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Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree in Nashville, TN

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Great Value Colleges - Top Online Degrees in Nashville
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The top colleges for an online degree in Nashville, TN, is a list of top-tier institutions with a variety of online programs that will fit every student’s needs. As online education becomes more mainstream, it is thought that it will overtake traditional education for early-service and mid-service professionals. For students just getting started in their profession, online programs make it easier for them to balance their professional and personal goals.

But online degrees have a way to go in terms of providing students with the information they need. Students must have quick access to tuition rates, class sizes, and accreditation information. This ranking was designed to make all of this information and easier for students to process so they can research only the programs that hold interest for them.

Methodology

This is a points-based ranking, meaning that research was done to create a points database. The original research was done by searching for top colleges for an online degree in Nashville, TN on the National Center for Education Statistics and its publicly available College Navigator database. The initial group of schools was then compiled, and more information was pulled from individual school websites. The factors that led to the points include:

Types of online degree options available (associate, bachelor, master’s, doctorate): 1 point per degree level.

Cost per credit hour:
Under $250 – 4 points
$251 – $350 – 3 points
$351 – $450 – 2 points
Over $451 per credit hour – 1 point

Regional Accreditation:
Present – 1 point

Student to faculty ratio:
10:1 or less – 3 points
11:1 to 15:1 – 2 points
Greater than 15:1 – 1 point

The final 10 schools, all of which are in a 100-mile radius from the city, were chosen based on total points accrued. They are listed below in descending order.

10. Tennessee State University

Nashville, Tennessee

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Nashville, TN
Tennessee State University offers 25 online degree programs.

Website

One of the best places for online bachelor’s programs comes from Tennessee State University. These programs are housed at TSU Online, the school’s virtual school. This portal was designed to provide students with access to a variety of online, low-residency, and hybrid programs. There are 25 degrees and certificates available at the undergraduate and graduate level and include fields such as sociology, urban studies, business administration, and nursing. Students will find that this is a full-service online portal. Courses are delivered to small classes by the same renown faculty that teaches the programs online. Technical support, academic advising, the bookstore and library are also available 100 percent online.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $490
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Accreditation:
Total Points: 5

9. Cumberland University

Lebanon, Tennessee

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Nashville, TN
Cumberland University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees online.

Website

Cumberland University is one of the top colleges for an online degree in Nashville, TN. This school has its own virtual portal known as CU Online. It is through this branch of the school that students can find a wide range of 100 percent online programs, including degrees in education, nursing, and business administration. Students will find that this school cares about its online students; every effort is made to help students through the financial aid process and academic advising ensures that the degree is earned on time. Along with technical support, access to all of the school’s electronic resources and a dedicated support staff, students will be well on their way to earning a quality education.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $525
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Accreditation:
Total Points: 5

8. Lipscomb University

Nashville, Tennessee

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Nashville, TN
Lipscomb University offers 14 online degree programs.

Website

Some of the best online master’s programs can be found at Lipscomb University. There are 14 undergraduate and graduate degrees available; certificates are also available for both levels of education. Students can learn everything from nursing to business to entertainment management, all within a school that understands that students need flexibility in their degrees. This school has a dedicated online support staff, meaning that students will not have to wait long to get answers on their academic or career questions. 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, and an online library are also available to students who wish to take advantage of these services.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $525
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Accreditation:
Total Points: 6

7. Middle Tennessee State University

Nashville, Tennessee

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Nashville, TN
Middle Tennessee State University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees online.

Website

Once again Middle Tennessee State University is one of the nationally recognized top colleges for an online degree in Nashville, TN. This school is known for being a military friendly school and for having been endorsed by the Online Learning Consortium. The school’s online branch, known as MTSU Online, has been offering online courses and degrees since 1997, making it one of the oldest online branches on this ranking. To date, the school offers 12 100 percent online degrees and over 400 courses delivered to an astounding 12,200 students. Students will find a variety of support services available at this school, including technical support, academic and career advising, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $410
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Accreditation:
Total Points: 6

6. Tennessee Technological University

Cookeville, Tennessee

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Nashville, TN
Tennessee Technological University offers eight online degree programs.

