This guide provides an overview of online colleges in Missouri and job opportunities for graduates. It also shares resources related to paying for your education, such as public tuition support programs and private scholarship offerings.
About 125 postsecondary institutions operate in Missouri. The state recognizes 27 public institutions, 54 private and nonprofit colleges and universities, and an additional 44 for-profit schools. Thirty-nine colleges exclusively offer two-year associate degrees, while the rest cater to students seeking bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees.
The University of Missouri System enrolls roughly 70,000 students at four major campuses and a variety of smaller education programs throughout the state. The University of Missouri-Columbia, affectionately known as Mizzou, is the system's flagship university and offers more than 100 online degree and certificate programs.
A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Missouri
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) tallied 125 colleges and universities in Missouri during the 2015-2016 school year. In 2016, the NCES estimated that 401,094 students took classes at a degree-granting postsecondary institution in the state. This number represents a 12% decline in the number of students pursuing higher education in Missouri since 2011, though enrollment remains significantly higher than it was in 2000. Today, students can choose from roughly 90 online colleges in Missouri.
- 27 public
- 56 non-profit
- 50 for-profit
According to CollegeBoard, the average published tuition and fees for a public, two-year college exceeded $3,400 in the 2017-2018 academic year. The average published tuition and fees for a public, four-year university approached $8,900 in that same year. Both figures reflect the prices for in-state students.
In-state tuition and fees at the University of Missouri totaled $11,008 in 2017-2018, while nonresidents paid close to $26,600 that year. These costs fall in the middle of the spectrum when comparing prices at other flagship universities across the country.
The National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs reported that Missouri undergraduate students received a total of nearly $67.5 million in need-based grants in 2015-2016. Tuition support programs that do not require students to demonstrate financial need distributed close to $52 million in aid that year.
Generally, public universities in Missouri feature average tuition rates, and the state provides above-average financial support. Students who attend the cheapest online colleges in Missouri may save more money than those who pursue a degree on campus.
The State of Online Higher Education in Missouri
According to Digital Learning Compass’ 2017 Distance Education State Almanac, roughly 126,800 students, or approximately 31% of the state’s student population, took one or more online college courses in Missouri. Slightly more than 54,500 students took all of their courses remotely, comprising 13.3% of state enrollment.
Nearly 36,900 undergraduate students and 17,700 graduate students pursued a degree entirely online. More than 56% of those exclusively online students live in the state, with the remainder attending online colleges in Missouri while living elsewhere.
Students attending online schools in Missouri often enjoy the freedom to customize their learning through a mix of online and residential courses.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
Out-of-state students seeking to attend online colleges in Missouri should consider participating in the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP). Through MSEP, students living in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, or Wisconsin may qualify for discounted tuition at some of the best online colleges in Missouri.
Public schools participating in MSEP agree to charge students from participating states no more than 150% of the tuition they offer to in-state students. At the University of Missouri, for example, this translates to a tuition of approximately $16,500 for students living within the MSEP jurisdiction, a savings of almost $10,000 compared to students from states that don’t participate.
Private institutions may also participate in MSEP, though they often do so less frequently than public schools, especially online community colleges in Missouri. Private colleges and universities typically offer a 10% tuition reduction to qualifying students.
Make sure to check with your school’s admission or financial aid office to determine if you can receive tuition discounts through MSEP. Even colleges that participate in the program may need to limit the total number of students they serve each year.
Best Online Colleges in Missouri
Below, are our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Missouri. Our profiles review how schools approach online education and list their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing the best online schools in Missouri, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Missouri or our index of popular in-state scholarships.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||Cost||Address & Contact Info||School Links||Acclaim for Online Programs||School Description|
|1||University of Missouri - Columbia||Columbia||$$$$$||105 Jesse Hall|
Columbia, MO 65211
Founded in 1839, the University of Missouri-Columbia serves as the state's largest college with an enrollment of about 30,000 students. The school administers more than 300 programs through 19 colleges and schools. Mizzou Online maintains a reputation as a leader in distance learning in the state, boasting more than 1,000 courses and 90 degree programs. About 16,000 on-campus undergraduates use online learning to supplement their in-person experiences. In the most recent school year, 3,643 students earned degrees exclusively online here.
Learners interested in pursuing a bachelor's degree can choose majors such as elementary education, business administration, and hospitality management, as well as healthcare professions with fully online majors such as nursing, radiologic science, and respiratory therapy. Those yet to declare a major can benefit from the flexibility of the bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies and bachelor's in general studies. Both degrees offer a broad educational foundation in several disciplines while allowing learners to design a major that suits their career goals and aspirations. Mizzou Online oversees a sweeping catalog of master's degrees in a variety of fields such as business, education, economics, and social work.
Through NetTutor, learners in need of academic help can receive aid online and free of charge. Mizzou Online offers a 10% tuition discount to learners transferring from community colleges, as well as veterans and military service members. While the school charges online undergraduates who live out of state a small fee in addition to in-state tuition, graduate students pay in-state tuition, regardless of residency. Mizzou, one of the best online colleges in Missouri, allows learners to transfer between 66 and 85 credits into some bachelor's degrees. Learners use a course equivalency website to evaluate how their credits transfer to Mizzou. Mizzou Online also manages transfer agreements with several colleges around the state to facilitate a seamless transfer.
|2||City Vision University||Kansas City||$$$$$||3101 Troost Ave. Suite 200|
Kansas City, MO 64109-1845
City Vision University works to transform at-risk communities with a "radically affordable" Christian education. The college offers a select number of online bachelor's degrees in fields such as business administration and nonprofit management, as well as Christian ministry and leadership. An innovative bachelor of arts in missions at City Vision offers a concentration in urban ministry leadership that prepares learners for rescue mission chaplain roles and others.
