online degree programs can benefit from living in a place where the needs of an academic life may be met by local businesses and other organizations, which can happen when a strong enough student presence exists in an area. Here's what the student presence in several Wisconsin cities looks like:

City Total estimated population
(U.S. Census, 2015)
No. of enrolled students
(NCES, 2016)
No. of students as a percentage of total population % of residents with bachelor's degrees
(U.S. Census, 2015)
Milwaukee599,49857,0899.52 percent 23.3 percent
Madison243,12248,49419.95 percent 55.1 percent
La Crosse51,99313,21525.42 percent 31.1 percent
Eau Claire67,38512,96819.24 percent 32.4 percent
Oshkosh66,5829,80714.73 percent 24.4 percent
Stevens Point26,7698,23930.78 percent 35.9 percent
Green Bay104,8478,2157.84 percent 23.7 percent

The average annual tuition cost for Wisconsin schools equipped to award bachelor's degrees was $8,815 in the 2015-16 academic year, according to a report released by The College Board, but certain colleges and universities in Wisconsin came with a much higher or lower average expense. In-state students at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside paid the state's lowest tuition and fees in 2016, with a yearly average of $7,387, while Beloit College charged the state's highest average of $47,060 the same year.

Online education in Wisconsin

The ability to study at online colleges and schools in Wisconsin can be a relief to busy parents, working professionals, rural students trying to continue their education without making the commute to an urban campus and several other groups of students in non-traditional circumstances. Here's a table of the institutions offering online programs in Wisconsin:

Ranking information for traditional and online Wisconsin schools

Many traditional as well as online colleges in Wisconsin have received favorable attention from national and global university ranking agencies. Here are just a few of the Wisconsin schools that made national or international lists this year:

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Rank Category Ranking Agency
No. 25 Global Universities Center for World University Rankings
Lawrence University
Rank Category Ranking Agency
No. 60(tie) National Liberal Arts Colleges U.S. News & World Report
Beloit College
Rank Category Ranking Agency
No. 62 (tie) National Liberal Arts Colleges U.S. News & World Report
Marquette University
Rank Category Ranking Agency
No. 53 (tie) Best Colleges for Veterans U.S. News & World Report
Milwaukee School of Engineering
Rank Category Ranking Agency
No. 11 (tie) Regional Universities (Midwest) U.S. News & World Report
Wisconsin Lutheran Colleges
Rank Category Ranking Agency
No. 20 Regional Colleges Midwest U.S. News & World Report
Medical College of Wisconsin
Rank Category Ranking Agency
No. 308 Global Universities Center for World University Rankings

Top degree programs at online colleges in Wisconsin

Some of the degree programs available at online schools and colleges in Wisconsin have ranked among the nation's best in recent U.S. News surveys. Here's some ranking information on the top programs available online at Wisconsin schools:

University of Wisconsin - Madison
Rank Degree program Highlights
No. 6 Engineering Several online graduate degrees in engineering can be earned at UW Madison, each with a project-based curriculum that focuses on solving real-world engineering problems.
University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
Rank Degree program Highlights
No. 7 (tie) Online bachelor's degrees Specially trained online faculty teach the online bachelor's degree courses at UW Whitewater, and the school's residency-independent online tuition rates include the cost of textbooks.
Marquette University
Rank Degree program Highlights
No. 20 Computer information technology Working professionals looking for a career change in the IT realm may appreciate the online IT degree at Marquette, which the Milwaukee institution has designed for maximum flexibility.
University of Wisconsin - Platteville
Rank Degree program Highlights
No. 28 (tie) Criminal justice Online criminal justice study plans at UW Platteville include three emphasis areas -- criminal justice theory, criminal justice management and victim and offender services.

Industries and degrees to get in Wisconsin

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the nationwide job market will grow by about 7 percent between 2014 and 2024, although certain occupations have a much rosier growth outlook than the average. Here are a few of the hottest jobs for graduates of standard and online schools and colleges in Wisconsin, along with state-focused employment data from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and salary figures calculated by the BLS:

HOT DEGREES AND TOP JOBS FOR WISCONSIN GRADUATES
Statistician
Why it's hot
Degree information
The importance of thorough and detailed statistical analysis is growing in several fields, from business to sports to politics, and demand for trained statisticians is growing right along with it. The DWD projects 40.4 percent employment growth among Wisconsin statisticians between 2014 and 2024, even more than the 34 percent growth expected nationally. Statistician salaries are also on the rise in the Badger State, according to the BLS — the statewide mean annual wage of $75,790 is up more than $10,000 from the 2011 report. A master's degree is typically required for a professional statistician to find a job in the field, although degrees in quantitative fields other than statistics itself may also be acceptable. A master's degree in mathematics, for example, may also give you the skills you need, and many types of computer science degrees can prepare you for the quantitative modeling tasks that statisticians often perform. If you're hoping to find a job conducting independent research or teaching statistics at the highest levels of academia, however, you'll probably need a Ph.D.
Biochemist
Why it's hot
Degree information
Jobs for biochemists and biophysicists are only expected to grow by about 8 percent nationally by 2024, but the Wisconsin DWD projects the statewide increase to be nearly three times greater. Biochemists in Wisconsin should see job growth of 22.2 percent over the next several years, according to recent projections, particularly in the areas around Madison and Milwaukee. Members of this highly skilled profession earned a mean annual salary of $66,110 in 2015, with the top 10 percent of earners taking home $99,960 or more. Biochemistry and biophysics are primarily research occupations, and as such most aspiring bio-scientists will need a Ph.D. to earn the career's full set of professional responsibilities. Most students start studying the sciences early in their college education, earning bachelor's degrees in such fields as biology, chemistry, physics and engineering with some training in quantitative subjects like math and computer science. Certain positions in the biochemistry industry may be available to graduates with just a bachelor's or master's degree, particularly if they have some practical experience in a related field.
Personal Financial Advisor
Why it's hot
Degree information
As more people come to realize that a sound personal finance strategy can make life a little more manageable, financial advisors are enjoying a sturdy upward surge in job growth all over the country. Projections from the Wisconsin DWD show an expected 26.3 percent increase between 2014 and 2024, leading to more than 1,300 new jobs being created statewide. Salary compensation for personal financial advisor positions is robust in the state as well, with the 2015 mean annual pay of $91,060 representing a $13,000 increase over the mean salary reported in 2011.

The BLS reports that personal financial advisors need at least a bachelor's degree in business, finance, accounting, economics, mathematics or law, but employers may also provide on-the-job training that allows graduates with other degrees to get their foot in the door. In competitive job markets, a master's degree or certification such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP) may help your chances of standing out from the field of applicants. The CFP credential requires a bachelor's degree, three years of relevant work experience and the successful completion of an exam that covers such topics as investment, risk management, retirement planning and more.

Software Developer
Why it's hot
Degree information
There's no denying that today's world relies more heavily on software applications than any generation that's come before, and the code wizards who produce those applications are in high demand at multiple levels of the job market. Employment of applications software developers in Wisconsin is projected to increase 18.8 percent by 2024, and the annual pay figures for the occupation are encouraging: the statewide mean annual applications developer salary was $83,680 in 2015, and the top 25 percent of earners made $98,380 or more for the year. Most employers require at least a bachelor's degree from their candidates for software developer jobs. Degrees in subjects such as computer science or software engineering are typically most desired, although graduates in mathematics or other branches of engineering may also have the necessary skills. Senior positions or jobs with highly competitive firms may require further education, perhaps asking for a master's or Ph.D. in computer science or a related field, and IT certifications such as the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) and Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) for Developers credentials can also help your hiring chances.

Featured schools in Wisconsin

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Whatever your academic ambitions, chances are that at least one of the traditional or online Wisconsin schools can take you where you want to be. Here's a quick list of some of the best-rated programs, from sources like U.S. News & World Report or the Center for World University Rankings, at a few of the top schools in the state:

Institution Name
Online Degrees?
Top Programs
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Graduate education, engineering (on campus and online), agricultural sciences, economics, Earth sciences, math, physics, chemistry, biological sciences, law, primary care medicine, psychology, computer science, history, pharmacy, physical therapy, library and information studies

Marquette University

Physical therapy, nursing, computer science (on campus and online), physician assisting, speech-language pathology, history, law, chemistry, engineering, psychology, biological sciences

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

Graduate business, graduate nursing (on campus and online), MBA (on campus and online), doctoral nursing

