Best Online Colleges in North Dakota
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North Dakota's online colleges offer programs that prepare students for some of the highest-paying careers in medicine, architecture, and criminal justice.
Many of North Dakota's top-paying industries require a college degree. Professionals in business, advanced manufacturing, natural resources management, and healthcare benefit from earning an online degree. Online colleges in North Dakota grant associate, bachelor's, and graduate degrees at affordable tuition rates.
Online colleges offer a flexible route to a college degree. Learners can choose between asynchronous, accelerated, and self-paced programs. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many colleges to move to an online-only system. The necessity of providing online education increased the amount of resources institutions devoted to their distance learning programs.
North Dakota's colleges stand out for their diverse programs and affordability. In the 2018-2019 school year, public universities in the U.S. charged an average tuition rate of $9,200 per year. In contrast, North Dakota's public universities cost around $8,000.
This page ranks the best online colleges in North Dakota. Prospective applicants can use this ranking to find the right fit for their unique needs and career goals.
The Best Online Colleges in North Dakota
Online Colleges in North Dakota Ranking Guidelines
We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.
Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.
Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.
While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.
The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.
The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.
Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.
Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology
About Our Ranking Factors
Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.
Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.
We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.
In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.
If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.
We thank you for your readership and trust.
Featured Online Programs
Employment in North Dakota
The employment outlook in North Dakota remains strong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the state's unemployment rate remained at a below-average 4% in June 2021, compared to the national unemployment rate of 5.9%. In May 2020, the mean annual wage in North Dakota was $52,450. North Dakotans also benefit from a low cost of living. Compared to the national cost of living index of 100, North Dakota reports an 89.9.
North Dakota's major industries include energy, advanced manufacturing, and information technology. Careers in these fields typically require a college degree. According to July 2019 census data, 30% of North Dakotans hold a bachelor's degree or higher, slightly below the national average of 32.1%.
North Dakotans with a college degree stand out in the job market. The state's colleges charge below-average tuition rates, making earning a degree in North Dakota a smart investment.
The following information compares the highest-paying roles that employ more than 1,000 individuals in North Dakota. Salary information applies specifically to North Dakota, while job growth data pertains to the United States as a whole.
|Career||Annual Median Salary (2020)||Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)||Education Required|
|Physicians, All Other; and Ophthalmologists, Except Pediatric||$212,990||4%||Medical degree|
|Financial Managers||$140,740||15%||Bachelor's degree|
|Construction Managers||$110,190||8%||Bachelor's degree|
|Pharmacists||$103,440||-3%||Doctorate degree (Pharm.D)|
|Career||Annual Median Salary (2020)||Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)||Education Required|
|Office Clerks||$43,540||-5%||High school diploma|
|Retail Salespersons||$34,080||0%||No formal education|
|Fast Food and Counter Workers||$26,400||10%||No formal education|
|Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers||$54,550||2%||High school diploma|
|Registered Nurses||$69,630||7%||Associate degree|
Online Associate Degrees
An associate degree provides basic training for the workforce. The degree also helps students who are seeking an affordable route to a bachelor's degree.
Many North Dakota community colleges offer online associate degrees in academic and vocational subjects. At Bismarck State College, students can pursue business administration, cybersecurity, criminal justice, and management programs.
The college's vocational programs include options for administrative assistants, electronics technicians, and information processing specialists. North Dakota State College of Science offers associate degrees for restaurant managers, web developers, and pharmacy technicians.
Online Graduate Degrees
Online colleges in North Dakota offer graduate degrees with flexible enrollment options. A master's degree in business, education, or computer science helps professionals increase their earning potential and move into leadership roles. The pandemic increased North Dakota's online degree options, allowing more students to earn their degrees remotely.
At the University of North Dakota, graduate students can pursue degrees in accounting, counseling, data science, and nursing. UND also offers an online MBA program. The University of Mary offers online programs in high-demand areas like business, education, and nursing. When considering an online degree, a prospective applicant should consider class enrollment options and transfer credit policies.
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in North Dakota
Yes. North Dakota colleges charge below-average tuition rates. For example, while four-year public colleges charge over $9,200 per year on average in tuition and fees, North Dakota public colleges cost around $8,000, according to 2018-2019 data from the National Center for Education Statistics.
Earning an online bachelor's degree in North Dakota typically takes four years. Most associate programs take two years, as do most master's programs.
Students in North Dakota pursue degrees in business, healthcare, education, and technology. These degrees prepare graduates for in-demand career paths.
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