Updated at: 03-04-2023 - By: Eden Wise


Community colleges of the present day have a lot to offer students. Community colleges offer numerous advantages, including low tuition, easy access, and a wide range of student populations. There may be a wider variety of programs available and more scheduling freedom with an online degree.

Associate degrees can be earned online from most community colleges, and typically necessitate 60-70 credits. Some two-year institutions, however, provide “transfer pathways” that enable students to complete the bulk of their general education requirements and begin coursework in their intended major at the institution before transferring to a four-year university. If you decide to continue your education and earn a bachelor’s degree, you’ll find the transition easier because most community colleges have articulation agreements with state universities.

Best Online Community Colleges

Best online community colleges

Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College

ITCC, located in Indiana, provides 17 fully online degree programs in in-demand areas like cyber security, software development, and criminal justice. The free application requires proof of college readiness in the form of a high school GPA, ACT, SAT, or PSAT score, or official college transcripts.

There are five different start terms per year that students can enroll in: January, March, June, August, and October. Once a student is enrolled in a distance learning program, they have access to numerous online resources that help them succeed academically and professionally.

Holmes Community College

Those seeking a degree from Holmes Community College who are interested in nontraditional learning opportunities have many choices. Various areas of study, including medical office technology, paralegal technology, criminal justice, and medical billing and coding, offer online associate’s degree programs.

All high school graduates and GED holders are welcome to apply to this school. Online courses are available to Holmes students through the Mississippi Virtual Community College network, which includes other member institutions as well.

Allen County Community College

Allen County Community College

Iola, Burlingame, and online, Allen Community College in Kansas educates over 2,500 students each semester. The online pharmacy technician/assistant program is one of many associate degree and certificate options available to students. Students at the main campus can supplement their regular course load with one of one hundred available online options.

Any applicant with a high school diploma or GED is welcome to apply to the university. Student services, such as academic advising and help finding a job, are available in full to distance learners.

Lone Star College System

Lone Star College serves over 85,000 students annually through its open enrollment model and numerous campus locations in the north Houston area. Over 30 degrees and certificates, hybrid programs, and individual online classes are available to students at a distance in a wide variety of disciplines, from business and professional services to engineering to health sciences and education.

Fast-track, non-credit programs are available through LSC and prepare students for careers in manufacturing, IT, and other technical fields.

Wake Technical Community College

How do you become our number one ranked company? There are many excellent institutions here, but none can compare to WTCC in terms of breadth of offerings, competitive tuition rates, and high quality of education. To begin, Wake Technical Community College offers an impressive number of online courses (130, to be exact). There’s a wide variety of options here, from a certificate in Baking and Pastry Arts to an Associate of Applied Science in Storage and Virtualization (whatever that is). What do you get when you pile low tuition rates and high retention rates on top of everything else? The top rated virtual community university.

Lake Area Technical Institute

Lake Area Technical Institute

When compared to other online community colleges, Lake Area Technical Institute’s eDegree program is unique. As an online student at LATI, you will complete the majority of your coursework remotely; however, you may be required to visit campus for labs, clinicals, and other in-person experiences. While this may seem like a bother, LATI stresses the value of real-world experience in preparing students for careers in the 21st century. Robotics, precision machining, and electronic systems technology are just a few of the cutting-edge technical areas that many of the school’s eDegrees cover.

Columbus State Community College

We included Columbus State because it has over 60 excellent online degree programs and a retention rate of over 50%. Of course, you can get a degree in any of the standard disciplines, and even some less common ones. Need a digital photography degree? What about a two-year degree in sports administration? Perhaps a degree in GIS would be more appropriate. The resources available at CSCC are extensive. If you want to get your bachelor’s degree from another school, Columbus State makes it easy to transfer. More than a dozen other accredited online universities offer bachelor’s degrees that complement one or more of CSCC’s two-year offerings.

Lincoln Land Community College

Lincoln Land’s innovative approach to distance education is a boon to the school’s many nontraditional students. The faculty at LLCC have designed a distance education system that allows students to maintain a healthy work-life balance while also attending classes. LLCC provides an almost overwhelming number of options for students interested in taking classes solely online. More than a dozen disciplines, ranging from Accounting and Sociology to Applied Computer Science and Speech Communication, offer Associate’s degrees. Certificate programs in network administration and fire service/tactics are just two examples of the career-focused, low-cost online courses offered by LLCC.

American River College

American River College

American River College (ARC) is a public university that has been designated as a Hispanic-serving institution as well as an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institution. Behavioral and social sciences, business and computer sciences, English, fine and applied arts, health and education, humanities, kinesiology and athletics, mathematics, science and engineering, and technical education are just some of the fields covered by the school’s online associate degree and certificate programs.

Canvas is the online course delivery system used by ARC. Many forms of financial aid are available to online students, and for those who need it most, there is the Los Rios Promise Program. Services such as counseling, library help, and tutoring are available through ARC for distance learners.

