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Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Arlington, Virginia

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Great Value Colleges - Top Online Degrees in Arlington, VA

Online degrees in Arlington, Virginia, are surprisingly easy to come by. The area’s best schools know that importance that an online degree can make on a student’s life and have begun conferring high-quality degrees at every level of education. But with so many prestigious and renown schools in the area, how does a student make their decision?

Online students need precise information in order to make a decision as to what schools they will apply to. Information such as class size, regional accreditation and tuition rates can make the difference for these students. This ranking was created to offer all of this information and more to make the decision-making process a little smoother.

Methodology

This ranking began as general research on the National Center for Education Statistics website. Using the site’s publicly available College Navigator database, a search for “online degrees in Arlington, Virginia,” was conducted. All schools that met this criterion and are located in a 50-mile radius from the city were considered for this ranking. The schools were then individually reviewed and ranked based on a points system; the following factors were used to award points:

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, which are located within a 50-mile radius of Arlington, Virginia, were chosen based on the total amount of points accrued during the research process. They are listed below in descending order.

10. American University

Washington, D.C.

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Arlington, Virginia
American University offers online master’s programs.

Website

Students interested in online master’s programs will want to check out American University. This school offers graduate degrees and certificates online; undergraduate courses are also available, but at this writing, the school does not offer undergraduate degrees. Fields of study include analytics, counter-terrorism and homeland security, international relations, and strategic communication. Courses are held to small class sizes, empowering students to have a close relationship with their classmates and professors. With a dedicated online staff and experienced instructors, students are in a great position to fulfill their career goals. Online features include 24/7 technical support, academic and career advising, online office hours, financial aid services, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $1,759
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Total Points: 5

9. Georgetown University

Washington, D.C.

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Arlington, Virginia
Georgetown University offers online graduate degree programs.

Website

Georgetown University confers an amazing suite of online degrees in Washington, DC. The school currently confers over a dozen graduate degrees and certificates online with a variety of residency options. Fields of study include applied intelligence, systems engineering management, emergency and disaster management, and cybersecurity risk management. Students will benefit from small class sizes, a world-renown faculty, and a dedicated online staff. Online features include academic and career advising, financial aid services, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $1,392
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Total Points: 5

8. College of William and Mary Washington Center

Washington, D.C.

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Arlington, Virginia
The College of William and Mary Washington Center offers two online degree programs.

Website

Business-minded students will find exceptional online programs at the College of William and Mary Washington Center. This school offers two online degrees: Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Business Analytics. Both degrees were formulated to be completed online with minimal campus residencies. Students at this school have access to experienced professionals who serve as their instructors, each of which has had training in online education. A committed online staff is also present, ensuring that each student’s concerns are taken into consideration. Online features for this school include 24/7 technical support, academic and career advising, financial aid services, online office hours, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $1,220
Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Total Points: 5

7. George Washington University

Washington, D.C.

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Arlington, Virginia
George Washington University offers online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degree programs.

Website

George Washington University is an exceptional institution for students interested in online bachelor’s degrees in Washington, DC. This school confers degrees at the undergraduate level as well as the master’s and doctorate levels; certificates and endorsements are also available. Fields of study include instructional design, strategic public relations, electrical engineering, and cybersecurity policy and compliance. Students will benefit from completing a degree at this world-renown institution, which is supported by dedicated professors and an online staff. Small class sizes mean that students will receive individualized attention, enabling them to move forward with their career goals. Online features include 24/7 technical support, financial aid services, tutoring services, academic and career advising, online office hours, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $2,368
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Total Points: 7

6. Catholic University of America

Washington, D.C.

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Arlington, Virginia
Catholic University of America offers master’s and doctorate degrees online.

Website

Students looking or the best online degrees in Washington, D.C., will want to look to the Catholic University of America. This school provides a variety of graduate and doctorate degrees and certificates, most of which are offered entirely online; some programs will require some campus residency during the summer. Fields of study include management, nursing, social work, and theology. This school has converted its applications-oriented curricula online, providing students with the same high-quality education they have come to expect. Online features for this school include academic and career advising, financial aid services, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $1,387
Student to Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Total Points: 7

5. Howard University

Washington, D.C.

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Arlington, Virginia
Howard University offers bachelor’s and master’s programs online.

