Best Online Associate Degrees in Kentucky 2022

Best Online Associate Degrees in Kentucky 2022

Key Takeaways

  • Earning an associate degree is an affordable way to get started on your college education. The typical associate degree will take about two years to complete.

  • Many community colleges and two-year schools in Kentucky offer both traditional and online degree programs for students pursuing their associate degree in a wide variety of disciplines.

  • Students who earn their online associate degree in their state of residence are typically eligible for in-state discount rates. If you are a resident of Kentucky, finding an online associate degree here at home will typically be the most affordable way to begin your higher education.

Colleges and Universities in Kentucky

Students who wish to attend traditional and online colleges in Kentucky have plenty of excellent options. Traditional students and distance learners alike have an array of affordable, accessible, and reputable undergraduate and graduate degrees to choose from.

Between community colleges, technical schools, and universities, Kentucky has 24 public schools. The community colleges and technical schools average $4,000 for tuition, and tuition for public universities ranges from $8,000 to $12,000. Online students pay the same in state tuition rates when enrolling in these public options.

Prospective students planning to attend private colleges can choose from 26 schools, of which 21 are religiously affiliated. The cost to attend private schools tends to be higher, reaching $42,000 in Kentucky. There are, however, some affordable private options with tuition rates as low as $9,000.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

The largest and top-rated public university is the University of Kentucky. The University of Kentucky has over 30,000 students and costs about $12,000. UK offers a wide range of traditional and fully online programs in areas like political science, chemistry, and literature.

Students who attend either the University of Louisville or Western Kentucky University will become part of a friendly basketball rivalry. Both of these universities also offer highly regarded graduate and undergraduate degrees in fields like mathematics, communications, business, and history.

Eastern Kentucky University is also among the top public colleges in Kentucky, with more than 14,000 students enrolled in a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs.

In addition, Kentucky encourages graduating education students to apply for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. This financial aid program awards $5,000 to $17,500 toward Federal Stafford loans to those remaining in the profession.

There is something for everyone in The Bluegrass State. Kentucky is home to the famous Kentucky Derby, the Daniel Boone National Forest, and the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory. Both traditional and online Students wanting to study in a state that Abraham Lincoln and Muhammad Ali called home have 50 higher learning institutions from which to choose.

Kentucky has it all - associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Check out the top brick-and-mortar and online schools the state of Kentucky has to offer.


What are Kentucky’s Colleges & Universities?

Kentucky’s Best Overall

What is an Associate Degree?

An associate degree is a two-year degree that can be earned at state community colleges, vocational schools, and most accredited colleges and universities.

What will I study with an associate degree?

The associate degree provides an introductory level college education. You will usually take an array of liberal arts or humanities courses along with introductory level courses in a specific subject area. Most associate degree programs are available to both on campus students and online students.

Why get an associate degree?

There are several good reasons to get an associate degree. An associate degree is an affordable and accessible way to get a college education while improving your earning potential. The associate degree is popular both among students looking for entry-level work in their field, and for those who are already working.

The online degree is particularly popular at the associate level because so many students must balance work responsibilities and studies. Online courses and complete online programs make it possible for students to earn associate credits and degrees without disrupting daily work responsibilities.

The associate is also a far more affordable and accessible alternative to earning a bachelor’s degree. The associate degree takes about half as long to earn as a bachelor’s degree. Associate students need 60 credits to graduate, versus the 120 credits needed for a bachelor’s degree. And many state community colleges offer low tuition rates.

Can I get a job with an associate degree?

You can get an entry-level job in your field with an associate degree. Many students will use the associate degree as a way to get relevant job training before entering the job market. In fact, many associates will pursue entry level work in their field while earning a bachelor’s degree through online education.

Should I get an associate degree before pursuing a bachelor’s degree?

You may want to get an associate degree first to save money, or improve your admission chances, before getting a bachelor’s degree. The associate degree is a popular stepping stone for students who will seek a bachelor’s degree. When you earn an associate degree from an accredited state community college, you can usually transfer your credits toward your bachelor’s degree program.

Can I get an online degree at the associate level?

You can definitely get an online degree at the associate level. A growing number of online colleges offer high-quality associate-level online courses and complete online programs. Online students will typically take the same courses and curricula as on campus students.

