There is a wide variety of online colleges in Arizona for students to continue their education.
Through organizations like Arizona Technology in Education Association (AzTEA), the state has focused on the integration of technology in all aspects and at all levels of education. This has provided a solid foundation for online learning at the post-secondary level.
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With this emphasis on the future, Arizona continues to be a top choice for those seeking a college degree.
Online Colleges in Arizona
Arizona is one of the nation’s leaders in online education with 71 degree-granting postsecondary institutions. Out of the 71, 20 of them are public 2-year online community colleges in Arizona.
A report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that 42% of students in Arizona were enrolled exclusively in distance education courses. On top of that, another 17% were enrolled in a hybrid of on-campus and online courses.
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Arizona offers various accredited online colleges that offer learning opportunities from certificates to doctoral degrees in all of the most in-demand fields. An online degree in Arizona offers in regards to a learning format that appeals to a wide variety of learners, including adults returning to college, individuals with medical conditions, those with children, people who need to maintain full-time jobs, and more.
Arizona is a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), which is a collaboration of 16 states focused on innovation and resource sharing. WICHE enables students to enroll in degree programs in any of the participating states, including Arizona online colleges, and territories for no more than 150% of the in-state tuition rate.
Common Online Degrees in Arizona
Arizona online universities offer many popular and versatile online degrees, including:
- Accounting: An online accounting degree can prepare you for a fulfilling career in business and finance. You can study business law, economics, federal taxation, forensic accounting, and other subjects. After you earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting, you can become a licensed accountant by passing the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam.
- Aerospace Engineering: Arizona has a booming aerospace and defense industry, which makes aerospace engineering a popular major. This degree teaches you methods and theories used to design and test aircraft and spacecraft. Coursework typically includes math and science subjects, such as aerodynamics, calculus, flight dynamics, and orbital mechanics.
- Business Administration: This interdisciplinary degree can help you qualify for a broad range of corporate careers. You’ll learn foundational business approaches, skills, and theories. A business administration degree includes courses in a variety of fields, like accounting, human resources, management, and marketing.
- Criminal Justice: This degree expands your knowledge of the law and the criminal justice system. You can take classes in criminology, law, psychology, sociology, and other disciplines. Graduates with criminal justice degrees pursue careers in homeland security, law enforcement, social justice agencies, and other areas.
- Registered Nursing: You can prepare for a career in healthcare by earning a registered nursing (RN) degree. This program often includes courses like clinical theory, nursing fundamentals, pharmacology, and women and infant health. Registered nurses work in many healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, physicians’ offices, and rehabilitation centers.
These common online degrees can set you up for professional success and help you secure a preferred position.
Overview of Higher Education in Arizona
Arizona is home to 71 degree-granting institutions, according to a report from the NCES. Of those schools, 29 are public institutions, 12 are non-profit, and 30 are for-profit.
The NCES also looked at the tuition and fees at Arizona’s 4-year public institutions from that same year. In-state students paid an average of $10,660 per year, which is above the national average, while the cost for out-of-state students was right in line with the national average at $26,383.
In a given year, Arizona public colleges awarded around 31,505 bachelor’s degrees, private non-profit schools awarded 827, and private for-profit schools awarded 24,863 bachelor’s degrees.
Employment Outlook for College Graduates in Arizona
Graduates from online universities in Arizona can enter a growing job market. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that Arizona employs approximately 2,880,690 people.
Among those being employed, the top industries include:
- Office and Administrative Support
- Sales and Related
- Transportation and Material Moving
- Food Preparation and Serving Related
Other common occupations in Arizona include those in the business and financial operations field, management occupations, healthcare practitioners, and educational occupations. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the average annual salary in Arizona is $55,170. Workers across all occupations earn a mean hourly wage of $26.53.
Careers & Salaries in Arizona
Students who graduate from Arizona online universities can qualify for positions in a wide variety of industries. Many high-paying occupations require only a bachelor’s degree.
Tech is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Arizona and other states. Employers need skilled professionals to build, maintain, and use computers and other technologies. Arizona’s healthcare industry is also expanding, leading to more job openings for many occupations.
According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, here are the median salaries for ten careers in Arizona.
|Careers||Annual Median Salaries|
|Computer and Information Systems Managers||$134,640|
|Computer Hardware Engineers||$120,700|
|Information Security Analysts||$101,570|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$99,900|
|Public Relations Managers||$99,670|
Many factors can impact job availability and median salaries. For example, your pay can vary based on your employer, location, education, and work experience.
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You may increase your chances of securing a preferred position by earning additional certifications and exploring job openings outside your immediate geographic area.
Online Arizona Colleges Admissions Requirements
All online colleges in AZ have individual admissions processes, but here are a few common application materials you may need to submit:
- ACT or SAT scores (only some schools require them)
- Personal statement
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- Transcripts from your previous educational institutions
Additionally, most schools require you to complete an online application and pay a fee. Some schools offer fee waivers for qualifying students. You can contact a program’s admissions office or visit the college’s website for specific admissions criteria.
