January 12, 2012 – U.S. News & World Report has released its first-ever rankings of online education programs. They detail the nation’s top online programs that award bachelor’s or master’s degrees, and are specifically designed to provide students who are considering online learning with what they need to know to make informed decisions. These rankings will complement the world-renowned Best Colleges and Best Graduate Schools rankings that have been empowering students with critical education information for decades.
“The Sloan Consortium’s annual Online Education in the United States report has noted sharp increases in the number of online students every year since 2008,” says Matthew Speer, Director of Sales and Marketing for U.S. News University Connection. “In 2010, enrollment in online classes jumped by an amazing 21%; that’s more than 10 times the amount of growth we saw in the overall college student population that year. Clearly, the time has come to start ranking these programs.”
The rankings include 196 online bachelor’s degree programs, as well as 523 online master’s degree programs in business, computer information technology, education, engineering and nursing. All included programs are regionally accredited and offer at least 80% of their content online.
The bachelor’s programs are ranked in three categories: faculty credentials and training, student engagement and assessment, and student services and technology. For master’s programs a fourth category – admissions selectivity – was added, and the student engagement and assessment category was replaced with student engagement and accreditation.
Online education programs that rank in the top third of at least three categories are listed on the U.S. News honor roll. There are separate honor roll lists for online bachelor’s degree programs and online master’s degree programs in business, education, engineering and nursing. No honor roll for online master’s degree programs in computer information technology was compiled, because too few programs in that discipline met the required criteria.
Online bachelor’s degree programs that appear on the honor roll include those at the Florida Institute of Technology, Pace University and Westfield State University. Quinnipiac University made the list for its online master’s degree program in business, while the University of South Florida’s online master’s degree program in education was so honored. Several schools had multiple master’s programs on the honor roll, including Auburn University (education and engineering) and George Washington University (business, education and nursing).
The new online education program rankings from U.S. News provide program-level data that is both sophisticated and unbiased. Students can use them in conjunction with the other education resources available on U.S. News University Directory, including an extensive listing of on-campus and online degree programs; contact information for more than 1,900 of the nation’s best colleges and universities; the latest education news articles and videos; and a free, downloadable financial aid guide.
About U.S. News University Directory
U.S. News University Directory provides comprehensive and unbiased information on more than 2,000 academic institutions directly from U.S. News & World Report, the most trusted source for college and university rankings since 1983. Prospective students can search America’s best colleges and America’s best graduate schools offering associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s and MBA degrees, doctoral and PhD degrees, and certificate programs. And because U.S. News is the leading ranking resource for anyone seeking an on-campus or online degree, students who use the directory can be confident that they are getting the best education advice and information available.
Matthew Speer, Director, Sales and Marketing
U.S. News University Connection