dcsimg

Online and On-Campus Colleges in
MARYLAND

Online and On-Campus Colleges in & Maryland

Article Sources
  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2015-16, National Center for Education Statistics, accessed March 2, 2016, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2014-15, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, accessed March 2, 2016, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
  • School pages, accessed March 27, 2017: University of Maryland, https://umd.edu/; Online Learning @ FSU, Frostburg State University, http://www.frostburg.edu/online/degree-programs-and-courses/; Net Price Calculator, Bergen Community College, http://bergen.edu/Portals/0/calculator/npcalc.htm; The University of Baltimore, for Baltimore, The University of Baltimore, http://www.ubalt.edu/about-ub/ub-for-baltimore.cfm; About, Bowie State University, https://www.bowiestate.edu/about/; Bachelor and Associate Degree Programs, Capitol Technology University, https://www.captechu.edu/academics/undergraduate-academics/bachelor-and-associate-degree-programs; About, St. Mary's College of Maryland, http://www.smcm.edu/about/;
  • Agreements Between USM and Community Colleges Ease Transfer for Maryland Students, University System of Maryland, accessed March 27, 2017, http://usmh12.usmd.edu/newsroom/news/114
  • Overall Rankings, Johns Hopkins University, U.S. News and World Report, accessed March 27, 2017, https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/jhu-2077/overall-rankings
  • State Financial Assistance Programs & Applications, Maryland Higher Education Commission, accessed March 27, 2017, http://mhec.maryland.gov/preparing/Pages/FinancialAid/descriptions.aspx
X

Maryland is a relatively small state, but the variety of college experiences available to Maryland students is sizeable. Whether you prefer a large campus in a big city or a more intimate school in a laid-back town setting, one of the best traditional or online colleges in Maryland is likely to have what you're looking for.

The University System of Maryland (USM) administrates 12 colleges and universities in the Old Line State, including the main and satellite campuses of the state's flagship public university. Schools in the state system participate in a series of agreements with Maryland's community colleges, allowing students in certain programs to streamline the university transfer process. The USM articulation system, or ARTSYS, serves as an umbrella program to help transfer students plan their path to a university degree.

In order to figure out which ones among the dozens of Maryland colleges could be called the best, we collected a ton of National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data and analyzed it with our in-house methodology. Factors such as affordability, flexibility, student success and more helped shape our approach to ranking the top 10 schools in the state. Read on to find out who made the cut.

Best 4-Year Colleges in Maryland

Here are the top 10 colleges and universities in Maryland, out of the total of 24 public and private institutions we studied.

Methodology
1University of Maryland-College Park+
ADMISSION RATE
45%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$65
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
26

Our No. 1 school put up some impressive numbers in multiple categories, giving it not only the top spot in Maryland but also landing it among the top 10 schools nationwide. The main campus location of the University of Maryland offered the largest number of degree programs in the state in 2015-16, had the No. 1 student retention rate and graduated a higher percentage of its student body than all other Maryland schools but one.

It also places a sturdy focus on educational access through financial aid. It provided the highest proportion of institutional grant aid per student of any school on our list. Average net price at UMD — an affordability measure that deducts expected grant and scholarship aid from the average cost of tuition, fees, supplies, housing and other expenses — was No. 1 in the state for low-income students.

Additional Info
2Towson University+
ADMISSION RATE
73%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$45
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
29

This Baltimore County school also made it into the national top 40 on our analysis, out of more than 1,600 colleges and universities across the country. Students looking for an online bachelor's degree in Maryland had an array of options to choose from, with no fewer than 29 degree programs offered via distance education in 2015-16. Only one other school in the state provided more study plans in the virtual classroom than Towson University.

Multiple affordability metrics tilted in Towson's favor, as well. It ranked in the statewide top 10 for the affordability of its average tuition and fees expense, and its average net price placed at No. 6 in the state for middle- and low-income students. Cost of books and supplies at Towson was second best among schools on our list.

Additional Info
3Coppin State University+
ADMISSION RATE
37%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$50
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
3

Coppin State University took the No. 3 spot overall thanks to its top-tier affordability scores across the board on our analysis. Not only were its costs of tuition, fees, books and supplies the lowest of any school on our list, but the average net price for middle-income students was also No. 1 in the state. CSU graduates also left school with the third-lowest debt load among our top 10 Maryland schools.

