Online Schools and Colleges in Missouri

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Accredited Degree Programs, Scholarships and Resources for Top Schools

By 2020, 66 percent of jobs in Missouri are projected to require a postsecondary degree. In response to that estimate, Missouri’s Big Goal for higher education aims to provide 60 percent of adults in the state with postsecondary degrees by 2025. But stats show that only 27.6 percent of Missouri residents held a bachelor’s degree or higher as of 2016. In order to fulfill the Big Goal promise, non-traditional students who have put college on hold in favor of work, family and other lifestyle commitments are likely considering online colleges, which offer greater learning flexibility than traditional, on-campus programs. But how are you to tell which are truly the best online colleges in Missouri? And what makes them the best? Find answers to these questions, along with answers to other common queries surrounding online colleges, from how to fund your online education in Missouri, details on college transfers and career potential in the state below.

Top 10 Online Schools and Colleges in Missouri 4-Year Colleges

Rank School Location
1 Cox College Springfield, MO
2 Webster University Saint Louis, MO
3 Maryville University Saint Louis, MO
4 University of Missouri Columbia, MO
5 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MO
6 Missouri University of Science and Technology Rolla, MO
7 Missouri State University Springfield, MO
8 Lindenwood University St. Charles, MO
9 Columbia College Columbia, MO
10 Park University Parkville, MO
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Best Online Colleges in Missouri 2020

  • 2-Year Colleges
  • 4-Year Colleges

Initiatives in Missouri help prepare adult learners for college and make tuition more affordable. The Coordinating Board for Higher Education set a goal for 60% of working-age residents to hold a college degree by 2025. The board also works to make Missouri one of the 10 most affordable states to earn a college degree.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, tuition and fees at public four-year schools in Missouri cost an average of $8,387, which is less than the national average of $9,037. However, most students still need assistance paying for college. This guide explores scholarships and grants for learners attending online schools and colleges in Missouri.

  1. Cox College
    Location

    Springfield, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Cox College in Springfield, Missouri, offers both online and blended degree options and specializes in nursing degrees, radiologic sciences and imaging, medical assisting, and various research-based Master of Science programs. Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Education in Nursing, the Bachelor of Science in nursing program is the most popular area at Cox, with associate, bachelor's, RN to BSN degrees available for distance learners. Bachelor's degrees may take up to five years to complete. Upon graduation, Cox graduates boast a 96 percent job placement rate.

  2. Webster University
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Webster University is a nonprofit private university in Webster Groves, Missouri. With over 55 online programs of study, undergraduate courses last eight?16 weeks, and graduate courses are eight?nine weeks in duration. For a more personal learning environment, these asynchronous classes are limited to 24 students per section. Among the available online degrees, bachelor's and master's business programs offer the most areas of specialization to fit your career aspirations best. Webster also takes pride in its ability to offer special services, substantial transfer credit options, and attention for active-duty service members and veterans. Whether you are a full-time or part-time student, domestic or international, Webster's online degrees can be completed 100 percent online. Some degrees include the option for a hybrid format. Most online degrees are completed within one to four years depending on your enrollment status and availability.

  3. Maryville University
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Maryville University's online programs can be completed 100 percent online, with no on campus obligations. Class sizes are comparatively small, with only about 20 students per section. For maximum flexibility, you can take courses in an asynchronous format starting in either the fall, spring, or summer. Eligible transfer credits can be applied to your degree, pending the approval of the Office of Admissions. This private university offers graduate and undergraduate degrees, as well as certificate programs. Nursing programs, like doctoral degrees in pediatric and family nursing, as well as master's degrees in adult gerontology and psychiatric health, are especially popular among the distance learning community at Maryville. For undergraduate students, a diverse set of business-related bachelor's degrees are available, including business administration, finance, and organizational leadership.

  4. University of Missouri
    Location

    Columbia, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Missouri, or Mizzou, is a public research university in Columbia and is the largest school in the state. They offer 149 online programs, from bachelor's and master's degrees to post-graduate certificates and doctorates. Mizzou's online nursing programs shine through as one of their most diverse and popular degree programs. You can earn certificates in adult-geriatric care, master's degrees in neonatal care and family nursing, or doctorates with specialties in pediatrics, gerontology, family practice, and women's health. Taught by the same professors who teach the on campus classes, most of these degrees are completed online and offer a quality Mizzou education for distance learners. Some doctoral programs require clinical residencies. For convenience, these rotations are scheduled at a facility close to your location. Residents and nonresidents pay the same tuition rates per online course credit. Most programs require a personal interview before admission.

