Top 10 Online Colleges in California: What you need to know


Online Colleges in California: Online Colleges are becoming the need of the hour. Consequently, with the lockdown, society shifted online. This shift gave more credit and focus on online resources. Now coming to education, it inevitably had to be pushed online. Besides, with more online educations, getting a degree has become quite easier and time-efficient. And if you need a degree but can’t move out from home, California is offering you the best of online education. If you’re looking for online institutions, we have a list that might be helpful. And it will surely make your search easier.

Why opt for online colleges in California?

Undoubtedly the largest higher education system in the United States, California is considered a good option for online education. Additionally, they offer a diverse program from online programs at large national research universities to the parochial, private digital classrooms of Christian colleges. You can also find an assortment of programs offering the best online MBA programs to the best online nursing programs. Furthermore, the institutions offer 404 fully online programs. Additionally, many institutions among such are listed in the best online colleges in California. Many of the schools listed in the best online colleges are also listed in the overall ranking of the best colleges in the U.S. With a degree from some of the high esteemed colleges in California, you can easily find yourself working in your dream industry or company.

Top 10 Online Colleges in California

  1. San Diego State University – San Diego, CA
  2. California State University-Chico, CA
  3. Bethesda University – Anaheim, CA
  4. Azusa Pacific University – Azusa, CA
  5. California State University – Fullerton, CA
  6. University of California – Berkeley, CA
  7. National University – La Jolla, CA
  8. Fresno Pacific University – Northridge, CA
  9. California State University – Carson, CA
  10. California Lutheran University – Thousand Oaks, CA

Also read: Best online colleges in Texas, 2021

Tuition, Scholarships, and Financial Aid in California Online Colleges

California students enjoy lower-than-average public, in-state tuition rates. However, out-of-state students at California schools pay slightly higher tuition rates than the national average, as do private school students. Moreover, for a student enrolled in a postsecondary institution, finance becomes somewhat of a hindrance. Higher education requires a significant financial investment. In such a case, students applying for online colleges can take advantage of many financial aid opportunities. There are many aids such as scholarships, grants, and loans. Students can look for scholarships and grants offered by institutions.


California College Cost considerations for online students

When weighing the costs of online education, students should also consider additional expenses beyond tuition. Five of the most common expenses for online colleges in California include –

  1. Technology Fees – This fee covers the cost of technology improvements and 24/7 tech support. While many online programs charge technology fees, some schools charge a flat fee.
  2. Exam Proctoring – It is to be noted that some online programs require students to take exams at a local authorized center. Such exams typically come with a proctoring fee.
  3. Clinical Requirement – If an online program includes an internship or clinical requirement, students may need to pay related expenses, such as transportation and evaluation fees.
  4. Laboratory – If you’re opting for an online course with a lab component, you will be required to go to campus for lab work. This may come with commuting and parking fees.
  5. Graduation Fees – Online students typically have to pay graduation fees even if they do not join the on-campus ceremony.

Online Institutions and the importance of accreditation

The accreditation status of an institution alleviates the quality of a particular institute. Therefore, when you’re researching institutions, always look for their accreditation status. Accreditation expands employment, education, and financial aid opportunities. It also indicates that the institution meets high academic standards.

Best Online Colleges in California

1. San Diego State University

Considered as one of the best online universities in California, SDSU boasts eight entirely online bachelor’s and master’s degrees in areas such as criminal justice and public health. The university also offers hybrid classes and over 20 online certificates. SDSU makes online programs easier by employing a cohort learning model. In such a model a small group of learners takes courses together in lockstep. Other programs use an asynchronous curriculum to provide increased flexibility, and learners can further enrich a program by studying abroad in one of more than two dozen international locations. Students can also sample online learning by registering for a single course. Degree and certificate programs use different application requirements and SDSU accepts GED scores for undergraduate programs. Each scholarship opportunity requires a separate application, and in-state students may qualify for a full-tuition scholarship or grant.

2. California State University – Chico

The university provides five bachelor’s program, a master’s program, and a certificate program. Also, they offer a bachelor’s degree in religious studies, and the school’s master’s in the nursing program allows California nurses working in rural areas to advance their careers and salary potential. The programs use a mix of synchronous and asynchronous courses. Online students need only pick up the phone to access Chico State’s support services, including tutoring and career planning aid. Prospective learners can apply for the spring or fall semester. Applicants should submit materials through the Cal State Apply website, and requirements vary by program. Financial aid opportunities at this top online California University include the Chico President’s Scholarship Program, which awards $7,500 per year for up to four years.

3. Bethesda University – Online Colleges in California

This university offers an online bachelor’s degree in advanced practitioner respiratory care, healthcare administration, health information administration, and radiation sciences. Applicants are expected to submit official academic transcripts and at least three personal recommendation letters.

4. Azusa Pacific University

Azusa is also considered one of the best online universities in California. The university emphasizes traditional academics and Christian education. The school offers nearly three dozen online programs. It includes undergraduate and graduates degrees and credentials. Online users use Canvas to access asynchronous course content. And the university offers software tutorials to help students familiarize themselves with online learning. APU accepts GED scores but prefers undergraduate applicants who possess a minimum 3.0 high school GPA as well as a 19 or higher on the SAT. First-year learners can qualify for a full-tuition scholarship, while transfer degree-seekers can receive up to $21,000 per year in merit-based financial aid.

5. California State University – Fullerton

This university provides three online bachelor’s programs that target prospective learners who already possess an associate degree. The degrees include sociology, business administration, and humanities and social sciences. The courses feature flexible class schedules and confer the same diploma earned by on-campus students. All programs use a three-year cohort learning model and an asynchronous curriculum. Application materials for the university include academic transcripts. Students should submit FAFSA results, and in-state learners can qualify for Cal Grants.

6. University of California – one of top 10 online colleges in California

The university offers a number of online professional certificate programs. It includes paralegal studies, advanced biosciences, and health advocacy. The institution is also affiliated with EdX, which connects students to hundreds of verified and credible courses throughout the world.

7. National University

National University is one of the affordable online colleges in California. The university offers 90 fully online degree programs from associate degrees to doctorates. The school also offers over 50 online master’s degree options. The online program also includes two doctoral programs which are, Doctor for Nurse Anesthesia and a Doctor of Education in Organizational Innovation.

8. Fresno Pacific University

The online programs at FPU targets first-year and transfer students. Furthermore, graduate degree-seekers can choose from six options that lead to in-demand careers. Academic support services ensure that students possess the tools necessary to graduate and find a fulfilling career. Additionally, the university pairs each degree-seeker with an academic coach. These counselors help students identify and develop effective learning methods. FPU charges a pre-credit tuition rate, and institutional scholarships require a separate application.

9. California State University – Dominquez Hills

The university offers online bachelor’s degrees in nursing, applied studies, and quality assurance. However, these degree-completion programs require a significant number of transfer credits. The programs also feature flexible, asynchronous coursework.

10. California Lutheran University

California Lutheran University is devoted to helping students pursue their passions and above all, discover their purpose to ultimately help transform their communities and the world. The institution offers an online program in the MBA Program and the Master of Science in the Management Program.


So, We have mentioned the Top10 Online Colleges in California as per Student Experience. Also, we considered the placement records for declaring these best 10 online colleges in California.

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