The program's sweeping curriculum includes an exploration of life skills training, city counseling, recovery dynamics, and emerging media ministry. The bachelor of science in addictions counseling prepares students for licensure as certified addiction counselors. The curriculum focuses on topics including alcoholic counseling, mental illness and addiction, case management, and the chaplaincy. All programs in the social sciences use an on-campus component to provide learners with hands-on experience.
To enroll in one of the school's online degrees, learners must complete their general studies requirements through City Vision University, or transfer credits from an accredited college. Faculty members deliver programs using eight-week online sessions, five terms per year, and students learn online asynchronously, partnering with a nonprofit organization to complete required practicums. The school makes it easy to finish a degree if learners already have college credits, with up to 90 credits transferable from an accredited college. Students receive prior learning credits for taking part in the College Level Examination Program and DSST.
Students can earn an undergraduate degree for $7,000 a year, leaving college with reduced college debt. The school provides a 15% tuition discount to current and past members of the military, in addition to a 37.5% tuition discount for learners living in developing countries and the school's ministry partners, making City Vision one of the cheapest online colleges in Missouri. All online learners who live out of state pay the same tuition as in-state peers.
|3||Central Methodist University||Fayette||$$$$$||411 Central Methodist Square|
Fayette, MO 65248-1198
A small private college located in Fayetteville, Central Methodist University College enrolls about 5,000 students, most of whom take classes at sites across the state and through online education. Students learn on campus or online in an environment valuing academic excellence, ethics, and social responsibility. The College of Graduate and Extended Studies oversees a comprehensive catalog of online programs. Undergraduates earn degrees in diverse fields such as accounting, child development, criminal justice, and computer science. The school offers three teacher preparation programs leading to certification in Missouri: bachelor of science degrees in education in early childhood education, elementary education, or special education.
Learners planning to work alongside individuals with special learning and behavior needs enroll in the BS in applied behavior analysis, a program that requires study of subjects such as behavioral assessment, data analysis and methods, behavioral pharmacology, and requires three intensive practicums. Students unprepared to commit to a particular major learn the foundational knowledge required for a wide variety of occupations by enrolling in the bachelor of interdisciplinary studies. Students in this program design a degree plan to cultivate leadership skills and acquire hands-on experience in line with their career goals by completing projects, presentations, and internships. One of the best online colleges in Missouri, CMU also offers master's degrees in math and nursing.
Faculty members deliver courses using either eight- or 16-week sessions. Students who study online but would like to take part in campus activities benefit from membership in the school's fraternities and student organizations. CMU's tuition remains competitive, and online learners pay one tuition regardless of residency. Students considering enrollment may qualify for one of several scholarships available to help pay tuition. Online learners 77 higher education institutionsshould ensure that CMU offers programs in their state.
|4||Maryville University of Saint Louis||Saint Louis||$$$$$||650 Maryville University Drive|
Saint Louis, MO 63141-7299
A private college, Maryville University of Saint Louis enrolls about 9,000 students, the majority of whom study online. To ensure that learners acquire skills that employers want, Maryville partners with top companies to build many of the school's programs. The college offers 90 degree programs in classrooms with a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. Maryville's 25 online programs provide scheduling flexibility to accommodate the needs of students returning to college.
Students interested in a bachelor's degree choose from 15 programs in high-demand fields such as cybersecurity, healthcare management, business administration, and criminal justice.
The bachelor's in financial management provides learners with a broad base of business skills, in addition to advanced financial theory covering subjects including banking, securities/investments, and portfolio management. Graduates leave the program prepared for careers in fields such as financial services sales, personal financial advising, and bank management. All programs require a capstone project focused on a student's specialized area of interest. Learners can complete their degrees completely online with start dates in the fall, spring, and summer.
Maryville's streamlined transfer system, personalized learning, and 24/7 tech support help learners complete their degrees successfully and on time. Online students living out of state pay the same tuition as their in-state peers. They receive access to a comprehensive range of financial aid programs, such as federal grants, loans, and private scholarships. First-year students need no SAT or ACT scores for admission to Maryville, one of the best online colleges in Missouri, but transfer students must meet the minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA requirement.
|5||Park University||Parkville||$$$$$||8700 NW River Park Dr|
Parkville, MO 64152-3795
Established in 1875, Park University continues its mission to help students overcome barriers to attaining higher education. The school enrolls 16,000 students at 41 campus centers around the country and through distance learning. Many of the college's 64 programs offer online options with an emphasis on applied learning. Those looking to begin their higher education with an associate degree can choose from majors such as accounting, criminal justice administration, construction management, and social psychology.
Park University's four-year degrees cover majors such as healthcare management, information and computer science, and interdisciplinary studies. Learners interested in the construction trades acquire managerial and business skills by completing the bachelor of science in construction management. In addition to coursework in subjects such as financial management, construction planning, and project management, students acquire real skills through an internship elective completed at a relevant company.
One of the best online colleges in Missouri, Park University provides an accelerated learning business option, allowing students to complete a bachelor's and master's degree in five years. The "4+1" master's in business administration and "4+1" master's in health administration programs enroll business majors with at least 60 undergraduate credits and a minimum 3.0 GPA. These programs allow undergraduates to complete graduate coursework in the respective program that will count toward both the bachelor's and master's degree.
