Best Online Colleges in Wisconsin for 2020



With so many students, from working adults, mid-career professionals, and younger traditional-aged students turning online for their education, Value Colleges believes it is necessary to provide prospective students with the information they need to find the best online educational choices for their interests, career, and future. That’s why we’ve set out to cover the very best online options in Wisconsin. Students can choose a large, national for-profit or non-profit for their online degree, but many don’t realize that their best choice might be right around the corner, in their own home state.

For working adults, choosing to further your education with one of the many Wisconsin online colleges can help you blend your desire to earn your degree with the demands of daily life. Nontraditional students can also benefit from taking classes online, as most online courses allow you to work on your own time at your own pace. This means that you can choose when you’ll complete your work. Rural residents can also benefit from online classes. When you take the cost and time of travel out of the equation, you’ll find that it’s cheaper and easier to go to school online. 

How We Ranked the Best Online Colleges in Wisconsin

Value Colleges is proud to highlight the Best Online Colleges in Wisconsin, including the University of Wisconsin System, as well as leading private institutions. VC is committed to guiding prospective students to the best educational and financial opportunities available to them, and we feature only regionally-accredited, reputable institutions.

1. Marian University

Topping the list of the best online colleges in Wisconsin is Marian University. The school offers 13 online bachelor’s degree programs: business administration (accounting, health care administration, or management), dental hygiene, criminal justice, diagnostic medical sonography, interdisciplinary studies, homeland security, nursing (RN to BSN), health care administration, radiologic technology, psychology, and respiratory therapy.

MPath is Marian’s online learning platform. Designed for adult students, the platform is both flexible and convenient. Most online courses use an accelerated schedule with 7-week terms. Some programs are also available in a typical 15-week term. Marian’s programs are student-centered, and the school gives online students the support they need to continue moving forward in their programs. Each course has a degree plan that students can follow for optimal success. Marian is a Catholic university that provides values-based education to its students. Marian has a 12:1 student-to-faculty ration and the average class size is 15.

Number of Online Programs: 13

2. Lakeland University

Next on the list of the best online colleges in Wisconsin is Lakeland University, with 12 undergraduate majors to choose from: business administration, accounting, communication, criminal justice, computer science, industrial systems analytics, hospitality management, marketing, management information systems, psychology, organizational management, and nursing (RN to BSN). Online classes are designed with adult learners in mind and make learning accessible to anyone with a desire to earn a college degree.

Lakeland University is Christian school associated with the United Church of Christ that has been around for more than 150 years. The school believes in hands-on, practical education and encourages student to work in their chosen fields while attending school in order to avoid debt. The school’s online programs are flexible enough to allow adult students to juggle work, family, and classes. Lakeland provides students with opportunities to make a different through volunteering. Students provide food for the poor, join in the fight against cancer, and help clean up the environment. Online students can opt to take any of their classes on campus if they prefer.

Number of Online Programs: 12

3. University of Wisconsin – Whitewater

The University of Wisconsin—Whitewater is also one of the best online colleges in Wisconsin, with 11 online undergraduate programs to choose from. The programs offered are general business, economics, management, marketing, finance, political science, liberal studies, special education, early childhood education, and law enforcement. The online programs at UW—Whitewater have rigorous curriculums that provide the skills and knowledge students need to succeed in their chosen areas of study.

The University of Wisconsin—Whitewater transforms the lives of its students by providing a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs to help students achieve the level of success they desire. UW is committed to the personal development and growth of its students, to providing a global perspective, and to diversity and fair access to all students. 98.4% of students who have recently graduated from UW are now employed or attending graduate school.

Number of Online Programs: 11

4. University of Wisconsin – Superior

As one of the best online colleges in Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin—Superior offers 10 undergraduate programs online. They are community/public health promotion, communicating arts, exercise science, education, individually designed, health and wellness management, interdisciplinary studies, management, writing, and sustainable management. The individually designed and interdisciplinary studies majors provide students with the opportunity to customize their degree programs to suit their personal and career goals.

UW–Superior’s online education is both affordable and flexible. Courses are taught by the same faculty members who teach the on-campus classes, so students get the same education in a different format. UW—Superior offers a high-quality online learning experience for students who want to return to school and finish their degrees to make their future better. Students have the flexibility to fit their courses into their schedule whenever it is convenient for them. The diplomas received by online students are identical to those earned by on-campus students.