Website

Howard University is a great place for students interested in undergraduate and graduate degrees in Washington, DC. This school currently offers a variety of programs with more planned for the future. Fields of study include business administration, paralegal studies, nursing, and clinical laboratory science. The school also offers stand-alone online courses for non-degree students as well as certificates for working professionals. Students have the benefit of having small class sizes and a dedicated online staff that work towards preparing them for the workforce. Online features include academic and career advising, 24/7 technical support, online office hours, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $1,304
Student to Faculty Ratio: 8:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Total Points: 7

4. Marymount University

Arlington, Virginia

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Arlington, Virginia
Marymount University offers online undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Website

Students who are interested in enrolling at Marymount University will be happy with the school’s current offerings. There are degrees, certificates and endorsements available at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels. Fields of study include cybersecurity, nursing, business administration, and administration and supervision. Students will need to check if they are eligible to complete these programs if they live out-of-state. The programs are all offered entirely or primarily online, making them a great choice for busy students. Online features include 24/7 technical support, financial aid services, academic and career advising, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $1,010
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Total Points: 7

3. Gallaudet University

Washington, D.C.

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Arlington, Virginia
Gallaudet University offers online undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Website

Gallaudet University is an exceptional place for online degrees in Washington, DC. Students will have the opportunity to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates; stand-alone courses for non-degree seeking students are also available. Fields of study include clinical mental health counseling, sign language education, and summers and online school counseling. Completion programs are also available. Most programs are available as hybrid degrees; students who live close to campus would benefit most from this school. Online features include academic and career advising, financial aid services, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $1,010
Student to Faculty Ratio: 7:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Total Points: 7

2. The University of Maryland University College

Largo, Maryland

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Arlington, Virginia
University of Maryland University College offers more than 90 degrees, certificates and endorsements at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels.

Website

Students at the University of Maryland University College will love the vast amount of online degrees available to them. The school currently offers more than 90 degrees, certificates and endorsements at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels. Fields of study include cybersecurity management and policy, data analytics, management, and education. This school is supported by a dedicated online staff and trained instructors, providing students with an exceptional support system that will see them through graduation. Online features include 24/7 technical support, academic and career advising, smartphone and tablet companion apps, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $294
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Total Points: 8

1. The University of the Potomac

Washington, D.C.

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Arlington, Virginia
The University of the Potomac offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of fields.

Website

The University of the Potomac will provide students with a great education with their selection of online degrees in Washington, DC. This school provides online undergraduate and graduate degrees in a variety of fields; certificates and endorsements are also available. Fields of study include international business, cybersecurity, hospitality and management, and contract management. Students benefit from small class sizes, a renown faculty, and a dedicated online staff. Online features include financial aid services, 24/7 technical support, academic and career services, online office hours, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $277
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Total Points: 8

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Online Degree?

Online degrees are in the enviable position of providing all students with the chance to enter any field or come up with a new job description. From the humanities to STEM and everything in between, students will be able to tackle any career with the help of an online degree. And with so many degrees coming online, soon all degrees will be available to working professionals and busy students.

There are currently a few exceptions to this rule; however, some still do. Medical and law professionals, for example, must complete their specialist degree on a school campus. This specialist degree is critical to their ability to earn licensure to practice their profession, which is a requirement by the United States government. However, it is still possible for students to begin their education journey online by completing a bachelor’s degree from a virtual program.

Do Military Members or Government Employees Get Any Benefits From Completing an Online Degree?

Yes, both military members and government employees get benefits from completing an online degree. This normally comes in the form of tuition assistance but may also include other services at select schools. Students will want to read this short primer to learn more.

Government employees, such as those who work for the federal government in any of the agencies, may be eligible for tuition reimbursement. This is due to the fact that the government encourages all of its employees to take on any advancement opportunity that comes their way. Tuition reimbursement or, in some cases, subsidization, provides these employees with the chance to complete their degree without having to worry about the cost.

These employees may also be granted access to special online programs that were designed specifically for their needs. This generally happens in the fields of cybersecurity and homeland security but may also be found in other areas. These programs are often supported by the government, meaning that all students will be government employees who are actively working in their stated field.

Military members will find that most schools have special tuition rates for them. This can be described as a veteran or military member rate and may cover military members, former and active-duty, as well as their dependents. The prices can range anywhere from 20 percent to 50 percent less than the stated tuition for the program. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all schools offer this pricing, but it is possible to find schools in the Arlington, Virginia, area that do.

Another thing to keep in mind is that while active duty and retired military members and their families will have access to special benefits, only working federal employees will have benefits to these online programs. This is because most federal employees who take on an online program will choose one that has been designated as desirable by the government, while military members may be trying to advance their career or start a new one.

What are the Different Term Lengths Available in an Online Degree?