Flexibility metrics like credit exams for life experience and weekend and evening degree programs were another bright spot for CSU students. The Baltimore school offered eight of the ten such measures on our analysis. Career counseling, remedial assistance and placement services for graduating students are all available for students who need them.

Additional Info
4University of Maryland-Baltimore County+
ADMISSION RATE
59%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$50
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
14

The Baltimore County location of the University of Maryland tied at No. 3 in the state for its selection of campus-based degree programs. Students seeking an online bachelor's degree in Maryland also have plenty to choose from at this big city institution, where the array of online degree programs came in at No. 5 statewide in 2015-16.

UMBC students were awarded the third-highest proportion of institutional grant aid of all the schools on our list, and the numbers show that they tended to recoup their investment fairly quickly. The NCES reports that more than 78 percent of UMBC graduates repaid their loan balance within three years after completing their degree, the fourth-highest percentage among our top 10 schools.

Additional Info
5Frostburg State University+
ADMISSION RATE
63%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$30
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
6

The average net price for students at Frostburg State University was third-lowest in Maryland in 2015, thanks in part to a tuition and fees expense that placed at No. 6 statewide for affordability. Students also have access to financing plans and other alternative measures of tuition repayment. The average net price for middle-income students at FSU placed at No. 3 in the state.

Eight of the ten most popular four-year degree programs in the state were available at Frostburg State University in 2017. FSU also features a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N) degree that can be earned completely online, for registered nurses hoping to advance their career without taking undue time away from work.

Additional Info
6University of Baltimore+
ADMISSION RATE
53%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$30
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
8

Another affordable option for Baltimore students is the city's namesake university, which ranked fifth in the state for average net price and affordability of tuition and fees. Only five other schools in the state saw their students finish degrees with a lower average debt load than the University of Baltimore. IT was also one of the best online colleges in Maryland, placing at No. 4 statewide for its percentage of students taking at least some of their coursework online.

The University of Baltimore also works to give back to the community of Maryland's largest city. It provides support and guidance to city leaders in complying with the UN's Sustainable Cities Initiative, offers student internship programs with city and state institutions and administrates a benefits program for university employees hoping to buy a home near the campus.

Additional Info
7Bowie State University+
ADMISSION RATE
57%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$40
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
1

With more than 150 years of history behind it, Bowie State University is the oldest historically black college/university (HBCU) in Maryland and one of the ten oldest in the nation at large. Students at Bowie State have a range of options to help them see their education through to the end, including counseling services, exams for life experience credit and tuition payment plans.

Bowie State charged its students the second-lowest average net price in the state in 2015, and affordability of tuition and fees at this relatively small school came in at No. 2 among our top Maryland schools. It placed in the statewide top 10 for its variety of academic programs offered on campus, and its sixth-ranked distance education enrollment rate qualifies it as one of the best online colleges in Maryland as well.

Additional Info
8Johns Hopkins University+
ADMISSION RATE
14%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$70
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
75

This prestigious private institution has one of the largest student bodies in the state — more than 22,000 in 2015 — and is far and away the most prolific distance education provider on our list. Johns Hopkins students had no fewer than 75 online degrees available to them in 2015-16, placing the Baltimore school among the top 10 colleges nationwide for distance education access.

Johns Hopkins also features some of the top degree programs in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report. Its bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering ranked at No. 2 in the country in 2017, and its four-year undergraduate degree in environmental engineering finished in a tie at No. 7.

Additional Info
9Capitol Technology University+
ADMISSION RATE
97%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$25
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
16

One of the largest schools in the state is followed at No. 9 by one of the smallest. Just over 800 students were enrolled at Capitol Technology University in 2015, according to the NCES. Even with that fact, Capitol ranked at No. 4 among the best online colleges in Maryland for its 16 degree plans available online in 2015-16. It also ran away with the online enrollment rate category, reporting that nearly 85 percent of students took at least some of their 2015-16 classes online.

The Laurel school offers just 13 four-year undergraduate degree programs, according to Capitol's website, and the school's general focus on technology shines through in its degree catalog. Engineering subjects dominate the list of programs, along with a few computer science degrees and one in business administration.

