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Best Online Colleges with High Acceptance Rates

Worried about getting into college because of your academic history? You’re in luck, because many online colleges are proudly improving accessibility to education through streamlined and supportive admissions processes. This guide lists top online colleges with high acceptance rates and diverse degree options.

Author: Timon Kaple
Editor: STEPS Staff

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Maybe you didn’t get the best grades in high school. Maybe you took the GED route instead. Whatever the case may be, it doesn’t mean that higher education is off the table. Many quality schools accept students regardless of their high school GPA and test scores. In fact, there are more than 50 colleges and universities with an acceptance rate of 90% or higher.

These accredited colleges know that a student’s academic history doesn’t necessarily reflect their ability to do well in college and the professional world. By accepting students from all kinds of backgrounds, online colleges with high acceptance rates can be an excellent option for those who are struggling to gain acceptance to traditional universities. Learn about the benefits of attending one of these schools and find the top online colleges with high acceptance rates.

High Acceptance Rate Colleges: The Advantages

You can save yourself time, money, and reap many other benefits by applying to schools that accept more students. Below are some of the major advantages of applying to colleges with high acceptance rates, some of which might surprise you.

  • You’re more likely to be accepted
    You’re much more likely to gain admission to a degree program at a school with a high acceptance rate. Not only does this mean you can move forward with your education, but it means doing so with less stress because you know you’ll likely get into at least one school if you apply to three or four.
  • You may have a higher chance of receiving a scholarship
    Whether or not you have super high standardized test scores or a standout GPA, you’re still more likely to receive a scholarship or merit-based aid at a high acceptance rate school than at a more selective one. This is partly because strong applications for high acceptance schools shine through when they might be overlooked at highly selective colleges.
  • Spend less on application fees
    Applying to high acceptance schools saves you money on application fees since you’ll probably apply to fewer schools. Not only that, but the application fee is likely less – and sometimes free – at a high-acceptance school than at highly selective ones.
  • More diverse student body
    Schools with higher acceptance rates offer more affordable education and accept students with less than stellar academic backgrounds, making them more accessible to a wider range of applicants. As a result, expect to see a more diverse student population at high acceptance schools than at ones with a more selective acceptance process.
  • Support and resources for all
    Higher acceptance rate schools that admit a more diverse student body typically have the supporting resources and counseling professionals to benefit a student population from a wider range of academic and economic backgrounds. This helps learners stay in school, make more sound financial decisions, and ultimately graduate with a degree that will increase earning potential.

High Acceptance Rate vs. Open Admissions: What’s the Difference?

While high acceptance rate colleges simply accept more students than highly selective schools, schools with open admission or open enrollment policies accept all applicants with either a high school diploma or GED. In other words, they’re non-competitive or unselective. You have an even better chance of acceptance to an open admissions school than to a high acceptance one, and most don’t require any kind of standardized test like the ACT or SAT either, though you may have to take a placement exam. If you’re able to pay tuition and meet other basic admissions criteria, you can attend an open admissions school.

Top 25 Online Colleges with High Acceptance Rates

Before you start applying, check out the top online colleges with high acceptance rates and see which schools offer the degree you’re most interested in.


New England College

NEC, a private liberal arts school in Henniker, New Hampshire established in 1946, holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

The nonprofit school offers a variety of online bachelor’s degrees in the sciences, humanities, public service, nursing, and business along with associate degrees in areas like healthcare administration, liberal studies, sociology, and criminal justice.

Popular online degrees offered at NEC:

  • Accounting
  • Cybersecurity
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Human Services
  • RN to BSN
  • Sociology

Number of applicants: 10,012

Number of admissions: 10,012

Number of online programs: 26

Acceptance rate: 100%


Northeastern State University

Established in 1909 and located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, NSU is the oldest higher education institution in the state. NSU offers remote learners more than a dozen online bachelor’s degrees, including programs in legal studies, business, technology, public service, and nursing. NSU also offers scholarships for incoming freshmen.

Popular online degrees offered at NSU:

  • General Studies
  • Geography and Sustainability Studies
  • Hospitality and Tourism Management
  • International Business Management
  • Information Systems
  • Medical Laboratory Sciences

Number of applicants: 1,529

Number of admissions: 1,523

Number of online programs: 13

Acceptance rate: 100%


Dickinson State University

Located in Dickinson, North Carolina and established in 1918, DSU serves approximately 1,400 students. Online bachelor’s degrees include those in education, business, and the hard sciences.

Online associate degrees include an AAS in administration and an AS in agriculture sales, and online certificate offerings include those in graphic design, digital marketing, and banking. DSU also provides merit- and need-based scholarships for incoming and returning students.

