Encompassing hundreds of colleges and universities, both online and in-person, as well as the best career, technical and skills schools available and certification programs, School Match Pro is a useful resource for students planning to further their education with a college degree or new skill, either online or in person. Today, we’ll discuss accredited online colleges and universities.

Online colleges have grown and changed considerably in recent years. Many of today’s accredited online colleges and universities are developing innovative learning platforms for different types of students. At the same time, many traditional universities are now building online extension programs, meaning some very well-known names in higher education, like Penn State’s World Campus, are now also included as online colleges.

Collectively, these schools offer online degrees, professional certificates, graduate, and continuing education courses, plus various ‘credit for prior learning’ options, which may be available to qualifying students. This means that if you have previous college credits, they may transfer to your new online college, making graduating even faster. Many also offer credit for prior work experience as well!

School Match Pro helps you decide what you value in an online institution and can connect you directly to the schools that best fit your goals and lifestyle.

We have connections to online colleges and universities with several key factors for you to consider- like accreditation, size, and cost, to name a few. Most of the schools and colleges in our network are accredited by an agency that’s recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), or an international accrediting body.

Many colleges have regional accreditation as opposed to national accreditation, which is an important consideration if you ever decide to transfer your earned credits to a different school. National accreditation may or may not allow credit transfer, while all regional schools credits will likely transfer. Other colleges hold additional accreditation for some of their individual programs. Specialized accreditation is sometimes important to students whose career paths require board certification or state licensure – including nurses, teachers, social workers, and psychologists.

School Match Pro believes in educational transparency. So whenever possible, our online college profiles list cost-per-credit figures, so you can begin your financial planning and make cost-based school comparisons to find what best fits you.

You may also be interested in whether an online college has any religious affiliation or not. If you approach life from a faith-based perspective, you may prefer an online college that incorporates religion into its curriculum and its culture. Yes, some online colleges and universities are associated with various religions, so finding one that fits your religious beliefs, should you have them, is rather easy with School Match Pro.

School size is another key variable. There are positives and negatives that come with both large and small schools. Smaller online colleges and universities may be equipped to offer more personalized attention. Large online universities may have bigger budgets to implement better distance learning technology, as well as more 24-hour services. These days, many online schools can do all the above, regardless of size.

You can also use School Match Pro’s resources to learn about schools with campus locations versus fully online universities. Even if your prospective program doesn’t require in-person class attendance, it’s sometimes nice to know there’s a place you could visit for student support, group projects, making friends, or even attending graduation.

Some online schools maintain dozens of satellite locations in different states and communities; other online programs are extensions of major research universities or established residential colleges.

Finally, you may be interested in how different online schools structure their academic calendars or deliver their coursework. To find out exactly, simply read each online college’s descriptions of what each institution will require of you.

Traditional schools might limit available start dates to several times per year. Meanwhile, many accredited online colleges and universities offer monthly or bi-weekly new student start dates, along with flexible semester schedules or one-at-a-time course loads.

While traditional colleges and universities will always exist, online colleges and universities now offer the same education, but with a whole lot more flexibility, and a focus on you!