Best Online Colleges in Arizona 2021

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Online colleges allow Arizona residents to earn a degree while still working or raising a family. Learning management systems use intuitive software, helping recent high school graduates and nontraditional students make the most of their education. Top Arizona online colleges offer distance learners the same support services as on-campus degree-seekers.

Prospective students should consider Arizona’s fastest-growing professions before selecting a program. From 2008-2018, careers in the state’s medical field grew 15-35%. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many of the state’s medical and engineering professionals earn more than $120,000 annually. As a result, career growth and salary potential make a college degree a wise financial investment. 

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Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.

Online colleges’ typical admission requirements include high school or undergraduate transcripts. These schools also accept GED scores from freshman applicants. Some additional requirements may apply, depending on the degree. Incoming students should also submit their FAFSA results and apply for institutional scholarships.

Top Online Colleges in Arizona

Rank School Location
1 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
2 Arizona State University Phoenix, AZ
3 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott Prescott, AZ
4 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
5 Prescott College Prescott, AZ
6 Arizona Christian University Phoenix, AZ
7 Grand Canyon University Phoenix, AZ

FAQ


  • Can online colleges be regionally accredited?

    Online colleges need the same regional accreditation as schools that educate students on campus. Please do not consider colleges or universities without this essential accreditation.


  • How much does it cost to get an online degree?

    The answer depends on the students’ school selection. In-state students attending Arizona State University pay approximately $11,000 annually in tuition for the 2020-2021 year.


  • Can you go to college in Arizona for free?

    Numerous programs help in- and out-of-state students reduce or eliminate their tuition burden. Eligibility requirements, such as financial need, differ by program.


  • How many colleges and universities are in Arizona?

    Arizona boasts dozens of accredited four-year colleges and universities. The state also features trade and technical schools for learners preparing for a specific career.


Best Online Colleges in Arizona 2021



  1. University of Arizona
    Location

    Tucson, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    The University of Arizona was founded in 1885 in Tucson, Arizona. Today it is one of the largest institution in Arizona and the online program is in the top 25% in the country. In state and out of state students pay the same tuition rates. This is a great deal for out of state students.

    Features

    The University of Arizona offers 80 online degree programs. Inside the classroom, the average class size of 30 students. U of A uses the D2L learning management system with cinema quality field lectures, technology support and access to everything you would need to succeed in your classes. Top online majors include:

    • Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Psychology
    • Health Sciences
    • Learning Sciences

    Notables

    University of Arizona prides itself with 100% engagement of their undergraduate student body. This program connects a student activity such as an internship, research experience or service learning project with a designated upper-level course. This connection earns the student an Engaged Learning Experience Notation on their transcript.

  2. Arizona State University
    Location

    Phoenix, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Arizona State University (ASU) was founded in 1887 in Tempe, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. Today, ASU is #1 in the United States for Innovation by the U.S. News and World Report in 2016 and 2017. They are #4 for offering online undergraduate programs.

    Features

    Arizona State University offers 63 online Bachelor degree programs. The total number of online programs is 140 online programs for over 30,000 students. Classes start 6 times a year and each class lasts only 7.5 weeks. So, you have a few days to catch your breath before the next class. Top Undergraduate programs include:

    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Liberal Arts
    • Criminal Justice
    • Speech

    Notables

    ASU has partnered with Google to offer students Google Apps for their educational pursuits. Students will use technologies like Google Drive to collaborate with peers and faculty on their projects in real time without pesky emails back and forth. ASU is one of the first to implement this partnership.

  3. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott
    Location

    Prescott, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University was founded in 1978 in Prescott, Arizona, to be part of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University System in Daytona Beach, Florida, that was founded in 1926. Today, Prescott campus has 539 acres and is north of Phoenix, Arizona.