  5. University of Central Missouri
    Location

    Warrensburg, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Central Missouri is a public state institution located in Warrensburg. At UCM, the same professors who teach on campus courses also teach online courses, so you know you are getting the best instruction the university has to offer. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees are available and can be completed entirely online. UCM's online program features strong education programs, with degrees in occupational education, educational technology, elementary education/curriculum and instruction, and general teaching. The school also offers an education specialist program for distance learners who already have a master's degree. Focusing on technology in the classroom, this program teaches you the skills to take your presentation and pedagogical methods to the next level. This specialist program results in an EdS degree, the highest degree awarded by UCM. Transfer credits may be counted toward your degree at the discretion of the Office of Admissions.

  6. Missouri University of Science and Technology
    Location

    Rolla, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Missouri University of Science and Technology is known for its engineering, business, and management programs. You can take advantage of their fully online majors, such as aerospace engineering, business administration, and chemical engineering from anywhere you wish to log in. Offering graduate degrees, graduate certificates, and continuing education courses, most online students begin their education in the certificate program and earn credit toward a master's or doctoral degree. Most classes are synchronous and feature live collaboration software and streaming video lectures, which allow for easy participation with your professors and classmates while simulating a more traditional in-class experience. Depending on the degree, most students take one?two classes a semester and complete their degrees in three?four years. Some graduate degrees may take up to six years to finish.

  7. Missouri State University
    Location

    Springfield, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Springfield, Missouri State University is a public institution that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in both online and hybrid formats. This online program is notable, in part, for its diverse degree options among education- and business-driven majors. With several master's degrees in education, and available specialties in elementary education, literacy, and educational technology, and bachelor's degrees in business, finance, and communication studies, Missouri State offers diverse training to prepare you for the modern job market.

  8. Lindenwood University
    Location

    St. Charles, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Lindenwood University is a private liberal arts institution located in Saint Charles, Missouri. Established in 1827, this school now offers 31 online degrees and more than 100 online courses each semester. Standout degrees available online at Lindenwood include undergraduate and graduate programs in digital and web design, game design, social media and digital content strategy, and digital photography. This arts and design-heavy online program is designed to provide modern skills for growing technology-driven fields in today's competitive job market. Through the Canvas system, you will have access to your professors, writing and tutorial services, and 24/7 technical support when you log in from any location.

  9. Columbia College
    Location

    Columbia, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Columbia College is a nonprofit liberal arts and science college established in 1851. Online courses are accelerated and last eight weeks long, with six starting times each calendar year. Courses are asynchronous and help working adults and professionals complete associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees. From business and marketing to criminal justice and education, each of the nine major concentrations offers multiple specializations from which you choose your degree path. Distance learners also have access to Columbia's academic counseling and careers services, as well as a dedicated office to help military personnel navigate their degrees and military benefits.

  10. Park University
    Location

    Parkville, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    At Park University, you can earn numerous certificates and degrees entirely online or in a hybrid format. Courses at this nonprofit, liberal arts school are asynchronous, allowing you to work at your own pace over accelerated 8-week terms. With more than 80 career-focused online programs, Park specializes in information and computer science degrees, with associate or bachelor's programs in computer science, information systems, homeland security, computer information systems, and computer networking. To help fund your education, Park offers distance learners internal merit-based scholarships as well as some federal work-study, with on and off campus positions for eligible students.

Top 9 Online Schools and Colleges in Missouri 2-Year Colleges

Rank School Location
1 State Fair Community College Sedalia, MO
2 Crowder College Neosho, MO
3 Ozarks Technical Community College Springfield, MO
4 North Central Missouri College Trenton, MO
5 Jefferson College Hillsboro, MO
6 Saint Louis Community College Saint Louis, MO
7 Moberly Area Community College Moberly, MO
8 Three Rivers College Poplar Bluff, MO
9 Missouri State University-West Plains West Plains, MO
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  1. State Fair Community College
    Location

    Sedalia, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  2. Crowder College
    Location

    Neosho, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  3. Ozarks Technical Community College
    Location

    Springfield, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  4. North Central Missouri College
    Location

    Trenton, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  5. Jefferson College
    Location

    Hillsboro, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  6. Saint Louis Community College
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  7. Moberly Area Community College
    Location

    Moberly, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  8. Three Rivers College
    Location

    Poplar Bluff, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

  9. Missouri State University-West Plains
    Location

    West Plains, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

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COLUMBIA

KANSAS CITY

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SPRINGFIELD

How Can I Find Which Online Colleges Offer the Degree I’m Looking for in Missouri?

Missouri is home to about 60 private and public institutions, according to the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (MDHEWD). With so many choices, the research process can feel overwhelming. To narrow their search, learners can examine each prospective school’s curricula, tuition rates, and student outcomes. You can click the link below for information about online schools and colleges in Missouri.

