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Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina

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Great Value Colleges - Top Online Degrees Raleigh, NCIf there is any question that online education is becoming mainstream, the number of schools that offering an online degree in Raleigh, North Carolina may put that to rest. Students have noticed as well, especially since the area is known for hosting several top-tier institutions. And these are the schools that are leading the charge towards offering high-quality online degrees from reputable institutions.

But with so many excellent choices at hand, how can a student choose the right one? It can be overwhelming for working professionals, who are busy enough as it is, to research a school to find specific information. It is because of concerns like this that this ranking, which showcases some of the best colleges and universities in the area of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Methodology

This ranking began with a lot of research up front, which was done using the National Center for Education Statistics website and its free College Navigator. Schools were chosen and listed if they met the criteria of conferring online degrees near Raleigh, North Carolina. The schools were then researched independently of one another using the school’s website. Each school was awarded points based on the following factors:

Number 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 10 schools that made this list can be found within a 50-mile radius of Raleigh, North Carolina. They are listed below in descending order.

10. Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Wake Forest, North Carolina

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary offers online graduate degrees.

Website

Students interested in completing online master’s degrees will want to check out Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. This school provides students with a Christ-centered education in the form of graduate and doctorate online degrees. Fields of study include Christian studies, intercultural studies, and church planting. Students can also find free online courses that can be taken asynchronously so as to not interfere with their busy schedule; there are currently 11 free courses with more to be announced in the near future. Degrees are conferred 100 percent online or hybrid, giving students the chance to attend campus if they wish. Online features for this school include academic and career advising, tutoring services, a fully functioning online portal, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $877.38
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Total Points: 5

9. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers online undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Website

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a top-tier institution from which to earn an online degree in Raleigh, North Carolina. As part of the Research Triangle, this school is an incredible place for research-driven students. Students will find that bachelor’s courses are available online as well as graduate and doctorate programs; continuing education courses for non-degree seeking students are also available. This school has a fully functioning online portal that is supported by a dedicated online faculty and staff. Other online features include 24/7 technical support, academic advising, smartphone and tablet apps to complement the portal, an online bookstore, an online library, and access to the school’s vast amount of electronic resources.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $867
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Total Points: 6

8. Gardner-Webb University

Boiling Springs, North Carolina

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina
Gardner-Webb University offers many bachelor’s and master’s online degree options.

Website

Students looking for some of the best online programs in Raleigh, North Carolina, will want to spend some time looking at Gardner-Webb University. This school has dozens of bachelor’s completion program options and over a dozen graduate programs available to students. Fields of study include business, healthcare management, fire service administration, and Christian ministry. Most programs are available 100 percent online, although some are low-residency; hybrid options are also available to students who live close to campus and would like to engage with the community. Online features of this school include 24/7 technical support, academic and career advising, online tutoring, professor office hours, smartphone and tablet apps, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $857
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Total Points: 6

7. Barton College

Wilson, North Carolina

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina
Barton College offers online bachelor’s degree programs.

Website

Barton College is one of the best places to earn an online degree in Raleigh, North Carolina. This school has built its online portal to help working adults at every turn; live courses are held in the evening or on weekends, part-time and full-time options are both available, and more. Students will find that there are three bachelor’s degrees available: Business, RN to BSN, and Justice Administration. The school has also made plans to bring more programs online in the future. Students will benefit from small class sizes and trained faculty and staff who are dedicated to ensuring that they complete their degree on time. Online features for this school include academic and career advising, tutoring services, 24/7 technical support, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s
Cost per credit hour: $857
Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Total Points: 6

6. Campbell University

Buies Creek, North Carolina

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina
Campbell University offers online associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs.

Website

Some of the best online bachelor’s degrees come from Campbell University. This school offers over a dozen associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, certificates, and licensure programs for students who wish to become educators, nurses, or business professionals. Minors are also available along with specializations, ensuring that students can find expertise even at the undergraduate level. One of the best things about this school is that each and every instructor has been certified to teach online, something few other schools can say. This school is dedicated to online education and have been since conferring its first online degree in 1999. Online features for this program include academic and career advising, 24/7 technical support, tutoring services, smartphone and tablet apps, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Associate’s, Bachelor’s
Cost per credit hour: $655
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Total Points: 6

5. Duke University

Durham, North Carolina

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina
Duke University offers online graduate degrees.

