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Best Online Colleges in North Dakota 2019
Top Consensus Ranked Schools for Distance Learning

Consensus Ranked STATES top online north dakota

Attending a North Dakota online college can benefit a variety of students. Those who work full-time can work on classes without affecting their schedules. Nontraditional students who are looking to return to college after taking time off, or those who decided to work right out of college might feel less nervous to take classes online instead of in-person. Rural citizens could also benefit from an online alternative if they do not live close enough to attend college in-person.

In the state of North Dakota, over 375,000 people live in rural communities. With the majority of universities being in urban or suburban areas, commuting is not typically an option for rural residents. As a result, North Dakota online degrees are the best possible opportunity. Online students do not have to worry about parking, childcare, or even bad weather affecting their ability to earn a degree. College is on your laptop, smartphone, or other internet-capable device, which makes taking North Dakota online courses easier than ever.

Ranking the Best Online Colleges in North Dakota 

To rank the best online colleges in North Dakota, College Consensus editors start at the beginning: with accredited, reputable institutions known for quality. That is reflected in their Consensus Score, the aggregate of student reviews and published rankings. To make the best online colleges ranking schools also must offer at least 3 online options for undergraduates. 

Colleges are presented in Consensus Score order.


University of Jamestown
Jamestown, ND

University of Jamestown
College Consensus
Publisher Consensus
Student Consensus
Accessed October, 2019

At the University of Jamestown students are able to gain access to four online undergraduate programs. Their placement rate for jobs following graduation or enrolling in graduate school is at 98 percent. Statistics also show that those who graduated and went into the workforce with a new position or a promotion received an average salary increase of $19,000. This shows a high return on investment for prospective students, and this is why the University of Jamestown is one of the best online colleges in North Dakota.

At the University of Jamestown, students have access to an accredited program, since the institution is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has an outstanding 12:1 student to faculty ratio. Because of this, students are able to receive one-on-one instruction, making it one of the reasons that so many students are pursuing this particular institution.

Number of Online Programs


Valley City State University
Valley City, ND

valley city
College Consensus
Publisher Consensus
Student Consensus
Accessed October, 2019

At Valley City State University, students who are looking for diverse program options in North Dakota that is online have seven different undergraduate programs to choose from. They can choose from Business Education, Career and Technical Education, English Education, History Education, Technology Education, Professional Communication, and Music. These programs integrate education with various disciplines as a way to give these students the ability to teach these programs or have a solid understanding before advancing to graduate school. Because of this diversity, Valley City State University is one of the best online colleges in North Dakota.

Students who pursue education with Valley City State University have an institutional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. Many of the education programs also have program accreditation through the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The Music program is also accredited through the National Association of Schools of Music.

Number of Online Programs


Dickinson State University
Dickinson, ND

College Consensus
Publisher Consensus
Student Consensus
Accessed October, 2019

Students at Dickinson State University have over a dozen undergraduate programs available to them completely online. This allows these students who are working students or stay-at-home moms to continue their daily commitments while pursuing their dream of a college education. Students have a variety of disciplines to choose from, which does not limit their online education as other institutions may. Because of this flexibility and the opportunities awarded to students, Dickinson State University is one of the best online colleges in North Dakota.

At Dickinson State University, students have access to some of the most affordable tuition rates in North Dakota. The faculty that is teaching on-campus courses are also teaching online classes, allowing them equal opportunity to the faculty and curriculum that makes them as competitive as others in the program. Dickinson State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission at the national level with various programs receiving additional accreditation for their above-average curriculum.

Number of Online Programs


University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND

College Consensus
Publisher Consensus
Student Consensus
Accessed October, 2019

At the University of North Dakota, students have several undergraduate programs they can choose from to further their education. With over 20 online programs available, students can pursue a career in a number of professional capacities, healthcare, or other growing industries essential to North Dakota. Their tuition rates are also among some of the most affordable in the state, making it a no-brainer option for students to choose them. Because of this flexibility and affordability offered at the University of North Dakota, they are one of the best online colleges in North Dakota.

