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Online Colleges by State and School Type

With the broad array of online colleges and universities across the United States, we have organized the types of programs by state and school type.  More specifically, you will find below online programs by state and the type of school to help you quickly find the right program for you.  The school types include the following 11 types of online schools: 1) Public Colleges, 2) Private Colleges, 3) Community Colleges, 4) Bible and Christian Colleges, 5) Massage Schools, 6) Nursing Colleges, 7) Graduate Schools, 8) Fashion Art Schools, 9) Cosmetology Schools, 10) Career Colleges, and 11) Alternative Medicine Schools.  By organizing online programs and school types concurrently, our hope is you will be able to search quickly for schools of interest to perform deep research and inquire more about online college degree programs that fit your life and career aspirations.  
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Is Online Learning for Me?

The United States is host to a number of online colleges and universities, including public, private, and specialty schools. The creation of online learning or distance learning models by colleges and universities across the country has provided both flexibility and access to students of all types. With the advent of online learning, students are no longer bound by location or a typical classroom setting. Accredited colleges and universities across the country have followed suit by adding several online degree programs.  In fact, several universities have created entire college divisions specifically created for online learners.  As such, schools have curated accredited online learning curricula, leveraged cutting-edge technology, enhanced student services, and added robust web-based resources.  The technology-focused solutions combined with a cadre of highly trained faculty members help to support students within an online learning environment.  Online learning is a trusted modality with no significant difference from traditional on-campus programs based on research results.

Benefits of Earning an Online Degree

As you think about earning a college degree online, consider whether learning online is best for you. To help you think critically about your online degree options, we have put together a list of benefits to consider.  Research campus-based programs and compare the benefits of both learning modalities before making a final decision.

Reduced Tuition and Costs

Earning an online degree from an accredited college can cost less than a traditional degree program.  Consider the following costs and associated cost differences when considering an online college program.  Potential cost savings of distance learning include the following:
  • Working and attending school concurrently.  Maintaining income while taking classes can have a significant impact in opportunity cost and net cost difference of earning a degree.
  • There are no costs associated with living on-campus.  Bypassing costs associated with relocation, on-campus meals, and room & board can be significant.
  • Attending college online may allow you to avoid paying out-of-state tuition fees.  This will vary by school so make sure to compare in-state and out-of-state costs.
  • Students can bypass the cost of transportation, fuel, parking, maintenance, and time involved to commuting to a physical school location.

Accessibility & Academic Opportunities

Distance learning can provide academic opportunities for a wide variety of students.  Consider the increased accessibility for students to earn a college degree without being bound by geographic location, scheduling restrictions, or physical ability.  You no longer need limit your college choices by their proximity to your home.  In fact, with a strong internet connection and computer you can attend college from virtually anywhere in the world.

Flexibility

With students electing to attend college online in greater numbers year over year, one of the biggest benefits cited by students is flexibility.  The ability to have a flexible schedule allows students to fit college into a pre-existing work schedule versus fitting work into school.  Given the fact there are no physical classes to attend, online learning tracks may not require a change to work schedules.  With asynchronous learning modalities, you can complete school assignments as your schedule dictates.

Quality Curriculum

A quality online college will offer rigorous curriculum akin to their campus-based degree programs.  Independent research supports the quality of online learning curricula is on par with traditional programs.  Further, an accredited college must pass muster with their respective accrediting bodies to maintain their standing.  Students enrolled in online programs can expect distance learning to entail:
  • Firm deadlines, academic milestones, and communication with professors to help you stay on track.
  • Formalized syllabus that includes research projects, presentations, tests, and quizzes
  • Technology to facilitate communication between students and with teaching staff
  • Final projects, portfolios, cumulative examinations, and research projects dictated by the class type and professor.

Completion Time

A large percentage of online student’s report having completed the requisite classes of a bachelor’s degree in less time than a traditional degree track.  In an online learning environment, students can elect to compress classes into fewer weeks and finish sooner.  Condensing classes a few weeks apiece can have an aggregate effect of months at the end of a degree program.  You may also be able to leverage accelerated degree programs to further compress the time it takes to earn a college degree online.

