As higher education continues to evolve, the concept of a traditional college experience has also evolved. Non-traditional students are students who take their classes and complete their coursework online.
Individuals who are likely to opt for the non-traditional mode of study are working adults, parents, and individuals with various life commitments. These sets of people are increasingly turning to online education as a flexible and accessible alternative.
With the rapid increase of online learning platforms/colleges, non-traditional students need to choose online colleges that cater to their unique needs.
Choosing the right online college is crucial for non-traditional students aiming to balance education with other life commitments. The institutions mentioned below prioritize flexibility, affordability, and support services, making them excellent options for those seeking a tailored online learning experience.
In this article, we will explore the best online colleges for non-traditional students, considering factors such as flexibility, affordability, support services, and program variety.
Best Online Colleges for Non-Traditional Students
1. University of Florida Online
The University of Florida online stands out for its commitment to providing high-quality education through flexible online programs. Non-traditional students benefit from a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including business, healthcare, and technology. The university is accredited, ensuring that degrees hold value in the job market. With a variety of start dates and multiple enrollment periods, the University of Florida Online caters to the diverse schedules of non-traditional students.
2. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) located in Manchester has gained a reputation for its affordable and supportive online programs. Non-traditional students appreciate the variety of degree options and the university’s commitment to providing personalized support.
SNHU’s online platform is user-friendly, allowing students to access coursework at their convenience. The university’s commitment to keeping tuition costs reasonable makes it an attractive option for those seeking an affordable yet reputable online education.
The average cost of undergraduate tuition per credit is $320 for both in-state and out-of-state students. The cost of graduate tuition is $627 for in-state students and out-of-state students.
3. Arizona State University Online
Arizona State University (ASU) Online is a pioneer in online education, offering a vast array of programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Non-traditional students can choose from degrees in fields such as business, engineering, and social sciences.
ASU’s commitment to innovation is reflected in its online learning platform, providing students with an engaging and dynamic educational experience. The university’s strong emphasis on student success includes comprehensive support services, making it an excellent choice for those seeking diverse program options and academic support.
4. Penn State World Campus
Penn State World Campus is the online branch of the prestigious Pennsylvania State University. Non-traditional students benefit from Penn State’s well-established reputation and a diverse range of online programs.
The university offers a variety of support services, including academic advising and career counseling. Penn State World Campus provides a robust online learning environment, ensuring that non-traditional students receive the same quality education as their on-campus counterparts.
5. Western Governors University
Western Governors University (WGU) stands out for its competency-based learning approach, allowing non-traditional students to progress at their own pace. WGU offers a variety of online degree programs in fields such as business, education, and healthcare.
The university’s commitment to affordability, combined with the flexibility of competency-based learning, makes it an appealing choice for non-traditional students seeking a personalized and cost-effective education.
6. Liberty University
Liberty University located in Lynchburg, Virginia enrolls over 100,000 students, many of whom are non-traditional. This university is one of the top colleges for non-traditional students. Liberty University offers online programs in fields like arts and sciences, criminal justice, education, and business. Most of these programs are offered 100% online, students who are interested in the online must submit an application, official transcripts, and a minimum GPA.
The average cost of undergraduate tuition per credit is $390-$455 for both in-state and out-of-state students. The cost of graduate tuition is $565-$615 for in-state students and out-of-state students.
7. Purdue University Global
Purdue University located in West Lafayette, Indiana operates Purdue University Global which is the university’s virtual campus. Prospective students for the online program are provided with a career assessment tool that helps match them with the right program. Some of the programs offered by Purdue Global include business, health sciences, human services, and nursing.
Students also enjoy access to one-on-one career advice once they enroll. Prospective students must be proficient in English. Members of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy can enroll in the online programs and enjoy a discount on their tuition.
The average cost of undergraduate tuition per credit is $371 for both in-state and out-of-state students. The cost of graduate tuition is $420-$700 for in-state students and out-of-state students.
8. Averett University
Averett located in Danville, Virginia offers online bachelor’s programs in leadership, business administration, human services, sociology, and nursing. Most programs of programs are offered 100% online and allow transfer students to submit all prior credits for evaluation.
Candidates for the undergraduate online programs are required to submit official transcripts from previous schools, a copy of their driver’s license or government-issued identification, and an application.
The average cost of undergraduate tuition per credit is $480 for both in-state and out-of-state students. The cost of graduate tuition is $530-$695 for in-state students and out-of-state students.
9. University of Maryland Global Campus
UMGC is the online campus of the University of Maryland System. Bachelor’s degrees in fields like homeland security, accounting, English, environmental management, and software development. The university provides older adult learners and working professionals flexibility by offering multiple start dates per semester.
Prospective students are required to submit a high school or GED diploma to qualify for admission. The average cost of undergraduate tuition per credit is $306 for in-state and $499 for out-of-state students. The cost of graduate tuition is $504 for in-state students and $659 for out-of-state students.
10. Charter Oak State College
Charter Oak is a public college located in New Britain, Connecticut. This college offers online programs exclusively in career-focused fields including organizational leadership, healthcare administration, paralegal studies, and public safety administration. To further provide flexibility, Charter Oak offers six start dates throughout the year for all online programs.
Candidates for the undergraduate program students must submit an application and official academic transcripts. The average cost of undergraduate tuition per credit is $319 for in-state and $419 for out-of-state students. The cost of graduate tuition is $516 for in-state students and $540 for out-of-state students.
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