The Best Online Colleges for Military Families

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Military service members and their families face unique challenges when it comes to earning a traditional college degree or professional certification. Traditional programs often come with strict schedules, large time commitments, and geographical limits. For military families who may be frequently on the move, working unusual hours, or subject to unexpected deployment, the constraints of traditional programs may be incompatible with their service demands. Online college can offer a flexible, accessible and high-quality alternative for military families seeking to balance education, service, and the demands of everyday life.

For many busy adults, earning a traditional degree might require working part-time or quitting their jobs entirely, putting family on the backburner, relocating, or downgrading their current lifestyle. This is out of the question for military families. Military friendly online colleges, however, provide flexible alternatives for prospective students looking to earn a degree, advance their existing careers, or pursue new professional opportunities. Military personnel and their families can earn online degrees in stable, well-paying, and interesting career fields, setting the stage for success in the next phase of their lives.

The Best Online Colleges for Military Personnel & Families

Below, we profile the best online colleges for military personnel and families. Rather than ranking them against one another other, our list organizes these colleges by state. Note that not every state is represented. To find a full state-by-state look at online colleges, check out The Best Online Colleges by State.

To make an appearance on this list, each college must be regionally accredited and not-for-profit. All colleges on this list allow military students and their families to capitalize on the benefits included in their GI Bill, and may offer a number of other valuable benefits, such as accelerated or part-time program options, veterans services and centers, online scholarship options, credit for lifetime/military experience, wide selections of entirely online programs, and significant populations of classmates who share your military background and service priorities.

Best Colleges for Military Personnel by State

Alabama

Amridge University

Montgomery, Alabama

Amridge University, Montgomery, Alabama

Amridge University, a private university affiliated with the Churches of Christ and established in 1967, enrolls around 600 students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. Specializing in serving working professionals and military personnel, Amridge University offers all of its programs in an online format, situating it among the best online colleges for military families.

Amridge University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama

Auburn University, a public research university chartered in 1856, enrolls over 29,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Initially opened as a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Methodist Episcopal Church under the name East Alabama Male College, Auburn has since become a secular public institution and is among the top online colleges for military personnel.

Auburn University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Troy University

Troy, Alabama

Troy University, Troy, Alabama

Troy University, a public university established in 1887, enrolls over 18,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Initially founded as a teacher’s school, the institution has since become a state university with over 25 locations worldwide, making it one of the best online colleges for military families.

Troy University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

A public research university established in 1820, the University of Alabama enrolls over 38,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Like many colleges in the South, the University of Alabama was strongly affected by the American Civil War; the university closed for rebuilding from 1865–1871 after the Union Army burned down the campus. Its quality online degree programs make it a top choice for online colleges among military families.

The University of Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Alaska

University of Alaska Fairbanks

Fairbanks, Alaska

University of Alaska Fairbanks

The University of Alaska Fairbanks, a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant public research university established in 1917, enrolls over 8,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The Fairbanks campus is the flagship school of the University of Alaska System and one of the nation’s most military friendly online colleges.

The University of Alaska Fairbanks is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Arizona

Arizona State University

Tempe, Arizona

Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

A public research university, Arizona State University is home to over 80,000 students, one of the largest student populations in the country. Initially founded as the Territorial Normal School in 1885, the institution has since grown significantly, and now offers a full range of degrees, situating it among the top online colleges for military families.

Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, Arizona

Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona

Northern Arizona University, a public research university established in 1899, enrolls over 30,000 students in its more than 150 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded as the Northern Arizona Normal School, the institution has grown exponentially from its initial enrollment of just 23 students and is now among the top online colleges for military families.

Northern Arizona University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

The University of Arizona, a public research university founded in 1885, enrolls over 43,000 students in a range of degree and non-degree programs at all levels. The university’s founding precedes Arizona’s 1912 ascendance to statehood by nearly three decades. The university’s numerous online programs make it one of the best online colleges for military families.

The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Arkansas

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas

A public land-grant research university established in 1871, the University of Arkansas enrolls over 27,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded as Arkansas Industrial University, the institution took its current name in 1899. The University of Arkansas now offers a wide selection of online degree programs, making it one of the top online colleges for military families.

The University of Arkansas is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

California

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

The University of Southern California, a private research university in Los Angeles, enrolls over 45,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded in 1880, USC boasts the distinctions of being the oldest private research university in the state, and one of the best online colleges for military families.

The University of Southern California is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Colorado

Colorado State University Global

Greenwood Village, Colorado

Colorado State University, Global Campus, Greenwood Village, Colorado

A public institution established in 2007, Colorado State University Global enrolls over 11,000 students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. As the online and distance education wing of Colorado State University, the Global Campus provides numerous flexible program options for nontraditional students, making it one of the best online colleges for military families.

Colorado State University Global is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Regis University

Denver, Colorado

Regis University, Denver, Colorado

A Jesuit Catholic university founded in 1877, Regis University enrolls over 8,000 students in undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Initially established as Las Vegas College (in New Mexico, not Nevada), the school moved to its present location in 1887. It now offers a wide selection of flexible online degree programs, and is one of the top online colleges for military families.

Regis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

University of Colorado Boulder

Boulder, Colorado

University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado Boulder, a public research university established in 1876, enrolls around 33,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The flagship campus of the University of Colorado system, the university’s founding precedes the statehood of Colorado by just a few months. UC Boulder is now one of the best online colleges for military families.

The University of Colorado Boulder is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

University of Denver

Denver, Colorado

University of Denver, University College, Denver, Colorado

The University of Denver, a private research university established in 1864, enrolls over 11,000 students in a full selection of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Initially founded as a seminary in the then-mining camp of Denver, the university’s origins precede the statehood of Colorado by 12 years. The University of Denver has grown to offer numerous flexible online degree programs, and is one of the top online colleges for military families.

The University of Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Florida

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University–Worldwide

Daytona Beach, Florida

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide, Daytona Beach, Florida

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide enrolls over 22,000 students in a full array of degree and non-degree programs. As the online and distance education wing of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the Worldwide campus boasts locations at over 90 military bases, in addition to numerous online programs, earning its spot among the nation’s most military friendly online colleges.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Florida International University

Miami, Florida

Florida International University, Miami, Florida

With over 56,000 students enrolled in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, Florida International University boasts one of the largest student populations in the country. A public research university founded in 1965, FIU has since become one of the nation’s best online colleges for military families.

Florida International University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Florida State College at Jacksonville

Jacksonville, Florida

Florida State College at Jacksonville, Florida

Florida State College at Jacksonville, a public state college established in 1965, enrolls over 49,000 students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. Initially founded as a junior college, the institution now offers over 150 program options, with plenty of online degrees among them, making it one of the best online colleges for military families.

Florida State College at Jacksonville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Jacksonville University

Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville University, Davis College of Business, Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville University, a private university founded in 1934, enrolls over 4,000 students in a full selection of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Initially founded as a two-year college, Jacksonville University has since grown to offer everything from undergraduate certificates to doctoral degrees. Its offerings include plenty of flexible online degree programs, making it one of the top online colleges for military families.

Jacksonville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Saint Leo University Online

Saint Leo, Florida

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo University, a private Catholic university founded in 1889, enrolls around 15,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The university traces its origins to the 1881 establishment of a large Roman Catholic colony in the region. Its wide selection of online degree programs makes it one of the best online colleges for military families.

Saint Leo University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida

University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida

With around 64,000 students enrolled in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, the University of Central Florida boasts one of the largest student populations in the country. Founded in 1968 as Florida Technological University, the public institution has seen major growth over the past five decades. Its growth includes plenty of online degree options, making it one of the best online colleges for military families.

The University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

A public land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university established in 1853, the University of Florida enrolls a student population of over 52,000 in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The senior member of the State University System of Florida, UF also boasts membership in the Association of American Universities. The university’s strong collection of online degree programs helps make it one of the best online colleges for military families.

The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

University of North Florida

Jackonsville, Florida

University of North Florida, Osprey Fountains

A public university established in 1972, the University of North Florida enrolls nearly 16,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Part of the State University System of Florida, the school is also among the top online colleges for military families.

The University of North Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida

A public research university established in 1956, the University of South Florida enrolls over 42,000 students in an array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Part of the State University System of Florida, the school is also among the nation’s best online colleges for veterans.

The University of South Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Georgia

University of North Georgia

Dahlonega, Georgia

University of North Georgia

A public university first founded as the North Georgia Agricultural College in 1873, the University of North Georgia enrolls over 18,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Also known as The Military College of Georgia, UNG is one of six senior military colleges in the U.S, and one of the best online colleges for military families.

The University of North Georgia is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Illinois

Benedictine University

Lisle, Illinois

Benedictine University

Benedictine University, established in 1887, enrolls around 5,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The college owes its name to its Benedictine monk founders, who initially opened the school as St. Procopius College. The private Roman Catholic University is one of the best online colleges for military families.

Benedictine University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Lewis University

Romeoville, Illinois

Lewis University

A private Roman Catholic university established in 1932, Lewis University enrolls over 6,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. During World War I, classes at Lewis University were suspended while the campus was used to train pilots in the U.S. Navy. The university offers plenty of quality, flexible online degree programs, making it a top pick among online colleges for military families.

Lewis University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Saint Xavier University

Chicago, Illinois

Saint Xavier University, Chicago, Illinois

Saint Xavier University, a private Roman Catholic university established in 1846, enrolls around 4,000 students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. Founded as Saint Francis Xavier Female Academy, the original campus was lost in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The university’s online degree options make it one of the best online colleges for military families.

Saint Xavier University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Indiana

Ball State University

Muncie, Indiana

Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

Ball State University, a public research university established in 1918, enrolls over 22,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Initially founded as the private Eastern Indiana Normal School, the institution has since become one of the top online colleges for military personnel.

Ball State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Iowa

Upper Iowa University

Fayette, Iowa

Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University, a private university established in 1857, enrolls nearly 5,000 students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. Initially affiliated with the Methodist Church, Upper Iowa University became nonsectarian in 1928, and is now one of the best online colleges for military families.

Upper Iowa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Kentucky

University of Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky

A public, land-grant, research university established in 1865, the University of Kentucky enrolls around 30,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Originally founded as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky, UK has since become the largest university in the state and one of the most military friendly online colleges in the nation.

The University of Kentucky is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Western Kentucky University

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Western Kentucky University

Western Kentucky University, a public university established in 1906, enrolls over 20,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Though established in 1906, the roots of the university extend back further to the 1874 founding of the Southern Normal School and Business College. The university offers plenty of flexible online degree programs, making it a top pick among online colleges for military families.

Western Kentucky University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Maryland

University of Maryland University College

Adelphi, Maryland

University of Maryland University College, Adelphi, Maryland

A public university founded in 1947, the University of Maryland University College enrolls around 80,000 students. As the first American university to send faculty abroad to educate active duty military personnel in 1949, UMUC has earned its reputation as one of the nation’s most military friendly online colleges.

The University of Maryland University College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Massachusetts

Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts

Northeastern University, a private research university established in 1898, enrolls over 20,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Since its initial founding as the Evening Institute for Younger Men offering classes at the Boston YMCA, the institution has undergone major growth and expansion. Its offerings include flexible online degree options in a wide selection of topics, making it one of the best online colleges for military families.

Northeastern University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Michigan

Baker College

Flint, Michigan

Baker College

A private college established in 1911, Baker College enrolls over 23,000 students in a wide selection of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Dedicated to professional success, the online programs at Baker College help students develop the practical knowledge and skills necessary for successful careers, making it a top pick among online colleges for military families.

Baker College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Central Michigan University

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Central Michigan University

Central Michigan University, a public research university established in 1892, enrolls around 26,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Through its Global Campus, the university provides a full selection of flexible online programs for nontraditional students at all levels, making it one of the best online colleges for military families.

Central Michigan University Global Campus is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Western Michigan University, a public research university established in 1903, enrolls over 23,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded as the two-year Western State Normal School, the institution has since undergone significant growth and change. Its offerings include plenty of flexible online degree programs, making it one of the best online colleges for military families.

Western Michigan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Minnesota

University of Minnesota–Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Minnesota

University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota

Located in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the University of Minnesota enrolls a student population of over 51,000 in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. A public research university established in 1851, U of M boasts the distinction of membership in the Association of American Universities, as well as being considered a Public Ivy. Its quality and online degree flexibility make it one of the best online colleges for military families.

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Mississippi

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, Mississippi

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University, a public land-grant university established in 1878, enrolls over 21,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi, the institution has since expanded its focus and earned its place among the nation’s best online colleges for military personnel.

Mississippi State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Missouri

Missouri University of Science and Technology

Rolla, Missouri

Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, Missour

A public land-grant and space-grant university established in 1870, the Missouri University of Science and Technology enrolls over 8,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Initially founded as the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy, the institution has since expanded to cover many fields of study, but retains its technical focus. This focus, combined with its flexible online degree options, make it a top pick among online colleges for military families.

Missouri University of Science and Technology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Park University

Parkville, Missouri

Park University, Parkville, Missouri

Park University, a private university established in 1875, enrolls over 11,000 students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. Founded as Park College, the institution has grown exponentially from its initial enrollment of just 17 students and has become one of the nation’s best online colleges for military personnel.

Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

University of Missouri

Columbia, Missouri

Mizzou, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri

A public, land-grant, research university established in 1839, the University of Missouri, enrolls over 33,000 students in a full selection of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. One of the nation’s best online colleges for veterans, the university is also the flagship campus of the University of Missouri System.

The University of Missouri is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Webster University

Saint Louis, Missouri

Webster University, Webster Groves, Missouri

Webster University, a private university established in 1915, enrolls around 14,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded as Loretto College, a Catholic women’s college, Webster has since adopted a non-denominational approach. Its numerous flexible online degrees make it one of the best online colleges for military families.

Webster University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Nebraska

Bellevue University

Bellevue, Nebraska

Bellevue University, Bellevue, Nebraska

Bellevue University enrolls around 9,000 students annually in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. A private university established in 1966, Bellevue University has since earned a reputation as one of the best online colleges for military personnel in the U.S.

Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

University of Nebraska – Lincoln

Lincoln, Nebraska

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln, a public, land-grant, research university established in 1869, enrolls around 26,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The university was established just two years after Nebraska achieved statehood. Its numerous quality online degree programs make it a top pick among online colleges for military families.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

University of Nebraska at Omaha

Omaha, Nebraska

University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska

The University of Nebraska-Omaha, a public research university established in 1908, enrolls over 15,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Initially a private institution, the university became public in 1930 after moving from its original campus. Its numerous quality online degree programs make it one of the best online colleges for military families.

The University of Nebraska-Omaha is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Nevada

University of Nevada at Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada

A public research university established in 1957, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas enrolls around 30,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Initially a regional extension of the University of Nevada in Reno, UNLV took its current form in 1969 and has since become one of the nation’s top online colleges for military personnel.

The University of Nevada at Las Vegas is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

New Hampshire

New England College

Henniker, New Hampshire

New England College–Henniker, New Hampshire

New England College, a private university established in 1946, enrolls over 2,500 students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. Originally founded to educate veterans returning from World War II, the university has since become one of the best online colleges for military personnel.

New England College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University, a private, nonsectarian university established in 1932, enrolls more than 90,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Originally founded as the New Hampshire Accounting and Secretarial School, SNHU has since expanded its focus and become one of the most military friendly online colleges in the nation.

Southern New Hampshire University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

New Jersey

Thomas Edison State University

Trenton, New Jersey

Thomas Edison State College, Trenton, NJ

Thomas Edison State University, a public university established in 1972, enrolls over 17,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Named after the famed inventor, the university was previously known as Thomas Edison State College. The university’s numerous quality online degree programs make it one of the best online colleges for military families.

Thomas Edison State University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

New York

Adelphi University

Garden City, New York

Adelphi University–Garden City, New York

A private university established in 1896, Adelphi University enrolls over 7,500 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded as Adelphi College, the institution achieved university status in 1963. Its many quality online degree programs make it a top pick among online colleges for military families.

Adelphi University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Rochester Institute of Technology

Rochester, New York

A private university established in 1829, Rochester Institute of Technology enrolls nearly 19,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. After several name changes and mergers, the institute took its current name and became a full-scale research university in 1944. Its wide selection of online degree programs situates it among the best online colleges for military families.

Rochester Institute of Technology is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York

Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Syracuse University, a private research university established in 1870, enrolls around 22,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Despite the school’s origins as the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Syracuse is a nonsectarian institution. With quality, flexible online degree programs, Syracuse University is a top choice among online colleges for military families.

Syracuse University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

North Carolina

East Carolina University

Greenville, North Carolina

East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina

East Carolina University, a public research university established in 1907, enrolls around 29,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded as the East Carolina Teachers Training School, the institution assumed its present form in 1967 and has since become one of the best online colleges for military personnel in the U.S.

East Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

North Carolina State University

Raleigh, North Carolina

North Carolina State University at Raleigh, Raleigh, North Carolina

A public, land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant research university established in 1887, North Carolina State University enrolls over 34,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded as an agricultural and mechanical college, NC State maintains a strong focus on technical fields and education and is one of the best online colleges for military families.

North Carolina State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Greensboro, North Carolina

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a public research university established in 1891, enrolls over 19,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Originally established as a women’s college, the institution became coeducational in 1963. Its large selection of quality online degree programs make it a top pick among online colleges for military families.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Ohio

Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

A public, land-grant university established in 1870, Ohio State University enrolls around 60,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. With its large student population, Ohio State is one of the largest universities in the country as well as one of the top online colleges for military personnel.

Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Oklahoma

Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University, a public, land-grant, sun-grant, research university established in 1890, enrolls over 25,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded as Oklahoma Territorial Agricultural and Mechanical College, the university has since broadened its focus, but maintains a strong emphasis on technical education, and is one of the best online colleges for military families.

Oklahoma State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

University of Oklahoma

Norman, Oklahoma

University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma, a public research university established in 1890, enrolls around 28,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The university’s founding precedes the statehood of Oklahoma by 17 years. With a large selection of quality online degree programs, the University of Oklahoma is one of the best online colleges for military families.

The University of Oklahoma is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Oregon

Oregon State University

Corvallis, Oregon

Oregon State University

Oregon State University, a public research university established in 1868, enrolls over 30,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Initially known as Corvallis College, the institution went through major growth and changes over the years before reaching its current state, and is now among the top online colleges for military families.

Oregon State University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania

California, Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania, California, PA

California University of Pennsylvania, a public university established in 1852, enrolls over 7,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Originally established as a normal school, the institution has since become a full-scale university and earned a reputation as one of the nation’s best online colleges for military personnel.

California Public University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Drexel University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Drexel University, a private research university established in 1891, enrolls over 24,000 students in a full array of degree and non-degree programs at all levels of study. Originally established as the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry, the university has since expanded its focus and become one of the nation’s best online colleges for military families.

Drexel University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Pennsylvania State University World Campus

University Park, Pennsylvania

Penn State World Campus, State College, Pennsylvania

Penn State World Campus, the online branch of the public Pennsylvania State University, enrolls over 13,000 students in a full selection of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Launched in 1998, Penn State World Campus offers all of its programs entirely online, building on the long-standing tradition in distance education of its parent university, and making it one of the best online colleges for military families.

Penn State World Campus is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Temple University

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Temple University

Temple University, a public research university established in 1884, enrolls over 39,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded as a night school with the goal of providing educational programs for busy working adults, the university’s famous mascot, Hooter the Owl, is a clever nod to the school’s evening hour origins. Its numerous quality online degree programs make it a top pick among online colleges for military families.

Temple University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

South Carolina

Coastal Carolina University

Conway, South Carolina

Coastal Carolina University

A public university established in 1954, Coastal Carolina University enrolls over 10,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded as a two-year community college, the school became a four-year institution in 1974, and is now one of the best online colleges for military families.

Coastal Carolina University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

University of South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

University of South Carolina-Columbia, Palmetto College, Beaufort, South Carolina

The University of South Carolina, a public research university established in 1801, enrolls over 34,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Originally founded as South Carolina College, the school is now the flagship institution of the University of South Carolina System and one of the most military friendly online colleges in the nation.

The University of South Carolina is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tennessee

Austin Peay State University

Clarksville, Tennessee

Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State University, a public university established in 1927, enrolls over 10,000 students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. Founded as the Austin Peay Normal School, the institution granted its first bachelor’s degree in 1942 and has since become one of the nation’s top online colleges for military personnel.

Austin Peay State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Texas

Central Texas College

Killeen, Texas

Central Texas College

Central Texas College, a community college established in 1965, enrolls over 18,000 students in a variety of two-year programs. Located near Fort Hood, Central Texas College is one of the best online colleges for military families.

Central Texas College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Lamar University

Beaumont, Texas

Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas

Lamar University, a public research university established in 1923, enrolls around 15,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded as a junior college, the institution has since become one of the top online colleges for military personnel in the U.S.

Lamar University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

LeTourneau University

Longview, Texas

LeTourneau University, Longview, Texas

A private Christian university established in 1946, LeTourneau University enrolls over 2,500 students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. Founded as LeTourneau Technical Institute, LETU became a university in 1989. Its online degree options make it one of the best online colleges for military families.

LeTourneau University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Texas A&M University

College Station, Texas

Texas A&M University, a public research university established in 1871, enrolls over 68,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Its large student population situates Texas A&M as both one of the largest and most military friendly online colleges in the country.

Texas A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Texas Tech University

Lubbock, Texas

Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University, a public research university established in 1923, enrolls over 36,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. In keeping with its roots, Texas Tech University maintains a strong focus on technical education, and its online degree programs make it one of the top online colleges for military families.

Texas Tech University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

University of North Texas

Denton, Texas

University of North Texas, Denton, TX

A public research university established in 1890, the University of North Texas enrolls over 38,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Initially founded as a private teachers college, the institution became a state college in 1901, and is now one of the best online colleges for military families.

