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The Best and Largest Online Universities in 2020

largest online universities

Whether you are looking to start your working life or change careers, education has and remains vital in getting ahead. Though, many prospective students are finding it challenging to balance their wish for an education and the need to work or take care of the family.

Online college makes getting an education more accessible. Which online college should you choose? Here are the best and largest online universities?

Best Online Universities

When choosing an online university, many are concerned about the quality and cost of their education. In our list of the best online universities, we considered the offerings at the school, along with their starting cot per credit hour. They are ranked in order of the least expensive base case per credit hour to the most costly.

1. University of Massachusetts

The University of Massachusetts’ UMassOnline not only offers students a wide variety of programs, but also the ability to conduct their studies online and in-person. UMassOnline is renowned for its Master’s of Business Administration and Doctorate of Nursing programs, among others.

Increasing the value of their online education, distance learners learn from the same acclaimed professors that teach on-campus. Students also have access to all of the same resources and counseling services available on-campus.

UMassOnline Key Points

Number of Online Programs: 52 Bachelor’s Degrees, 51 Master’s Degrees, and 4 Doctoral Degrees

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $125 – $1,980 for noncredit and undergraduate courses. $1,230 – $2,250 for graduate-level courses. The cost stays the same, regardless of residency.

Admissions: Any prospective student with either a high school diploma or GED may register for UMassOnline noncredit and Bachelor’s degree courses. 

2. University of Florida

The University of Florida’s UF Online program is well known and highly esteemed through its affordability and quality of programs. UF Online offers courses that lead to Bachelor’s degrees in high demand careers such as Business Administration, Digital Arts, Education, and Health. For those wanting to advance their career even further, Masters, Specialist, and Doctorate degrees are also available.

Even though students are not on campus with UF Online, they still have access to library and career center resources. Through the OneStop service, students will fully learn how to navigate all of the UF Online academic and administrative offerings. This includes online registration for classes!

UF Online Key Points

Number of Online Programs: 24 Bachelor’s Degrees, 79 Master’s Degrees, and 8 Doctoral Degrees

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $129 for in-state residents. $553 for out of state residents.

Admissions: A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required.

3. Colorado State University

Offering 12 different degrees, Colorado State University’s CSU Global is one of the more flexible online universities. Classes start each month, making this a very appealing choice for students looking to get started right away.

With Bachelor’s Degree majors such as Accounting, Human Resource Management, and Project Management, there is genuinely a major at CSU Global for any interest. In total, there are 13 Bachelor’s Degree and an additional 13 Master’s Degree programs at CSU Global.

Similar to other schools on this list, online students have full access to school services, including tutoring, technical support, writing assistance, and career navigation. Scholarship and financial aid are available.

CSU Global Key Points

Number of Online Programs: 13 Bachelor’s Degrees, 13 Master’s Degrees

Tuition Per Credit Hour: $350 for undergraduate courses. $500 for graduate-level classes. The cost stays the same, regardless of residency. 

Admissions: CSU Global is more tailored to the student that has some work experience. A high school transcript or GED is required, along with a resume outlining at least two full years of work experience. You must be at least 23 years old and have at least a 2.8 GPA. Other qualifications can serve in place of these if you are looking to transfer schools.

Largest Online Universities

Perhaps larger is better for you. After all, the largest schools generally have more variety of majors and classes, are well organized, and have a larger student body. Having many students and offerings can also mean that the school has stood the test of time and has notoriety in providing higher education online. Here’s our list of the largest online universities.

1. Western Governors University

Western Governors University (WGU) has seen a 72.2% increase in enrollment from 2015 to 2018. In 2018, over 121,000 students were enrolled in WGU’s flexible pace programs. All degree programs are situated around four colleges: College of Business, Teachers College, College of Information Technology, and College of Health Professions.

Unlike traditional brick and mortar or online universities, WGU follows a “competency-based education” model. Instead of measuring the amount of time spent in class, your skills and knowledge are tested instead. This can mean less time and money spent on education for those that either learn at a fast pace or have extensive work experience.

WGU Key Points

Number of Online Programs: 26 Bachelor’s Degrees, 35 Master’s Degrees

Tuition: Due to WGU’s unique format of learning, tuition is billed for six-month access to the program. The costs vary by program but begin at $3,225 for undergraduate and graduate programs.

Admissions: Admissions requirements vary by your degree of interest. At a minimum, you must have earned a high school degree or GED and be at least 16 years of age.

2. Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) has also seen a dramatic increase in enrollment in the last several years. In 2018, over 96,000 students were enrolled. SNHU is a preferred provider by the United States Army and has its own dedicated support team for military members looking to enroll or that are current students.

SNHU Key Points

Number of Online Programs: 113 Bachelor’s Degrees, 92 Master’s Degrees

Tuition: SNHU bills per course and not by credit hour. For undergraduate programs, courses start at $960. Graduate courses begin at $1,881 per course. For the military, these are reduced to $320 for undergraduate and $627 for graduate courses.

Admissions: There is no minimum GPA for admission, but a high school transcript or GED is required for undergraduate work.  

The Best and Largest Online Universities in 2020

Whether your preference is for small and distinguished or large and varied, there is an online university for you. The best and largest online universities have already transformed thousands of lives through education. You should be next!

No matter what University you choose, it’s worth taking the time to find the best resources to help you save money. Check out our selection of textbooks to save money next semester. 

About the Author

Christopher Manns

I was born in the UK, grew up in Canada and have lived in the USA since the 90s. I love my family, water sports, ice hockey, skiing and soccer. When I'm not helping people save money on textbooks, I'm travelling with my wonderful family and playing sports.