Top Online Colleges You’ve Never Heard Of!

In an earlier article titled Colleges with Top 10 Online College Degrees, we went over a number of top online colleges that make it easy, affordable and quick to complete an accredited college degree. Online college degrees are a huge benefit to students who need the flexibility of studying on their own schedules.

Some students may be working part time or full time and may also have other family responsibilities that make it difficult for them to attend regular classes in a college campus.

Top Online Colleges You've Never Heard Of!

In addition to a wide array of online courses, all the colleges in the above-referred article have the following benefits:

1) The tuition fees of the courses are very affordable, often in the range of $120 to $300 per credit.

2) They allow a very large or unlimited amount of prior US college credits for transfer into their degree program.

3) They permit students to write inexpensive standardized exams such as CLEP, DSST or UExcel to earn college credits.

4) They allow students to study free or low cost courses such as Saylor or various ACE-accredited courses or certifications to obtain college credits.

5) They evaluate students’ portfolio of all their non-accredited learning or experience for assigning college credits by a process called portfolio/prior-learning assessment.

6) As an bonus, international students are provided with the provision to have their college-learning from abroad to be translated to US-equivalent credits for transferring these credits to the US college degree program.

7) Through all the above methods, students are able to dramatically reduce both the cost and the time it takes to complete their accredited US college degree.

8) Since students are able to reduce the cost to such a great extent, they do not need to take any student loans. But they are still allowed to apply for college scholarships to reduce the cost even further.

Even in the absence of any student scholarships, most students find that they can pay for all their college expenses out-of-pocket, or even via a part time job with low wages, or with a small amount of parental help.

9) Many of these degree programs also have broad degree requirements. What this means is that students have the flexibility to choose from an open-ended list of courses, just as long as the courses satisfy the broad curriculum requirements.

10) Some of these colleges such as Empire State also provide the classroom courses option at many locations in NY state and abroad. A few such as Excelsior college provide uniform tuition fees for in-state, out-of-state and international students whereas most others charge higher tuition fees for out-of-state students.

11) There are multiple enrollment windows throughout the year and some colleges have rolling enrollments all through the year! This can save students a lot of time and enable them to start their college as soon as they need to.

Now in this post, I will discuss a three new colleges which have some of these benefits and much more. It is always good to review multiple colleges to choose the right one for you.

Also, if the college is located in the state which you’re a resident of, the fee structure could also be a lot more affordable than choosing some of the out-of-state colleges.

City University New York (CUNY)

School of Professional Studies

CUNY offers NY residents who are full time students a low, fixed fee of about $3500 per semester for unlimited courses of 12 or more credits. Part time students have a much higher per-credit fee and out-of-state students are charged about $620 per credit.

Top Online Colleges in New York!

CUNY has many of the benefits such as unlimited credits transfer, portfolio assessment for evaluating non-accredited learning for receiving college credits. Low-cost exams such as CLEP/DSST are also supported for college-level learning at CUNY.

Here are a few special benefits of enrolling into a college degree program at CUNY:

1) The college has a wide array of degree programs that are completely online.

2) DegreeWorks is an online service offered by CUNY to its enrolled students yo dynamically track their progress in meeting or getting closer-to-completion of their degree requirements. In my opinion, this will help students considerably to stay motivated and progress rapidly towards completing their college degree at CUNY.

3) The college has 24/7 live, one-on-one online tutoring service or in-person tutoring services can also be scheduled in advance.

4) There is a vast collection of prior-learning informational videos on the CUNY site on how to obtain college credits for various forms of prior college-level learning. There is also a Credit Predictor tool that helps students to uncover all their previous learning that is eligible for college credits.

5) Overall, I found CUNY to be a very transparent college that empowers students with the right information, tools and resources to stay on top of their college degree completion. The CUNY site even publishes a full description of its grading policies so that students are never left in the dark about how their test papers are scored!

University of Florida Online (UF Online)

If you are a Florida resident and have not obtained any college credits yet, the UF Online a great college program for completing your degree studies while starting from scratch with the college learning.

Top Online Colleges in Florida

Here are the additional advantages of the college:

1) Florida residents are charged a low per-credit tuition fee of about $129 per credit. This is perhaps the lowest tuition fee in the entire country for a bachelor degree program! For students who want to take the classes on campus, the tuition is about $212 per credit.

2) Students can study at their own pace whether full time or part time and will still be charged the same low per-credit fee. Students even have the option to take a semester off if they need a break from their studies for a few months.

3) The Career services at UF Online is excellent and is ranked #8 in the entire country for the employability of its graduates. Many popular employers such as Walmart and a few others are even willing to pay the entire tuition fee for their employees who want to study at this college.

4) Students are allowed to transfer up to 60 credits from an associates degree which they have completed at another Florida state college.

PACE University

Though the per-credit fee at PACE is quite high at about $555 per credit, the college has a great credits transfer policy and allows up to 90 credits to be transferred to their four-year degree program.