Graduate students choose from majors such as education, language and literacy, and management information systems. Learners with an associate degree (except for an associate in applied science) can use it to meet the university's general education requirements; up to 75 credits transfer from online community colleges in Missouri or other institutions into an undergraduate degree at Park University. First-year students need a minimum 3.0 GPA for admission or proficiency in the SAT or ACT for students with lower GPAs. Online learners pay the same tuition, regardless of residency. Several Park University scholarships help learners cut down on their tuition bill.
|6||Webster University||Saint Louis||$$$$$||470 E Lockwood Ave.|
Saint Louis, MO 63119-3194
Webster University offers a distinct learning experience that emphasizes a globalized curriculum in academic programs. In addition to a home campus in St. Louis, the school operates a network of campuses around the world while offering affordable, high-quality distance learning. Webster University boasts more than 100 academic programs in a student-centered learning environment marked by small classes and personalized learning.
Webster University's students take classes conveniently online through WorldClassRoom. Learners enroll on a full-time or part-time basis in programs delivered fully online and choose from 50 degree and certificate programs in various fields, such as criminology, educational studies, and management. With the transfer of a substantial number of credits, learners possess the ability to complete degrees in data analytics and media communications.
Registered nurses (RNs) can take their nursing practice to the next level, a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), by enrolling in the degree completion RN-to-BSN program. The curriculum focuses on topics such as lifespan health assessment, health promotion, evidence-based practice, and population health. To apply, RNs must hold an unencumbered license in one of a select number of states.
Students receive support services such as one-on-one mentoring, peer tutoring, and counseling. The Money for Textbooks program provides students with a means to pay for textbooks, up to $600 per semester, which they pay back with their financial aid. Online learners interested in participating in on-campus activities join one of dozens of clubs and organizations, campus ministry, and sharpen their skills with the WebsterLEADS student program.
Webster University, one of the top online colleges in Missouri, accepts the transfer of associate degrees and a maximum of 98 credits into bachelor's degrees. However, learners who attended a community college and did not earn an associate degree transfer a maximum of 64 credits. First-year students need to complete the SAT or ACT for admission. Webster University charges online learners the same tuition, regardless of residency. Online military students, such as active-duty personnel and reservists, receive reduced tuition rates.
|7||Stephens College||Columbia||$$$$$||1200 E Broadway|
Columbia, MO 65215
The second-oldest women's college in the U.S., Stephens College focuses the school's curriculum on the health sciences and creative arts. The school also oversees co-educational graduate programs and a children's school in Columbia. Stephens College first offered the 120-credit bachelor in science in health information administration (HIA) via distance learning and continues to offer the degree fully online to both men and women.
HIA students take foundational courses in subjects such as anatomy and physiology, healthcare statistics, medical terminology, and medical coding. The degree requires that learners complete core HIA coursework in subjects such as healthcare management, healthcare finance, and human resources management for healthcare. During a writing-intensive seminar and capstone project, learners conduct research, a literature review, design a research tool, and collect data using the tool. During internship opportunities, HIA students apply their learning in real-world contexts while building work experience.
Learners must complete a minimum of 36 credits of the HIA program at Stephens to meet the school's residency requirements. Stephens allows learners to develop a degree plan that accommodates their commitments. The program, accredited by Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education, maintains an excellent pass rate on the Registered Health Information Administrator exam. All HIA students must join the American Health Information Management Association. Stephens notes that HIA graduates enter the workforce primed for careers in one of the fastest growing occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To ensure that online learners master the mode of delivery, Stephens requires that new students complete a one-hour orientation within four weeks of starting the program. HIA enrolls students in January, June, and August. Stephens, one of the best accredited online colleges in Missouri, offers affordable tuition and comprehensive financial aid, in addition to allowing online learners to pay the same rate, regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.
|8||Missouri State University-Springfield||Springfield||$$$$$||901 S National|
Springfield, MO 65897
Missouri State University-Springfield enrolls about 24,000 students in programs that emphasize ethics, cultural competence, and community engagement. Transfer students make up about 45% of the school's undergraduates, and Missouri State enrolls more transfer students than any other public college in the state. The school's online programs provide learners with flexible, respected degree options leading to bachelor's degrees in fields such as nursing, criminal justice, health services, and professional writing.
Missouri State offers a bachelor's in general business that prepares learners for all areas of business operations. The major explores business relationships, accounting, and computer information systems. The bachelor's in hospitality leadership requires an associate of science or associate of applied science degree for admission and observes topics such as financial accounting, lodging management, marketing fundamentals, and hospitality law.
An internship component requires that learners receive experience in at least three positions within the field. Missouri State also offers an extensive suite of fully online graduate degrees in fields such as education, business administration, and project management.
Students at Missouri State brush up on their academic knowledge with tutoring and academic coaching. Learners can use the career center's job search and career toolkits to begin planning their lives after college. One of the best online colleges in Missouri for transfer students, Missouri State developed a transfer equivalencies resource specifically for learners transferring from the state's two-year colleges.
Missouri State also accepts transfer credits from four-year colleges and requires that all transfer students hold a minimum 2.0 GPA. The school offers affordable tuition lower than that of other colleges in the state. Furthermore, Missouri State's transfer scholarships help learners pay for tuition, and nonresident students qualify for an out-of-state tuition waiver if they transfer more than 24 credits with a minimum 3.25 GPA.
|9||University of Central Missouri||Warrensburg||$$$$$||202 Administration Building|
Warrensburg, MO 64093
9. University of Central Missouri
An innovative "2+2" bachelor of science in technology allows learners with an associate of applied science to complete the junior and senior years of the BS at UCM. The program offers hybrid degree plan options in construction, networking, quality systems, virtual media, and manufacturing engineering technology. Those who would like to complete this degree without stepping foot on campus choose the management or general technology degree plans.
The BS in crisis and disaster management provides an academic knowledge base and hands-on training to those who plan to work in public safety, emergency planning, emergency response, relief organizations, and disaster recovery. The degree offers four separate degree plans, two of which students can earn entirely online: environmental hazards and business continuity. Emergency management and emergency services management require some on-campus coursework at Warrensburg.