Online degrees offer students a variety of flexible options, and one of the most enticing is variable term lengths. On-campus programs generally operate on the traditional 16-week term length, a length that may not be suitable for working and busy students. With an online degree, schools can choose from a variety of options, which are listed below.

Many online programs have switched out the 16-week term in favor of 15-week or 12-week terms. These are considered to be traditional online term lengths as enough schools have made the switch to make it mainstream. This term length is very similar to on-campus programs but gives students more breathing room between terms as well as the chance to potentially complete the degree on a part-time basis.

Eight-week terms are also available; these are considered to be accelerated terms as they take approximately half the time to complete as a traditional 16-week term. It also means more terms during the academic school year, offering students the opportunity to complete their degree in about half the time as a traditional program; this is assuming that the student is full-time during their course of study.

Intensive terms are online terms that take between four to seven weeks to complete. Schools will determine the term length, but four and seven-week terms are the most popular. These terms are often found in schools that confer accelerated programs; bridge programs may also utilize these lengths to ensure that students complete their degree on time.

Something that online students will need to consider is that the shorter a term length is, the more intensive the program is. Most students will find that schools with shorter term lengths will encourage or require them to complete the degree as a part-time student; schools understand that the majority of their student body work full-time or have other responsibilities. Studying part-time may mean that a student will spend more time in the program but will also ensure that they complete their degree successfully.

Can Online Students Take Courses Year-Round or Just During the Academic Term?

Online students in most programs will find that they have the option to complete courses year-round, not just during the academic year. Schools that offer these additional terms will often have the terms listed on their school schedule or mention it in the overview of the program that a student is interested in. There are two special sessions that are most commonly used: summer sessions and J-terms.

Summer sessions are sessions that most students will consider to be summer school. While this is true, as the courses take place during the summer, students will find that there are several sessions available during the term, enabling them to complete between one to four courses between traditional academic terms. This is a great way for ambitious students to complete their degrees faster.

Summer sessions can be two-week intensives or take a month to complete. Schools generally run two to three sessions during the summer months. It is not a requirement for students to take on these courses, but it can be helpful for those who need to take a course again or who would like to complete core requirements faster. It is important to note that not all courses for any particular program are offered during the summer sessions, so students will need to review the course schedule to see if their particular needs are met.

J-term is the term that takes place during the winter break and prior to the start of the spring term. Term lengths vary by school, but most offer two one-week sessions or one two-week session. This can be helpful for students who need to fulfill a prerequisite they have not yet completed or who want to take on an elective that is normally not offered during the school year.

J-terms are intensive sessions; the entire course must be offered in a short amount of time. Therefore, students can expect to spend more time studying in order to complete their degree. In addition, these courses vary by year, so students who find a course they are interested should register as soon as possible.

Online students who complete J-terms and summer sessions, even as part-time students, may find that they reduce their time in their program by one term or one year. Although it can be a difficult task to study throughout the year, it is a great way for students to stay committed to their education and meet their goals.

Is Federal Financial Aid Available to Online Students?

Yes, online students are eligible for federal financial. It is a sign of virtual education becoming mainstream, as when online education began, it was not eligible. However, there are some things to keep in mind.

Federal financial aid is awarded once a student has completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This is the most common way that students can access federal money for their education. Online students will find that their degree delivery method has little to no impact on how much money they may receive.

However, online students must be half-time, which is six credit hours, or full-time to be eligible for financial aid. Many schools will consider all online students to be full-time, regardless of their study schedule, meaning that online students will benefit from applying. Most schools have financial aid services designed for virtual learners, a great resource that can help students on their quest to obtain an affordable education.

There are different types of federal financial aid that is available; grants, loans, and work-study programs. It is important that students understand the benefits and requirements of each. For example, a student who fills out a FAFSA form may be awarded federal money for their degree with no strings attached while a student who takes on a work-study program or a grant will need to repay the award with service. Federal student loans, on the other, require a student to pay back the money with low, fixed interest rates.

Most online students will not be eligible for work-study programs unless the program is available in their area. Grants with service obligations are designed so that a student does not pay back the grant until after graduation and they are in service. Loans are considered, and rightfully so, a last resort.

Students in Virginia are looking for degrees that are offered online that can help them get a job in the United States government, the military, or in the private sector. Arlington is a great area for these students; there are several schools, each with their own specialty, that has begun translating their excellent on-campus degrees online. This list of the best online degrees in Arlington, Virginia, is a good place for any interested student to start planning their career.

GVC Staff
April 2019
This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree near Arlington, Virginia.