Also, CLEP/DSST exams and prior-learning assessment for non-accredited learning is all supported for earning the Bachelors degree at PACE university.

New York State

New York is one state which has the largest number of affordable, flexible and accelerated top online colleges in the entire US. This especially includes the following colleges:

1) Excelsior College in Albany, NY

2) Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, NY

3) City University of New York (CUNY College of Professional Studies), New York, NY

Additionally, the following colleges are also located in the tri-state area (NY, NJ, CT):

1) Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, NJ

2) Charter Oak College in New Britain, CT

So if you are a resident of New York or New Jersey or Connecticut, you are especially in luck as you can benefit from the low per-credit fee for in-state students.

However, Excelsior college and a few others have the same tuition fee for both in-state and out-of-state or even international students, So even for students living anywhere across the US or in others parts of the world, these colleges are highly affordable, flexible and enable a faster completion of the college degree program.

What do you think about this article? Is it useful to you? Or would you share it with someone looking for top online colleges in the US that are affordable and flexible?

Let me know your thoughts via my FB page or by email.

14 thoughts on “Top Online Colleges You’ve Never Heard Of!”

  1. I’m gonna have to memorize your post because I’m looking for a good college for my kids these days and I’m very happy to have come across your article. I’ll have to study each of these colleges well. In any case, your post is very useful to me in my search for an affordable college.

  2. Hi,

    Thank you for sharing this article , The information is very useful l wish I was in the united states l would definitely enroll my children in one of the colleges you have mentioned in your post.If any parent can find a way of saving a bit of cents and the college is a good college why not.Those colleges are very much of help to those who are studying part time and working and also underprivileged.

    l hope people around you will find this article as useful as l did and recommend it to others nearby.

    Great article good luck and stay blessed. 

    • Fiona, thank for reading this article. I also want to point out that these colleges are not only for US students but globally anyone from across the world can enroll into most of these US colleges. I’m also planning a future post on how specifically international students can study affordably at these colleges by avoiding the higher per credit fee of the out-of-state students. There are many ways to keep the costs low for international students to study at these colleges by distance and online, and without having to physically travel to the US.

  3. Hello, I enjoyed reading your article on Top online colleges. I know that Online college degrees are a huge benefit to students who need the flexibility of studying on their own schedules. 

    It is interesting to note that New York is the one US state which has the largest number of affordable, flexible and accelerated top online colleges in the entire US. I’ll be happy to share this information with my friends.

    Your guide is really very useful for students. Keep it up.

  4. Thank you so much for your review on online collage. I have to say with my busy schedule and also want to get a promotion, getting back to school is on my mind. I love the fact that the fee is very affordable. I paid 1 thousand something per credit when I finished my bachelor. This is night and day!

    I have no idea that CUNY offers class online, I live in NYC and walk pass the campus all the time! This is great. I am going to check both CUNY and PACE out. 


    • You’re welcome Nuttanee! My best wishes for your further college studies and if you have any more questions in the future, I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction :))

  5. I hadn’t heard of most of these colleges before, likely because I’m Canadian, but I still found this helpful. I’m just finishing up a college program but at some point, I’d really like to go back to school. I enjoy learning a lot but I don’t think physically going back to school is going to be as realistic in the future so studying online sounds like a great idea. I noticed you mentioned Excelsior college being reasonably priced for international students so I’ll for sure check out what courses they offer. Thanks for sharing

    • Welcome Sam! Excelsior is a great choice as they will allow a transfer of your credits from a previous college program and enable a faster completion of your degree. The quality of their courses and curriculum is very good as well.

  6. Hi, I read your post concerning online education, I have a few questions and I hope you can clear up things for me. What makes online courses so much more affordable than attending on campus? Is the quality of the education a student is receiving online equal to the one they may get on campus? How can one college provide a student with so many benefits and another one can not provide as many? Thank you, Laurence

    • Hi Laurence, most colleges in the US are very expensive and students either get financial aid or take student loans to pay for these high college expenses. There are also many expensive online colleges, one such popular example is the University of Phoenix.

      But there are some not-so-well-known US colleges that are extremely affordable, accredited and provide a high quality education as well. I myself had many years ago studied at one such college, namely Excelsior college.

      As for the quality of education, online education is considered on-par with classroom courses and is perhaps more convenient for students due to a more flexible schedule and to avoid commute time to the college campus every day.

      Many colleges are run as for-profit corporations and have high cost of operation. My main objective at CollegeOnomics is to share information on colleges that provide good value-for-money and which operate with a motive of student “service”, instead of merely an exploitative “profit” motive!

  7. Hello, I really want to first appreciate your effort in putting this great website together and writing this article. Been able to learn at one’s convenience is a great way to learn faster and providing online tutors will help achieve that well. I should look out for a masters application and sign up for it. This is useful information. Thank you 

    • Benny, many of these colleges also provide affordable Masters degree programs.

      My best wishes for your Masters degree :))

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