UCM, one of the best online colleges in Missouri, also oversees a portfolio of graduate degrees, including teacher preparation options, in addition to undergraduate and graduate certificates. Students receive free tutoring and one-on-one writing sessions at the online writing lab or in-person through the UCM writing center.
UCM notes that within six months of earning a degree, more than 97% of graduates find employment or further their education. First-year students need to complete the SAT or ACT for admission, and others can transfer at least 24 credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA. No matter where UCM students live, they pay affordable in-state tuition.
|10||Saint Louis University||Saint Louis||$$$$$||One North Grand Blvd|
Saint Louis, MO 63103-2097
One of the nation's oldest Catholic colleges, Saint Louis University provides students with a high-quality education in the Jesuit tradition. About 13,000 students receive a transformative education emphasizing a commitment to faith and service. The school enrolls a significant number of adult learners, many of whom transfer from other institutions.
Saint Louis University's undergraduate catalog includes online degrees and certificates that specifically address students' training needs. Learners interested in pursuing bachelor's degrees choose from majors in fields such as nursing, industrial psychology, project management, and general studies.
SLU's portfolio of degrees includes a unique bachelor of science in aviation management, one of the few such programs in the world offered online. Faculty members begin to immerse students in aviation studies during their first year, in addition to a business management core spread over the four years of study. Online learners prepare for helicopter pilot license through a partnership with Midwest Helicopter.
The BS in security and strategic intelligence prepares professionals able to assess and mitigate threats to the nation's security. Learners specialize by pursuing one of three tracks: business continuity, strategic intelligence, or global corporate security. The school also offers a suite of online degrees in fields such as cybersecurity, health administration, and leadership and organizational development.
SLU uses peer tutoring to provide learners with the assistance they need to succeed. Once transfer students submit their transcripts, Saint Louis University reviews them to determine credit transferability. Learners may also use Transferology for an unofficial assessment of which courses will transfer. In addition to affordable tuition, the school offers financial aid such as scholarships, some specifically for transfer students. Online learners pay the same rate, regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency, making the college one of the cheapest online colleges in Missouri.
|11||Columbia College - Missouri||Columbia||$$$$$||1001 Rogers Street|
Columbia, MO 65216
Columbia College has educated learners for more than 160 years, enrolls 29,000 students each year, operates a network of 35 campuses in 13 states, and provides virtual learners with a comprehensive suite of online programs. The school's virtual campus offers hundreds of online courses and 29 online degrees. CC Online's baccalaureate programs include majors in accounting, business administration, criminal justice administration, and human resource management. Learners undecided about a specific major enroll in the bachelor's in general studies, from which they receive a sound foundation in the liberal arts and sciences with the opportunity to add a minor from a comprehensive suite of options.
Learners acquire the training and skills necessary to run successful businesses from the bachelor's of the arts or sciences in entrepreneurship. The program requires them to complete courses in small business finance, entrepreneurship, new venture creation, and human resources management. Students beginning their education can explore options such as the associate in general studies and associate of science in human services, while the associate of arts provides learners with the general education requirements needed for transfer to a four-year degree.
During their chosen degree program, learners can receive tutoring across the curriculum and help from the writing center. Those interested in acquiring entrepreneurship training benefit from experiential learning opportunities, mentoring, and seed money for startups from the Steven and Barbara Fishman Center for Entrepreneurship. First-year students need the SAT or ACT to apply to CC, while transfer students must possess at least 24 credits with a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Transfer students may use the school's transfer equivalency porta to determine the transferability of their credits, and CC accepts College Level Examination Program results, as well as DSST. CC's online learners pay the same tuition regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency, making the college one of the cheapest online colleges in Missouri.
|12||William Woods University||Fulton||$$$$$||One University Avenue|
Fulton, MO 65251-1098
William Woods University stands as one of the best online colleges in Missouri, known for programs such as adult degree completion. Located in Fulton, the college continues a 140-year of academic excellence by offering top-ranked degrees in business, fine arts, education, science, and sports. Online learners choose from one of several online degrees in traditional majors such as cybersecurity, business administration, and management and leadership.
William Woods also offers nontraditional online degrees such as the bachelor's of science in deaf human services, which trains professionals to develop the ability to provide services to the hearing impaired using American sign language. The curriculum includes an exploration of case management, intervention, and safety planning, in addition to advocacy and community integration. Another program, the BS in workforce development, prepares learners to effectively lead organizations by observing topics such as business law, management principles, human resources administration, and labor relations.
These programs, specifically designed to accommodate transfer students, allow learners to transfer an associate degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. The school also offers a suite of online master's degrees in education with several majors, including equestrian education and athletics and activities administration.
William Woods provides learners with academic counseling and tutoring from both peers and faculty. As students begin to consider life after college, the career services department assists in career exploration, job and internship searches, and the application process.
William Woods offers several start terms each year. In addition to a generous number of transferable credits, William Woods awards credits for military experience, as well as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and College Level Examination Program exams. The school maintains standing as one of the cheapest online colleges in Missouri by offering the same tuition for online learners, regardless of in-state or out-of-state residency.
|13||Northwest Missouri State University||Maryville||$$$$$||800 University Drive|
Maryville, MO 64468-6001
Students looking for online colleges in Missouri might want to consider Northwest Missouri State University. Established in 1905 as a teacher training school, Northwest holds more than 20 years of experience delivering online education. Located in Maryville, the school offers three undergraduate and 11 graduate degrees online. Undergraduate majors include a BS in business management, BS in marketing, and an RN-to-BSN degree. Graduate students can pursue master's degrees in business, geographic information systems, education, and health science and wellness. Northwest also offers a graduate certificate in geographic information systems. Students can complete degrees at their own pace and enroll either part time or full time.