Website

Students interested in finding the best online programs in the Nashville, TN, area will be happy with the offerings from Tennessee Technological University. This school offers two bachelor’s degrees and six master’s degrees; teaching endorsements are also available. Fields include professional studies, accounting, and nursing. Students will be given the opportunity to engage with classmates in small classes, interact with the faculty, and have access to the online bookstore and library. Other support services include academic advising, 24/7 technical support, and tutoring services.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $364
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Accreditation:
Total Points: 6

5. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, Tennessee

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Nashville, TN
Vanderbilt University offers two online degree programs.

Website

Vanderbilt is not just a top-tier institution; it is also one of the top colleges for an online degree in Nashville, TN, for graduate and doctoral candidates. This school is home to Peabody Online, the online branch of the school. It is here that students can earn a regionally accredited degree from this world renown institution. There are two degrees available: a Master of Education in Human Development Counseling and the Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning in Organizations. Both programs were designed to be earned mostly online. With small class sizes and professors trained in the art of online education, students will graduate with the knowledge that they are more than prepared for their career. Support services include academic and career advising, technical support, and access to the school’s online library and bookstore.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $1,828
Student to Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Accreditation:
Total Points: 7

4. Austin Peay State University

Fort Campbell, Tennessee

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Nashville, TN
Austin Peay State University offers over 25 online degree programs.

Website

Some of the best online degrees come from Austin Peay State University. This school has over 25 associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees. Students can learn everything from communication to education, health care administration to nursing, and more. These programs were designed specifically with adult learners in mind; all courses are taught by qualified online faculty in small class sizes to ensure that students have individualized attention. With technical support and academic advising, along with access to an online bookstore and library, students will be more than prepared to complete their degree and move on with their professional goals.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $384
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Accreditation:
Total Points: 7

3. Bethel University

Nashville, Tennessee

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Nashville, TNTop 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Nashville, TN
Bethel University offers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees online.

Website

Bethel University is one of the top colleges for an online degree in Nashville, TN, for students who are interested in completing a degree from a faith-based school. Students will have access to degrees at all levels of education; seminary degrees are also available. Fields include education, nursing, and religious studies. This is a school dedicated to ensuring that students have access to academic advising, technical support, and online tutoring services. Other services include a bookstore and library that can be accessed straight from the school’s virtual portal.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $430
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Accreditation:
Total Points: 8

2. Trevecca Nazarene University

Nashville, Tennessee

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Nashville, TN
Trevecca Nazarene University offers online degrees for all levels of education.

Website

Students interested in an online program in the Nashville, TN, area will want to check out Trevecca Nazarene University. This school offers online programs at all levels of education, including associate’s degrees. Fields include Christian ministry, psychology, computer information technology, business administration, and education. All courses are delivered in a cohort, 100 percent online format, making it possible for students to complete this degree while still feeling as though they are part of the community. This school offers a full suite of online degrees, including 24/7 technical support, academic and career advising, an online bookstore, and access to the school’s online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $395
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Accreditation:
Total Points: 8

1. Welch College

Gallatin, Tennessee

Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Nashville, TN
Welch College offers three online degrees.

Website

Welch College is one of the top colleges for an online degree in Nashville, TN. This school confers degrees at the undergraduate level that are a perfect fit for pre-service and early-service students and professionals. The school offers students the chance to complete three degrees; fields include business, ministry, and theological studies. This school is dedicated to their online students; classes are capped at 10 students and the same faculty that teach the courses on-campus also teach online. Support services include technical support, academic advising, a bookstore, and a library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s
Cost per credit hour: $358
Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Accreditation:
Total Points: 8

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Online Degree?