Popular online degrees offered at DSU:

  • Applied Science
  • Business Administration in Accounting
  • Business Administration in Human Resource Management
  • Business Education
  • University Studies

Number of applicants: 376

Number of admissions: 375

Number of online programs: 20

Acceptance rate: 100%


Martinsburg College

Martinsburg’s skills-based and career-focused education programs began in 1980. Today, the fully online school based in Martinsburg, West Virginia holds accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).

Online learners choose from associate degree and certificate programs in business, technology, and healthcare. Martinsburg’s certificate offerings include programs in medical administration, healthcare, security, business and professional development, and information technology.

Popular online degrees offered at Martinsburg:

  • Business Administration
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Integrated Technologies

Number of applicants: 347

Number of admissions: 347

Number of online programs: 8

Acceptance rate: 100%


University of Texas at El Paso

UTEP, a public research institution serving nearly 25,200 students, is the second-largest university in the U.S. serving a majority Mexican American student population.

Online bachelor’s degrees include those in nursing, business, and marketing. UTEP offers several scholarships for incoming freshmen, including a presidential scholarship worth $8,000 per year.

Popular online degrees offered at UTEP:

  • Chicano Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Media Advertising
  • Organizational and Corporate Communication
  • Security Studies

Number of applicants: 10,972

Number of admissions: 10,971

Number of online programs: 8

Acceptance rate: 100%


Colorado State University – Global Campus

A public institution established in 2007, CSU Global offers online education to nearly 20,000 students, including both incoming freshman and learners completing in-process degrees.

In addition to eight scholarship opportunities, CSU Global has a generous transfer credit policy that includes credit for life and work experience, CLEP, and military credits. The school also offers 15 online bachelor’s degree programs and 11 undergraduate certificate programs.

Popular online degrees offered at CSU Global:

  • Business Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Information Technology
  • Marketing
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Project Management

Number of applicants: 209

Number of admissions: 206

Number of online programs: 26

Acceptance rate: 99%


Florida Institute of Technology – Online

Florida Tech, a private research institution in Melbourne, Florida, is comprised of four colleges: psychology and liberal arts, business, engineering and science, and aeronautics. Remote learners enjoy access to 13 online bachelor’s degrees in management, technology, marketing, criminal justice, and more.

Associate and certificate programs are also available in accounting, business administration, behavior analysis, and computer information systems. Florida Tech also offers several merit-based and need-based scholarships and grants for incoming freshmen.

Popular online degrees offered at Florida Tech:

  • Accounting Aviation Management
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Healthcare Management
  • Human Resource Management
  • Liberal Studies
  • Psychology

Number of applicants: 127

Number of admissions: 126

Number of online programs: 26

Acceptance rate: 99%


Adams State University

Established in 1921, Adams State is a public institution with approximately 3,500 students. Online bachelor’s degrees include degree programs in business, sociology, education, or media industry and communication. Each degree offers multiple concentrations for undergraduates.

Popular online degrees offered at Adams State:

  • Business Administration with General Business Emphasis
  • Elementary Education
  • Media Industry and Communication with a minor in Business or Marketing
  • Sociology with Social Welfare Emphasis

Number of applicants: 1,765

Number of admissions: 1,749

Number of online programs: 4

Acceptance rate: 99%


Concordia University – Saint Paul

Located in Saint Paul, Minnesota, CSP is a private school founded in 1893. CSP boasts 5,600 students and provides a solid selection of online bachelor degrees, including those in child development, health and fitness, business, information technology, nursing, and marketing. CSP also offers associate programs in general studies and early childhood education.

Popular online degrees offered at CSP:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Family Science
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Human Resource Management
  • Management and Leadership
  • Psychology
  • Sport Management

Number of applicants: 1,323

Number of admissions: 1,298

Number of online programs: 18

Acceptance rate: 98%


National Louis University

Located in Chicago, Illinois, NLU is a private school with approximately 7,000 students. Remote learners can take advantage of its online bachelor’s programs in business, computer science, health and human services, and more.

NLU also offers several online master’s programs and seven convenient start dates. It boasts a nearly 15% greater salary than graduates from comparable universities in the state.

Popular online degrees offered at NLU:

  • Applied Behavioral Sciences
  • Applied Communications
  • Business Administration
  • Computer Science and Information Systems
  • Healthcare Leadership

Number of applicants: 2,665

Number of admissions: 2,603

Number of online programs: 10

Acceptance rate: 98%


Eastern Oregon University

EOU, a public university founded in 1929, offers 19 remote bachelor’s degrees. Academic areas of focus include business, accounting, anthropology, economics, psychology, and public administration.

EOU provides several need-based and merit-based scholarship opportunities for incoming freshmen and offers financial aid opportunities for undocumented students.

