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Online and On-Campus Colleges

Thousands of accredited schools across the country — including accredited online colleges — offer everything from certificate programs to degree programs at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s level and even beyond. It’s not so much a question of where you can find a program as it is to find a program and school that’s right for you.

Online schools offer a unique opportunity to learn from anywhere there's an internet connection. You often have more flexibility since there is no set class schedule and online schools may be cheaper than on-campus options.

The first thing you may want to think about is whether you’d rather attend a campus-based school or an online college. Both have benefits. Finding the best school for you is a matter of understanding the major differences between the two options. And if you’re not sure which type might best meet your needs, you may want to look into schools that offer a mix of both! View the top 4-year colleges in the U.S. by state, below. When you're done, be sure to read about the best community colleges states can offer, too. 

benefits of online education
Flexibility

If you’d like to attend classes from home, in the evenings, or while you’re away from home, attending an online school may be a good choice.

Availability

Online learning means you’re not limited by physical location. You can still take classes even if the top schools for your program are far away.

Timing

If you’re juggling job or family responsibilities, an accredited online college can accommodate your need to earn a degree at your own pace.

Cost

Online education may be significantly cheaper, especially if you won't need to pay from room and board or a meal plan on campus.

Variety

Have a wide range of interests? You might have more luck finding online schools that offer both nursing degrees and business programs than on-campus ones.

Comfort

Live in a busy traffic area? Overwhelmed by crowds? Commuting to the living room for online classes instead of a campus may be a good option for you.

benefits of on-campus education
Face-to-Face Time

More personal interaction with your peers and professors might better suit your learning style or field of study.

Networking

Chatting with fellow students in your classroom, plus on-campus job fairs and alumni events, can help you build your professional network and make essential industry contracts.

Resources

Many campuses have facilities like gyms, libraries, and stadiums that can not only positively contribute to your studies but also to living a healthy lifestyle.

Hands-on

If you are pursuing a subject that requires, say, lab hours, then being on a campus where you have everything at your fingertips and a professor there to help may work better.

Schedules

Set class times and hard deadlines can hold you more firmly to completing your coursework than an online degree program that requires more self-discipline to complete.

Opportunities

Campuses often regularly host guest lecturers, artists, authors and other public speakers to interact with students and answer questions.