    Features

    The Prescott campus offers over 20 majors for over 2,200 undergraduate students. Inside the classroom, the student-faculty ratio is 17-to-1. Nearly 30% of the classes have less than 20 students. Outside the classroom, student can access over 120 student organizations. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott participates in NAIA athletics. Top majors include:

    • Aerospace, Aeronautical & Astronautical/Space Engineering
    • International Relations & Affairs
    • Airline/Commercial/Professional Pilot & Flight Crew
    • Aeronautics/Aviation/Aerospace Science & Technology
    • Mechanical Engineering

    Notables

    Today, Embry has the #1 online bachelor degree program, #1 best online colleges and Universities and has the #1 undergraduate aerospace engineering program by US News & World Report. The University is the only fully accredited aviation-orientated university in the world.

  4. Northern Arizona University
    Location

    Flagstaff, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Northern Arizona University was founded in 1899 in Flagstaff, Arizona as a school to train teachers. Today, the 740-acre campus in Flagstaff is 6,950 feet above sea level surrounded by ponderosa pine forests. Students in the Western United States can be eligible for a reduced tuitio rate.

    Features

    Northern Arizona University offers over 80 online bachelor and master degrees through their online NAU-Extended Campus. Classes are offered through the Blackboard Learn platform. Students have access to 24/7 IT support as well as Library materials. Nearly 30% of the classes have less than 20 students. The Student-faculty ration is 18=to-1. Online courses include:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Health Professions

    Notables

    NAU per-credit hour tuition is significantly less than other programs within Arizona. Northern Arizona courses are $362 per credit hour versus $585 per credit hour at University of Phoenix (as of 2014-2015 prices).

  5. Prescott College
    Location

    Prescott, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Prescott College was founded in 1966 in Prescott, Arizona, through the efforts of the Ford Foundation. Today, it is a small school with 458 undergraduates on a 13-acre campus. They started their distance learning program in 1978. Today, they offer online degrees with limited residency requirements. So, students will need to plan for traveling to campus throughout their program.

    Features

    All Prescott classes are supported by Moodle learning management systems. The class sizes will always be less than 20 students. Students will have regular classroom contact with faculty and their peers. – but that is the extent of their online programs. The undergraduate online degrees include:

    • Arts & Humanities
    • Environmental Studies & Sustainability
    • Human Development
    • Education & Teacher Preparation

    Notables

    Prescott is best known for their Master’s program in counseling. However, Prescott also offers a vast array of online Master, Doctoral and certificate programs as well. However, it is important to note that all students will be required to attend a New Student Orientation in Prescott Arizona, prior to starting their program.

  6. Arizona Christian University
    Location

    Phoenix, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Arizona Christian University was founded in 1960 in Phoenix, AZ through the work of Ida Clouse a Christian, Baptist missionary who donated her property after her death. Today, ACU offers three modes of learning: traditional student classes on its 35-acre campus, online learning campus, and evening campus that focuses on degree completion for working adults.

    Features

    Arizona Christian University just started offering their online program in 2017. The program allows online students to start at any time during the year. ACU starts classes six times a year with an 8-week terms. The online course work is the same as learning on campus. Classes are small with a student-faculty ratio of 13-to-1. Online undergraduate majors include:

    • Business
    • Elementary or Secondary Education
    • Family Studies
    • Christian Ministries

    Notables

    While Arizona Christian University has Baptist roots, the university became non-denominational in 2009. Since that time, they have been expanding rapidly with new programs and new avenues for students to achieve their educational goals. So, while their online program might be brand new, the university is here to stay.

  7. Grand Canyon University
    Location

    Phoenix, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Overview

    Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 in Phoenix, Arizona, by the Southern Baptist Church. In the early 2000s the university was struggling. So, the college changed from a non-profit organization to a new business model to support operations. Today, this once small school is drastically changing the landscape in Phoenix with being part of the NCCA Division I athletics, creating jobs, restoring housing and reducing crime in West Phoenix. That is just the main campus exploits!

    Features

    Today, GCU is #2 in the top 50 online Christian College. The University supports over 65,000 online students pursue over 200 programs online annually. Students can access class materials through LoudCloud learning management software complete with 24/7 access to the library and technical support. Most classes will have less than 30 students with a student faculty ratio of 19-to-1. Top majors include:

    • Nursing
    • Special Education
    • Teacher education Grade Specific
    • Business
    • Human Services

    Notables

    97% of the degrees offered at Grand Canyon University are from online students. But don’t let that number fool you. They still have a sizable impact on their 100-acre brick and mortar campus complete with NCAA Division I athletics.