The University of North Texas is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

University of the Incarnate Word

San Antonio, Texas

University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, Texas

The University of the Incarnate Word, a private Catholic university established in 1881, enrolls around 9,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Its selection of quality online degree programs makes it one of the top online colleges for military families.

The University of the Incarnate Word is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Utah

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, Utah

Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, Utah

Western Governors University, a private university established in 1997, enrolls nearly 100,000 students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. The university’s large student population can be attributed to its education model; Western Governors University offers all of its programs in an online format, making it one of the best online colleges for military personnel.

Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Virginia

George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia

George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

A public research university established in 1949, George Mason University enrolls around 35,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Founded as an extension of the University of Virginia, George Mason University became independent in 1972, and is now one of the top online colleges for military families.

George Mason University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Liberty University

Lynchburg, Virginia

Liberty University, Lynchburg, Virginia

Liberty University, a private, Evangelical Christian, research university established in 1971, enrolls over 75,000 students in a full array of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. One of the largest universities in the country, including a significant amount of online students, Liberty University is known as a major institution of conservative thought, and was founded by Jerry Falwell. Its wide selection of flexible online degree programs makes Liberty one of the best online colleges for military families.

Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Old Dominion University

Norfolk, Virginia

image of Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University, a public research university established in 1930, enrolls over 24,000 students in a full selection of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. The university was originally founded as a division of the College of William and Mary, but gained its independence in 1962, and is now one of the top online colleges for military families.

Old Dominion University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Regent University

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia

A private Christian research university established in 1978, Regent University enrolls over 10,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Among the nation’s best online colleges for military personnel, Regent offers over 120 undergraduate and graduate degree options.

Regent University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Vermont

Norwich University

Northfield, Vermont

Norwich University, Northfield, Vermont

Norwich University, a private university established in 1819, enrolls over 4,000 students in a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. Norwich University boasts the distinction of being the oldest private military college in the U.S., as well as one of the best online colleges for military families.

Norwich University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin–Platteville

Platteville, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin, Platteville, Wisconsin

A public university established in 1866, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville enrolls over 8,000 students in a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs. Originally established as the Platteville Normal School, the institution is now part of the University of Wisconsin System, and one of the best online colleges for military families.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

How Can Military Personnel Make the Most of Online College?

While online college may be ideal for military personnel and military families, many may not be fully aware of the benefits that come with online college. Our companion article, How Military Personnel Can Make the Most of Online College provides a thorough, detailed explanation of the advantages of online colleges for military personnel.

How Can You Make the Most of Your GI Bill?

When it comes to higher education, military personnel have earned the benefits of the GI Bill. However, military personnel must use these benefits strategically in order to get the most out of them. To learn more about how to optimize your benefits, check out our companion piece, Making the Most of Your GI Bill.

Are Online Schools Accredited?

The best online schools are regionally accredited, just like any traditional university. Most online schools are attached to or affiliated with large regionally accredited universities. This accreditation extends to these online schools. Whether looking for traditional or online schools, students should look for regional accreditation. Read more about university and college accreditation.

Are Online Schools Cheaper?

Rather than asking if online schools are cheaper, you may want to focus on finding the most affordable and sensible option for your individual educational needs. Even when looking at online programs, students should strongly consider in-state education options, as many online colleges offer in-state tuition discounts. And no matter how you plan to attend school, you should always keep your eye out for potential scholarships.

Online programs can also cost less than traditional programs by cutting down on expenses like transportation, housing, and relocation. When combined with the flexibility that online education creates for students, online schools are often both more convenient and more affordable.

Find more information on college affordability and financial aid in our Resources section.

Is an Online Degree the Same as an On-Campus Degree?

Online degrees and “regular” (traditional, on-campus) degrees are essentially the same, provided they share the distinction of regional accreditation. Online degrees feature the same courses and rigorous curriculum, the same standards of quality, the same tests and projects, and often the same professors and faculty as traditional programs. Students who earn an online bachelor’s degree in business administration, for example, graduate with the same degree and qualifications as students who earn the degree on campus.

Online College Resources

For many military service members and their families, online college offers a viable, accessible way to earn advanced education in numerous fields. If you are interested in any of the schools above, we encourage you to visit our Military Education Headquarters for these related articles:

You might also be interested in How Military Personnel Can Make the Most of Online College and Making the Most of Your G.I. Bill. If you aren’t sure what to study, just check out our list of the 25 Best Online Degrees for suggestions. Wherever you may be stationed, online college can help you and your family work toward your goals through flexible, quality education.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/index.asp

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