Arizona is far and away the nation’s leader when it comes to online learning opportunities.
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.
Overview of Higher Education in Arizona
Arizona is home to 71 degree-granting institutions, according to a 2018-2019 report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Of those, 29 are public institutions, 12 are nonprofit, 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.
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At the completion of the 2017-2018 school year, Arizona public colleges awarded 31,505 bachelor’s degrees, private non-profit schools awarded 827, and private for-profit schools awarded 24,863 bachelor’s degrees.
About Online Colleges in Arizona
Arizona is the nation’s leader in online education. A report from the NCES found that 42.5% of students in Arizona were enrolled exclusively in distance education courses. On top of that, another 17.6% were enrolled in a hybrid of on-campus and online courses. Many of Arizona’s online learners attend University of Phoenix, which is the #1 postsecondary school in the nation in terms of enrollment.
The NCES reported that in 2017, the University of Phoenix had 103,975 students enrolled! The school is one of the accredited online colleges that offer learning opportunities from certificate to doctoral degree in all of the most in-demand fields. Arizona State University also boasts a highly respected online program. Arizona State offers more than 200 fully online degree programs. U.S. News and World Reports ranks ASU as one of the top online bachelor’s programs.
The online learning format 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. This format may also appeal to students who want a degree from an Arizona institution but live outside the state.
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 at any of the participating states and territories for no more than 150% of the in-state tuition rate.
Scholarships and Financial Aid in Arizona
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 loan, grant and scholarship money from the US government, Arizona and from the school of your choice. As you fill out the FAFSA, you will need to include financial information for yourself as well as your parents (unless you’re considered an independent). Your answers will determine how much need-based aid is offered to you.
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The best 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.
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:
|Scholarship Name||Scholarship amount|
|AWS John C. Lincoln Memorial Scholarship||$3500|
|Flinn Foundation Scholarship||$120,000 value; Covers tuition, fees, room and board and at least 2 travel abroad experiences|
|Henry & Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship||$5000|
|PMI Phoenix Chapter Scholarship||Up to $2500|
|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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re considering an online degree, Arizona is a natural choice!