Number of Online Programs: 10

5. University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh

The University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh is next on the list of the best online colleges in Wisconsin. UW Oshkosh offers eight online bachelor’s degree programs and one hybrid program. The online programs are criminal justice, aviation management, leadership and organizational studies, fire and emergency response management, liberal studies, leadership development, human services leadership, and organizational administration. The hybrid program is an accelerated BS in nursing.

At the University of Wisconsin—Oshkosh, the focus is on research and sustainability. The school is dedicated to the success of its students, and faculty members provide encouragement and help along the way. UW—Oshkosh offers support services for writing and math, small class sizes, and individualized academic and career counseling. The school offers a variety of internship opportunities for students. Online programs are 100% online and the semester schedule is the same as for the school’s brick and mortar classes.

Number of Online Programs: 9

6. Concordia University Wisconsin

Concordia University Wisconsin offers eight online bachelor’s degree programs: healthcare management, business management, management of criminal justice, human resource management, accounting, nursing, diagnostic medical sonography, and radiologic technology. The diagnostic medical sonography and radiologic technology majors are degree completion programs, and the nursing program is for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field.

As one of the best online colleges in Wisconsin, Concordia University provides online learning to help its students reach their professional goals. Every Concordia student is part of the family and the school is dedicated to providing the help and support each student needs to succeed both academically and in life after graduation. Every student has an advisor to help them navigate their educational journey. Concordia has a top-notch faculty of practitioners and academics who provide students with an outstanding educational experience. The faculty truly cares about the success of every single student. Some courses are self-paced, while others are cohort-based.

Number of Online Programs: 8

7. University of Wisconsin – Green Bay

The University of Wisconsin—Green Bay offers seven online bachelor’s degree programs, some of which have multiple concentrations available. The bachelor’s programs available online are accounting, business administration (general business, human resource management, marketing, management, supply chain management), health information management and technology, nursing, organizational leadership (business administration, applied communication, emergency management, early childhood education, environmental policy and planning, public and nonprofit management, management in health systems, self-directed), psychology, and public administration (emergency management, public and nonprofit management).

At the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay, students learn who they truly are and where they are headed in life. As one of the best online colleges in Wisconsin, the school offers a variety of online programs for students to choose from. Regardless of whether they attend online or off, UW—Green Bay provides a meaningful experience that encourages personal growth as well as academic achievement. The University of Wisconsin—Green Bay charges in-state tuition to all online students.

Number of Online Programs: 7

8. University of Wisconsin – River Falls

Next on the list of the best online colleges in Wisconsin is the University of Wisconsin—River Falls. The school offers three bachelor’s degree completion programs that can be completed 100% online. They are in applied computing, sustainable management, and health and wellness management. These online degree completion programs are intended for students who already hold an associate degree or have college credits to transfer.

UW—River Falls has been named a “Best Midwestern College” by The Princeton Review for six years in a row. The school strives to produce graduates who are ethical, creative, productive leaders who will make a difference in the world. UW—River Falls supports diversity and inclusivity and seeks to promote a global perspective for all students. Students at the UW—River Falls received $2.4 million in scholarships from the university in 2020-19.

Number of Online Programs: 6

9. University of Wisconsin – Parkside

As one of the best online colleges in Wisconsin, The University of Wisconsin—Parkside offers six online degree completion programs. They are in business management, business administration, liberal studies, health information management and technology, sustainable management, and sociology. The liberal studies program allows students to choose courses from various disciplines that work together to help them reach their goals. The online programs at UW—Parkside teach student to think critically, communicate effectively, and embrace their creativity.

UW—Parkside has been transforming the lives of its students since 1968. The school focuses on giving students the best experience possible. Classes are taught by full professors—never assistants—and students are given the attention they need to succeed. Students can customize their programs to meet the demands of the job market and combine multiple disciplines to promote new discoveries. UW—Parkside offers small class sizes and its faculty is known for giving individualized attention to students.

Number of Online Programs: 6

10. Maranatha Baptist University

Maranatha Baptist University is one of the best online colleges in Wisconsin for students seeking a faith-based education. This Christian university offers four online bachelor’s degree programs: business, Bible, interdisciplinary studies, and educational studies. The interdisciplinary studies degree is designed to provide a pathway to an associate or bachelor’s degree for students who have previous college credit or professional training.

