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Æthelthryth the Texan

Online Universities- can we make a list?

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I am trying to compile a list of reputable, also accredited in some way,  online universities/bachelor programs- which I'm defining as university programs in which a student can complete a 4 year degree completely online without ever setting foot on a physical campus for instruction. I know that for some credits students will have to go to a local testing center for tests/exams to be administered- that isn't a disqualifier for this. However,  I don't want to include any schools which are only some classes online with others being required on campus. 

I've searched the forums and asked the always resourceful @Lori D.. for help and we can't find a previous thread on this topic other than one for returning students on Chat, so I thought I'd start one.

I've looked into WGU but they seem to want applicants with a career history which wouldn't be applicable in this case for a 17 or 18 year old high school graduate with minor or no work experience and no true career. 

I am looking for reputable places. Not the more iffy for profits like University of Phoenix. 

I've only begun my enquiries this week, but thought this would be the place to ask for help, experiences, suggestions, etc. 

I would also love to hear if your dc matriculated and/or graduated from a fully online university program, what the experience was, pros/cons, any regrets, any words of wisdom, etc. 

My List thus far has: 

Penn State World Campus Online

Charter Oak State College (requires 9 credit hours to enroll, but that can include CLEP etc. from my understanding) 

Thomas Edison State University

Lori D. found this link for me, but noted that the reliability of the list is unknown as the college may have potentially paid to be on the list. 

https://mycollegeguide.org/online-colleges/most-reputable-online-colleges

No preferable degree programs. Simply collecting information and looking at options for my own dd as well as friends interested at this point. 

Also, if you do know of other threads covering this, please feel free to add and maybe Lori. D. can add them to the pinned threads. 

Thanks! 

 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
added links
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My husband is an online student at UMUC.  They have a great tuition rate for active-duty soldiers.  I think it is only in-state tuition for Maryland residents.  

He started as an online student at Central Texas College.  

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Two that might possibly be of interest are ASU (Arizona State University) and TTU (Texas Tech University).  I am not sure how often or for what purpose the "online" students need to be on campus.

With Tech, I believe they do have some Undergraduate degrees that are online, but that they are more known for Graduate (Masters) Online Degrees. I believe they are highly ranked for some of those programs.

When I saw the thread title I thought of WGU but you have already explored that one.

And per the first reply, I have read about University of Maryland in other threads, from time to time.

Good luck!

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5 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

 

 

Charter Oak State College (requires 9 credit hours to enroll from my understanding) 

 

 

 

From my limited understanding from Becky at dual credit at home, those credit hours can be from credit by exam options such as CLEP.  That's how she did it with her children at COSC.

in TN, there are fully online options through some of the state universities. One enrolls at a home institution. Then takes courses online. (My middle daughter is using this option along with credit by CLEP accepted at the institution) On this link one can learn more about which degrees and at which levels including bachelors.  https://tnecampus.org/

 

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4 minutes ago, cbollin said:

 

From my limited understanding from Becky at dual credit at home, those credit hours can be from credit by exam options such as CLEP.  That's how she did it with her children at COSC.

in TN, there are fully online options through some of the state universities. One enrolls at a home institution. Then takes courses online. (My middle daughter is using this option along with credit by CLEP accepted at the institution) On this link one can learn more about which degrees and at which levels including bachelors.  https://tnecampus.org/

 

CLEP does count there!  I'll clarify my original. 

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Thanks for starting the list, Æthylthryth! 😄

Throwing in my 2 thoughts:

1 = a reminder to anyone considering an all-online degree -- be sure that this way of earning a degree is widely accepted in the future job field area.

2 = possibly mine the Lumerit list of colleges that offer online courses and are used by Lumerit for their "college at home" options for ideas of schools that might offer completely online degrees??

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3 minutes ago, Lori D. said:


 

 

1 = a reminder to anyone considering an all-online degree -- be sure that this way of earning a degree is widely accepted in the future job field area.

 

 

agreeing.

noting: For the link I shared (with TN state system) the home university does not distinguish on transcript (or diploma for that matter) if classes were completed on campus or online. But good thing to mindful of.

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6 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

 

 

I would also love to hear if your dc matriculated and/or graduated from a fully online university program, what the experience was, pros/cons, any regrets, any words of wisdom, etc. 

 

 

 

oh I forgot to talk a little on that part of it.  My middle daughter is earning associates via online options in our state community college systems. In her case and for her interests in and abilities, that's where she'll end school. She took 9 CLEP exams (and got those paid for with vouchers from modernstates) and the college counts that toward general education credits. I don't know how it will or will not transfer if she changes her mind "someday" down the road.  Can't predict for 5-10 years away.  That leaves her classes to take (and she's done 2 so far with her part time schedule).  Both of those were online and had the normal experience of online classes where some people don't seem to participate in the required discussions. Asynchronous with dead lines. As far as we know, only one will require a proctored exam.  That can be done on campus or if someone doesn't live near a community college in the system there are other ways to get a proctor.  Word of wisdom: make a technology back up plan if your laptop is down, or your wifi is out at your place.  Know what time zone assignments are due.  Participate in the discussion board as required.  If college offers tutoring online, use it if needed.  Even if  you don't have to log in at a certain time to take class, make sure you have your own schedule to follow to do your studies. read the syllabus, etc.  Make sure you know what you need to do to graduate on time. If home campus has online advising you can do that if going in person doesn't work.  Mileage will vary on how it is done.  Take time to get to know the online platform system and where due dates are shown for class and where you click that you finished an assignment to measure class progress, etc.  Use proper manners.