Additional Info
10St. Mary's College of Maryland+
ADMISSION RATE
79%
TEST REQUIREMENTS
Required
APPLICATION FEE
$50
NO. OF ONLINE PROGRAMS
0

This small public liberal arts college in St. Mary's City landed at No. 10 by focusing on helping its roughly 1,700 students afford their trip through college. The average net price of a year at St. Mary's was the third-most affordable statewide for low-income students in 2015-16, and more than 88 percent of graduates managed to repay their student loans within three years of finishing their degrees.

St. Mary's also had the No. 4 graduation rate in the state in 2015-16 and finished in the top 8 for both student retention rate and median debt load of graduating students. It may have finished higher up the list if it weren't for the absence of distance education options for students seeking location flexibility in their degree plans.

Additional Info

Most popular degree programs in Maryland

Having an idea of the most popular study plans can help you get a picture of the educational priorities in force in your state, which may inform your own path through college. Here's a list of the top campus-based and online bachelor's degree programs in Maryland.

In-Demand Careers in Maryland

Matching up your schooling to the needs of a high-demand industry can give you certain advantages on the career market after graduation. Check out this list of the top careers in Maryland and find out which subjects of study are most likely to help you get ahead in the workforce.

Career Title Projected Job Growth Total Employment Annual Salary
Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas95.9%460-
Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary56.8%1,250$76,560
Interpreters and Translators55.1%890$66,800
Information Security Analysts52%4,440$104,830
Home Health Aides49.5%11,740$25,080
Personal Care Aides49.5%14,330$24,900
Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners47.4%2,850$54,620
Genetic Counselors46.8%-$90,560
Occupational Therapy Assistants46.8%560$65,350
Skincare Specialists45.9%660$41,360
Physical Therapist Assistants43.2%1,480$57,670
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists41.2%9,980$65,370
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers40.1%1,370$71,690
Occupational Therapy Aides40%110$30,950
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors39.7%6,550$47,810
Self-Enrichment Education Teachers39.6%5,090$46,670
Physical Therapist Aides39%1,590$27,610
Political Scientists38.6%100$114,840
Philosophy and Religion Teachers, Postsecondary38.6%410$84,000
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program38.4%1,040$51,510
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education38.4%9,330$35,090
Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary37.4%940$92,910
Coaches and Scouts37.3%2,990$44,590
Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs37%4,770$27,850
Operations Research Analysts36.9%3,880$93,910
Computer Systems Analysts36.5%15,760$95,890
Anthropologists and Archeologists36.2%180$74,770
Social and Human Service Assistants35.9%8,200$35,460
Medical Secretaries35.9%11,850$36,880
Law Teachers, Postsecondary35.7%50$142,620
Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Financial Aid and Scholarships in Maryland

The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) provides an assortment of grants and scholarships to students who are official residents of the state. Here are just a few of the plans available to qualifying students:

  • The Howard P. Rawlings Program of Educational Excellence consists of three separate grants for high school seniors and enrolled college students.
  • The 2+2 Transfer Scholarship is designed to encourage community college students to continue their education at the bachelor's level.
  • The Maryland legislature features a Delegate Scholarship and a Senatorial Scholarship that may award between $200 and $11,250 depending on a student's financial need.
 
Janet L. Hoffman Loan Assistance Repayment Program
Applicant must graduate from a college in Maryland or from a law school and be employed full-time in state or local government or in a nonprofit organization in Maryland. Applicant's employer must help low income, underserved residents or underserved areas in the state. Applicant must have loans from a university, government, or commercial source used to pay for college expenses. Applicant may not be in default on a loan. Gross salary cannot exceed $50,000 and, if married, combined salaries cannot exceed $110,000.
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$30,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

November 1

RENEWAL CRITERIA

Reapplication required for renewal.

 
Loan Assistance Repayment Program in Primary Care Services
Applicant must be a Maryland resident at time of service obligation, a U.S. citizen or national, have graduated from a college in Maryland or a medical school, have a valid unrestricted license to practice primary care medicine in Maryland, at least one year remaining in a residency program in primary care if a medical resident, work as a primary care physician in Maryland for a period of two to four years, and must not be in default of education loans or have incomplete service obligations.
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$30,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Not Available

RENEWAL CRITERIA

Renewable after completion of service obligation.

 
Loan Assistance Repayment Program in Maryland Dent-Care
Applicant must be a Maryland resident at time of service obligation, a U.S. citizen or national. Applicant must have received a dental degree from a Maryland college or university or an accredited U.S. dental school, be employed as a full-time dentist in Maryland, have a valid unrestricted Maryland dental license, not breached an obligation for service to federal, state or local goverment entity, and must not be in default of education loans or have incomplete service obligation.
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$23,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Not Available

RENEWAL CRITERIA

Renewable after completion of service obligation.

