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How to Get an Associate’s Degree Online: 2020’s Best Colleges Rated

Norbert Juma
Published on June 16, 2020 8:00 AM EST
How to Get an Associate's Degree Online 2020's Best Colleges Rated

Are you interested in receiving an associate’s degree but aren’t sure which college to attend? Below you’ll find the best online colleges for an associate’s degree.

Online college is growing in popularity. 33% of college students are taking at least one online class. The number of students taking courses online is expected to increase. Because of this, there are many accredited universities offering online education to students around the country.

How to Get an Associate's Degree Online 2020's Best Colleges Rated

An associates degree is the first level of undergraduate education and usually focuses on core education classes — though you receive an associate’s in your desired focus, such as an Associates in Arts or an Associates in Science.

Also read: 20 Schools and Programs to Earn Your Online Bachelor’s Degree

How to Get an Associate’s Degree Online

Online colleges offer full-time or partial online education. Some colleges require you to attend campus for exams and other necessities.

While most classes will establish deadlines, you can engage in the lecture when it works for you.

Technology continues to improve, opening up opportunities for online students. Today, students can join in on a video conference to feel like they’re in the classroom.

There are also more ways to complete assignments as a group rather than just individually, enhancing student and colleague collaboration even in a remote environment.

More colleges are offering online education opportunities — at both local/community college and university levels.

The Best Online Associate’s Degree Colleges and Universities

Here are the best online colleges to receive your associate’s degree.

Frontier Community College

Frontier Community College was founded in 1976. They offer eight online associate degree programs. Some of these programs include sports management, medical assistant, and general studies. You can transfer these degrees toward your bachelor’s program.

Most of these programs offer full-time remote studying. However, some programs require on-campus visits. Frontier Community College is based in Fairfield, Illinois, so make sure you live close to campus before agreeing to these programs.

To qualify, you need a high school education and GED. You also must submit your ACT and SAT scores. Frontier Community College has a 70% graduation rate and the average tuition is $9,743.

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Southwestern Community College

Southwestern Community College offers some of the most diverse associates programs in the arts and sciences. Some of the most popular ones include health sciences and career technologies.

Nine of their associate’s programs are held fully online. The most sought-after programs include medical office administration, cybercrime technology, and business administration.

Southwestern Community College was established in 1964. The campus is based in Sylva, NC. Make sure you live close to campus before applying.

James Sprunt Community College

Another North Carolina-based community college is James Sprunt Community College. This school is famous for its open-door policy that accepts all interested students.

This college offers three online associates degrees: Associate of Arts, Associate’s of Science, and Associate’s of General Education. These degrees include a variety of programs, ideal for all students.

These programs offer classes during fall, spring, and summer semesters. You usually need between 60 and 65 credits for graduation.

Unfortunately, this college has a relatively low graduation rate — 28%. If you’re looking for the cheapest online associate’s degree, choose this school. At $2,570, they have one of the best-priced tuitions.

Richmond Community College

Richmond Community College is one of the most unique community colleges on this list. They not only offer online associate’s degree programs but also offer workforce development programs.

Their online education programs continue increasing, meaning you’ll likely find your degree available online or partially online. Their fully online associate programs include cybersecurity, healthcare management technology, finance, and accounting.

You can take these courses throughout the fall, spring, and summer semesters. All applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and submit their SAT or ACT scores.

This college has a relatively low graduation rate at 23% but offers cheap tuition at $2,516.

Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Copiah-Lincoln Community College is one of the most historic colleges mentioned in this list — founded in 1928, Copiah-Lincoln Community College offers 30 online associates degree programs in the arts and humanities, health sciences, social sciences, business, and education.

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Copiah-Lincoln Community College enrolls 3,000 students every year and offers classes in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Their classes can last as short as four weeks and as long as 16 weeks.

To qualify, you need a high school diploma or GED and can transfer your credits if you have a 2.0 GPA. You also need to submit your SAT and ACT scores.

Niagara County Community College

Niagara County Community College offers one of the most diverse online associates degree programs. They have 60 different programs and plenty of online degrees.

Keep in mind, some of these degrees require on-campus visits. Niagara County Community College is located in Sanborn, NY. Make sure you live close to campus before enrolling.

They enroll more than 5,000 students. Their associate’s degree programs include psychology, health studies, and human services. You can use your credits toward a bachelor’s degree.

Courses are held in the fall and spring semesters and most programs require between 60 and 70 credits, which takes about two years to receive your degree if you’re a full-time student. To qualify, you need a high school diploma or GED and need to submit your SAT or ACT scores.

Lenoir Community College

Lenoir Community College enrolls 16,000 students and offers a combination of online and onsite classes at their Kinston, NC campus location. They offer 20 associates degrees in unique areas such as emergency management, aviation management, and network management.

