Associate degrees

Best Online Associate Degrees: Our Top Picks for 2022

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Online associate degrees provide learners with a solid academic foundation to build on. These typically two-year degrees include general education and the fundamentals of your chosen major.

Associate programs can also be more affordable and easier to access than license programs. Many schools offer open admissions policies.

Opting for an online associate degree adds another layer of convenience. You will enjoy more flexibility than on-campus programs. Online learning has fewer travel requirements and more scheduling options.

With an associate’s degree, graduates can access entry-level positions and transfer pathways to bachelor’s degree programs.

Here we explore the best associate degrees online.

Top 5 Online Associate Degrees: Quick Facts

Middle School

Program statistics

How many?

Ivy Tech Community College

Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 18%
  • Transfer paths available
  • Free mandatory textbooks

Per credit hour: $149.55 as is

$292.57 out of state

Registration fees: Free

Houston Community College

Houston, TX

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 17%
  • Hybrid programs with 15% to 50% online studies
  • Online Workforce Certificate Programs Available

Per credit hour: $33 in the neighborhood

$121 out of district

$151 out of state

Registration fees: $75

El Paso Community College

El Paso, TX

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 22%
  • Hybrid programs include in-person classes and online work
  • All students undergo an online orientation at the start of each program

Per credit hour: $116 as is

$201 out of state

Registration fees: Not accessible to the public

Cuyahoga Community College District

Cleveland, Ohio

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 28%
  • Blended degrees available with up to 15% in-person learning required
  • Internship opportunities are available in some programs

Per credit hour: $119.54 in the county

$149.08 out of county

$286.19 out of state

Registration fees: Not accessible to the public

Northern Virginia Community College

Annandale, Virginia

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 25%
  • Reciprocal agreements in place for international students
  • Hybrid programs available with up to 50% on campus

Per credit hour: $180.40 as is

$359.65 out of state

Registration fees: Free

How Can I Afford An Associate Degree?

There are many ways to cover the costs of an associate degree, including applying for and qualifying for federal student aid through the FAFSA. Active duty military and National Guard service professionals and their spouses may be able to access military support funding, such as GI Bill benefits. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement programs for employees to further their education as well.

Other options include private loans, scholarships, and grants. You can apply for scholarships from government agencies, schools, and private organizations. We have collected dozens of scholarships on the links below. Be sure to review the requirements of each scholarship before applying.

The Best Online Associate Programs

To determine the best online associate programs, we apply ZDNet’s ranking methodology to our carefully selected lists of schools and programs. We use federally reported and publicly available data from trusted sources.

Unless otherwise stated, data is taken from the Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System and college scorecard. Note that for public colleges, the average annual net price shown is for in-state students.

1. Ivy Tech Community College

Indianapolis, Indiana

About the school: Online Associate Degrees at Ivy Tech Community College start every eight weeks. Some programs offer transfer pathways to bachelor’s degree programs at state institutions.

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 19%
  • Avg. annual net price: $7,669
  • Completion time : two to three years
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Not accessible to the public
  • Minimum MPC: 2.6
  • Registration periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

2. Houston Community College

Houston, TX

About the school: The third largest online community college in the nation, Houston Community College offers online associate degrees with 4, 8, 12, and 16 week online courses.

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 17%
  • Avg. annual net price: $4,813
  • Completion time : Two years
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Not accessible to the public
  • Minimum MPC: Not accessible to the public
  • Registration periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

3. El Paso Community College

El Paso, TX

About the school: El Paso Community College offers online course options for students pursuing associate degrees. The number of courses available online depends on the program.

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 21%
  • Avg. annual net price: $3,848
  • Completion time : Two years
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Not accessible to the public
  • Minimum MPC: Not accessible to the public
  • Registration periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

4. Cuyahoga Community College District

Cleveland, Ohio

About the school: The Cuyahoga Community College District offers 100% online, blended online associate degrees with proctored exams and internship opportunities.

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 28%
  • Avg. annual net price: $4,909
  • Completion time : two to three years
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Not accessible to the public
  • Minimum MPC: Not accessible to the public
  • Registration periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

5. Northern Virginia Community College

Annandale, Virginia

About the school: Northern Virginia Community College enrolls more than 20,000 students each year in its online associate degrees. Online courses vary in duration from 4 to 15 weeks.

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 25%
  • Avg. annual net price: $9,452
  • Completion time : Two years
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Not accessible to the public
  • Minimum MPC: N / A
  • Registration periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

6. Central New Mexico Community College

Albuquerque, New Mexico

About the school: Central New Mexico Community College offers online associate degrees in business, liberal arts, communications, cybersecurity, and criminology.

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 26%
  • Avg. annual net price: $3,322
  • Completion time : One to three years
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Not accessible to the public
  • Minimum MPC: 2.5
  • Registration periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

7. Palo Alto College

San Antonio, TX

About the school: To Palo Alto Collegelearners have access to online associate degrees in applied sciences, arts and education.

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 16%
  • Avg. annual net price: $5,601
  • Completion time : Two years
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Not accessible to the public
  • Minimum MPC: Not accessible to the public
  • Registration periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

8. Copiah-Lincoln Community College

Wesson, MS

About the school: Online Associate Degrees at Copiah-Lincoln Community College are available in the disciplines of humanities, business, social and health sciences, education, and vocational techniques.

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 34%
  • Avg. annual net price: $3,833
  • Completion time : Two years
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Not accessible to the public
  • Minimum MPC: Not accessible to the public
  • Registration periods per year: Three
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous and synchronous

9. Lake District Technical College

Watertown, SD

About the school: Online Associate Degrees at Lake District Technical College feature a hybrid delivery format, which requires students to travel to campus for some coursework and hands-on experiences.

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 71%
  • Avg. annual net price: $13,301
  • Completion time : Two years
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Not accessible to the public
  • Minimum MPC: Not accessible to the public
  • Registration periods per year: Of them
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

10. Eastern Gateway Community College

Steubenville, Ohio

About the school: Eastern Gateway Community College provides online associate degrees in the departments of health, public service, engineering, business, and education. Classes are typically held in eight-week sessions over semesters of 8 to 16 weeks.

  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 20%
  • Avg. annual net price: $2,543
  • Completion time : Two years
  • Avg. SAT range for admitted students: Not accessible to the public
  • Minimum MPC: Not accessible to the public
  • Registration periods per year: Rolling
  • Course delivery method: Asynchronous

In conclusion

The best online associate degrees position graduates to enter many professional fields and academic disciplines. Associate programs offer many of the same disciplines as bachelor’s programs, although the training is more generalized and focused on the fundamentals.

Due to their cost, accessibility, and structure, associate programs are excellent pathways to entry-level careers and continuing education.