Popular online degrees offered at EOU:

  • Communication Studies
  • Health and Human Performance
  • Information Technology Management
  • Politics and Economics

Number of applicants: 890

Number of admissions: 872

Number of online programs: 19

Acceptance rate: 98%


Notre Dame College

NDC, located in South Euclid, Ohio, is a private school affiliated with the Catholic Church. It offers 14 online undergraduate programs, including two associate and 12 bachelor’s degrees.

Bachelor’s degree offerings include those in business, technology, criminal justice, and nursing. Remote students can also complete a business management or liberal studies associate degree entirely online. Merit-based and need-based scholarships and grants are available.

Popular online degrees offered at NDC:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Business Administration-Human Resources Management
  • Emergency Management
  • Intelligence Studies
  • RN-to-BSN

Number of applicants: 2,032

Number of admissions: 1,982

Number of online programs: 14

Acceptance rate: 98%


Western Kentucky University

Established in 1906, WKU is a public university with robust online degree and certificate offerings. While best known for programs in education, engineering, and business, bachelor’s and associate degree seekers can also choose from 16 programs in areas like interdisciplinary studies, healthcare, and business.

Online undergraduate certificates include family home visiting, geographic information systems, organizational leadership.

Popular online degrees offered at WKU:

  • Criminology
  • Computer Information Technology
  • Dental Hygiene
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Health Sciences
  • Management and Business Administration
  • Workforce Administration

Number of applicants: 8,245

Number of admissions: 8,019

Number of online programs: 23

Acceptance rate: 97%


University of Southern Mississippi

Southern Miss is a public research institution established in 1910. Remote bachelor’s degrees include those in child and family sciences, liberal studies, philosophy, public health, nursing, and business.

Southern Miss also has an online undergraduate certificate in casino management. The school offers a variety of merit-based scholarships for incoming freshman and transfer students.

Popular online degrees offered at Southern Miss:

  • Business Administration
  • Construction Management
  • Elementary Education
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Liberal Studies
  • Management
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • RN-to-BSN

Number of applicants: 9,217

Number of admissions: 8,935

Number of online programs: 16

Acceptance rate: 97%


California University of Pennsylvania

Established in 1852, Cal U offers online associate and bachelor’s degrees in several major academic areas. Bachelor’s students choose from computer technology, economics, exercise science, language studies, and more.

Associate degree learners select from programs in technical studies, liberal studies, and applied policing and technology. Remote students can also apply for internal grants, scholarships, and work-study programs.

Popular online degrees offered at Cal U:

  • Arabic Language and Culture
  • Event Planning and Management
  • Exercise Science
  • Liberal Studies
  • Sociology

Number of applicants: 3,105

Number of admissions: 3,016

Number of online programs: 17

Acceptance rate: 97%


Prescott College

Located in Prescott, Arizona, Prescott College is a private school founded in 1966. It serves approximately 900 students and offers an array of notable online bachelor’s degrees, including those in environmental science, human development, social justice, education, and the humanities.

Prescott allows its online students to tailor their degrees, and students apply what they learn in each course in their communities.

Popular online degrees offered at Prescott:

  • Adventure Education
  • Human Development and Psychology
  • Sustainability Management
  • Sustainable Food Systems

Number of applicants: 232

Number of admissions: 226

Number of online programs: 10

Acceptance rate: 97%


Wayland Baptist University

WBU, a private liberal arts school affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas, offers 14 online bachelor’s and associate degree programs. Bachelor’s degree offerings include psychology, Christian ministry, history, humanities, and language. Online students can apply for internal scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities.

Popular online degrees offered at WBU:

  • Christian Ministry
  • Criminal Justice
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Spanish

Number of applicants: 635

Number of admissions: 619

Number of online programs: 14

Acceptance rate: 97%


Post University

Located in Waterbury, Connecticut and founded in 1890, Post is a private, for-profit school offering 29 online undergraduate programs. Online certificate programs include paralegal studies, human resource management, or forensic accounting. Associate degrees are available in accounting,

criminal justice, legal studies, and more. Bachelor’s degrees include 20 online programs in areas like business, management, marketing, accounting, biology, and media studies. Post also offers scholarships for online students planning to move on to a master’s degree at Post along with up to 20% off master’s degree tuition for those graduating with a 3.9 GPA or higher.

Popular online degrees offered at Post:

  • Communication and Media Studies
  • Data Science
  • Equine Studies
  • Gaming and Esports Management
  • Legal Studies
  • Psychology
  • Sport Management

Number of applicants: 2,893

Number of admissions: 2,793

Number of online programs: 29

Acceptance rate: 97%


Evangel University

A private university affiliated with the Assemblies of God, Evangel serves about 2,200 students. The school offers 15 online undergraduate programs in addition to certificates in recording technology, paralegal studies, and church leadership.