Apart from medical and law professionals, online degrees can lead to nearly every career imaginable. From working in the public sector to the private sector and everything in between, an online program will help most students complete their career goals. The only restriction on what a student can do is their own needs and desires for their career.

Can Employers Help Students Complete an Online Degree?

Yes, employers can help online students with their degree. This may come in two forms: helping with work experience for a position higher than the employee currently holds or subsidizing their tuition. This depends on the employer and the student’s stated degree goal.

Not all employers will help online students, but most will. One of the biggest encouragers of online degrees is the United States government. Government employees will be able to either receive reimbursement for their tuition or find a work placement, if required, for graduation. Other employers, such as big tech companies and school districts, will also subsidize a student’s tuition through an agreement directly with the school.

Students may also need to complete work experience. If an employer cannot help with reimbursement, they may be able to help a student with an internship or work placement at their current workplace, making it easier for the student to complete all of the requirements for work. This also ensures that a student will have an employer that knows their strengths and weaknesses, which can be relayed back to the school.

Earning an online degree provides employers with an understanding that the student is serious about advancing in their career. It also ensures that the employee continues to work for their employer with little to no interruption in their schedule. For this reason, most employers are more than happy to help a student complete a degree in any way that they can.

Are Online Students Eligible for Financial Aid?

Yes, online students are eligible for financial aid. Federal and state financial aid is open to all students provided they meet the minimum requirements for earning it. There are also other forms of financial aid that may be of use for online students.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is the first place most students look for help in paying for their degree. While not all colleges and universities accept FAFSA for online students, many do and it is a great and free way for students to find money for their tuition. One thing to keep in mind is that most students will need to be enrolled full-time in order to qualify for this kind of aid and this may play a role in how many students choose to forgo part-time study for a chance to win financial aid.

Online students can do a cursory search on any research engine and final scholarships and grants that either is specifically created for them or provide them with the chance to compete for awards alongside on-campus students. Residency status plays little part in who gets the award; what matters is how much time and effort a student puts into their application and whether they are a good fit for the scholarship or grant.

Student loans are also considered to be financial aid; however, these must be paid back and can accrue interest over time. It is therefore not recommended that students take this responsibility on if they can help it. For some students, this may be the best way to ensure that they can complete their degree.

How Important is Accreditation for Online Students?

Accreditation is important for students who wish to earn certification or licensure. It is also important to ensure that professionals are getting a quality education. The same goes for online students; with so many schools holding accreditation, it is possible for a student to find an accredited online degree in their field of study. However, there is a difference between regional and professional accreditation that online students will need to understand.

Regional accreditation is delivered by associations that are managed by the United States government. This kind of accreditation tells students that they are receiving a high-quality education by a school that is approved by the United States Department of Education. While not all online schools hold regional accreditation, many do and so it’s important that students take the time to search out schools, such as the ones listed above, that meet this criterion.

Professional accreditation is a form of specialized accreditation. This is delivered to specific programs by professional associations that are important to employers around the country. Online programs can also hold professional accreditation; this will ensure that if a student needs to complete a degree that will lead to licensure that they are looking at the right program.

Accreditation is necessary for licensure-track programs. This includes programs in nursing, psychology, social work, and education; students who are interested in becoming certified in other fields, such as business or accounting, will also need to find a professionally accredited program.

There are some fields in which accreditation is not necessary but also preferred. The humanities, for instance, do not have professional accreditation but earning a regionally accredited degree is preferred by academic employers. Students should always look for regionally accredited programs to ensure that they are receiving a quality education and for that reason, this ranking showcases the best online regionally accredited programs in the city.

What are the Pros and Cons of an Online Program?

An online program has several pros and cons that should be considered. Students will need to know exactly what they are getting into prior to applying for a program. Because online programs are not a great fit for everyone, it is useful to know what to expect from this type of degree.