Website

Duke University is an incredible institution for any student interested in earning an online degree in Raleigh, North Carolina. As part of the Research Triangle, this school is known to students as being a pioneer in research and technological advancement. This has continued in its online education to encompass graduate and doctorate degrees, certificates, massive open online courseware, and more. Professionals who are non-degree seeking students will also benefit; the school has a variety of free online courses that, for a small fee, can provide the necessary continuing education required for several qualifications that require renewal. Online features for this school include 24/7 technical support, academic and career advising, tutoring services, online professor office hours, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $773
Student to Faculty Ratio: 6:1
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Total Points: 7

4. North Carolina Central University

Durham, North Carolina

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina
North Carolina Central University offers over two dozen undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as certificates online.

Website

Students looking for a wide range of online degrees will want to look at North Carolina Central University. This school has over two dozen undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as certificates. Most of these programs are offered 100 percent online, but there are hybrid options available for students who live near campus. Fields of study include nursing, psychology, education, and criminal justice. Those interested in criminal justice will find that NCCU is one of the top-rated schools for the field. All courses are held through Blackboard, the school’s learning management system. Class sizes are capped at 18 students, ensuring that all students will have the chance to interact with classmates and professors in a friendly setting. Online features for this school include academic and career advising, 24/7 technical support, tutoring services, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $144.29
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Total Points: 8

3. North Carolina A&T State University

Greensboro, North Carolina

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina
North Carolina A&T State University offers online undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Website

North Carolina A&T State University is the proud home of a strong suite of online programs that all students will be interested in. Students will find undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degrees available at this school; certificates and endorsements are also available. The school provides students with free access to Microsoft Office 365 as well as Blackboard, the online portal. Students will find that they will have a variety of flexible options, including part-time and full-time study plans, live and on-demand courses, and more. Online features for this school include 24/7 technical support, academic and career advising, tutoring services, smartphone and tablet apps to support the online portal, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $120
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Total Points: 9

2. Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina
Fayetteville State University caps class sizes at 15 students.

Website

Students interested in finding undergraduate online programs near Raleigh, North Carolina, will be happy with the offerings at Fayetteville State University. This school offers bachelor’s completion programs, graduate degrees, and doctorate degrees; certificates and endorsements are also available. Fields of study include psychology, fire and emergency services administration, education, and business administration. Concentrations are available for most degrees. Students will find that class sizes are capped at 15 students and that the online portal is supported by a dedicated online faculty and staff. Online features for this school include academic and career advising, 24/7 technical support, online office hours, smartphone and tablet apps for the online portal, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s
Cost per credit hour: $100.75
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Total Points: 9

1. North Carolina State University

Raleigh, North Carolina

Top 10 Colleges For An Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina
North Carolina State University offers over 90 online degree programs.

Website

North Carolina State University is one of the top colleges for a student who is interested in earning an online degree in Raleigh, North Carolina. This school offers 100 percent online and low-residency programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels; over 90 degrees are available every year. Fields of study include nursing, education, engineering, business administration, and computer science. Students will find that the programs were designed to provide them with maximum flexibility in their schedule, including offering courses that are held completely on-demand with no need for live participation. Online features for this school include 24/7 technical support, academic and career advising, an online bookstore, and an online library.

Types of Degrees Available:
Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate
Cost per credit hour: $236.88
Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Total Points: 10

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Career Options for an Online Degree?

Online degrees are perfect for just about any career, especially as more and more employers welcome employees making the jump back into education. This means that there are very few jobs that are closed to students. The sky’s the limit when it comes to a student forging their own path in terms of their career.

There are some exceptions to this rule, however; medical and law professionals must complete their education on a campus. This refers to their specialist degree, which is often the terminal degree in their field. However, they can complete an online undergraduate degree provided that it is regionally accredited and will help facilitate their dream to enter the profession.

Do Employers Accept Online Degrees?

Yes, employers accept online degrees. This is for two reasons: employers will not necessarily know that a degree is offered online and also most employers are encouraging of current employees returning to school through an online delivery format so as to not interfere with their career.

Schools rarely, if ever, make a distinction between an online and an on-campus degree. This was different 20 years ago, but as online degrees have become more mainstream, it is no longer necessary to differentiate between the two. In the eyes of employers, if students have completed a reputable degree from an accredited school, the delivery format is not a concern. If anything, an online degree proves that an employee is driven and passionate about their career.

Employers also love online degrees because it removes the need for a professional to leave the workforce and go back to school. This can be a problem for both employees and employers as both need each other in order to facilitate their lifestyles. Employees who take online courses are seen as more put-together and committed to the career than others who have chosen not to go back to school, especially in fields where higher education is necessary in order to advance to managerial positions.

