Best Online Associate Degrees in North Carolina 2023

Best Online Associate Degrees in North Carolina 2023

Find the best online associate degrees in North Carolina ranked by the academic success of faculty and alumni associated with the colleges and universities and their online degree programs.

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Colleges and Universities in North Carolina

Among these schools are over 60 public colleges and universities, including the state’s largest school, North Carolina State University, which serves almost 30,000 students. Tuition costs average about $9,000, just below the national average, and students also have the option to enroll in over 1,000 online courses. Another notable public school is the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is one of the country’s oldest universities.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

The 25,000 students who attend UNC will walk the same halls as Francis Collins, Thomas Wolfe, and former president James K. Polk. North Carolina’s private schools have also made a name for themselves, including the well-known Duke University located in Durham. Here, students can earn degrees in some of the top programs, like nursing, political science, and business. Additionally, students can attend one of the many small schools which serve less than 5,000 students, like Campbell University in Buies Creek, or a religiously affiliated school, like Mid-Atlantic Christian University in Elizabeth City.

From its coastal beaches to its lush forests, it’s no wonder the Wright Brothers dreamed of taking flight over North Carolina. This state is rich with history, scenic views, and famous people who once called it home, like John Coltrane and Nicholas Sparks. Students hoping to earn their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree also have the option of choosing from over 100 schools in the Tar Heel State.

Whether you prefer ocean views or wooded forests, North Carolina has something for everyone. Discover more about the state’s higher learning options.


What are North Carolina’s Colleges & Universities?

North Carolina’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 North Carolina
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Best Online Associate Degrees in North Carolina 2022

  1. #1

    Campbell University

    Buies Creek , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    87%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1110/22

    Online Associate Degrees

    AA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Information Technology Security

    Concentrations

    • Management
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AS in Homeland Security
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in General Education
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Christian Studies
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AS in Behavioral Sciences
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. #2

    University of Mount Olive

    Mount Olive , NC

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1005/19

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #3

    Montreat College

    Montreat , NC

    Tuition + fees

    $29K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1025/20

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS Business
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Cybersecurity
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AS in General Studies
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #4

    Gaston College

    Dallas , NC

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    4K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Human Resources Management
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AS in Supply Chain Management
    • Required Credits: 68
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AS in Office Administration

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Required Credits: 69
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AS in Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Applications Development
    • Data Analytics and Database Management
    • Digital Media
    • Required Credits: 68
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AS in Fire Protection Technology
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of General Education
    • Required Credits: 64-65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AS in Medical Office Administration

    Concentrations

    • Billing and Coding
    • General
    • Required Credits: 69
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    28%

    Student body

    15K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Web and UX Design
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Advertising and Graphic Design
    • Required Credits: 71
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Analytics
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Supply Chain Management

    Concentrations

    • Distribution Management
    • Global Logistics Technology
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Human Resources Management
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Marketing
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in General Business
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Office Professional Administration
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Project Management
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Accounting and Finance
    • Required Credits: 68
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Legal Office
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Human Services Technology

    Concentrations

    • Addiction and Recovery Studies
    • Required Credits: 69
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Medical Billing and Coding
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Medical Office Professional
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Emergency Medical Science Bridge
    • Required Credits: 75
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Cosmetology
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Fire Protection Technology
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  7. Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    8K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Simulation and Game Development
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Office Administration
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Human Resources Management
    • Required Credits: 65-66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Computer Programming
    • Database Management
    • General Studies
    • Network Management
    • Security and Data Assurance
    • Web Development
    • Required Credits: 66-68
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 66-68
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Early Childhood Education

    Concentrations

    • Licensure Option
    • Non-Licensure Option
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Medical Office Administration

    Concentrations

    • Healthcare Administration
    • Medical Billing and Coding
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #8

    Wayne Community College

    Goldsboro , NC

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #9

    Wilkes Community College

    Wilkesboro , NC

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  10. #10

    Cape Fear Community College

    Wilmington , NC

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    6K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Accounting and Finance
    • Required Credits: 71
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 70-71
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Analytics
    • Required Credits: 70-71
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Fire Protection Technology
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Emergency Management
    • Required Credits: 69
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 32-33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Community Spanish Interpreter
    • Required Credits: 74
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Science
    • Required Credits: 34
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. #11

    Pitt Community College

    Winterville , NC

    Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    5K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Office Administration

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Legal Office
    • Office Finance
    • Required Credits: 14
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Computer Programming and Development
    • Web Administration and Design
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Healthcare Management Technology
    • Required Credits: 69
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Healthcare Management Technology

