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2021 Best Online Colleges (based on ROI)
#1
Optimal/GradReports has produced its 2021 Best Online Colleges & Degrees rankings based on ROI. It looks like a few of our favorites made the list. There is an article on Forbes discussing the list as well.

For Bachelor's degrees:
  1. University of Virginia
  2. Northeastern University
  3. Excelsior College
  4. Capella University
  5. SUNY Empire State College
  6. University of Alaska, Anchorage
  7. Roger Williams University
  8. Thomas Edison State University
  9. Rider University
  10. Colorado State University Global
  11. Drexel University
  12. University of Maryland Global Campus
  13. Concordia University, St. Paul
  14. St Joseph’s University
  15. Brandman University
  16. Bellevue University
  17. Miami University
  18. Western Governors University
  19. American Public University System
  20. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide
  21. University of Northwestern - St. Paul
  22. Trident at AIU
  23. The University of Texas of the Permian Basin
  24. University of Bridgeport
  25. National University
It doesn't look like COSC made the top 25, so not all the Big 3 are on there, but WGU did make the list. Capella, Brandman, and CSU Global also made the list, but I was somewhat surprised that NAU didn't make it.

They released a similar list for Master's degrees, but none of the competency-based colleges we usually suggest made the general list. Georgia Tech is mentioned, but not for the OMS degrees. Purdue is also listed, but not Purdue Global. If you dig down into the degree-specific listings, the more familiar schools do show up there.

In any case, I figured others may find this list useful or at least interesting.
Working on: Researching doctoral programs for a potential 2021-22 start

Complete:
MBA (IT Management), 2019, Western Governors University
BSBA (Computer Information Systems), 2019, Thomas Edison State University
ASNSM (Computer Science), 2019, Thomas Edison State University

ScholarMatch College & Career Coach
WGU Ambassador
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  • ss20ts
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#2
Cool, APUS made the list and so did U of Texas PB as well... here's the link for the Masters: https://www.onlineu.com/degrees/masters
In Progress: Walden MBA | TESU BA Biology & Computer Science
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~Note~ Read/Review forum posts & Wiki Links to Sample Degree Plans

TESU ASNSM Biology, BSBA (ACBSP Accredited in 2017)
Universidad Isabel I: ENEB MBA, Big Data & BI, Digital Marketing & E-Commerce
Business & IT Certs: 6Sigma/Lean/Scrum, ITIL | Cisco, CompTIA, MTA | Coursera & Udacity
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#3
In my opinion, Northeastern University is the best. I was once accepted to their Boston campus. It's crazy that I rejected that offer. I always regret that decision. Back then, they used to rank 90th in the US. But now they rank among top 50th in US. I believe they can reach to ivy-league level in the next 15 years. However, their tuition fee is too expensive.
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#4
So sad that Snhu is not in this list.
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#5
(10-25-2020, 09:53 PM)nomaduser Wrote: In my opinion, Northeastern University is the best. I was once accepted to their Boston campus. It's crazy that I rejected that offer. I always regret that decision. Back then, they used to rank 90th in the US. But now they rank among top 50th in US. I believe they can reach to ivy-league level in the next 15 years. However, their tuition fee is too expensive.

They can never be Ivy League. The Ivy League has been set in stone for eons. That won't change. There have been movements to add to the Ivy League and they'e been rejected. They're not going ot let anyone else in easily. Ivy League encompasses so many aspects, but it was originally founded on sports. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_League
UMPI YourPace Alumni: BLS with Management Information Systems, Project Management, and Management minors 
Graduated March 2021

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#6
I wanted to go to Northeastern, too. Life circumstances at the time made that impossible. I'm glad that TESU and Excelsior are getting some well deserved recognition. I'd be years behind my educational goals without them.

University of Bridgeport on the other hand... wow. Last school in the entire universe I ever expected to see on the list. I should have known better, however. Their student population has a much higher than average percentage of Asian immigrants, most of them pursuing STEM careers.

In case anyone asks- the Asian immigrant thing matters due, not to racial factors, but to how strenuous and selective each step of the way is to eventually make it in to the position to go to school here.

EDIT: On second thought, I'm not so sure how that translates to online learning. I spoke too quickly without fully thinking that one through.
BA | Social Sciences - Thomas Edison State University
AA | Liberal Arts - Excelsior College
Cert | Leadership Readiness for Turbulent Times - University of Arizona, Eller Executive Education

CLEP: French (63); Human Growth & Dev. (62); Info Sys & Comp. Apps (69); Macro ECO (58); Micro ECO (63); PSY (74); SOC (79); Spanish (76); MGMT (70); MKTG (65); Bus. Law (61) ECE: Abnormal Psych (A); Cultural Diversity (A); Psych of Adulthood & Aging (A); World Pop. (A); Juv. Delinquency (A); Gerontology (A); Org. Behavior (A); PHIL (B) AP: Lit & Comp (3); Lang & Comp (3); U.S. History (3) DSST: Money & Banking (58)
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#7
Maybe this is the beginning of rebuilding Capella's reputation.