Most programs require 60-70 credits. Classes run during the spring, fall, and summer semesters. It takes two years to receive your degree if you’re a full-time student. You need a high school diploma or a GED to qualify and you need to submit your SAT or ACT scores.

At 19%, this college has a low graduation rate but tuition is affordable at about $2,558.

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Laramie County Community College

Located in Cheyenne, WY, Laramie County Community College offers 85 associates degrees in several areas such as early childhood education, small business management, and health information technology management.

Most programs require 60-70 credit hours. It takes about two years to achieve an associate’s degree if you are a full-time student. You need a high school diploma or GED to enroll. Keep in mind, some online classes may require scheduled sessions.

The graduation rate is relatively low — 28% — and tuition is at $3,426. What jobs can you get with an associate’s degree? If you’re unsure, this college can help with job placements.

Western Piedmont Community College

Located in Morgantown, NC, Western Piedmont Community College is one of the oldest colleges — established in 1864.

Out of their 7,000 students, almost 60% of them take online classes. Some of the online associate’s programs they offer include information technology, business administration, and paralegal technology. These programs offer core, concentration, and major courses.

They offer classes in fall, spring, and summer semesters and the average class lasts about eight weeks. Most programs require 65 credits and the average full-time student will receive their associate’s degree in two years.

Applicants need a high school diploma or GED to enroll. If you have a 2.0 GPA, you can transfer your credits.

Stanley Community College

Stanley Community College offers more than just online associates programs. They provide the tools to gain professional credentials and training. They offer 10 associates programs in areas such as criminal justice technology, human services technology, and early childhood education.

You can take classes in the fall, spring, and summer. Their classes are as short as four weeks and as long as 16 weeks. The average associate’s degree program requires between 60 and 70 credits.

Applicants need a high school diploma and GED to enroll and all applicants must complete a placement test. Your credits can transfer to several universities.

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Madisonville Community College

If you’re a resident of Kentucky, you can receive an online associate’s degree from Madisonville Community College. They’re based in Madisonville, KY, but have five campuses. You can also choose to receive your degree online.

You can receive an associate’s degree in unique areas such as surgical first assistant and mining technology. Most programs require between 60 and 70 credits.

You need a 2.0 GPA to graduate but Madisonville Community College offers one of the most flexible online schools — most classes are asynchronous, meaning you can study and complete your assignments when it suits you.

You need a high school diploma or a GED to enroll.

Mid-Plains Community College

Located in North Platte, NE, Mid-Plains Community College has seven campuses and hosts 16,000 students. They offer five associate’s degree programs in areas like business administration, library technical assistant, and criminal justice.

This college offers courses in fall, spring, summer, and even winter break.

Mid-Plains Community College also stands out because of the opportunities you have after graduation. If you’re not pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you can enter entry-level employment in your field. 

To enroll, you need a high school diploma or GED. Some students need to complete a placement exam. This college also has a 48% graduation rate, a higher graduation rate than other colleges on this list. The average tuition is $3,210.

Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College offers one of the broadest associates programs — they offer 40 associates degrees and 10 of them are offered online.

Some of their online associate’s degrees include supply chain management, information technology business support, and medical office administration. In addition, these courses may come with additional professional certifications.

While most online courses are flexible, some may require scheduled sessions and even on-campus visits. Vance-Granville Community College is located in Henderson, NC, so make sure you live close to the campus.

The average associate’s degree program requires between 60 and 70 credits and most full-time students can receive their degree within two years. To enroll, you need a high school diploma or GED and need to submit SAT and ACT scores.

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Roane State Community College

Located in Harriman, TN, Roane State Community College has 6,000 students and nine campuses.

They also have a successful online school that hosts three online associates degree programs. These include geographic information systems, computer information technology, and health information management.

Their online classes are flexible but many require scheduled sessions. After you graduate, you can move on to a bachelor’s degree or find entry-level employment.

Most associate’s degrees at this school require between 60 and 70 credits, so full-time students can graduate within two years. You need a high school diploma or GED to enroll, as well as SAT and ACT scores.

Seward County Community College

Seward County Community College offers 45 associate’s degree programs, five of which are online. These include biology, chemistry, and business administration.

Most online classes are flexible and they usually don’t require on-campus lectures. This means you can take these online classes, no matter where in the country you live (the college is based in Liberal, KS). You’ll also pay the same tuition as locals.

The average associate’s program only requires 64 credits. You can take classes in the fall, spring, and summer. This means that many full-time students can graduate in less than two years.

To enroll, you need a high school diploma or GED.

Attend One of These Online Colleges to Receive Your Associate’s Degree

One of the most important things you can do is achieve an education. Every year, more students are choosing to receive an associate’s degree online. If you’re wondering how to get an associate’s degree online, all you need to do is choose one of the best online colleges listed above.

Before you can start your education, you’ll have to become more goal-oriented. Click here to read some advice on becoming more ambitious!

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