Online Bachelor's Degree Program Reviews
The Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs
The Reviews.com research team gathered a list of 233 online bachelor’s degree programs and then selected the best online programs to review based on 59 different statistics and features.
What online bachelor's degree program features matter and why
Networking details the resources the online school offers to help students connect with faculty, alumni, and other students, and to assist with finding job opportunities. This includes things like an alumni association and a Facebook or LinkedIn network for the school.
The best online bachelor degree programs also offer career services to students to help them find employment after graduating from the online school. This is a pretty important category because the whole point of getting a bachelor’s degree is to find quality employment afterwards, so schools who assist their students in this process will score highly in this category.
Most important networking features
- 2,500+ LinkedIn Network Members – The school has a LinkedIn network of alumni, faculty, and students with 2,500 members or more.
- Alumni Association – The school has an alumni association.
- Career Services – Students and graduates have access to job placement or career services.
- Facebook Network – The school has a Facebook network of alumni, faculty, and students.
- LinkedIn Network – The school has a LinkedIn group for alumni, faculty, and current students.
Enrollment discusses the admissions process and the different ways that you can apply to the online bachelor’s degree programs. Most schools allow prospective students to fill out an online applications or a mail-in form. It’s also common for schools to charge a fee for submitting the application, but the best online bachelor’s degree programs will not have an application fee.
Some of these programs will accept all kinds of students — full time, part time, and even international — while others are a bit more selective. Certain online bachelor degree programs can be earned entirely online, while others require visits to the school’s campus throughout the program. Enrollment is a fairly important category because it allows prospective students to get a quick overview of the admissions process to help them determine which is the best online school for them.
Most important enrollment features
- Entirely Online – You can earn a degree entirely online.
- Flexible Term Start – The school does not require a Fall start for incoming students.
- Full-Time – The school allows students to be enrolled at full-time status.
- International Student Enrollment – The school offers enrollment to international students.
- Mail-in Form – You can apply by mail.
- No Application Fee – There is no application fee or application fee can be waived in certain circumstances.
- Online Application – You can apply online.
- Part-Time – The school allows students to be enrolled at part-time status.
- Transfer Credits – The school accepts transfer credits from other accredited schools.
Financial Aid refers to the different ways that students can get the financial assistance they need to earn their bachelor’s degree online. Students may qualify for certain scholarships and grants, while federal student loans is also an option.
The best online bachelor’s degree programs will also offer institutional aid to students who meet the requirements. This is a fairly important category because earning a bachelor’s degree online can be expensive, and few students do so these days without some sort of financial aid.
Most important financial aid features
- Federal Student Loans – Federal student loans are available to qualified students.
- Grants – Grants are available to qualified students.
- Institutional Aid – Institutional aid is available to qualified students.
- Scholarships – Scholarships are available to qualified students.
Student Engagement gives information about how well the online school retains and engages their students in their online bachelor’s degree programs. Schools that score highly in this category will have also received high scores from U.S. News & World Report regarding faculty credentials, student services, and student engagement.
In addition, they will be able to demonstrate a strong one-year retention rate, indicating that most of the students who enroll in the program continue on to a second year of study, as well as a competitive three-year graduation rate. But while a high Student Engagement score will be a nice bonus, it will probably not be a deciding factor for most.
Most important student engagement features
- High Faculty Credentials and Training Score – The online school’s bachelor’s programs received a Faculty Credentials and Training score of 75 or higher from U.S. News and World Report.
- High Graduation Rate – The university has a competitive three year graduation rate from academic year 2012-2013 when compared to schools of a similar size.
- High Retention Rate – The university has a competitive one-year retention rate from 2013 when compared to schools of similar size.
- High Student Engagement Score – The online school’s bachelor’s programs received a Student Engagement score of 60 or higher from U.S. News and World Report.
- High Student Services and Technology Score – The online school’s bachelor’s programs received a Student Services and Technology score of 45 or higher from U.S. News and World Report.
Students Services explains what kinds of resources are available to students online to assist them in their studies. Many schools offer academic advising to help students choose the right bachelor’s degree program and decide which classes to take. Some schools offer digitized library materials to online students, and online tutoring is commonly available for those who need a little extra help in some classes.
Because having access to a computer is so vital to online bachelor’s degree programs, certain schools even provide technical support in case of computer malfunctions. These resources are undoubtedly nice to have, but chances are, this category won’t have a big influence on most students’ online school preferences.
Most important student services
- 24/7 Live Tech Support – 24/7 live tech support is available.
- Academic Advising – Academic advising is available.
- Digital Library – You have online access to digitized library materials.
- Online Tutoring – Online tutoring is available.
Choosing the right online bachelor's degree program for you
Anyone looking for an online bachelor’s degree isn’t necessarily looking for the same program. With so many schools to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. However, most prospective students at least know what subject they’re interested in. Looking at the schools that offer the top online bachelor’s degrees in that subject is probably the best place to start the search.