Are associate degrees from online colleges respected?

Online degrees at the associate level are respected as long as these online degrees come from accredited community colleges or two-year schools. Regional accreditation is important when it comes to online colleges. If you plan to go into a bachelor’s degree program at a regionally accredited school, you must earn your online degree from a regionally accredited associate degree program.

If you need more answers to frequently asked questions about online degrees, we can help.

Best Online Associate Degree Programs in Kentucky
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Best Online Associate Degrees in Kentucky 2022

  1. #1

    Western Kentucky University

    Bowling Green , KY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/22

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of Nursing (LPN-to-ASN)
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  2. Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    98%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1060/22

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of Arts in Police Studies
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Applied Associate of Science in Paralegal Studies
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Arts in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Science in Paramedicine
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  3. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/24

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of Arts in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  4. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    7K

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of University Studies
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  5. #5

    Campbellsville University

    Campbellsville , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    8K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Education
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Mass Communication
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Christian Studies
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  6. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/21

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of Missions and Ministry
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Applied Science in Missions and Ministry
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Applied Science in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Applied Science in Communication Arts
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Applied Science in Mass Communication
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of General Studies
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Applied Science in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Applied Science in Allied Health
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Coaching
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Applied Science in Coaching
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Public Health
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Applied Science in Public Health
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Applied Science in Exercise and Sport Science
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Human Services
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Applied Science in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Information Technology Sciences
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Paralegal Studies
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Applied Science in Paralegal Studies
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Psychology
    • Required Credits: 60-66
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  7. #7

    Midway University

    Midway , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #8

    Brescia University

    Owensboro , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $27K

    Acceptance

    53%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/22

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Business
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA/AS in Integrated Studies
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AA in Liberal Arts
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AS in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  9. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    6K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Computer Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Business Software and Support
    • Cloud Computing Technologies
    • Geospatial Technologies
    • Informatics
    • Internet Technologies
    • Programming
    • Video Game Design
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Graphic Design and Library Technology

    Concentrations

    • Graphic Design
    • Library Information Technology
    • Video Game Design
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Criminal Justice

    Concentrations

    • Corrections
    • Computer Forensics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Law Enforcement
    • Security and Loss Prevention
    • Required Credits: 61-64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Administrative Office Technology

    Concentrations

    • Administrative Management
    • Desktop Publishing
    • Financial Assistant
    • Legal Administrative
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 45
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Equine Business Management
    • Required Credits: 61-62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Education: Educator Preparation
    • Required Credits: 61-62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Hospitality Management
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Human Resource Management
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Medical Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 60-64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Real Estate Management
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Marketing and Retailing
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #10

    Thomas More University

    Crestview Hills , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AA in Management
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    48%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Science
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  12. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    41%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Computer and Information Technologies

    Concentrations

    • Cloud Computing Technologies
    • Business Software and Support
    • General Track
    • Geospatial
    • Information Security
    • Internet Technologies
    • Programming Track
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Administrative Office Technology
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Criminal Justice

    Concentrations

    • Corrections
    • Criminal Justice
    • Security and Loss Prevention
    • Law Enforcement
    • Required Credits: 61-64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Medical Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 60-64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Human Resource Management
    • Management
    • Hospitality
    • Real Estate Management
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Art
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Science
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  13. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    34%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Medical Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  14. Tuition + fees

    $5K

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Human Resource Management
    • Management
    • Required Credits: 54
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  15. Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    <1K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Agriculture

    Concentrations

    • Agriculture Business/Marketing
    • Agriculture Education
    • Agriculture Technology
    • Agronomy
    • Horticulture
    • Sustainable Agriculture
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Computer and Information Technologies

    Concentrations

    • Business Software and Support
    • General
    • Information Security
    • Network Administration
    • Programming
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Arts/Science

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Administration Systems

    Concentrations

    • Accounting
    • Human Resource Management
    • Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 2 years
    • Format: Online
  16. #16

    Madisonville Community College

    Madisonville , KY

    Tuition + fees

    $4K

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Human Services
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Surgical First Assistant
    • Required Credits: 61-64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Paralegal Technology
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities-educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Online College-Bound Students

Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.