Houston, TX (PRWEB) February 24, 2014
The Open Education Database (OEDb) has released its 2014 rankings for the top U.S. schools that offer online education within their undergraduate program. The rankings are categorized into twelve of today's most common areas of study — accounting, business administration, computer science, criminal justice, education, engineering, graphic design, IT, marketing, nursing, paralegal studies, and psychology.
With OEDb's first ranking published in 2007, we are among the first to publish online college rankings and have since then refined our metrics and expanded our list of schools to develop the most reliable and comprehensive annual rankings of online colleges.
The highest ranked online schools of 2014 are:
Accounting: St. Catherine University
Business Administration: University of Alabama
Computer Science: Dakota State University
Criminal Justice: Pennsylvania State University
Education: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Engineering: University of Alabama
Graphic Design: Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design
IT: Elmhurst College
Marketing: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
Nursing: Ohio State University
Paralegal Studies: Mississippi College
Psychology: Pennsylvania State University
Calculating the Rankings
OEDb relied solely on objective, quantifiable data gathered from trusted third parties and the schools' websites to determine the best online colleges and universities for each subject. Using the National Center for Education Statistics' IPEDS database, OEDb's researchers first gathered a list of U.S. colleges offering online undergraduate degrees as of November 2013. Among the list of more than 3,000 schools, only those that offered online-only programs in at least one of the twelve targeted subject categories were considered in the final rankings.
To be defined as an online school, the school had to meet the following criteria: offer at least one fully online undergraduate degree; be accredited by a U.S. Department of Education-recognized agency; be listed on College Navigator.
We then analyzed the data for various key metrics, using trusted database reports as well as information manually pulled by our team. The programs were then ranked according to these various key metrics, which includes cost; student loan default rate; institution-based financial aid rate; acceptance, retention, and graduation rate; years of accreditation; full-time to part-time faculty member ratio; and job placement rate.
More information on OEDb's ranking process can be found on the methodology page.
OEDb.org is committed to providing objective, thorough reports that allow students to make informed choices about their open and online education options. The site includes open courseware and degree program directories, school profiles, information on distance learning, and rankings of the nation's top online colleges.