Online colleges are programs that offer college degrees using the internet, typically in specialized or vocational fields of study. They include:
- American InterContinental University
- Argosy University
- The Art Institute Online
- Ashford University
- Capella University
- Colorado Tech Online
- International Academy of Design and Technology
- Excelsior College
- Kaplan University
- South University
- Walden University
- Westwood College
- University of Phoenix
Another approach is taken by "StraighterLine", which offers basic courses (such as pre-calculus) which are recognized for credit by a few schools, but from there students can transfer the credits to many other schools. This can greatly reduce the cost of college education and enable many to obtain college degrees when it would be unaffordable otherwise.
A Washington Post article about the company explains:
- The site offers students as many general-education courses as they care to take for a flat monthly fee, plus $39 per course. ... But the company has been forced to battle for academic credibility. It cannot earn accreditation because it is not a school. Instead, it has struck deals with several "partner" colleges that accept StraighterLine courses for credit, which students can then transfer elsewhere. StraighterLine courses also are approved by the American Council on Education, another pathway to transfer credit.
One student explained the cost advantage:
- "My school, I believe it's $830-something for one credit. Here, for four credits, I paid $100."
Another student will complete his education at a cost of less than $20 per credit by obtaining transfer credits from Excelsior College, an online university.