Northwest prioritizes student success by offering a variety of support services to distance learners. Assistance for online students includes access to all library resources, online academic advising, 24/7 technical support, career services, and student accessibility services. Library offerings include online materials, such as full-text journals and magazine articles. The career services office provides resume and cover letter help, interviewing tips, and advice related to conducting job searches and making career decisions. Northwest also offers a textbook borrowing service that lets students rent their textbooks for a small fee; however, online learners must pay for shipping costs if they want materials delivered to their homes.
Students can begin classes in the spring, summer, or fall. Online classes follow a trimester schedule, with fall and spring courses lasting 15 weeks and summer courses typically running on shorter schedules. Online students who live outside of Missouri pay Northwest's out-of-state tuition rate. Distance learners may qualify for financial aid, although undergraduate students must enroll in at least six credits per term to be eligible.
|14||Southeast Missouri State University||Cape Girardeau||$$$$$||One University Plaza, MS4675|
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
One of the best online colleges in Missouri, Southeast Missouri State University offers more than 30 distance education programs, including bachelor's and master's degrees and certificates. Located in Cape Girardeau, SEMO's commitment to serving online learners dates back to 2003.
SEMO delivers asynchronous online courses, which typically last 8 or 16 weeks and follow the university's semester schedule. Distance learners at SEMO use discussion forums, PowerPoint slides, video and audio files, and PDF files to complete coursework. Major fields of study at the undergraduate level include applied technology, computer information systems, family studies, nursing, healthcare management, and psychology. Graduate education at SEMO includes master's degrees in areas such as exceptional child education, health administration, criminal justice, and teacher leadership. Students can also add a minor to their degree, choosing from areas like accounting, sociology, and child development. Finally, SEMO offers a variety of certificates in specialized areas of education and healthcare management.
All distance learners at SEMO pay the same tuition rate, regardless of where they live; the school's online programs do not differentiate between in-state and non-resident tuition, making it one of the cheapest online colleges in Missouri. Learners pay a set fee per credit hour, with graduate students paying a higher rate than undergraduates. Distance learners may also qualify for federal financial aid and a variety of academic and endowed or sponsored scholarships. Each year, SEMO gives students more than $20 million in institutional scholarships.
Support for distance learners includes access to an online library, technology help, advising tools, affordable textbook rentals, financial services, tutoring, career advising, an online writing lab, disability services, and veteran services.
|15||Hannibal-LaGrange University||Hannibal||$$$$$||2800 Palmyra Rd|
Hannibal, MO 63401-1999
Based in Hannibal, Hannibal-LaGrange University integrates the Christian faith and a Bible worldview into its liberal arts and professional discipline degrees. One of the best online colleges in Missouri, HLGU offers bachelor's degree completion programs in business management, criminal justice, and nursing. The school's RN-to-BSN nursing program takes as few as 12 months to complete. Students can finish the school's other bachelor's programs in as few as 18 months, depending on how many credits they can transfer.
HLGU's accelerated online graduate programs represent an appealing option for working adults. Each graduate-level class lasts five weeks, and the accelerated pace lets full-time master's students graduate in as few as 50 weeks. HLGU offers master's degrees in leadership in Christian ministry and business management. Learners can also pursue education administration degrees focusing on elementary principalship in grades K-8 or secondary principalship in grades 7-12.
Students can also complete individual online classes without enrolling in a specific program. Each distance course at HLGU lasts 5-8 weeks and consists of three credits. Although learners complete most coursework asynchronously on their own time, many courses also include required discussion sessions where students must log on to chat with their instructor and classmates at specific times.
All online students pursuing a degree at HLGU pay a flat tuition rate per credit, regardless of where they live. Support services for distance learners include a help center for technical assistance, access to an electronic library, and academic advising from the director of online programs. Feel free to read HLGU's online student handbook for additional information.
|16||Lindenwood University||Saint Charles||$$$$$||209 S Kingshighway|
Saint Charles, MO 63301-1695
Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Lindenwood University in Saint Charles offers more than 30 online undergraduate and graduate programs. With a history dating back almost 200 years, an education from Lindenwood focuses on Judeo-Christian values. Students can also take individual online courses. Suited for working adults or students who cannot travel to campus, Lindenwood's online programs allow learners to complete degrees at an accelerated pace and on their own time.
Online bachelor's degrees available at Lindenwood include art history, digital art, business administration, marketing, and game design. Graduate students can pursue master's degrees in accountancy, education, leadership, business, writing, and nonprofit administration. Education and business degrees offer numerous areas of emphasis, including early interventions in autism and sensory impairments for education majors and human resources for MBAs.
One of the top online colleges in Missouri, Lindenwood provides several financial aid options to eligible undergraduate and graduate distance learners, including loans and work-study programs. Designated a Yellow Ribbon School, Lindenwood also offers a variety of robust services and special assistance to military students through its veterans affairs center.
All distance learners gain access to 24/7 technical support, accessibility and disability services, counseling, electronic library resources, and career development services. Library resources include an ask-the-librarian service that lets learners chat live with an experienced reference librarian who can provide research assistance. Students can also receive online tutoring through Smarthinking. Tutors provide assistance in subjects such as math, writing, Spanish, biology, economics, and physics. Lindenwood also offers distance students online appointments with the school's writing center. Consultants from the writing center help learners with issues such as developing a thesis statement, revising a rough draft, and formatting a works cited page.
|17||Missouri Baptist University||Saint Louis||$$$$$||One College Park Dr|
Saint Louis, MO 63141-8698
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Missouri Baptist University offers nine bachelor's and 13 master's degrees online. One of the best online colleges in Missouri, MBU's online curriculum includes a liberal arts focus that emphasizes faith and empowerment. Based in Saint Louis, MBU's distance programs feature affordable tuition and Christian faculty members. A generous transfer policy lets students take advantage of their previously earned credits. In addition to academic work, MBU awards credits based on past professional and personal experiences, including professional training, military experience, and community involvement. Students who want to receive credit based on past experience and knowledge must complete prior learning assessments.