Independence

Students that can be labeled as independent and self-motivated can thrive within an online learning modality.  The ability to stay on task with minimal external influence can be a vital trait for online learners.   Consider how you learn and what stimuli is needed to keep your academic momentum moving the right direction.  If self-motivation is not a stumbling block, you may want to consider an online degree program.

How to Find an Online College or University Near Me?

To quickly discover private colleges near you or a top public university close to your residence, you can either utilize the list below to manually find schools of interest to you or simply use our matching tool. Once you find a school of interest to you, simply complete the personal information form on the page for free and the school will be in touch to answer any questions you have about their school and degree programs of particular interest. In the not too distant past, you would need to make a special trip to the library to hunt down the latest and greatest issues of college rankings to learn about your options.  From there, you would either photocopy a few select pages or check out the book, magazine, or periodical to take home.  Today, you have the ability to quickly search for thousands of schools online with a computer, tablet, or mobile device and have the school reach out to you with information about their programs.

What Can I Expect from an Online College?

Once you are enrolled in an online college program, you will spend your time engaged in online assignments, reading e-books, online group chats, message boards, emailing, and instant messaging.  The technology at our fingertips allows online college students to quickly communicate, share ideas, and complete assignments in real-time or at an individualized pace depending on the situation. At the beginning of each class, students will often be introduced to an online class manager to help you set up your class profile and set you up with class-specific log on credentials.  Once you are granted access to the class portal or discussion room, you will be able to navigate the academic expectations via the course syllabus and connect with others in the class.

How are Online College Classes Structured?

While the type of course and degree programs differ from school to school, there are two basis structures on an online college degree course: synchronous learning models and asynchronous learning models.
  • Synchronous online learning programs are classes that must be taken together. Meaning, the professor and students are all online at the same time working through the same material in sync with each other.  As such, students are required to follow a specific schedule driven by the classroom instructor.
  • Asynchronous online learning classes offer a higher degree of autonomy allowing students to hop in and out of assignments and complete assignments at convenient times. Asynchronous learning models have a bank of materials, resources, assignments, and tests that can be accessed by students at various times as they work towards class completion.

List of 11 Different College Types

Public Colleges

A public college or public university is a higher education institution that is primarily funded via public means. In the United States, the bulk of public colleges are state universities funded by their state entities. It is though public funds that public colleges and universities receive subsidies to operate the school. Interesting fact to know: each state in the union has at least one public college with the largest states exceeding 30 public colleges and universities. Tuition is bisected between in-state and out-of-state with tuition being higher for families that have not contributed (in the form of taxes) to that particular state and associated college. A list of public colleges can be found by state by reading our article on college admissions.  College-bound students can quickly learn more about specialty degrees such as pharmacy, nursing, med school, physical therapy, law school, and veterinary medicine via our expansive set of career guides.

Private Colleges

Private colleges and universities are institutions that are not operated by government agencies. A private college may be structured as a non-profit or for-profit institution depending on their charter and business model. As such, they rely on tuition along with private grants, endowments, and contributions to properly function. Generally speaking, the published tuition at private colleges tend to be higher than their public counterparts.  However the tuition discounts at private colleges are at an all-time high given the gracious financial aid packages that students are receiving.

Community Colleges

A community college is another type of higher education institution that is primarily a publicly funded, two-year institution. Community colleges are also known as Junior Colleges, City Colleges, or Technical Colleges depending on the region around the country and generally mean the same thing.  At a community college, students will often take coursework to achieve an associate’s degree, certificate, diploma, continuing education, or adult education program. A typical scenario for a student is to take two years at a community college and transfer to a four-year college or university to complete their bachelor’s degree.  Get the facts about community college on our latest research article that includes: pay increases for community college students, enrollment trends, top states, transfer rates, completion rates, and a list of community colleges by state.