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

MBA (on campus and online), graduate business, speech-language pathology, online bachelor's degrees

Concordia University Wisconsin

Graduate nursing, doctoral nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, MBA (online), pharmacy

Article Sources
Methodology

To get our list of the best colleges, we ranked 1,649 4-year colleges and universities in the U.S. Each school was scored on a 100-point scale, using the most recent data available from government sources. Our data points include:

  • The in-state tuition and fees for full-time undergraduates, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • The estimated cost of books and supplies, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • The average net price for students receiving Title IV grant and scholarship aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • The average net price for low-income students receiving Title IV grant and scholarship aid, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • The average amount of institutional grant aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduate students as a percentage of in-state tuition and fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2014-15
  • Median debt of graduates, College Scorecard, 2014-15
  • 3-year student loan repayment rate of graduates, College Scorecard, 2014-15
  • No. of degree and certificate programs offered, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • No. of degree and certificate programs offered via distance education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Percent of students enrolled in any distance education classes, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Average retention rate for full-time and part-time students, National Center for Education Statistics, Fall 2015-16
  • Graduation rate within six years, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
  • Flexibility and student services, based on whether the school offers the following services, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015-16
    • Dual credit
    • Credit for life experience
    • Advanced Placement credit
    • Programs of study that can be completed entirely on weekends or in the evening
    • Remedial services
    • Academic and career counseling
    • Job placement services for graduates
    • Guaranteed tuition plan
    • Tuition payment plan
    • Any other alternative tuition plan
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21st Century eSchool
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
7106 South Avenue
City
Middleton
State
WI
Zip Code
53562
Website
http://www.21eschool.com/index.html
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
21st Century Virtual Academy
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1829 Denver West Drive #27
City
Golden
State
CO
Zip Code
80401
Website
http://www.jeffcopublicschools.org/online/
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
Academy Online High School
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1110 Chapel Hills Drive
City
Colorado Springs
State
CO
Zip Code
80920
Website
http://www.asd20.org/education/school/school.php?sectionid=3858
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
ACCESS Distance Learning
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
5351 Gordon Persons Building PO Box 302101
City
Montgomery
State
AL
Zip Code
36130
Website
http://accessdl.state.al.us/
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
Alabama A & M University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
4900 Meridian Street
City
Normal
State
AL
Zip Code
35762
Website
www.aamu.edu/
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
383-470
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
360-480
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
370-457
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
16-19
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
4,505
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admissions Rate
65%
Offers On-Campus Housing
1
In-State Tution & Fees
$9,366
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
19
Number of Online Programs Offered
2
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
15%
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
Administration Bldg Suite 1070
City
Birmingham
State
AL
Zip Code
35294
Website
www.uab.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
520-630
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
520-668
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
22-28
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
11,511
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admissions Rate
60%
Offers On-Campus Housing
1
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,766
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
13
Number of Online Programs Offered
6
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
67%
Amridge University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1200 Taylor Rd
City
Montgomery
State
AL
Zip Code
36117
Website
www.amridgeuniversity.edu
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
308
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$50
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
0
In-State Tution & Fees
$10,860
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
10
Number of Online Programs Offered
22
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
100%
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
301 Sparkman Dr
City
Huntsville
State
AL
Zip Code
35899
Website
www.uah.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
520-650
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
550-680
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
24-30
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
6,013
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admissions Rate
81%
Offers On-Campus Housing
1
In-State Tution & Fees
$9,128
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
20
Number of Online Programs Offered
15
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
12%
Alabama State University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
915 S Jackson Street
City
Montgomery
State
AL
Zip Code
36104
Website
www.alasu.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
370-450
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
360-460
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
16-19
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Midsize
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
4,764
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$25
Admissions Rate
46%
Offers On-Campus Housing
1
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,720
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
18
Number of Online Programs Offered
4
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
13%
University of Alabama System Office
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
500 University Blvd. East
City
Tuscaloosa
State
AL
Zip Code
35401
Website
www.uasystem.ua.edu
Test Scores
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
-
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
-
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
-
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
0
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$
Admissions Rate
0%
Offers On-Campus Housing
-1
In-State Tution & Fees
$0
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
0
Number of Online Programs Offered
-
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
0%
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