How Affordable is an Online Degree Compared to an On-Campus Degree?

Online degrees can be up to 40 percent cheaper than on-campus degrees. However, there are some factors that play a role in how much more affordable an online degree. Some of these include the school’s view on tuition and the actual program itself.

Many schools utilize in-state tuition for online students. This is to help bring in more qualified students into a school in which they can thrive. Out-of-state tuition can be very expensive but since online students aren’t using the campus facilities, there is no reason to make them pay for services they aren’t using.

Other schools have implemented an online tuition rate. This rate is reserved for online students and can be cheaper than in-state tuition by about 15 percent. The rate is not universal, but more schools are seeing the usefulness of varying their tuition rates based on how a student is completing their degree.

Another thing to keep in mind is the type of degree a student is earning. Professional and applied degrees, such as nursing, teaching, computer science and engineering, tend to be more expensive than the humanities or liberal arts degrees. This is because the former requires laboratories and most likely field experiences while the latter does not. Online students will see a difference in the actual cost of their classes, especially if they need to take a simulated lab course.

Can Online Students Get Financial Aid?

Yes, online students do qualify for financial aid. For the sake of this discussion, loans will not be described as it is a form of aid that a student must pay back. This answer will instead focus only on awards that are not expected to be paid back.

Full-time online students are eligible for federal financial aid. This can be applied for by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. As the name implies, it is free to apply for. The amount that a student will be awarded depends on their application and their demonstration of financial need. Not all schools accept federal financial aid, however, so students are advised to do their homework in this area.

Scholarships and grants are also available to online students. Because most of these awards do not require a student to be an on-campus resident, it may be worth a student’s time to apply for as many scholarships and grants as they qualify for. Students will find that there are also online-specific awards that may be helpful for them. These can be found by doing a search on any search engine.

What are the Residency Requirements for Online Degrees?

Residency in the context of online degrees refers to a school’s requirement that student attends campus. Not all online degrees require residency, but enough do that it is important to make the decision. The three types of online programs are known as 100 percent online, low-residency, and hybrid programs.

Students who attend a 100 percent online program will never have to step foot on campus. Most of these programs will state clearly on their program website that there are no residency requirements. This program was meant to be completed entirely online and therefore no campus visit ever is necessary; most schools do offer students the chance to walk for graduation on campus if they wish.

Low-residency programs are programs that have some residency requirements. These can be as little as weekend or summer intensives once a year or as much as three weekends per term. This is dictated by the school and is usually mandatory for graduation. In this case, students will want to review the residency requirements tab on the program website; a call to the admissions office will also help clear up any confusion on residency requirements.

Hybrid programs are programs that are half earned online and half earned on-campus. Students will be required to take residence on campus for at least two years for an undergraduate degree, one year for a master’s degree, and two years for a doctorate degree. Residency is usually tied to core curriculum requirements which are not available online. This program may be too commute-intensive for working professionals, so it is advised that they research these programs very carefully.

What is the Difference Between Asynchronous and Synchronous Courses?

Asynchronous and synchronous are terms that simply mean on-demand and live. In this context, the terms refer to the delivery method of a course. During registration, students may find that the same course is available in both methods, which can often lead to confusion. Here is a quick primer on the difference between the two.

Asynchronous courses are on-demand courses. This means that a student does not have to be physically present during the lecture or have to participate in live discussions. They can take on the coursework and do the assignments on their own schedule. This is the most popular type of online course delivery method because it enables online students to choose when and where they study.

Synchronous courses are live courses. This refers to courses that require live participation by students during the week or on the weekend. Online courses that are live are generally held in the evenings and on the weekends to accommodate working adults and busy professionals. Students can generally review lectures after they have gone live, but most schools still require marked participation.

Both delivery methods are widely used in online degrees. It is, however, important for students to understand the requirements of each prior to registering for courses. Synchronous courses that have no participation may result in a failing grade, so busy students may want to search for on-demand courses first.

One of the biggest benefits to completing an online degree is the fact that students can study from anywhere, meaning that schools across the country are open to all students, not just those that live close to campus. This has led to more students taking the leap into higher education, providing them with better career opportunities. With this list of the best schools to earn an online degree in Raleigh, North Carolina, students will be well prepared to begin applying to the dream school of their choice.

GVC Staff
March 2019
This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Colleges for an Online Degree Near Raleigh, North Carolina for 2019