Evangel also offers online associate degrees in business management, general studies, and leadership and social enterprise. Online bachelor’s programs include behavioral health, business, church ministries, and more.

Popular online degrees offered at Evangel:

  • Behavioral Health
  • Business Management
  • Church Ministries
  • Community Relief Development
  • Leadership and Social Enterprise

Number of applicants: 1,084

Number of admissions: 1,048

Number of online programs: 15

Acceptance rate: 97%


Eastern Washington University

EWU is a public institution located in Cheney, Washington. The school provides several online undergraduate programs for certificate and bachelor’s students. Fully online certificates at EWU include disability studies, literacy, and leadership.

Online bachelor’s degrees include those in health sciences, communications, and public relations. In addition to other financial aid opportunities, the school also offers automatic scholarships for incoming freshmen based on GPA and state residency.

Popular online degrees offered at EWU:
Addiction Studies
Communication Studies
Dental Hygiene
Health Psychology
Health Science
Public Relations

Number of applicants: 5,297

Number of admissions: 5,069

Number of online programs: 16

Acceptance rate: 96%


DeVry University – Illinois

Established in 1931, DeVry is a private for-profit institution with approximately 18,195 students. It offers more than 70 online and hybrid programs in areas that include technology, business, accounting, and healthcare.

Certificate, associate, and bachelors’ students choose from robust programs with multiple specializations in business, technology, healthcare, and media arts. Online bachelor’s degrees are also available through 21 technology programs. DeVry offers several financial aid options, including the Women+Tech scholarship.

Popular online degrees offered at DeVry:

  • Computer Information Systems
  • Engineering Technology
  • Health Services Management
  • Software Development

Number of applicants: 1,847

Number of admissions: 1,768

Number of online programs: 71

Acceptance rate: 96%


University of Toledo

UT is a public research university in Ohio that serves approximately 19,800 students and offers a wide selection of online associate and bachelor’s programs.

Associate programs include pre-business, technical studies, and business management technology. Bachelor’s programs cover several traditional subject areas and showcase UT’s strong health sciences programs.

Popular online degrees offered at UT:

  • Health Information Administration
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • RN-to-BSN
  • Registered Respiratory Therapy

Number of applicants: 10,085

Number of admissions: 9,722

Number of online programs: 26

Acceptance rate: 96%


University of Kentucky

UK, founded in 1865, is a public research institution located in Lexington, Kentucky that serves approximately 30,600 students. Its online programs include certificates in leadership studies, financial planning, and digital design literacy.

Online bachelor’s degrees in nursing, laboratory science, business, and communications are also available. UK provides scholarship opportunities, free online tutoring, and academic coaching for all its students.

Popular online degrees offered at UK:

  • Accelerated BSN
  • Advanced Materials Characterization
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Arts Administration
  • Assistive & Rehabilitation Technology
  • Business
  • Nutrition & Culinary Medicine
  • Statistics
  • Sustainability Studies

Number of applicants: 18,759

Number of admissions: 17,981

Number of online programs: 15

Acceptance rate: 96%


Brigham Young University – IdahoEvangel University

BYU-I is a private school in Rexburg, Idaho that is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The university offers a long selection of remote certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees.

Its 36 certificate programs include social media marketing, project management, and web development. Online associate and bachelor’s students can pursue degrees in areas like business, technology, healthcare, social work, and more. Students enrolling in an online program through the PathwayConnect program and incoming learners who are a part of a religiously affiliated mission can receive significant tuition discounts.

Popular online degrees offered at BYU:

  • Applied Communication
  • Applied Health
  • Applied Technology
  • Professional Studies

Number of applicants: 9,762

Number of admissions: 9,349

Number of online programs: 49

Acceptance rate: 96%


Savannah College of Art and Design

SCAD, a private art school established in 1978, offers online bachelor’s degrees in art, marketing, and photography with real-time virtual instruction.

Using Adobe Creative Cloud and Autodesk collections, students work one-on-one with professors, collaborate with peers, and learn to use cutting-edge software. SCAD offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts programs in several areas, and there are over a dozen scholarship opportunities for incoming students ranging in value from $1,000 up to full tuition remission.

Popular online degrees offered at SCAD:

  • Advertising
  • Business of Beauty and Fragrance
  • Fashion Marketing and Management
  • Graphic Design
  • Interactive Design and Game Development
  • Photography
  • Sequential Art
  • Social Strategy and Management

Number of applicants: 11,267

Number of admissions: 10,806

Number of online programs: 8

Acceptance rate: 96%