Undergraduate majors include applied management, criminal justice, general studies, liberal arts, sports management, and ministry and leadership. Students can earn master's degrees in Christian ministry, school counseling, teaching, fitness management, and higher education leadership. Ideal for busy professionals, prospective students can begin one of MBU's online programs every eight weeks. Enrollment options include part-time and full-time study. Distance learners at MBU can receive individualized guidance from experienced faculty members through email, phone, or Skype. Online learning resources for MBU students include tutoring, technical assistance, career development, library services, and subject-specific distance learning resources.
Distance learners at MBU all pay the same flat-rate fee per credit, regardless of where they live -- the school does not distinguish between in-state and out-of-state students for its online programs. Additionally, online learners may qualify for numerous financial aid opportunities, including federal assistance, work-study programs, merit-based grants and scholarships, and veterans assistance.
|18||Drury University||Springfield||$$$$$||900 N.Benton|
Springfield, MO 65802-3791
A small private school founded in Springfield in 1873, Drury University offers nine associate and 12 bachelor's degrees completely online. Students can also complete some graduate degrees fully or partially online. Because it offers associate degrees, Drury might interest prospective learners looking at online community colleges in Missouri. Available associate degrees include business administration, criminal justice, emergency management, psychology, and paralegal studies. Students can pursue bachelor's degrees in human services, law enforcement, history, and sociology. Graduate programs cover fields such as education, business, communication, and cybersecurity leadership. Students can also order textbooks online from Drury's bookstore.
Bachelor's degrees require learners to complete around 124 credits, including 47 in general education. Transfer students seeking a bachelor's must complete their final 30 credits at Drury. To graduate with an associate degree, students must earn 62 credits -- the last 15 of which must be taken at Drury. All undergraduate students need to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Graduation requirements for master's degrees vary by program.
Drury's transfer policy allows students seeking associate degrees to transfer up to 18 credits, while bachelor's students can transfer up to 30 credits. Non-degree-seeking students can take individual online courses through Drury, although these learners do not quality for financial aid. Drury's online learners pay the same tuition rate, regardless of where they live. Students may also qualify for numerous financial aid opportunities, including scholarships, loans, and grants.
Drury holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Additionally, its business school holds programmatic accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
|19||Missouri Southern State University||Joplin||$$$$$||3950 E. Newman Road|
Joplin, MO 64801-1595
Based in Joplin and holding regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, Missouri Southern State University ranks among the top accredited online colleges in Missouri. Distance learners can pursue 14 bachelor's degrees, one professional credential, 11 certificates, and 17 minors online, with degree completion options for students who already hold a certain amount of academic credit. MSSU's bachelor's programs include majors such as business administration, general studies, criminal justice administration, and applied science. Degree completion programs include bachelor's in health science degrees with specializations in radiology, paramedics, dental hygiene, and respiratory therapy. Certificates cover topics such as entrepreneurship, environmental health, and management.
Admission to MSSU as a transfer student requires a minimum 2.0 GPA, and applicants must have left their previous institution in good standing. Freshman applicants must hold a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher or have graduated in the top 50% of their class. Freshman applicants under the age of 21 must also submit ACT or SAT scores.
MSSU provides many resources to help its distance learners succeed. The school's student support center offers tailored academic advising, technical assistance, testing services, tutoring, and disability services. Online students receive free tutoring for 100- and 200-level classes in subjects such as mathematics, biology, political science, psychology, chemistry, and physics. Learners can also seek tutoring help for writing-intensive courses, composition courses, and graduate courses.
An affordable option for many students, MSSU offers in-state tuition to distance learners who reside in Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and many Illinois counties. Online students may also qualify for financial aid. By completing one application, students can apply for more than 200 institutional scholarships through the school's foundation scholarship program. To qualify for these scholarships, students must also complete the FAFSA.
|20||Southwest Baptist University||Bolivar||$$$$$||1600 University Ave|
Bolivar, MO 65613-2596
Founded in 1878, Southwest Baptist University -- located in the city of Bolivar -- offers an education rooted in the Baptist faith, with Christ-centered academic programs that prepare students to use their skills as servant leaders. One of the best online colleges in Missouri, SBU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Students can pursue online degrees entirely online or through hybrid programs that blend online and in-person learning.
SBU offers online degrees in the areas of education and health sciences. Its health sciences programs include an associate of applied sciences, associate of science in health sciences, bachelor of science in health sciences, bachelor of science in nursing, and master of science in nursing. Additionally, graduate students can pursue a master of science in education focusing on curriculum and instruction or a master of science in education focusing on instructional technology leadership. SBU also lets Missouri high school students take online courses for dual credit and offers an online independent study (OLIS) program for learners who want to take individual online courses at their own pace. OLIS students can enroll anytime, and they can usually take up to four months to complete each course.