Maranatha’s online programs offer a flexible learning experience that is both biblical and engaging. The programs are designed to accommodate the needs of busy working adults who want to pursue a higher level of education. The school’s mission is to create leaders capable of taking on opportunities for ministry throughout the world. The school is a conservative university with faith-based values, such as integrity, fidelity, charity, leadership, and unity. Maranatha accepts transfer credits to make it easier for students who have previously attended college to continue their education.

Number of Online Programs: 4

What is the Value of Online College in Wisconsin?

If you’re deciding whether Wisconsin online colleges are a good fit for you to further your education, you may be wondering about the value of different online programs. Employers recognize that an online degree is just as valuable as a degree earned in a traditional classroom. When you earn your degree online while continuing to work full time, you’re also showing employers that you have impressive time management skills, and the drive to push yourself to climb the ladder. 

What Kinds of Degrees Can I Earn Online in Wisconsin?

When you’re thinking about earning your degree with Wisconsin online degree programs, you may be curious about what type of degree you can get when you choose to take classes in a nontraditional setting. Good news: online degrees in Wisconsin come in the same varieties as those you would earn in the traditional classroom. Wisconsin online degrees include associates, bachelors, and graduate degrees, such as doctorate and master’s degrees.

When you complete online degree programs in Wisconsin, you’ll also have the opportunity to earn certificate, which certify you in a certain area of study without completing full online degrees in Wisconsin. Wisconsin online degree programs are a great fit for anyone who wants to further their education, whether you’re thinking about starting college for the first time, or working to expand your scope of practice by adding to your with Wisconsin online degrees. 

How Can I Save Money on an Online Degree in Wisconsin?

When you make the choice to earn your degree online, it’s likely that you’re doing so for many reasons. One of the most popular reasons to take online classes is that it can be a cheaper alternative to taking traditional classes in a college classroom. If you want to take your savings to the next level, there are many ways to make the online college experience even less expensive. 

First, consider where you’re taking your class. Choosing a public college rather than a private college can make a world of difference in the cost of your classes. You’ll also want to fill out a Federal Application for Student Aid, or FAFSA. This form will make you eligible for grants, loans, and other forms of federal aid. Just like students taking classes in a traditional setting, you’re eligible for aid. 

Community colleges are also a great option for lowering your overall college cost. Community colleges are regional two-year institutions that provide education for an associate’s degree. Online technical colleges in Wisconsin typically fall into this category. Even if you plan on earning a higher-level degree, you can start your education at online technical colleges in Wisconsin before transferring your credits to a four-year institution. If you choose this option, be sure that you’re aware of the credit transfer requirements at the four-year institution at which you’ll finish your degree. 

Check with your employer to see if they offer tuition reimbursement. Many employers support you getting your degree by offering assistance to offset the cost of tuition. This may be in the form of a lump sum, or it may depend on how many years you’ve worked for the company. Be sure to find out about the terms of this assistance. Some employers require you to work for them for a certain number of years after receiving the aid in order to not have to pay the aid back. Others require that you keep a certain grade point average in order to keep receiving aid. Talk to your employer about your company’s specific requirements for tuition reimbursement. 

Are There Online Public Universities in Wisconsin? 

The state of Wisconsin is known for many things – cheese, the Green Bay Packers, and Les Paul, inventor of the solid-body electric guitar. But Wisconsin deserves recognition as well for one of the premiere public higher education systems in the nation, the University of Wisconsin System. While the UW System may lack the recognition of the University of California or the State University of New York systems, UW is, pound for pound and institution to institution, one of the finest in the world.

With its spread-out population, and a mix of urban and rural regions, the UW system has also emerged as a model for online education. The system is highly organized, with a number of award-winning collaborative online programs, such as the UW System MBA Consortium. Necessity is the mother of invention, and the necessity of providing education to one of the largest student bodies in the nation has made Wisconsin an innovator.

There are many accredited online colleges in Wisconsin that are public universities that offer Wisconsin online college degrees. Wisconsin online college degrees are available from many University of Wisconsin branches. Online public university degree programs are funded by the state of WIsconsin, and are typically much cheaper than private degree programs. When you choose to take classes at accredited online colleges in Wisconsin, you’ll have the opportunity to earn state-funded grants and scholarships, further lowering the overall cose of your tuition. If you’re not sure about how to apply for these programs, talk to your advisor at your school. Just like traditional students who take classes on campus, you have access to all of the resources available to students at the student aid office.

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