I'm not sure how U of V is #1. Their website is a mess. It's so difficult finding their online degrees. And they don't offer anything spectacular for undergrad degrees. Just a basic liberal arts degree and the professional studies in health management degree. I expected more from them considering what the school is. Weird to see NU on the list but not NAU. I read on here last week that NU had 6 graduates last year so it really makes me wonder about this list. Your location will also have a great deal to do with ROI.

https://www.degreeforum.net/mybb/Thread-...#pid320043
UMPI YourPace Alumni: BLS with Management Information Systems, Project Management, and Management minors 
Graduated March 2021

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#8
Yeah, I find this list a bit suspect as well. I was just happy to see some recognition for Excelsior, TESU, and WGU. But all of those would be much higher (like in the top 5) if they took ACE credits and other non-traditional options into account.

IMO, they are missing a lot of great ROI schools, primarily because they are ignoring many of the competency-based programs that can be far more cost-effective and offer a much larger ROI than any traditional college if you plan it right.
Working on: Researching doctoral programs for a potential 2021-22 start

Complete:
MBA (IT Management), 2019, Western Governors University
BSBA (Computer Information Systems), 2019, Thomas Edison State University
ASNSM (Computer Science), 2019, Thomas Edison State University

ScholarMatch College & Career Coach
WGU Ambassador
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  • rachel83az
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#9
(10-26-2020, 04:28 PM)Merlin Wrote: Yeah, I find this list a bit suspect as well. I was just happy to see some recognition for Excelsior, TESU, and WGU. But all of those would be much higher (like in the top 5) if they took ACE credits and other non-traditional options into account.

IMO, they are missing a lot of great ROI schools, primarily because they are ignoring many of the competency-based programs that can be far more cost-effective and offer a much larger ROI than any traditional college if you plan it right.

I am happy to see EC, TESU, and WGU on here. I am surprised that Walden wasn't on the list and schools no one has ever heard of and only have a handful of degrees are on instead. I heard of Walden years ago.....long before I knew of this forum.

I did notice one big name in the online degree world that is missing. That's U of Phoenix. I know they have a bad rap, but they do offer a number of degrees. Grand Canyon University is also missing as is Liberty. It's an interesting mix on this list. 

I wonder how exactly they calculated the ROI. It doesn't say they included location. I'm not sure how they could account for how many people earn a degree for a promotion at work which we see on here quite often. It would be interesting to see what degrees people earned, what their job was when they started school, and what their job was within a year of completing their degree. Did they stay with the same company? Have they been promoted? Has their salary increased? So many questions! LOL I also wonder about the name of the school and that factor on the job search. University of Virginia is going to go a great deal further almost anywhere than a degree from Bob's University.  Man, I wish there was a Bob's University. I would find that entertaining especially since I'm reading about TPS reports today......no joke.
UMPI YourPace Alumni: BLS with Management Information Systems, Project Management, and Management minors 
Graduated March 2021

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#10
(10-26-2020, 04:06 PM)ss20ts Wrote: Maybe this is the beginning of rebuilding Capella's reputation.

I'm not sure how U of V is #1. Their website is a mess. It's so difficult finding their online degrees. And they don't offer anything spectacular for undergrad degrees. Just a basic liberal arts degree and the professional studies in health management degree. I expected more from them considering what the school is. Weird to see NU on the list but not NAU. I read on here last week that NU had 6 graduates last year so it really makes me wonder about this list. Your location will also have a great deal to do with ROI.

https://www.degreeforum.net/mybb/Thread-...#pid320043

Capella owns Sophia and takes their credits along with CLEP, DSST up to I think 90 credits.

They are more expensive than say WGU but if you can graduate in less than a year and get the Pell Grant, then it's not a bad deal.

I saw some bad reviews from the people going for their doctoral degrees so maybe there are some issues with those types of degrees.
Course Experience:
Modernstates.org/CLEP, Straighterline.com, Onlinedegree.org, Saylor.org,  Sophia.org, Study.com, Instantcertcredit, Csmlearn.com, Theinstitutes.org, and TEL Learning

TESU Degree Plans:
Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in CIS  (Capstone Done)
Bachelors of Arts in Computer Science  (Capstone Done)

120+ credits earned with expected graduation September 2021.
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