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10 Schools With the Most Online Students

Josh Moody

Online education continues to grow.

The word "college" may conjure up a vision of stately, ivy-draped brick-and-mortar buildings and well-manicured grounds, but many students across the U.S. attend classes without ever stepping onto a campus. Nearly one in six undergraduate students, or 15.4%, were enrolled exclusively in distance education courses in fall 2017, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Additionally, a 2018 report by the Babson Survey Research Group found that online education continues to grow annually, even as enrollment across higher education slips. With online education options aplenty, here is a look at 10 schools with the highest number of enrolled students in online bachelor's programs, per U.S. News data.

East Carolina University (NC)

Best Online Bachelor's Programs rank: 150 (tie)

Online enrollment: 10,182

Most popular major: Speech communication and rhetoric and registered nursing/registered nurse

East Carolina University lists two dozen options among its online undergraduate degree programs. Those options are concentrated around business, communication, education and industrial technology majors. The ECU website notes that these are popular offerings for transfer students who have completed two years of community college.

More about East Carolina University.

Post University (CT)

Best Online Bachelor's Programs rank: 210 (tie)

Online enrollment: 10,827

Most popular major: Business administration and management, general

Breaking away from the typical 15-week semester model, Post University offers "eight-week accelerated terms six times per year," with students typically taking two courses per term, according to the school's website. Post University notes that the accelerated model makes it possible to earn a bachelor's degree in two to three years.

More about Post University.

University of Central Florida

Best Online Bachelor's Programs rank: 14

Online enrollment: 11,947

Most popular major: Psychology, general

UCF offers two dozen online undergraduate degrees across a variety of majors ranging from anthropology and technical education to industry training, with many options along the way. For students undecided on a discipline, the interdisciplinary studies major offers the ability to customize a curriculum to their interests.

More about the University of Central Florida.

Colorado State University--Global Campus

Best Online Bachelor's Programs rank: 8 (tie)

Online enrollment: 12,056

Most popular major: Business administration and management, general

Colorado State University--Global Campus offers 13 programs to students at the bachelor's degree level. According to its website, CSU--Global promises online students that their tuition rates will not change while they are enrolled.

More about Colorado State University--Global Campus.

Columbia College (MO)

Best Online Bachelor's Programs rank: 159 (tie)

Online enrollment: 12,283

Most popular major: General studies

Columbia College lists 36 online degree programs on its website, encompassing a range of majors. The school also notes that it offers six class sessions a year, making it possible to graduate in 3.5 years with a bachelor's degree.

More about Columbia College.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University--Worldwide (FL)

Best Online Bachelor's Programs rank: 1

Online enrollment: 15,752

Most popular major: Aeronautics/aviation/aerospace science and technology, general

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University--Worldwide offers 16 bachelor's programs online with an emphasis on the aviation and aerospace fields. But those fields offer far more options than a career in a cockpit, with programs such as communication, emergency services, logistics and supply chain management, and other related majors.

More about Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University--Worldwide.

American InterContinental University (IL)

Best Online Bachelor's Programs rank: 200 (tie)

Online enrollment: 15,976

Most popular major: Business administration and management, general

American InterContinental University has 25 program options available at the bachelor's level concentrated around business, criminal justice, health care management and information technology. According to the school's website, American InterContinental University also offers accelerated degree programs.

More about American InterContinental University.

Colorado Technical University

Best Online Bachelor's Programs rank: 123 (tie)

Online enrollment: 29,963

Most popular major: Business administration and management, general

There are 51 bachelor's degree options at Colorado Technical University concentrated around seven areas of study, including business management, information technology and nursing. CTU also offers a "Fast Track" program that allows students to test out of classes, potentially saving them time and money along the way.

More about Colorado Technical University.

Arizona State University

Best Online Bachelor's Programs rank: 2

Online enrollment: 36,464

Most popular major: Psychology, general

For students seeking options, Arizona State University has plenty to choose from with 88 online bachelor's programs listed on its website. ASU's expansive offerings include a robust mix of programs across the hard and social sciences, ranging from options such as biochemistry to women and gender studies, with dozens of others in the mix.

More about Arizona State University.

Liberty University (VA)

Best Online Bachelor's Programs rank: 194 (tie)

Online enrollment: 37,570

Most popular major: Multi-/interdisciplinary studies, other

With around 100 bachelor's degree options listed on its website, Liberty University has the most online program offerings of any school on this list. Additionally, Liberty offers tuition breaks to military members, veterans and first responders.

More about Liberty University.

Get more information on online education.

U.S. News offers lots of advice for prospective online students on paying for their online education, preparing for an online program and excelling in online classes. Discover more about gearing up for college by following U.S. News Education on Facebook and Twitter.

Online colleges that enroll the most students

-- Liberty University: 37,570

-- Arizona State University: 36,464

-- Colorado Technical University: 29,963

-- American InterContinental University: 15,976

-- Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University--Worldwide: 15,752

-- Columbia College: 12,283

-- Colorado State University--Global Campus: 12,056

-- University of Central Florida: 11,947

-- Post University: 10,827

-- East Carolina University: 10,182



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