Degree-seeking students can apply for financial aid, and 98% of SBU's student body receives some sort of aid. The school's financial aid office helps distance learners determine which types of financial aid and scholarships to pursue. SBU's online students also benefit from a variety of other support services. The school's student success center offers individualized academic advising, peer mentoring, critical-thinking courses, and help with time management and degree planning. Online students also gain access to the library's online resources, writing center, and biblical studies tutoring. Another valuable resource for distance learners is SBU's career services office, which provides access to job search databases, mock job interviews, career fairs, resume and cover letter help, and career counseling.
|21||Fontbonne University||Saint Louis||$$$$$||6800 Wydown Blvd|
Saint Louis, MO 63105-3098
Students interested in enrolling at one of Missouri's online colleges might want to consider Fontbonne University. A small private school sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Fontbonne traces its history back to 1923. Based in Saint Louis, Fontbonne emphasizes its Catholic identity and the values of respect, justice, excellence, diversity, service, and faith. The school holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Fontbonne's online offerings include individual courses and full programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Fontbonne's online bachelor's degrees include programs in business administration and special education. Students can pursue master's degrees in business administration, computer science, supply chain management, and education. Fontbonne also offers an online doctorate in collaborative high-impact instruction. Furthermore, students can pursue undergraduate and graduate certificates in subjects such as cybersecurity, speech language pathology, autism spectrum disorders, and project management. The university features rolling admissions, accepting applications throughout the year. Prospective students do not need to pay an application fee.
Fontbonne features small class sizes with ample student-to-student and student-to-instructor interactions. The school regularly evaluates its distance courses to ensure they meet the same level of quality found in its traditional on-campus classes. Fontbonne also works with each student to create an individualized degree completion plan that matches a learner's academic and career goals.
Degree-seeking distance learners can apply for financial aid, including student loans, grants, and scholarships. At Fontbonne, 95% of students receive some sort of aid. The school offers merit-based scholarships for incoming freshmen and transfer students. Online students can also take advantage of career development help, counseling services, electronic library resources, and academic advising.
|22||University of Missouri - Kansas City||Kansas City||$$$$$||5100 Rockhill Rd|
Kansas City, MO 64110
Distance learners interested in taking online college courses in Missouri can choose from numerous options, including classes hosted by the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Online programming at UMKC allows a diverse student population to pursue an education. The school's online division incorporates innovative eLearning technologies and strives to exceed national standards for online teaching and learning. UMKC holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and institutional memberships at a variety of organizations dedicated to improving distance education, including the Online Learning Consortium, National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, Quality Matters, and WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies.
UMKC offers seven online nursing and dentistry programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Students can pursue degrees that include a master of science in nursing, master of science in dental hygiene education, Ph.D. in nursing, and doctor of nursing practice. UMKC also offers two degree completion programs: an RDH-to-BSDH for dental hygienists and an RN-to-BSN for registered nurses. UMKC cannot accept distance learners from all states due to rules related to internships and practicums; prospective students can find information about which online programs hold authorization in their states here.
UMKC's distance programming uses a variety of instructional modes, including completely asynchronous, synchronous, and hybrid courses. Students in some classes may need to participate in interactive video conferences or occasionally visit UMKC's campus.
Distance learners must complete a new online student orientation before beginning their classes. UMKC provides additional student support in many ways, including 24/7 technology help; university library resources, including an ask-the-librarian research service; and services for students with disabilities. Online learners at UMKC can apply for financial aid, including scholarships, grants, and loans.
|23||Central Christian College of the Bible||Moberly||$$$$$||911 E Urbandale Dr|
Moberly, MO 65270-1997
Founded in 1957 and located in Moberly, Central Christian College of the Bible identifies with the Restoration movement. Central holds accreditation from The Association for Biblical Higher Education. The school seeks spiritually minded students who demonstrate authentic Christian character. Its mission includes developing servant leaders to work on behalf of Reformation-aligned, non-denominational churches. Students must sign a pledge affirming their commitment to the school's code of conduct and high standards of modesty. Central's full-tuition scholarship program, which supports students who want to earn a degree and enter the ministry without accruing debt, makes it one of the cheapest online colleges in Missouri for certain students.
Online degrees available from Central include an associate of biblical studies, bachelor of religious studies in Christian leadership, and bachelor of science in Bible. The school also offers a 16-credit certificate in Bible and ministry and a 32-credit certificate in biblical knowledge. Full-time students can complete the Bible and ministry certificate in one semester, while part-time learners can finish in two semesters. Additionally, the biblical knowledge certificate takes one year of full-time study or two years of part-time study to complete.
Each online course follows an asynchronous schedule and lasts eight weeks. Students can expect to complete 15-20 hours of classwork and around 100 pages of reading each week. Instructors use learning tools tailored for the online learning environment, including video and audio lectures, writing assignments, online quizzes, and discussion forums. Resources for distance learners include library and research services, a technical help center, and academic advising. Central's online student handbook provides additional information about the school's policies and expectations for enrolled students.
|24||Logan University||Chesterfield||$$$$$||1851 Schoettler Rd|
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Tracing its origins to 1935 -- when it was established as a chiropractic training school -- Logan University stands out from many of the state's other online colleges because it emphasizes the health sciences. From its Chesterfield campus, the school's doctor of chiropractic program continues to operate, graduating individuals ready to take on roles as healthcare leaders. Logan takes a holistic approach to health and wellness instruction, using curriculum that emphasizes evidence-informed care, emerging technologies, and clinical experiences.
Logan also offers several online degrees in health sciences, including a bachelor's in human biology; master's degrees in health informatics, nutrition and human performance, and sports science and rehabilitation; and a doctorate in health professions education. Courses take place entirely online, and students interested in Logan's graduate degrees need not submit GRE scores. Learners follow Logan's on-campus academic calendar, which uses three 15-week trimesters a year (starting in January, May, and September). Students can begin their program at the beginning of any trimester.
Distance learners at Logan pay the same tuition rate, regardless of where they live. The cost per credit varies based on the degree level, with doctoral students paying the most and bachelor's students paying the least. Online learners may also qualify for financial aid, including grants, loans, and scholarships. Logan participates in the GI Bill® Program and provides Yellow Ribbon benefits, guaranteeing free tuition for eligible members of the military and veterans.
Logan's learning resources center helps distance learners access ebooks; librarian chat, text, and email services; electronic journals and databases; streaming video; research guides; and reference style guides. Other resources for distance students include counseling services, a mentor program, disability services, information technology help, a writing center, and a career development center.
|25||Culver-Stockton College||Canton||$$$$$||One College Hill|
Canton, MO 63435
A liberal arts school based in Canton, Culver-Stockton College emphasizes experiential learning, helping students gain practical knowledge in their chosen field. Established by members of the Disciples of Christ church in 1853, C-SC's mission includes creating a supportive academic community that incorporates faith. C-SC holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission, and its business school holds programmatic accreditation from the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. The school also holds membership with the Online Consortium of Independent Colleges and Universities, which lets C-SC students enroll in hundreds of online courses offered by other universities.
One of the best online colleges in Missouri, C-SC Online delivers programming that can be completed entirely online. Academic programs provide the flexibility students need to continue working full time while earning their degrees. The school delivers distance courses in an accelerated, eight-week format, helping learners graduate faster. C-SC offers six bachelor's and three master's degrees online in subjects such as accountancy, business administration, education, and criminal justice administration.
C-SC does not distinguish between in-state and out-of-state residents when determining tuition; distance learners pay one rate, regardless of where they live. Students in C-SC's online programs may also qualify for federal financial aid, and they can make monthly tuition payments through the school's tuition management system. Online learners qualify for the same support services available to on-campus students, including library and research resources, career and internship services, and academic advising.
Prospective students applying for online programs do not need to pay an application fee. Admissions requirements for undergraduate programs include a high school diploma or GED, ACT or SAT scores (for students who graduated within the last five years), and a minimum 2.0 GPA. Graduate admissions requirements vary by program.
Most Affordable Online Colleges in Missouri
Below, are all of the online schools in Missouri sorted by tuition rates.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||School Link||Cost|
|1||University of Missouri||Columbia||School profile||$$$$$|
|2||Missouri Southern State University||Joplin||School profile||$$$$$|
|3||Park University||Parkville||School profile||$$$$$|
|4||Northwest Missouri State University||Maryville||School profile||$$$$$|
|5||Lincoln University||Jefferson City||School profile||$$$$$|
|6||Missouri State University-Springfield||Springfield||School profile||$$$$$|
|7||University of Central Missouri||Warrensburg||School profile||$$$$$|
|8||University of Missouri - Kansas City||Kansas City||School profile||$$$$$|
|9||Missouri Valley College||Marshall||School profile||$$$$$|
|10||Hannibal-LaGrange University||Hannibal||School profile||$$$$$|
|11||Missouri Baptist University||Saint Louis||School profile||$$$$$|
|12||Fontbonne University||Saint Louis||School profile||$$$$$|
|13||Lindenwood University||Saint Charles||School profile||$$$$$|
|14||William Woods University||Fulton||School profile||$$$$$|
|15||Drury University||Springfield||School profile||$$$$$|
|17||Webster University||Saint Louis||School profile||$$$$$|
|18||Avila University||Kansas City||School profile||$$$$$|
|19||Columbia College||Columbia||School profile||$$$$$|
|20||Stephens College||Columbia||School profile||$$$$$|
|21||Saint Louis University||Saint Louis||School profile||$$$$$|
Job Outlook for College Graduates in Missouri
Graduates of accredited online colleges in Missouri enjoy above-average job prospects. For example, the unemployment rate in Missouri for July of 2018 was 3.4%, which is lower than the national average of 3.9% the same year.
However, graduates of online schools in Missouri may face below-average earning potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that the annual mean wage for Missourians in May of 2017 was slightly more than $45,500. For comparison, the BLS estimated a national annual mean wage in 2017 of more than $50,600. Students who attend the best online colleges in Missouri can often earn significantly more than the state’s mean wage.
Employment growth in Missouri varies by industry. The fastest-growing jobs in the state largely fall within the healthcare sector and include positions like occupational therapy assistant, physical therapy assistant, physical therapist, home health aide, and personal care assistant. Students with a background in information technology may also qualify for rapidly expanding roles in web development.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Missouri
Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program
Applicants must be a Missouri resident, enrolled full time as an undergraduate student, and demonstrate significant financial need.
A+ Scholarship Program
Applicants must plan to attend a participating public community college or two-year vocational/technical school.
Bright Flight Program
Applicants must be Missouri residents who received a composite ACT or SAT score within the top 3% of all Missouri students.
Kids’ Chance Scholarship Program
Applicants must be children of a worker who was seriously injured or died due to a work-related accident covered by workers' compensation.
Marguerite Ross Barnett Memorial Scholarship
This award supports Missouri students with significant financial need who work for at least 20 hours per week while earning a postsecondary degree on a part-time basis.
Minority and Underrepresented Environmental Literacy Program
Applicants must be minority or underrepresented individuals pursuing a degree in an environmental field. They must also have a 3.0 high school GPA or higher.
Public Service Officer Survivor Grant Program
Applicants must be children or spouses of a public safety officer who died or became permanently disabled in the line of duty.
Wartime Veteran’s Survivors Grant Program
Applicants must be children or spouses of a veteran who died or became permanently disabled as a result of combat action following September 11, 2001.
Purdy Emerging Leaders Scholarship
This scholarship supports students attending public, four-year institutions in Missouri. Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence and strong leadership potential.
Find Schools in Missouri
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