About Us

Since 2014, OnlineU has been dedicated to helping students find affordable college options that fit their education and career goals. With student debt numbers at an all-time high, it is more important than ever to be able to easily access and compare the actual tuition costs one can expect to pay for an online degree.

Unfortunately, finding accurate cost information for online degrees is not easy. Many other websites rely on data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which is not online specific. This results in misinformation and misaligned expectations about the true cost that online students can expect to pay.

In order to mitigate this issue and provide accurate, updated tuition costs for online students, the OnlineU team manually researches over 40,000 online tuition rates for degree programs annually. By providing this data that is easy to use but hard to find elsewhere, OnlineU hopes to empower more people to pursue an education without burdening them with insurmountable debt.


On this page

OnlineU is a product of Optimal, a leading higher education researcher and publisher. Optimal uses data to empower people to make better decisions about careers and education. In addition to providing comprehensive resources, Optimal gives away over $250,000 of its profit annually in needs-based scholarships.

What We Do

OnlineU publishes rankings for affordable online colleges across hundreds of degree levels and programs and provides prospective students with insightful articles and resources for making their education more affordable. We offer rankings of the most affordable colleges, based on our manually researched tuition rates, as well as the best most affordable colleges, which highlight affordable colleges with high Salary Scores.

Our Salary Score metric was originally introduced on our sister website, GradReports. Salary Score is a ranking system that allows students to quickly and easily compare colleges based on alumni salaries by program. We give each school a Salary Score by comparing alumni starting salaries for each degree program to alumni from the same program across all schools.

Our users also have the ability to get connected with any of our partner colleges to get detailed information on the degrees they are interested in directly from school representatives.

40,576

Tuitions Researched Annually

155

College Ranking Lists

22,852

Students Matched Annually with Schools


Our Team

Sung Rhee

Sung Rhee - CEO

Understanding the difficulties of obtaining a quality, affordable education is what inspired founder and CEO Sung Rhee to found Optimal in 2004. He saw a need to create sites dedicated to providing transparent, data-driven information to empower people to make better decisions for their education and careers. He knows prestige doesn't always translate to quality, and Sung doesn't want to see students get a raw deal.

Outside of work, Sung enjoys playing basketball and adding to his collection of Gundam figurines. A fun fact about Sung is that he was a cartoonist for The Harvard Crimson during his college years.

Sung has been featured in several publications, including GeekWire and 425 Business Magazine. Additionally, the CEO Perspective he authored provides a more in-depth look into his background and how Optimal came to be.

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Brittany McCullough
Brittany McCullough
General Manager
Throughout her 11 years at the company, Brittany has provided essential...
Rachel Hansen
Rachel Hansen
Business Lead
In her ten years at the company, Rachel has been a key driver of our...
Taitum Ridgway
Taitum Ridgway
Senior Product Manager
After five years with the company, Taitum now leads a team of product...
Emily Ferrier
Emily Ferrier
Data Collection & Infrastructure Lead
Throughout her eight years with the company, Emily has been...
Nicole Hopler
Nicole Hopler
Lead Marketing Manager
As a Marketing Manager, Nicole is passionate about informing...
Celeste Harms
Celeste Harms
Marketing Manager
In her current marketing role, Celeste promotes the value of our...
Sarah Glass
Sarah Glass
Outreach Specialist
As a former teacher and youth worker with 12 years of experience...
Mariya Bashkatova
Mariya Bashkatova
Product Manager
In her current role at the company, Mariya works to improve rankings...
Eliana Schwartz
Eliana Schwartz
Business Growth Manager
Throughout the past five years at the company, Eliana has dedicated...
Taylor Nichols
Taylor Nichols
Journalist / Reporter
Prior to joining OnlineU, Taylor spent six years writing...
Jennifer King Logan
Jennifer King Logan
Writer
A seasoned veteran of the publishing industry, Jennifer enjoys...
Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy
Writer
Drawing upon his 11 years of experience in writing and editing...
Brian Peters
Brian Peters
Lead Visual Designer
A specialist in visual design with 15 years of experience, Brian is...
Madeline Miller
Madeline Miller
Content Strategist
As a content strategist, Madeline works on developing and...

OnlineU in the News

As a champion of college affordability, OnlineU has been featured in several national and local media outlets, including College Confidential, 425 Business Magazine, and Forbes. OnlineU has been ranking colleges since 2014, and has been recognized as a leader in the higher education space by over 375 schools. For more information, please visit our press page.

"This new ranking by the website OnlineU further highlights the commitment the UW College of Education has made to serving students throughout Wyoming and the world via hybrid and fully online degree programs."

Professional Affiliations

Optimal strives to provide authoritative resources for students seeking high-quality and affordable online education programs through professional affiliations.

Optimal is proud to be an institutional member of the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). The OLC is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization that was founded in 1999 and comprises a collaborative community of leaders and innovators in the higher education space. Members are dedicated to advancing the OLC's vision of setting the global standard for online and digital learning.

Our Advertising Policy

OnlineU makes money through lead generation. This means that we connect visitors with schools they have expressed interest in. Visitors can indicate interest in a school by filling out a contact information form and giving us permission to share their information with a particular school. For more information about how we use your data, see our privacy policy. The money we receive from schools allows us to conduct and publish detailed research into colleges and universities so prospective students are empowered to make informed choices about their education.


Our Editorial Policy

The schools with whom we have an advertising relationship are referred to as "partner schools" throughout OnlineU. We ensure that our relationships with partner schools do not hinder our editorial integrity. Partner schools are clearly labeled as such throughout the site, and we never show our partner schools any preferential treatment when developing our ranking lists.

All schools featured on our site are accredited by accrediting bodies recognized by the United States Department of Education. When creating our content, we always conduct extensive research in order to ensure that we provide accurate and current information about program offerings and tuition costs. This information comes directly from schools' official websites or representatives. We also source information from government databases and agencies such as: