Oregon is home to many of the country’s top online schools, including Oregon State University, which is globally renowned for its online offerings. OSU offers 20 undergraduate programs entirely online, including four new degrees as they continue to expand their online footprint. Additionally, Oregon has reciprocity agreements with several other western states, allowing students to pursue online education throughout the region at in-state tuition rates.
But before we dive into our list of best online colleges in Oregon for 2016, let’s start with the state of higher education and online education in particular in Oregon today.
A Brief Overview of Higher Education in Oregon
In 2013, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that Oregon had 65 degree-granting institutions, broken down as follows: 26 public schools, 24 nonprofits and 15 for-profits. From Spring 2013 to Spring 2014 enrollment at Oregon’s Title IV, degree-granting institutions increased by 5.2%.
- 26 public
- 24 non-profit
- 15 for-profit
The total number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in the ’12-’13 school year at these schools was: 16,583 at public schools, 5,043 at private nonprofits and 459 at private for-profits.
Tuition-wise, the College Board found that, in the ’15-’16 school year, the average in-state tuition and fees for four-year public schools was $9,370, while the out-of-state average was $28,400.
As for the state’s financial aid efforts, the National Association of State Student Grant & Aid Programs (NASSGAP) reported that Oregon awarded $55.3 million in need-based grants for the ’13-’14 school year. Grants make up 8.8% of the state’s total fiscal support for higher education. Over the same year, Oregon awarded out $91 million in tuition waivers. The Center on Budget and Policies Priorities reported that from 2013 to 2014 there was a 9.7% increase ($347) in state spending per student in Oregon.
The State of Online Higher Education in Oregon
The NCES estimates that at least 8.9% of students enrolled in Oregon’s Title IV institutions are in fully online programs. Of those, 84% were reported to be undergraduates and 70.5% were found to be living in Oregon.
One of the premier distance learning initiatives in the state is the Oregon Community College Distance Learning Association (OCCDLA). The organization is largely committed to helping students take courses remotely via the many Oregon community colleges that fall under its banner ― this is typically termed a course exchange, wherein students are already enrolled at one OCCDLA institution and opt to take remote courses at another, often at a reduced rate. The organization is also a platform for educators and administrators to collectively raise the standards of the online courses offered by all OCCDLA schools. This sort of initiative is emblematic of the state’s commitment to excellent, readily available distance courses.
Oregon is also part of the SARA regional education compact known as the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). The WICHE Internet Course Exchange (ICE) offers opportunities for state residents, through their local college or university, to access high quality distance programs offered at out-of-state WICHE institutions, often at greatly reduced rates.
Best Online Colleges in Oregon
Below, you will find our rankings of the best online four-year programs in Oregon. Our profiles look at how schools approach online education and then list out their services for distance students and their popular, fully online degrees. After reviewing the best online schools in Oregon, explore our state resources, like a database of every college and university in Oregon 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||Oregon Institute of Technology||Klamath Falls||$$$$$||3201 Campus Drive|
Klamath Falls, OR 97601-8801
Located in Klamath Falls, Oregon Tech holds a reputation as one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier universities of technology. Designed for those looking to advance in their field, the school provides a hands-on, individualized approach to learning. The school applies its rigorous curriculum to Oregon Tech Online, its distance learning college.
Oregon Tech’s online offerings are all delivered on a structured schedule through Blackboard, focus on allied health, management, and technology. There are five traditional bachelor’s degrees available online, plus an additional seven degree completion paths:
Degree programs include vascular technology – which Oregon Tech was the first online college in Oregon to offer – and other innovative disciplines such as diagnostic medical sonography. For returning students, Oregon Tech aims to transfer in as many credits as possible from previous college experience. Out-of-state distance learners do not pay a surcharge for tuition.
|2||Corban University||Salem||$$$$$||5000 Deer Park Dr SE|
Salem, OR 97317-9392
Corban University is a private, Christian, liberal arts institution located in Salem. Taught from a biblical and theological perspective, most degree programs are offered entirely online through Corban's School of Professional Studies Online. Dedicated to providing a comprehensive undergraduate education, most enrolled students are already working full-time
Two 129-semester credit degrees are available: business and psychology. The first offers concentrations in accounting, leadership and management, and marketing. The second offers two concentrations, one in family studies and the other in pre-counseling/clinical. The core curriculum contains topics of study like lifespan development, industrial psychology, and psychology and Christianity.
Online programs are taught in eight-week sessions of between one to three classes, allowing students to study at their own pace. Students without any previous college credits are eligible to apply, but transfer credits are also accepted.
|3||Oregon State University||Corvallis||$$$$$||1500 S.W. Jefferson|
Corvallis, OR 97331
Oregon State University, one of the state’s leading research institutions, focuses on innovation in natural resources, technology, agriculture, and public health, among others. Oregon State University's Ecampus allows students to choose from more than 1,000 online courses in more than 90 subjects. All told, the university offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degrees online. These include programs in business administration, environmental studies, psychology and sociology, and newly added programs like rangeland science – the only program of its kind in the country available online.
Prospective students having difficulty choosing an online major can take part in OSU's Ecampus university exploratory studies program, in which candidates sample classes. The school also offers a diverse selection of 26 undergraduate minors and certificates to enhance undergraduate studies, including fisheries and wildlife sciences, resource economics, horticulture, and geography. OSU's online bachelor’s degrees typically take four years to complete when enrolled as a full-time student, and courses are available during fall, winter, spring, and summer quarter terms. Undergraduate tuition is $280 per credit hour with the exception of computer science programs and programs delivered through the College of Engineering and College of Business, which average $300 per credit hour. Regular graduate programs are $521 per credit hour, with the exception of MBAs ($770 per credit) and courses offered through the College of Engineering, which costs $576 per credit. Financial aid is available for qualified students.
|4||Concordia University - Portland||Portland||$$$$$||2811 NE Holman Street|
Portland, OR 97211-6099
Concordia University is a nonprofit Lutheran institution located in Northeast Portland, focused on “preparing leaders for the transformation of society.” The university contains four distinct colleges: the College of Education, the School of Management, the College of Health and Human Services, and the College of Theology, Arts, and Sciences. Concordia's online community represents 50 states, 11 countries, and six territories across the world.
Through these, Concordia offers three undergraduate degrees online, taught with the same commitment to excellence as its on-campus academics. The early childhood education program consists of 12 courses over four semesters, culminating in an internship. Meanwhile, the health care administration and homeland security & emergency preparedness programs can be completed is as few as 16 months, and can both be completed fully online. Online classes are small, generally accommodating a “cohort-based system” between 6 and 18 students.
|5||Linfield College||McMinnville||$$$$$||900 SE Baker Street|
McMinnville, OR 97128-6894
Linfield College, a four-year liberal arts school, has offered a comprehensive online and continuing education program for over 10 years. First established in 1975, the program is considered a leader among continuing education online schools in Oregon. With a special focus on adult learning that includes giving working adults the opportunity to earn college credits for prior work and professional experience. OCE also offers eight undergraduate degrees. Transfer credits from other colleges and universities are evaluated on a course-by-course basis.
Ranging from business-oriented subject areas to a RN to BSN program, classes can be completed fully online and students receive support in the form of online advising and tutoring resources. Students can explore minors like creative writing, environmental studies, and global health. Whichever path they choose, all options are accredited. OCE programs have a completion rate higher than the national average, and students pay the same tuition regardless of the state they reside in.
|6||Eastern Oregon University||La Grande||$$$$$||One University Boulevard|
La Grande, OR 97850
Founded in 1929 as a female-focused teacher training school, Eastern Oregon University is now home to a diverse student population of 1,700 on-campus students and an additional online student body of over 15,200.
Many of the university’s undergraduate degrees are offered fully online with less than common disciplines, like fire services administration and physical activity and health. EOU also offers an integrative studies program, allowing students to design a custom major from two minors. These can be two minors at EOU from within the College of Arts and Sciences or the College of Business and Education, or students can combine one minor from EOU and one from another approved, accredited university.
Compared to other online colleges in Oregon, EOU Online has a very competitive online cost per credit hour at over $150 less than average. Undergraduate students are required to enroll in 15 credits per term, allowing them to complete their degree in four years.
|7||Multnomah University||Portland||$$$$$||8435 NE Glisan St|
Portland, OR 97220
With its main campus in Portland, Multnomah is one of several Christian-based online schools in Oregon. MU’s online college offers four bachelor’s degrees: bible and theology with a biblical studies concentration, business administration, business and organizational psychology, and psychology. Courses, which are taught in eight-week sessions, are offered through two online learning management systems, Canvas and Atheneo.
It's recommended that students take two classes at a time, although they can take as many as they want. Students graduate with a broad job outlook, with former graduates landing careers as CEOs, CMOS, professors, business owners, and NGO directors.
At this time, Multnomah is only authorized to offer online classes in 29 states. Students living elsewhere are encouraged to contact admissions to see if MU is obtaining authorization. Students outside the U.S. are welcome to apply.
|8||George Fox University||Newberg||$$$$$||414 N Meridian St|
Newberg, OR 97132
George Fox University, a 125-year-old Christian institution, accommodates more than 4,100 students across four locations in Oregon. Whether students are on-campus students or distance learners, George Fox promises that each student will “be known,” an ethos recognizing the personal needs of students from diverse backgrounds.