AZ Online Colleges Accreditation
As you explore online universities in Arizona, consider prioritizing regionally accredited institutions. Schools receive regional accreditation if they pass a formal peer review by an independent accrediting organization. Accreditation provides quality assurance for a school’s educational programs.
Choosing an accredited online college has several advantages. Employers often favor job candidates from accredited universities, which can give you a competitive edge in the job market. Also, many financial aid opportunities are only available to students enrolled at accredited institutions.
You can visit the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) website to verify a school’s accreditation status.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
College costs can be alarming, but in Arizona, there is a tremendous amount of financial assistance available. To receive this aid, start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can access the application on October 1 of the year before you plan to attend college.
The FAFSA opens the door to loans, grants, and scholarships from the US government, Arizona, and from the school of your choice. A common type of financial aid is through grants and scholarships, which never have to be paid back.
Arizona residents have exclusive access to the following grants to supplement their federal aid:
- Math, Science, and Special Education Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program (MSSE): Need-based forgivable loan for students who plan to pursue teaching; Students agree to teach in an Arizona public school for a term equal to the number of years they received the loan plus one; Up to $7000 per year
- Arizona Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (AzLEAP): Need-based grant for students who demonstrate substantial financial need (as determined by FAFSA): Up to $2,500 per year
There are also need-based and merit-based grants and scholarships available through each of Arizona’s institutions. To find out how to apply for these, simply contact the financial aid office at the school or schools you’re interested in.
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Additional scholarships are available based on things like race, religion, gender, athletic or artistic abilities, unusual talents, intended major, and so on. Here are just a few scholarships that are open to Arizona residents:
- AWS John C. Lincoln Memorial Scholarship: $3,500
- Flinn Foundation Scholarship: $120,000 value; Covers tuition, fees, room and board, and at least 2 travel abroad experiences
- Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Scholarships: $1000-2750
To find more scholarships that are open to you, check out scholarship search sites like Fastweb.com. Just enter some basic demographic information and you will be matched up with dozens of scholarship opportunities.
Arizona Online Education Resources
Several free online resources can provide support as you research an Arizona online college, including:
- Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education: This website has a comprehensive career guide and lists financial aid resources available to Arizona students.
- Arizona Private Postsecondary Education: This organization oversees Arizona’s 228 private colleges and universities. You can research schools, learn about policies governing private Arizona colleges, and file complaints.
- College Goal Arizona: This initiative helps high schoolers apply to college and provides resources for locating financial aid.
These valuable resources can teach you more about specific Arizona online university options and financial assistance options.
How Much Does It Cost to Go to an Online College in Arizona?
Many factors impact the cost of attending online colleges in Arizona, including your residency, enrollment status, and the type of school you choose.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in-state students who attended public four-year universities in Arizona paid an average of $24,681. This figure includes tuition, room and board, and required fees. Out-of-state students paid an average of $25,426 at public four-year institutions.
The average cost of attending a private four-year school in Arizona is $22,862. And in-state students paid an average of $2,151 at public two-year institutions in Arizona.
Tuition Breaks for Out-of-State Students
Many Arizona online universities accept students from across the United States. Before you enroll, it’s beneficial to check that your home state has a reciprocity agreement with Arizona. State reciprocity means that colleges can offer online education to out-of-state students without complying with state-specific regulations.
Students from neighboring states may also be eligible for in-state tuition rates or other discounts. Arizona is a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Institutions that belong to this organization have agreed to allow out-of-state students to attend at a maximum cost of 150% of in-state tuition. This deal helps students from eligible states save money while attending online universities in Arizona.
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However, you may need to pay additional distance learning fees for your online classes. These fees typically apply to all online students, not just out-of-state attendees.
What Jobs Are in High Demand in Arizona?
Many careers in Arizona are in high demand as healthcare and other industries expand. According to the Arizona Commerce Authority, here are five occupations that will experience rapid growth over the next decade along with their projected growth rate.
- Nurse practitioners: 7%
- Solar photovoltaic installers: 6%
- Occupational therapy assistants: 5%
- Information security analysts: 4%
- Data scientists and mathematical science occupations: 4%
Some of the most in-demand careers may require additional education beyond a bachelor’s degree. For example, you must complete a graduate degree to become a nurse practitioner. However, investing in graduate studies may lead to more job prospects and a higher salary.
What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Arizona?
Graduates from online colleges in Arizona can earn high salaries in many occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are five of the top-paying careers in the state and their median annual salaries:
- Architectural and Engineering Managers: $156,420
- Compensation and Benefits Managers: $125,800
- Bioengineers and Biomedical Engineers: $120,850
- Computer Network Architects: $120,250
- Air Traffic Controllers: $112,130
The annual wages for these occupations have been calculated by multiplying the median hourly wage by a full-time, year-round hours figure of 2,080 hours.
List of Online Colleges in Arizona
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Arizona Christian University offers a Christian liberal arts education to its online students. With 6 start dates each year, ACU aims to work with students’ busy schedules. Students at ACU can pursue minors, associate degrees, or bachelor’s degrees online. Fields of study include business administration, biblical and theological studies, education, and more.
Arizona Christian University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Arizona State University’s online program aims to help students succeed in their career goals. Its online assistant even helps prospective students choose a concentration. ASU offers over 300 online degrees. Students may pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees or certificates. Courses are 6 to 7.5 weeks long. Students may pursue studies in fields such as digital photography, architecture, tourism, and more.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Arizona State University–Downtown Phoenix offers both undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs in a wide range of fields. Programs are offered in areas such as journalism and mass communication, nursing, public service, global management, sciences, and the arts. Honors college programs are also commonly available, and classes often provide flexible scheduling options.
Arizona State University – Downtown Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Arizona State University–Tempe offers undergraduate degree programs in areas such as media and communication, teaching and education, architecture and construction, business, computing, and mathematics. Most programs offer flexible online learning options that also typically provide access to labs and facilities on campus.
Arizona State University – Tempe is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Arizona State University–West offers over 125 degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Possible undergraduate majors include business and finance, engineering, teaching and education, nursing, and several more. ASU’s curricula are designed to blend the liberal arts with practical skills for workforce preparation.
Arizona State University – West is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University—Prescott was ranked the number one regional college in the West by U.S. News and World Report. The school’s online programs have multiple start dates spaced across the year. Online courses are taken in terms that are 9 weeks long. ERAU offers STEM associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in fields like aviation maintenance, homeland security, and more.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Prescott is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Grand Canyon University is a private college with a Christian focus, although it accepts students of all faiths. GCU works with students’ schedules by offering rolling admission and weekly start dates. GCU students can pursue associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degrees. Students can major in fields like Christian studies, film, business administration, and more.
Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Northern Arizona University offers two methods of online learning: traditional and personalized. Traditional learning follows a semester schedule and includes deadlines. Personalized learning allows students to start at any time and work at their own pace. Students at NAU can pursue bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in areas of study like global business, family and computer science, paramedic care, and more.
Northern Arizona University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Ottawa University offers six terms throughout the year. Each term is 8 weeks long. Its online programs are designed specifically for working adults. OU offers a variety of certificate, undergraduate, and graduate programs. Students can choose studies in gerocounseling, computer science, education, and more.
Ottawa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Phoenix Seminary offers online graduate degree options in Biblical and Theological Studies, Christian Studies, and Ministry. Courses are usually asynchronous and typically allow the viewing of recorded lectures at any time. Courses are usually 16 weeks long in the fall and spring semesters and 10 weeks long in the summer terms.
Phoenix Seminary is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Prescott College’s programs are designed to strike a balance between structure to keep students on track and flexibility for students to continue with their other responsibilities.
The programs are offered online and can be completed anywhere with an internet connection. Many programs do have community outreach components. Prescott students may pursue certificates, bachelor’s degrees, or master’s degrees in fields such as adventure education, social justice, and more.
Prescott College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Sonoran University of Health Sciences offers an online Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition and an online Executive Master of Science in Nutrition Business Leadership. Supervised experience may be available while completing coursework in a self-paced format. Courses are designed to teach a holistic approach to healthcare and nutrition.
Sonoran University of Health Sciences is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Advancing Technology offers undergraduate and graduate programs in technology fields. Courses are completed in 5-week modules with three classes per module, totaling 15 hours per week. Most courses use asynchronous learning formats. Students can pursue areas of study like game design, network security, software engineering, or technology innovation.
The University of Advancing Technology is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Arizona was ranked #7 for online bachelor’s degrees by the U.S. News and World Report. The school’s online courses are taught by the same faculty as those on campus, and online students can earn the same degrees as those offered by the same programs on campus.
Online programs offer 6 start dates a year, and classes are 7.5 weeks long. Areas of study offered include entrepreneurship, applied computing, and more.
The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
The University of Phoenix is an entirely online university designed for learners who are already working or have families. New classes start every 5 to 6 weeks, and each one is 5 to 6 weeks long. Students can pursue associate through doctorate degrees in fields such as criminal justice, behavioral science, healthcare, education, and more.
The University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Getting Your College Degree in Arizona Online
Arizona is leading the country with its strong commitment to online education. With an extraordinary selection of degree programs available at both public and private institutions, and numerous grants and scholarships available, it’s no wonder enrollment numbers continue to soar well above the competition.
Enrolling in an Arizona online degree program has many advantages. These programs often offer more flexibility than traditional in-person schooling, allowing you to study at your own pace. You can also choose from a broad range of majors that may not be available at your local institutions. Students from states that have reciprocal agreements with Arizona may qualify for reduced tuition rates.
Are you ready to continue your education? Research accredited online Arizona colleges today to get started. If you’re considering an online degree, Arizona is a natural choice. You can also view our Online Colleges in Alaska and Online Colleges in Arkansas guides for more options.