What Are the Goals of an Online Degree?

Online colleges in Arizona provide students with academic experiences and learning outcomes mirroring those of on-campus degree-seekers. Asynchronous instruction features classes without set times, an advantage for students with an already busy schedule. Online programs also allow out-of-state learners to earn a degree without relocating.

Online colleges offer undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certificates. Students explore many of the same majors and minors as their on-campus peers, such as law, organizational leadership, and general studies. Like on-campus programs, online degrees allow transfer degree-seekers to apply their credit toward a bachelor’s or master’s.

Why Get an Online Degree?



Arizona online colleges educate students who otherwise could not attain a college education. Other advantages include cost savings and numerous degree options.

Asynchronous Learning
Many online colleges in Arizona offer asynchronous programs, so students can view recorded class lectures and materials at their convenience.
Cost Savings
Many schools offer tuition discounts for distance learners. Even if a school charges the same tuition to online and on-campus students, online learners still save money. They do not need to pay for transportation costs, on-campus housing, or a meal plan.
Degree Variety
Top online colleges feature numerous degree options, including administration of justice, graphic information systems technology, and sustainably built environments. Learners not interested in a degree can earn a graduate certificate to advance their career.
Transferable Skills
Earning an online degree hones in-demand transferable skills, such as time management. Potential employers respect candidates able to create and follow a schedule.
Career Advancement
As many employers restrict high-paying positions to degree-holding candidates, students should regard a diploma as a wise financial and career investment.

What Are the Requirements for an Online School?

Although admission requirements for online colleges in Arizona vary, prospective first-time undergraduates generally need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some schools accept other high school equivalency exams, such as the HiSET or TASC. Applicants submit these materials through their online account.

Students remain in good academic standing by passing all courses and maintaining a satisfactory GPA. Graduation requirements may include selecting a concentration and taking upper-division coursework. Students in some programs complete a capstone course involving an internship or e-portfolio. Internships and portfolios help students hone skills and present their qualifications to prospective employers.

What is Accreditation and Why Does it Matter?

Scholarships for Online Students

Although Arizona online colleges help students save money on a degree, learners further avoid debt with scholarships. Multiple companies and organizations award scholarships exclusively to Arizona residents or online learners. The following scholarships feature 2021 application deadlines and use similar requirements, such as undergraduate transcripts, recommendation letters, and personal essays.

GetEducated.com Distance Learning Scholarship

Who Can Apply: GetEducated.com accepts applications from online undergraduate and graduate degree-seekers biannually. Application requirements include a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA, a 500-word essay, and FAFSA results. Interested students should apply by October 15 or March 15. GedEducated.com only accepts mailed applications.
Amount: $1,000

Italian Catholic Federation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: Arizona, California, Illinois, and Nevada high school seniors qualify for the Italian Catholic Federation Scholarships. Admission requirements include Italian heritage and a minimum 3.2 high school GPA. Two hundred applicants receive the scholarship. The award renews annually as long as degree-seekers remain in good academic standing at their school.
Amount: Up to $2,500

Project Management Institute Phoenix Chapter Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Arizona residents earning a project management degree qualify for the PMI Phoenix Chapter Scholarship. Other admission criteria include official transcripts, a resume, two references, and an essay. Scholarship finalists provide additional materials. PMI uses a May 1 scholarship deadline, and recipients cannot reapply the following year.
Amount: Up to $2,500

Society for Human Resources Management Undergraduate Scholarships

Who Can Apply: SHRM accepts applications from undergraduates majoring in human resources or a related subject. Prospective applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students submit a current resume, official transcripts, and one recommendation letter by March 3. SHRM issues the scholarships to recipients’ schools.
Amount: $2,500

Study.com Undergraduate Distance Learning Degrees Academic Scholarships

Who Can Apply: Associate and bachelor’s degree-seekers attending an accredited online college or university apply to this competitive scholarship. Study.com does not restrict the scholarship based on major or state of residence. Current or upcoming college seniors may not apply. Scholarship recipients provide a headshot and brief biographical statement for the Study.com website.
Amount: $500

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