    Concentrations

    • Healthcare Entrepreneurship
    • Long-Term Care
    • Required Credits: 69
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Medical Office Administration

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Medical Auditing
    • Medical Billing and Coding
    • Patient Services Representative
    • Required Credits: 76
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Industrial Management Technology
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  12. Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    26%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 67-68
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of General Education
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Public Safety Administration
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  13. Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    19%

    Student body

    8K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Accounting and Finance
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • General Administration
    • Human Resources Management
    • Marketing
    • Operations Management
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Hospitality Management
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Office Administration

    Concentrations

    • Finance
    • General
    • Legal
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Systems Security and Analysis
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Intelligence Studies

    Concentrations

    • Criminal Intelligence
    • Geospatial Intelligence
    • Intel Operations
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Fire Protection Technology
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Emergency Management Technology
    • Required Credits: 68
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 71
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Healthcare Management Technology
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Surgical Technology
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Science
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  14. #14

    Johnston Community College

    Smithfield , NC

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    43%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of Accounting and Finance
    • Required Credits: 63-64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Bioprocess Technology
    • Required Credits: 68
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Early Childhood Education

    Concentrations

    • Licensure
    • Non-Licensure
    • Professional
    • Required Credits: 62
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Medical Office Administration
    • Required Credits: 55
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  15. Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    31%

    Student body

    5K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Project Management Technology
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Supply Chain Management

    Concentrations

    • Distribution Management
    • Global Logistics Technology
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • International Business
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Entrepreneurship
    • Required Credits: 72
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in IT - Technical Support and Services
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Emergency Management
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Health Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Office Administration
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Accounting and Finance
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Information Systems
    • Required Credits: 70-71
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Emergency Management
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 69-71
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA in Teacher Preparation
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of General Education

    Concentrations

    • General
    • Nursing
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Medical Office Administration
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Polysomnography

    Concentrations

    • Transition
    • Required Credits: 70
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Emergency Medical Science Bridging
    • Required Credits: 68-71
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Pilot Unmanned Aircraft Systems
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Aviation Management
    • Required Credits: 69
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Science
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  17. Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 61
    • Completion time: 1 year
    • Format: Online
  18. Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    36%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Accounting and Finance
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: 2 Years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Office Administration
    • Required Credits: 50-65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 60-67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Emergency Management
    • Required Credits: 62-72
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 57-66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AS in Teacher Preparation
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of General Education
    • Required Credits: 64-65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA-T in Arts
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AS-T in Science
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  19. Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    1K

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of Accounting and Finance
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Agribusiness Technology
    • Required Credits: 68
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Computer Programming and Development
    • Web Administration and Design
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 70-71
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  20. Tuition + fees

    $2K

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Fire Protection
    • Required Credits: 63
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of General Education
    • Required Credits: 64
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  21. Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    35%

    Student body

    3K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Business Administration - General Business
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: 2 Years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Office Administration
    • Required Credits: 65
    • Completion time: 2 Years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Accounting and Finance
    • Required Credits: 68
    • Completion time: 2 Years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Administration - Human Resource Management
    • Required Credits: 70
    • Completion time: 2 Years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: 2 Years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Library and Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 66
    • Completion time: 2 Years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Medical Office Administration
    • Required Credits: 68
    • Completion time: 2 Years
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Health Information Technology
    • Required Credits: 76-77
    • Completion time: 2 Years
    • Format: Online
  22. Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Accounting and Finance
    • Required Credits: 60-63
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Business Administration

    Concentrations

    • Entrepreneurship
    • Office Administration
    • Required Credits: 65-67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Medical Office Administration
    • Required Credits: 66-67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Software and Web Development
    • Support and Services
    • Required Credits: 68
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AA-T in Arts
    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Cyber Crime Technology
    • Required Credits: 74
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  23. Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    Associate of Arts
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Accounting and Finance
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Associate of Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 60-61
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  24. #24

    Stanly Community College

    Albemarle , NC

    Tuition + fees

    $3K

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Associate Degrees

    AAS in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 67-68
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Accounting and Finance
    • Required Credits: 67-68
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Information Technology

    Concentrations

    • Business Support
    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Criminal Justice Technology
    • Required Credits: 65-66
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    AAS in Human Services Technology

    Concentrations

    • Addiction and Recovery Studies
    • Required Credits: 70-71
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  25. #25

    Mid-Atlantic Christian University

    Elizabeth City , NC

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    48%

    Graduation

    44%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    994/19

    Online Associate Degrees

    AA in Biblical Studies
    • Required Credits: 61-62
    • 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.