In my dd's case, we're not concerned about it being an online degree because it's done through community college that has a real campus.  Transcript will not show it was "online degree" and it's just more of an online way to earn the same degree as if she were on campus. The program is fully online.  But the university is not.  That's an important difference to recognize in the discussion.

in other people's lives, the leaders of our homeschool support group received their degrees via online options. Those were religious based Bible leadership courses. They did that as adults in their 30s and 40s and within the last couple of years (ok, one of them just got his BA last month). To get done all they do (work, kids, run homeschool stuff in this city), having  fully online was the way to go. and for the degree, it was good.

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I have a MEd degree from Western Governors University. Accredited and non profit, reasonable tuition.

 

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Many universities are now offering online degrees.

Are you looking for specific degrees? That might help narrow your search. 

 

 

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I have two degrees from Thomas Edison.  They offer a lot of options for gaining credit - online classes, various testing, transfers, etc.  I received in state tuition since I'm in NJ and it's a state university.  

I never had a problem with the degrees being looked at differently.  I've had a few jobs since that required a relevant degree, although I will admit they weren't the types of positions where the school you went to would matter in general. 

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I teach for Excelsior College which is an accredited non-profit online institution out of New York. Many of my students are active duty military but I get a fair number of 18-year olds right out of high school as well.  Many students bring in some kind of prior learning credit - CLEP, ACE-accredited training, industry certifications, etc, so the advisors are well versed in those options, but it is not required that students have those types of credits or any prior credit to enroll

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My husband did his masters (in math education) all online at Kennesaw State University; I just checked and it looks like they have a number of undergraduate degrees available 100% online, too. It's part of Georgia's state university system.

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My husband is studying for a CLEP test, and got advice to study from Modern States.  I have listened with him and have a good impression.  

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I think that UMUC has a limit of 30 hours for CLEP or DTTS, but my husband has a lot of hours from military experience, definitely over 30 hours.  

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33 minutes ago, Lecka said:

My husband is studying for a CLEP test, and got advice to study from Modern States.  I have listened with him and have a good impression.  

 

Modern States worked for my daughter as brush up from high school curriculum and for new material (such as psych and soc).  I'd suggest also doing practice tests either with REA (can access online with small fee) or Peterson's tests.  Some libraries have Peterson's tests available to patrons for free. Another site for some limited free practice exams is http://www.free-clep-prep.com/

My dd was well prepared for all of her clep exams with those resources. (And from solid high school at home resources. )  You probably know this, but others may be just learning so I'll share. With Modern States, if you do their review course and follow the procedures, you can get voucher for the clep test. and they'll reimburse test center fee too after you take exam.  been a very good experience for us.

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I have no experience with it, but Purdue University has a large online school. It was formerly Kaplan.  https://www.purdueglobal.edu/

"Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized, world-class education online that's tailored for adults. We offer 180 programs, including associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees as well as certificates, in areas such as business, IT, education, health sciences, nursing, criminal justice, and more."

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I am currently pursuing a BSN at Western Governors. I was lucky to get in. The program in Southern California is ludicrously competitive because it is so flexible and we have so few clinical placements (about 4 cohorts of 10 people per year). The admissions stats in other states are not as heinous. Anyway, I am happy to talk to anyone about the program.

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My kid’s have both completed online degrees with one of the already mentioned Universities.  They have had a great experience and are very pleased with their online degrees.  Btw,  As parents we have no regrets.  

One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is Staighterline https://www.straighterline.com/ which we found really useful.  You can take online classes through them for lower level classes very inexpensively and convert them through the ACE system.  Dh recently discovered that Dallas Community College has recently entered into a partnership with Straighterline so students can receive federal financial aid for these classes.  He is currently advising a friend’s Dd on how to complete an American degree.  FYI,  We used Straighterline for English Composition and the professor was wonderful. 

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Arizona State offers a wide range of online degrees, and they also offer quite a few intro-level courses through their Earned Admissions program. EA was originally developed in partnership with EdX (the called Global Freshman Academy), but it's now run by ASU, with expanded course offerings and lower fees. The way EA works is you sign up to take a course and pay a $25 fee which covers proctored exams (proctored via webcam). After you complete the course, if you're happy with the grade and want college credit, you pay a $400 fee and the course and grade go on your ASU transcript. There is no indication on the transcript that the course was taken through EA, or even that it was taken online.  If you drop the course or don't like your grade, you don't pay the fee and it never appears on your transcript, so it can be a good way for kids to try out online college courses with very little risk. 

