Our list of top online colleges are some of the most selective institutions in the country. Schools on this list have low acceptance rates and are regionally accredited, which means students are able to receive a high quality education from a prestigious institution without having to sacrifice the flexibility that an online education provides.
In addition to being incredibly competitive, most colleges on this list provide a wide variety of online programs to choose from. USC offers 81 online programs at both the graduate and doctorate levels, while Stanford University, which ranked #1 on our list, offers 46. The majority of these schools also provide the resources students need to succeed academically and after graduation, including career advising, academic counseling, and military benefits.
|Rank||College||Annual Tuition||Degree Levels Offered||Acceptance Rate|
|#1 Stanford University Online||Annual Tuition $44,184||Degrees: Master's and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 5.69%|
|#2 Columbia University in the City of New York||Annual Tuition $24,323||Degrees: Master's, Doctorate, and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 7.42%|
|#3 Duke University||Annual Tuition $47,590||Degrees: Master's, Doctorate, and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 13.42%|
|#4 Northwestern University||Annual Tuition $46,836||Degrees: Master's and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 15.32%|
|#5 Georgetown University||Annual Tuition $28,850||Degrees: Master's and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 16.97%|
|#6 Johns Hopkins University Online||Annual Tuition $47,060||Degrees: Master's and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 18.13%|
|#7 University of Southern California||Annual Tuition $23,781||Degrees: Master's, Doctorate, and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 19.84%|
|#8 University of California - Los Angeles||Annual Tuition $35,574||Degrees: Master's||Acceptance Rate 21.99%|
|#9 New York University Online||Annual Tuition $24,136||Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 26.05%|
|#10 Tulane University||Annual Tuition $20,475||Degrees: Master's and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 26.43%|
|#11 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||Annual Tuition $17,120||Degrees: Master's, Doctorate, and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 27.59%|
|#12 University of Virginia Online||Annual Tuition $13,360||Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 29.99%|
|#13 Northeastern University Online||Annual Tuition $15,037||Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate, and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 32.31%|
|#14 George Washington University||Annual Tuition $48,700||Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate, and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 33.08%|
|#15 Marist College Online||Annual Tuition $32,000||Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 37.45%|
|#16 Western Carolina University - Online||Annual Tuition $14,825||Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 37.66%|
|#17 University of La Verne - Online||Annual Tuition $16,850||Degrees: Bachelor's and Master's||Acceptance Rate 38.95%|
|#18 California State University-Fullerton||Annual Tuition $17,612||Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 45.79%|
|#19 University of Florida||Annual Tuition $16,580||Degrees: Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate, and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 46.55%|
|#20 State University of New York||Annual Tuition $31,640||Degrees: Associate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate, and Certificate||Acceptance Rate 49.71%|
Only colleges that are regionally accredited, non-profit, and offer fully online degrees were considered. Online degrees with on-campus requirements minimal enough to allow students to maintain current employment were considered fully online degrees. Schools with rolling admissions were omitted from our list; however, systems of colleges and universities which had both traditional and rolling admissions policies were considered. Schools must offer a combined minimum of three online bachelor's and master's degrees in order to have been considered for our rankings. The colleges were then ranked based on acceptance rate. Online degrees offered and college tuition were gathered from the official school websites and reflect the 2014-2015 school year. Accreditation, non-profit status, and acceptance rate were collected using the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics.
Annual tuitions reflect undergraduate tuition, unless only online graduate degrees were offered by the institution; then graduate tuition was used. Tuition for specific degree levels and programs can vary.