SEARCH ALL ACCREDITED SCHOOLS IN MISSOURI

How Much More Do College Grads in Missouri Make?

According to a 2016 MDHEWD report, the Missouri Department of Economic Development projected that 92% of the state’s highest-paying jobs would require at least a bachelor’s degree by 2020. The same report states that more than 50% of Missourians held a college degree in 2016.

Professionals with higher levels of education tend to earn higher salaries. Additionally, college graduates often hold jobs with health insurance and retirement benefits. The table below illustrates the correlation between educational attainment and earning potential.

Annual Full Time Wage and Salary by Educational Attainment in the U.S.

LESS THAN A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAHIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAASSOCIATE DEGREE
$28,756$37,960$44,824
BACHELOR’S DEGREEMASTER’S DEGREEDOCTORAL DEGREE
$62,296$74,568$94,900

Source: BLS

Paying for Online College in Missouri: Tuition and Financial Aid

Both in-state and out-of-state learners at Missouri schools pay average tuition rates that are lower than the national average. Nonetheless, most Missouri students need assistance to minimize their college debt.

The following tables compare the average tuition costs for Missouri students to the national averages. Factors that impact tuition rates include the learner’s residency status and whether they attend a public or private school.

Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Public Colleges and Universities

IN-STATE TUITIONOUT-OF-STATE TUITIONNATIONAL AVERAGE
$7,924$20,061$9,037 (In-State)$25,657 (Out-of-State)

Average Undergraduate Tuition and Fees: Private Colleges and Universities

TUITIONOUT-OF-STATE TUITIONNATIONAL AVERAGE
$24,615N/A$30,731

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Cost Considerations for Online Students in Missouri

Tuition and expenses typically comprise the largest percentage of the total cost of college. However, students should consider additional costs when budgeting for college. Below are some cost considerations for students at online schools and colleges in Missouri.

  • Activity Fee: Undergraduates must often pay an activity fee to support on-campus programs, clubs, and activities. Online students may not pay this fee.
  • Information Technology Fee: Many schools charge an information technology fee to cover costs related to internet, email services, and computer labs.
  • Instructional Fees: Students sometimes pay an instructional fee, which typically covers costs such as adding to the library’s catalog and upgrading equipment.
  • Online Course Fee: Online learners often pay a per-course or per-semester fee that covers costs associated with distance learning, such as technical support.
  • Self-Paced Course: Students may pay an administrative fee to take self-paced or asynchronous courses.

Qualifying for In-State Tuition in Missouri

To prove residency, Missouri students must submit documents in accordance with the state’s regulations. Learners who do not meet residency requirements must pay out-of-state tuition rates and cannot receive financial aid from the state government.

To qualify for in-state tuition rates, students must generally have resided in Missouri for 12 consecutive months prior to the first day of the semester. Learners can also show proof of living in Missouri to work full time. Acceptable documentation includes income tax statements and pay stubs. Military students may receive exceptions.

Paying for College in Missouri: Scholarships and Financial Aid

To help fund their education, students attending online schools and colleges in Missouri can apply for scholarships from private organizations, their school, and the state. Scholarships and grants are ideal forms of funding, since they do not require repayment. Below are some funding programs available to Missouri students.

Scholarships for Missouri College Students


  • Community Foundation of the Ozarks Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: The Community Foundation of the Ozarks provides scholarships to high school seniors and current college students. Requirements for scholarships vary, with
    some awards only available to students in the Missouri Ozarks region.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply For Scholarship


  • Fresh Start Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Each year, two students receive this scholarship. Applicants must be aged 17-29, must reside in the Greater St. Louis region, and must attend a community
    or technical college full or part time. Learners who took a nontraditional pathway to college receive preference.

    Amount: $7,500

    Apply For Scholarship


  • Glenn L. Moller, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: This scholarship program honors Glenn L. Moller, Jr., who died in Vietnam. The award supports learners who have overcome challenging backgrounds.
    Applicants must be attending a two- or four-year school and must demonstrate financial need.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply For Scholarship


  • National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Foundation Regional Scholarships

    Who Can Apply: This regional scholarship supports four learners per year who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement. Applicants must submit an essay, high school
    transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and letters of recommendation.

    Amount: $3,500

    Apply For Scholarship


  • Arthur and Anna McGlothian Scholarship

    Who Can Apply: Candidates for this award must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a religious college in St. Joseph, Missouri. Applicants must have
    a minimum 2.5 GPA.