Massage Schools

Massage schools are higher education institutions that provide students with knowledge and hands-on experience in the field of massage. The discipline of massage involves working on the body with targeted pressure using motion, tension, vibration, or manually depending on the desired goal(s). The variations of pressure techniques can range from moving, stationary, structured, or unstructured. The overarching goal of a massage is to help promote well-being, relaxation, and aid recovery.  Discover a full list of accredited massage therapy colleges and career insights with our exclusive guide.

Career Colleges

A career college is often interchangeable with the terms vocational college and trade school as the emphasis is very similar from school type to school type. Career colleges exist to provide quality technical and vocational skills to students. The objective of the material learned in a career college is to provide a platform for students to move from school to a skilled trade job upon completion. As vocational and trade schools evolve, many have provided an increasing emphasis on academic preparation in addition to the technical and vocational skills.

Nursing Colleges

Nursing colleges are either a stand-alone higher education institution or a dedicated department within a larger college or university. In either care, the focus of a nursing college is to best equip students with the education and training to become a professional nurse. If you are interested in learning more about a career in nursing, take the time to read our acclaimed resource guide entitled Complete Nursing Career Guide. The range of career tracks and job responsibilities within the nursing profession for women and men is as exciting as it is diverse.

Graduate Schools

A graduate school or grad school is a degree-granting higher education institution that awards master’s, doctoral, and various advanced certificates for students that have earned a qualifying undergraduate degree. The terms graduate school can be integrated into a public or private university or can be a stand-alone higher education institution. For graduate school programs within an undergraduate degree granting college or university, it is common for the same professors to teach upper-level classes along with undergraduate courses.  Find a list of stand-alone graduate schools with our article or search for programs utilizing our exclusive search tools.

Fashion Art Schools

Fashion art schools or fashion design school is an entity emphasizing the aesthetics and design into clothing and accessories. As you know, fashion is heavily emphasized by culture, region, and social attitudes which oscillates over time. The goal of a student attending a fashion art school is to construct clothing and accessories that are pleasing to the eye and functional. These creations can be produced for a niche market or for the general public depending on the brand, emphasis, and distribution channels.

Cosmetology Schools

An accredited cosmetology school is a college focused on the study and application of beauty treatment. The range of beauty treatments is often associated with skin and hair but has evolved to include cosmetics, waxing, electrology, manicures, pedicures, wigs, hair analysis, reflexology, aroma therapy, hair coloration, and microcurrent to name a few. The coursework in a cosmetology college coupled with hands-on practical experience are designed to provide students with the know-how to step into a variety of vocations within cosmetology such as nail technician, barber, and esthetician.

Christian and Bible Colleges & Universities

Online Christian and Bible colleges are focused on providing course curricula on bible knowledge and theology along with research skills and biblical discernment. In other words, higher education institutions known as bible colleges, theological institutes, or bile institutes help equip students with a deep theological education and practical ministry training. Bible colleges predominantly offer undergraduate degrees albeit online or a traditional classroom programs; however, some have created graduate degree curriculum and other degree types like certificate programs, associate degrees, and diploma equivalent courses.

What is an Alternative Medicine School?

An alternative medicine school is a college or university program that specializes in alternative medicine. The term alternative medicine represents treatment plans and medicines that are not conventional. In fact, an alternative medicine professional practices health care without the utilization of drugs often prescribed by traditional doctors and pharmacists. Examples of alternative medicine include homeopathy, herbal medicine, naturopathy, tai chi, meditation, reflexology, acupuncture, massage, acupressure, thermography, integrative medicine, hypnotherapy, reiki, sound therapy, aromatherapy, nutrition, kinesiology, and yoga to name a few holistic wellness approaches.

Where Can I find Resources for Online College Programs?

With MatchCollege, you can quickly Find Your College Match through our proprietary matching portal or check out a number of valuable resources on our blog including these articles: See which schools made the list of Online Colleges and Universities by clicking on the state and school type above from accredited colleges and universities around the country.  For additional information about MatchCollege, visit our blog or Find Your Online College Match portal today.