 
Moody's Mega Math Challenge
Applicant must be a high school junior or senior who is part of a team working to solve an open-ended, applied math-modeling problem focused on a real-word issue in 14 hours. Teams must be comprised of three to five students.
More

AWARD AMOUNT

$20,000

APPLICATION DEADLINE

February 17

 

 

Additional Resources

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
X
University of Baltimore
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
Charles at Mount Royal
City
Baltimore
State
MD
Zip Code
21201
Website
www.ubalt.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
445-550
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
420-530
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
425-530
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
18-23
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Large
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
3,344
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admission Rate
53%
Offers On-Campus Housing
No
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,326
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
15
Number of Online Programs Offered
8
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
36%
Bowie State University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
14000 Jericho Park Rd
City
Bowie
State
MD
Zip Code
20715
Website
www.bowiestate.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
410-490
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
400-470
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
390-470
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
15-20
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Suburb: Large
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
4,315
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$40
Admission Rate
57%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,657
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
16
Number of Online Programs Offered
1
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
33%
Capitol Technology University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
11301 Springfield Rd
City
Laurel
State
MD
Zip Code
20708
Website
www.captechu.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
430-570
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
450-600
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
17-26
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Suburb: Large
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
417
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$25
Admission Rate
97%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$23,508
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
12
Number of Online Programs Offered
16
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
85%
Coppin State University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
2500 West North Avenue
City
Baltimore
State
MD
Zip Code
21216
Website
www.coppin.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
400-470
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
410-500
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
16-20
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Large
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
2,668
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$50
Admission Rate
37%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$7,346
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
13
Number of Online Programs Offered
3
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
38%
Frostburg State University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
101 Braddock Road
City
Frostburg
State
MD
Zip Code
21532
Website
www.frostburg.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
430-530
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
430-530
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
410-510
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
17-22
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Suburb: Small
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
4,961
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$30
Admission Rate
63%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$8,488
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
16
Number of Online Programs Offered
6
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
27%
Johns Hopkins University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
3400 N Charles St
City
Baltimore
State
MD
Zip Code
21218
Website
www.jhu.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
670-750
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
690-780
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
670-770
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
32-34
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
City: Large
School Type
Private not-for-profit
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
6,427
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$70
Admission Rate
14%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$48,710
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
10
Number of Online Programs Offered
75
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
36%
University of Maryland-Baltimore County
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
1000 Hilltop Circle
City
Baltimore
State
MD
Zip Code
21250
Website
www.umbc.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
540-640
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
570-670
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
530-630
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
24-29
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Suburb: Large
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
11,243
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$50
Admission Rate
59%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$11,006
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
19
Number of Online Programs Offered
14
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
8%
University of Maryland-College Park
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
N/A
City
College Park
State
MD
Zip Code
20742
Website
www.umd.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
590-690
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
620-730
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Suburb: Large
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
27,443
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$65
Admission Rate
45%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$9,996
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
17
Number of Online Programs Offered
26
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
8%
St Mary's College of Maryland
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
18952 E. Fisher Rd
City
St. Mary's City
State
MD
Zip Code
20686
Website
www.smcm.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
530-640
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
500-620
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
N/A
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
22-28
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Suburb: Small
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
1,708
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$50
Admission Rate
79%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$13,895
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
10
Number of Online Programs Offered
0
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
N/A
Towson University
Basic Information
Test Score Data
Address
8000 York Rd
City
Towson
State
MD
Zip Code
21252
Website
www.towson.edu
Test Scores
Required
SAT Critical Reading 25th-75th Percentile
500-580
SAT Critical Math 25th-75th Percentile
500-590
SAT Writing 25th-75th Percentile
490-580
ACT Composite 25th-75th Percentile
21-25
Campus/School Overview
Campus Environment
Small
School Type
Public
Total UnderGraduate Enrollment
19,049
UnderGraduate Application Fee
$45
Admission Rate
73%
Offers On-Campus Housing
Yes
In-State Tution & Fees
$9,182
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
17
Number of Online Programs Offered
29
Percent of Students Enrolled in Online Classes
17%
X
Explore Colleges and Universities in Maryland