Many don’t know which criteria to judge an online university with; discerning a good program from a bad one can be difficult. Faculty and credential training, quality of student services and technology or percentage of students who find work in their chosen field are some of the most common areas that are used to gauge a school’s quality. Perhaps the most useful resource in finding the best online schools, though, are the students themselves. No matter how many accolades a school receives, if its students are dissatisfied, there is likely a problem. Likewise, sometimes the most engaged students are those attending schools that have yet to receive widespread acclaim.
With that in mind, here is a list of schools that are highly rated by their own students and alumni:
- Ashford University – With over 330 reviews counted on Guide to Online Schools, Ashford University is one of the most popular highly ranked online universities. Considering the number of reviews, it is noteworthy that Ashford scored an average of four out of five in the three main criteria listed: Quality of Curriculum/Instructors, Tuition Satisfaction and Student Services.
- American InterContinental University – Like Ashford, American InterContinental University received four out of five by students in all three main criteria. However, with 30 reviews, the rating for American InterContinental offers less certainty than that of Ashford. Even so, with 70% of students recommending the school, the American InterContinental has kept a very strong student satisfaction rate, setting it apart from the pack.
- Western Governors Unversity – It only takes a cursory glance over student reviews on DistanceEducation.org to notice that Washington Governors University is highly regarded by students. With 107 student reviews, WGU stands with a strong 4.2 out of 5, and a rating of 4.4 out of 5 for value. WGU is a non profit private university, and many students highlight the affordability of the school as well as the appropriately rigorous curriculum. For frugal, self-motivated students, WGU is well worth a look.
- Chamberlain College of Nursing – The medical fields is always a good bet for job security, and nursing is among the fastest growing medical jobs today. As such, it is worth noting that students of Chamberlain College of Nursing consider it to offer a very effective education. When asked to rank teacher knowledge, twenty-three students gave their faculty an average of 4.1 out of 5. One reviewer even labelled Chamberlain an “A+ nursing school” and recommends the school to “anyone willing to put in the work.”
- American Sentinel University – American Sentinel University is a newer school, having been established in 2006, so it is perhaps understandable that it has been reviewed fewer times than many other online schools. However, with fourteen reviews, ASU has garnered a 92% recommendation rate, the highest among any school listed on Guide to Online Schools. ASU is considered a military friendly school, meaning it offers extensive benefits to military veterans and personnel. As such, over one-third of the school’s students are enrolled in the military. For military veterans and those currently enlisted, ASU might be the right option for pursuing an online education.
There are of course hundreds of online schools to choose from, and it is important to do plenty of research. By looking into these schools, though, one can get a good idea of what students have found effective in their education experiences, making the search for the right online school all the more simple.