Degree programs may be taught synchronously or asynchronously, or some combination of the two depending on the student's chosen program. Most online classes are offered in a hybrid format, requiring some amount of classroom participation, while others are offered fully online or only require a few days of face-to-face learning annually. The school's only undergraduate degree currently offered fully online, a bachelor's in management and organizational leadership, is designed for adult learners to complete in an accelerated, 16 month format, requiring one on-campus weekend intensive course. Bachelor's degree students must complete 126 semester hours. Undergraduates also have the opportunity to earn additional credits from online summer classes, at half the cost of the school’s traditional classes.
|9||Marylhurst University||Marylhurst||$$$$$||17600 Pacific Hwy (Hwy 43)|
Marylhurst, OR 97036-0261
Both online and on-campus, Marylhurst University aims to provide personalized, accessible, and a caring environment to students through its online degree program, which was established in 1998. MU is a leader in Oregon online colleges for degree completion programs and specializes in helping students finish their education regardless of how long ago they started working on an undergraduate degree. MU offers free transcript reviews to prospective students before applying for admission to see if any past college credits can be transferred in, with 90 percent of incoming MU students beginning their degree programs with an average of 45 transfer credits.
MU offers most courses online, with 54 percent of students opting for online courses. Three MU bachelor’s programs are available on-campus, hybrid, and 100 percent online: business management, English literature and writing, and interdisciplinary studies, a custom-designed curriculum designed by students. Students decide the format in which they complete their degree, except for those taking the creative writing concentration in English literature and writing, as some of the program's courses must be taken on campus.
|10||Portland State University||Portland||$$$$$||724 SW Harrison|
Portland, OR 97201
Portland State University is one of the most diverse universities in Oregon, currently serving over 27,000 students. Only residents within the Washington border are eligible to pay in-state tuition, but Portland State remains the state’s most affordable public research institution.
Its six online bachelor’s programs range in subject areas from liberal studies to supply and logistics management; the latter being one of the nation’s only fully online supply chain management programs, garnering a job placement rate close to 100 percent. PSU undergraduate programs require 180 credits, but most complete the degree in less than four years by applying transfer credits from former institutions attended. Degree completion time is also dependent on the chosen program. For example, the criminology and criminal justice program -- the first of its kind among online colleges in Oregon -- can be completed in just over a year. However, management and leadership and supply chain management degrees are only comprised of upper division course credits and require pre-requisite business courses which may affect degree completion times.
Most Affordable Online Colleges in Oregon
Below you’ll find our list of the best online colleges in OR, sorted by the schools offering the lowest tuition.
|Rank||School Name||School Logo||City||School Link||Cost|
|1||Eastern Oregon University||La Grande||School profile||$$$$$|
|2||Portland State University||Portland||School profile||$$$$$|
|3||Oregon State University||Corvallis||School profile||$$$$$|
|4||Oregon Institute of Technology||Klamath Falls||School profile||$$$$$|
|5||Linfield College||McMinnville||School profile||$$$$$|
|6||Marylhurst University||Marylhurst||School profile||$$$$$|
|7||Corban University||Salem||School profile||$$$$$|
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Oregon
Bend Branch of AAUW Charles and Helen Weil Memorial
Provided by the Oregon Office of Student Access and Completion, this scholarship is open to students who graduate from Central Oregon Community College with a GPA of 3.25+. Students must enroll at least half time in a four-year public university.
Bob Hasson Memorial Scholarship
Provided by the Oregon Collectors Association, this essay competition is open to Oregon high school seniors. First prize is $6,000; second prize is $4,000. The award may be used at any Oregon university, college, or trade school. Applicants must submit a 1,000 to 1,500 word essay on the subject of: “Credit in the 21st Century.”
Oregon Laurels Graduate Tuition Remission
The Oregon Laurels Graduate Scholarship is open to students entering master’s programs at Portland State University. Recipients are chosen based on academic merit; other selection factors are financial need and commitment to student diversity. Recipients typically have an undergraduate GPA of 3.7+. The award is $5,000 per year.
Oregon Laurels Scholarship
The Oregon Laurels Undergraduate Scholarship is open to Portland State University freshmen with outstanding academic records. To be eligible, applicants must have a high school GPA of 3.75+ and an SAT score of 1200+ (ACT 27+). Priority consideration is given to Oregon residents. The award is $5,000 per year for up to 4 years.
Oregon State University & Cobalt Mortgage Dollars for Scholars Fund
Open to undergraduate students who are admitted to or currently enrolled at Oregon State University. This scholarship is awarded based on academic merit, financial need, and factors including community service or leadership. Amount is $1,000.
Peer Mentor Scholarship
The Peer Mentor Scholarship is open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students at Portland State University. Students receiving this award will act as mentors in Freshman or Sophomore Inquiry courses. This is a time commitment of 20 hours per week. Applicants must have excellent writing and interpersonal skills, and a GPA of 3.25+.
Presidential Scholarship from Portland State University
The Portland State University Presidential Scholarship is open to incoming freshmen with a GPA of 3.75+ and an SAT score of 1200+ (ACT 27+). Selection is competitive, and preference is given to Oregon residents. The award covers full tuition and fees for up to 4 years.
Corban College automatically considers incoming transfer students for the Scholastic Award. Selection is based on academic merit. Students with a GPA of 3.3+ are eligible for $8,000 per year; Students with a GPA of 3.0 to 3.29 are eligible for $6,000 per year.
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