Students pursuing this institution will seek out an administration that strives daily to ensure they receive quality education since 1883. The campus is the largest in the state, and students graduate from this institution as leaders in their profession. They are accredited at the national institutional level by the Higher Learning Commission.

Number of Online Programs


University of Mary
Bismarck, ND

university mary
College Consensus
Publisher Consensus
Student Consensus
Accessed October, 2019

The University of Mary offers online undergraduate programs that range in Accounting, Business Management, Criminal Justice, and Information Technology, which is some of the leading fields for employment in the state. Nursing students also have the option to pursue an RN-BSN if they are licensed. Having this number of programs available to students across the state makes the University of Mary one of the best online colleges in North Dakota.

As a private and Christian Catholic institution, The University of Mary strives to provide students with the mission to serve others in their career despite their faith or background. The students enrolled in these programs represent this diversity. The University of Mary holds national accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. The institution has been ranked for the 2019-2010 year as a college of Distinction, in the top ten schools for the state of North Dakota.

Number of Online Programs

Who Benefits Most from Online Colleges in North Dakota?

Today, many people are going to college. The total undergraduate enrollment in the United States was 16.8 million students, which is 27 percent more than the fall of 2000. But why? While some students might have just graduated from high school and are going off to school, others might be nontraditional. In fact, nearly six million people in the country took online courses in the fall of 2015 versus attending on-campus courses.

But what about those in rural communities, or those who feel tech-savvy? Is online learning simply for those who live in urban areas, or is it possible that distance learning is possible for those living in the plains?

Luckily, there are options for you in North Dakota. While there are some universities available that offer on-campus instruction, there are a plethora of opportunities to learn from the comfort of a laptop.

So online learning is for everyone. While those who may not be as comfortable on a computer could be nervous about taking online courses, there are resources available to ensure success. Actually, the state of North Dakota even has their own center for distance learning that has resources for the state residents who might need it.

What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn Online in North Dakota?

North Dakota online degrees offer programs from associate’s to doctorates in an array of majors and subjects. Those who are looking to apply for North Dakota online degree programs could obtain degrees in virtually any subject. Universities including Bismark State College, North Dakota State University, University of North Dakota, and many other colleges and universities provide online degrees in North Dakota.

25 Highest Paying Online Associates Degrees
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Those who choose to take classes online at in-state schools can take advantage of being close to campus by scheduling appointments with advisors, attending commencement, or meeting with a professor for additional assistance with homework or test prep. This opportunity for online class and on-campus collaboration is often referred to as hybrid learning. There are also colleges that North Dakota residents can attend including national universities like Western Governors, University of Phoenix, Southern New Hampshire University and more. Here is a list of the best online colleges in the state of North Dakota.

How Can I Save Money on an Online Degree in North Dakota?

There are many resources for paying for ND distance learning that can help mitigate the costs of education. There are community colleges in North Dakota that offer online courses that could provide cost-effective online degree programs. Starting at a community college and transferring to a four-year university is another cost-effective option. This route allows students to take general education classes, earn an Associate’s Degree, and learn in smaller class sizes, while deciding what they might want to pursue for a Bachelor’s Degree.

Another option could be utilizing an employer reimbursement program. Some companies offer this benefit to help pay for employee education. Ask your employer if this is offered for your company. Financial aid like student loans, grants and scholarships can also be used towards an online degree. Online community colleges in North Dakota and public universities both offer scholarships and grants to students. To learn more about federal student loans to use towards a North Dakota online college, click here.

What is the North Dakota Center for Distance Learning?

The North Dakota Center for Distance Learning is a school that creates a network of students, teachers, and the community to utilize technology for education. This makes ND distance learning possible for students prior to college, who are in middle school or high school. This school gives students, teachers, parents, and schools a chance to utilize North Dakota distance learning to efficiently obtain an education. To learn more about the North Dakota Center for Distance Learning and North Dakota Distance Learning as a whole, visit their site.

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