Education Reference Desk Announces 2020's Best Accredited Online Colleges

Education Reference Desk, a nationally recognized provider of college planning resources, announces their picks for the best accredited online colleges and universities.


Draper, UT -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/10/2019 -- The number of students taking online classes topped 6 million in fall 2016, according to a 2018 report from Babson Survey Research Group, with around 3 million of those learners exclusively taking distance education classes in either graduate and undergraduate programs. The report, based on U.S. Department of Education data, indicates that the number of students in distance education courses increased by 5.6 percent over the previous year.

With so many options available to students, Education Reference Desk has recently published its list of the top 48 accredited online colleges. Pulling data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), colleges were evaluated based on their affordability, academic quality and student outcomes. As part of the rankings, also published detailed profiles outlining each school on its list. Students can use these profiles to evaluate each school's net prices, retention and graduation rates, and future earning potential, along with key demographic information.

"Online programs can offer a flexible learning environment for students who have to balance classes with working a full-time job, caring for their family or other responsibilities," said Education Reference Desk's spokesperson, "The Best Accredited Online Colleges ranking allows students to compare accredited schools and find those that best fit their education interests and career goals. We applaud the schools on our list for their high standards and accomplishments."

The 2020 ranking for the Best Accredited Online Colleges ranks University of Florida Distance Learning #1 as the best accredited online college with Indiana University–IU Online and the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities rounding out the top three.

The complete rankings are as follows:

1 100.0 University of Florida Distance Learning
2 97.6 Indiana University–IU Online
3 97.4 University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
4 97.2 Rutgers University
5 95.6 Arizona State University–ASU Online
6 95.4 Northeastern University
7 95.2 University of South Florida
8 94.4 University of Massachusetts
9 93.8 University of Central Florida
10 92.4 Drexel University–Drexel Online
11 91.8 Florida International University
12 91.4 Colorado State University–Fort Collins Online
13 91.2 Texas Tech University
14 91.2 University of Missouri–Mizzou Online
15 90.6 Washington State University Global Campus
16 90.2 University of Arizona
17 89.6 Regis University
18 89.4 Loyola University Chicago, Loyola Online
19 89.2 Oregon State University–OSU Ecampus
20 88.4 Kansas State University
21 88.2 West Virginia University
22 88.2 University of North Dakota
23 88.2 University of Alabama
24 86.2 University of Cincinnati
25 85.6 Florida Institute of Technology–Florida Tech University Online
26 85.2 East Carolina University
27 84.0 University of Minnesota–Crookston
28 83.2 University of Nebraska Omaha
29 83.2 Old Dominion University–ODU Online
30 82.4 Indiana Wesleyan University-National & Global
31 82.2 University of Louisville
32 82.0 Central Michigan University–Global Campus
33 81.4 University of Alabama at Birmingham–UAB Online
34 80.0 Northern Arizona University–NAU Extended Campuses
35 79.8 Webster University
36 79.0 University of Memphis–UM Online
37 78.8 Grand Canyon University
38 77.8 Eastern Kentucky University
39 77.8 Regent University–Regent Online
40 77.8 Dallas Baptist University
41 77.8 California Baptist University–CBU Online
42 77.6 Western Kentucky University
43 77.4 Penn State World Campus
44 77.0 Saint Leo University Online
45 76.2 Liberty University Online
46 76.0 Southern Illinois University–Carbondale
47 75.6 California University of Pennsylvania
48 72.4 Upper Iowa University

University response to Education Reference Desk rankings has been very positive. Sharing the rankings on their websites and via social media has helped schools attract new students and excite existing students and alumni.

The rankings and data were produced for, a leading higher education research organization. All evaluated data was gathered from IPEDs, U.S. Dept. of Higher Education, school websites, and other reputable sources.

The rankings have been published at

About reviews publicly available data to produce independent ranking assessments of various educational programs, in addition to student guides and resources. The site is regularly updated by a committed team of writers and researchers, who produce college rankings and resources that will help prospective and current college students get into, pay for, and thrive at the college of their choice.

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