    Amount: $1,500

    Apply For Scholarship


Grants for Missouri College Students


  • Advanced Placement Incentive Grant

    Who Can Apply: High school seniors who meet the eligibility requirements for Access Missouri and the A+ Scholarship can receive this grant. Applicants must earn two
    qualifying scores on Advanced Placement exams in math and/or science.

    Amount: $500

    Apply For Grant


  • Helen M. Delano Fund

    Who Can Apply: This grant supports family members of firefighters or police officers who died in the line of duty. Applicants must submit a letter of request and a letter
    of recommendation from the chief of police or fire chief.

    Amount: $2,000

    Apply For Grant


  • Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant

    Who Can Apply: Missouri residents who are at least 25 years old pursuing their first bachelor’s degree can apply for this grant. Applicants must meet income eligibility
    requirements and must submit a Fast Track application.

    Amount: Up to $500

    Apply For Grant


  • Bright Flight Scholarship Program

    Who Can Apply: This state-funded scholarship supports students whose ACT or SAT score was in the top 3% for their high school. Applicants must attend college full time.

    Amount: $1,000 to $3,000

    Apply For Grant


  • Minority and Underrepresented Environmental Literacy Program

    Who Can Apply: Academically accomplished students from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds can apply for this award. Applicants must be Missouri residents, have a minimum
    3.0 high school GPA or 2.5 college GPA, and be studying an approved subject area.

    Amount: Varies

    Apply For Grant


FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE SCHOOLS

The Importance of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Missouri

Online schools and colleges in Missouri can receive accreditation through a voluntary evaluation process. An independent agency reviews and evaluates the school to ensure its curricula and outcomes meet academic standards. Attending an accredited school ensures that employers will recognize your degree, and it is often required to qualify for federal and state financial aid programs.

Students who attend a college without regional accreditation cannot receive federal loans or grants. The following sections explore various types of accreditation and provide information about how to identify an institution’s accreditation status.

Regional and National Accreditation

Six agencies award regional accreditation to U.S. institutions. The Higher Learning Commission provides regional accreditation for Missouri schools. Vocational and technical colleges often earn national accreditation. Regional accreditation is more prestigious than national accreditation, and credits earned from nationally accredited schools do not typically transfer to regionally accredited institutions.

Subject-Specific Accreditation

Subject-specific accrediting agencies evaluate programs and departments within specific fields. For example, the American Psychological Association accredits psychology programs, and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council accredits education programs.

Subject-specific accreditation demonstrates that a program meets accepted standards for the industry. Professionals in some fields need a degree from an accredited program to qualify for licensure.

How to Know if Your School or Program is Accredited

Accredited colleges and universities generally feature accreditation information on their website. Learners can confirm a school’s accreditation status by searching databases from the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education. The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development also provides information about the accreditation status of schools in the state.

Online College and Adult Education in Missouri

Several Missouri state initiatives help improve access to higher education, especially for working-age adults. Students can take advantage of state initiatives that support working adults and online learners. The following sections include information about resources for adult learners attending online schools and colleges in Missouri.

By the Numbers: Adult Education in Missouri

As of 2018, 28.6% of Missouri residents 25 or older held a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Each year of higher education leads to an average salary increase of 10%.

Only 11% of the lowest-income students complete their college degree.

Source: U.S. Census BureauDepartment of Higher Education and Workforce DevelopmentSt. Louis Graduates

Adult Education Programs for Missouri Students

  • 15 to Finish Initiative: This initiative helps students earn 15 credits per semester
    to stay on track to graduate on time. Students who maintain this pace of study can earn an associate degree in two years and a bachelor’s degree in four years.
  • Core 42: As a result of Senate Bill 997, all public two-year and four-year colleges in Missouri adopted
    this standard transfer curriculum, which helps students easily transfer college credits.
  • Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant: This grant covers tuition and fees for up to two years
    for working adults pursuing high-need occupations.

Online College Resources for Missouri Students

Learners attending online schools and colleges in Missouri can access free local and national resources. The resources below can help students find financial aid, transfer college credits, and plan their careers.

  • Journey to College: This online resource from the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce
    Development helps students track their transfer credits, access state financial aid, and work on college essays.
  • Missouri Connections: This free online service from the Missouri Department of Elementary and
    Secondary Education offers career development and educational resources.
  • The Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis: This foundation provides financial
    aid assistance. Learners can attend workshops in St. Louis or schedule a personal appointment.
  • Purdue Owl: This resource from Purdue University delivers free online writing help. Students can
    access information about writing academic papers, adhering to MLA style, and creating works cited pages.
  • St. Louis Graduates: The St. Louis Community Foundation funds this program, which offers scholarships and
    advocacy opportunities. The program facilitates higher education opportunities for low-income people of color.

Search All Accredited Colleges and Universities in Missouri

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Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.


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