Online programs have several advantages. They are more affordable than on-campus schools and have fewer requirements to be physically on campus. These programs also have more flexibility in terms of how and what a student studies, making it a great choice for working professionals and busy students. Courses are generally offered online, and students will be able to access them when and where they choose to study. These programs can also be earned faster than traditional programs, which is a great thing for students who do not want to study on the on-campus schedule.

There are some disadvantages as well. Because online programs do not have a set structure, students will need to be self-motivated and keep their own schedule to ensure that they complete everything necessary for graduation. These programs may also have accelerated terms, meaning that students will have a vast amount of knowledge that they will need to retain. Online programs have work experience requirements, meaning that working professionals will need to make time to complete these as well.

Students will need to weigh the pros and cons before making their decision. While online programs are generally a good fit for working professionals, it may not be for everyone. Many schools provide a free online “is online education right for me” test that students can take before applying; it is recommended that all students take it so they are sure they’re making the right decision.

Are All Online Programs Available to Students, Regardless of State Residency?

No, not all programs are available to all students if they are out-of-state residents. While most programs can be taken on by students across the country, there are exceptions to the rule. Students are highly encouraged to keep this information in mind and to confirm whether they can complete a program with the school itself.

Most students will have no problem completing their degree as out-of-state students. However, some states will restrict their students from attending out-of-state schools for professional degrees or a degree that could provide a way to licensure in the field. This is because states have their own licensing boards and, regardless of profession, each state has its own requirements for earning licensure. Since licensure must be earned in the physical state of residence, out-of-state students will find that they may not be able to apply for out-of-state schools.

Schools will state on its website whether an out-of-state student will be accepted into the program. This is generally seen as a warning that is in bold or italics so that students can see it stand out. If a student has any questions about whether they are eligible for a program, they are advised to speak to the school’s admissions office.

How Flexible are Online Programs?

Online programs can be as flexible as the schools that confer them want those programs to be. With different options, it is easy to find at least one school that has the flexibility option that a student is looking for in a program. As always, it’s encouraged that students contact the admissions office to confirm that the options they want are indeed offered by the school.

Online students have more flexibility in how they complete their program than on-campus students. For example, online students generally have the choice to complete a program full-time or part-time. Many schools only allow their on-campus students to be either wholly part-time or wholly full-time, depending on the program. This flexibility enables students who have many responsibilities to create a school schedule that fits their needs.

Courses in an online program also have the ability to be taught live or on-demand. Because the program is delivered online, many schools incorporate asynchronous coursework to ensure that a student has enough time to study their coursework. While some schools require participation in a live class, the lectures are always recorded and available through the school’s learning management system.

While talking about the learning management system, there is something that needs to be discussed: apps. Schools are now utilizing apps that carry their virtual portal for students who have access to smartphones and tablets. This enables them to take their coursework everywhere with them; lectures can even be downloaded for offline viewing. This is a great option for students who are always on the go and need to be able to utilize their commute time more effectively.

Students will also benefit from different term lengths. While on-campus programs are traditionally 16 weeks in length, online courses can be anywhere between four to 12 weeks in length. This is not strictly a flexible option, as schools determine term lengths well before the start of courses, but it will help students who are looking for a way to earn an accelerated degree. These courses also enable part-time students to complete their program in the same amount of time that it would take a traditional full-time student in a campus program.

The program structure is not the only place that an online program can be flexible; students will find that many schools offer the chance to tailor the curriculum of a degree to their personal interests. In fact, this is becoming commonplace for online programs. It not only provides students with the chance to take courses in their specialty but also enables them to have more control over what they are spending their time learning in the program.

Finding online degrees is no longer difficult. With so many schools offering excellent programs that may lead to licensure and certification, online education is opening the door for working and busy professionals to finish their education. Armed with this list of the top colleges for an online degree in Nashville, TN, students can begin the search for the best online program in their area.

GVC Staff
February 2019
This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree in Nashville, TN, for 2019