The cost of a full year (10 classes / 30 credits) through EA would be $4250. ASU also accepts most CLEPs, so a student could theoretically add another 30 credits through CLEP (~$1200,  or possibly free if Modern States is still offering their voucher deal), so that would be two years of college knocked out for $5450 or less. Tuition for upper level classes is roughly $15K/yr for full time (30 credits).

For a nearly-free degree, Starbucks has a partnership with ASU that provides tuition reimbursement for all Starbucks employees who work at least 20 hrs/wk. So it's possible to get a degree from ASU nearly for free if the student can hack working at Starbucks for 4 yrs. Or combine EA + CLEP for lower level coursework, then work at Starbucks for 2 years of free tuition to finish up.

Edited by Corraleno
Edited to change "Global Freshman Academy/GFA" to "Earned Admission/EA" as that is what ASU is now calling it
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On 1/20/2019 at 7:41 AM, elegantlion said:

Many universities are now offering online degrees.

Are you looking for specific degrees? That might help narrow your search. 

 

 

No specifics. I’m just trying to compile a thread list that’s helpful to me and also to others as I think more and more people will go this route for various reasons. Since there wasn’t already a thread on it, seemed a good one to start! 

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I got my BA at Columbia College. All of my classes were online, but the degree is identical to one of an on-campus student since it is just a traditional college that offers degree programs online.

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27 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

No specifics. I’m just trying to compile a thread list that’s helpful to me and also to others as I think more and more people will go this route for various reasons. Since there wasn’t already a thread on it, seemed a good one to start! 

Here are ones I've looked at: 

Fort Hays State University

Missouri Western State University

Southern Illinois University

Emporia State University

Park University

Montana State University

University of Nebraska

 

One thing to keep in mind is that even if the degree is offered online, class selection may be limited. I looked at doing a history BA online and, at the time, most classes focused on American history, so not the focus I wanted. 

A lot of the places I looked have a generous amount of general studies available online and have degree completion programs for people with existing college credit. 

Also, online classes can be great for the right student and the right situation. I took my entire first year of my BA online. Some students, however, do not do well in that environment. My son, for instance, hates online classes and prefer face-to-face learning (he's even a computer/tech nerd).

Many of the professors I've talked with dislike online formats for classes. Some complaints I've heard is that it makes it easier for students to cheat, there is little interaction between students, students not communicating and not turning in work. All of these can happen in a regular classroom, but they're easier to address when the student is actually in front of you. 

Another thing to watch is make sure classes on 100% online if that is what you need. I know some make students come to campus for tests or have them proctored if distance is an issue. 

I've seen them work well for traditional on-campus students when they need a class and there are time conflicts, so the online section affords some flexibility. 

 

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I will also mention that many of the community colleges here in California are moving to online classes and many have completely online degree programs. For example, my oldest is looking at completing an AA in Humanities while in high school at a very well regarded CC in northern California (we are in San Diego). It can be completed entirely online. I was also able to knock out my pre-reqs for nursing school super quickly by enrolling in numerous online classes in multiple CC districts all over the state. You just use this website to find out what online classes and degrees are available at CCs, CSUs, and UCs.

https://cvc.edu/

Edited by SeaConquest
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Something about UMUC, they have made most (or maybe all) their online classes “open source,” which means no need to purchase books.

Since switching to UMUC, my husband has only needed to purchase a lab kit for biology.  

For his tuition assistance (military), it is pay-out-of-pocket for books.  

We have saved some money this way!

It was not on his radar at all when he was looking at different options, and I think it may be a new policy.  

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28 minutes ago, maize said:

Maybe we can get this thread pinned.


I've already linked this thread on page 1 in the "Online College" section (bottom of page 1) of the big pinned thread ("College Motherlode") at the top of the College Board. 🙂

I also added the link to this thread in my post in the other pinned thread at the top of the College Board: "What are your favorite websites for researching colleges?"

Edited by Lori D.
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34 minutes ago, Lecka said:

Something about UMUC, they have made most (or maybe all) their online classes “open source,” which means no need to purchase books.

Since switching to UMUC, my husband has only needed to purchase a lab kit for biology.  

For his tuition assistance (military), it is pay-out-of-pocket for books.  

We have saved some money this way!

It was not on his radar at all when he was looking at different options, and I think it may be a new policy.  

Wow- that would save a ton of money not having to buy books! Especially with the e-book/code racket they have going now. 

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On 1/21/2019 at 11:59 AM, SeaConquest said:

I will also mention that many of the community colleges here in California are moving to online classes and many have completely online degree programs.

This is also true of CCs in TX. Lone Star offers a complete AA online (but you have to have a couple of proctored exams and physical exams for the Phys Ed credit).

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American Public University's programs are rigorous and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (one of the most significant accrediting agencies in the US).

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