Prince George’s Community College

Associate degrees and certificates can be earned entirely online at Prince George’s Community College (PGCC), a public institution. Associate degrees can be earned in a variety of fields, including economics, criminal justice, psychology, and business administration as well as the more traditional accounting, business management, and criminal justice. To earn an associate’s degree, students using the Canvas learning platform must accumulate between 66 and 70 credits.

Online students at PGCC may be eligible for grants and loans from the government. Also available to them are mental health counseling, career advising, and tutoring services offered by the institution. The Veterans Services Office at PGCC is a resource for both current military members and those who have served in the past.

North Hennepin Community College

In the fields of accounting, business, computer information systems, and computer science, North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) provides nine online associate degrees, two online transfer pathways, and eighteen online certificates. Associate degrees typically call for 60 credit hours of study, with some programs requiring on-campus study as well. NHCC has articulation agreements with Bemidji State University, Metropolitan State University, and other universities, making them attractive options for students pursuing associate degrees or transfer pathways.

Financial aid, such as one of NHCC’s dozens of scholarships, may be available to distance learners. Prior experience, such as military or volunteer work, may be considered for credit by some enrollees.

Northcentral Technical College         

Associate’s degrees and technical diplomas can be earned in as little as a year and a half at Northcentral Technical College. Northcentral Technical College has over fifty online associate degree, technical diploma, and certificate programs, making it one of the best online community colleges in Wisconsin. Northcentral Technical College’s business administration associate degree programs are recognized by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Northcentral Technical College has several two-year degree programs that have transfer articulation agreements with four-year institutions.

Northcentral Technical College (Northcentral) was established in 1912 as an industrial school and now has locations in Wittenberg, Wausau, Spencer, Medford, Phillips, and Antigo. A little over 6,050 students make up the student body at this school’s urban campus.

Minnesota West Community and Technical College

According to the Aspen Institute, Minnesota West Community & Technical College is among the top 150 best online community colleges in the United States. There are over a dozen associate degree programs available online at Minnesota West Community and Technical College, in addition to a wide range of diploma and certificate options. Credits earned by online students at Minnesota West Community & Technical College can be transferred to any other college in the Minnesota state system. Some of the many academic disciplines represented by available online courses include: accounting, business, science, computers, education, health, pharmacy, nursing, and the liberal arts.

Established in 1997, Minnesota West Community & Technical College (Minnesota West) is a community college with multiple locations serving the southwest region of the state. Its campuses can be found in Redwood Falls, Marshall, and Luverne, among others.

Alexandria Technical & Community College 

The high graduation and job-placement rates at Alexandria Technical & Community College make it a top choice among Minnesota’s online community colleges. Alexandria Technical & Community College provides nearly a dozen online associate (AA or AS) degree programs, many of which provide smooth transfers to four-year institutions. Alexandria Technical & Community College also provides numerous online courses leading to certificates and degrees. Business, health, computer, history, law enforcement, medicine, social work, psychology, and paralegal studies are just some of the many fields available to online students.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) granted initial accreditation to Alexandria Technical & Community College (ATCC) in 1961, making it the state’s oldest two-year college. About half of the school’s 3,900 students are enrolled in both on-campus and online degree programs.


What Is It Like To Pursue Community College Online?

Courses for online degrees are typically taught using Moodle, Canvas, or Blackboard. Online courses offered by community colleges tend to be asynchronous. Teachers can simply upload recordings of class lectures, homework, and class discussions, and students can log in whenever it is most convenient for them to get their work done.

Courses and degrees offered by online community colleges may include synchronous lectures or video discussions between students at prearranged times. Furthermore, many universities now provide hybrid programs that combine traditional classroom instruction with online components.

Are Online College Degrees Taken Seriously?

Institutions of higher education and businesses alike insist that their on-campus and online degree programs offer identical levels of instruction and produce equivalent results for their students. Online students can often access the same professors who teach their face-to-face counterparts, and many distance courses even feature virtual office hours. Students taking classes online can usually make appointments to speak with librarians and academic advisors over the phone or online.

How Do Online Classes Work for Community College?

In order to participate in discussions, submit assignments, and take exams, students in online associate degree programs typically use specialized software or digital platforms. Students can get help with technical issues and find tutors through these platforms. The ultimate goal of online programs is to simulate face-to-face instruction while optimizing the use of available technological tools to maximize learning efficiency.

You will need to communicate with your classmates in many classes. This is done through online forums and discussion groups where students can talk about class material, share their work, and get feedback from their teachers. Your instructor will also use the site to record your grade. You can reach out to your teacher through the course website if you have any concerns or want to talk about your grade.

Examinations for many online community college courses must be taken at an approved testing facility. There, trained professionals will hand you your exam and watch to make sure you finish it in the allotted time and without any outside help. You may be able to take your exams online in some cases, but you may only have a set amount of time to do so.


A good education can be had at a fraction of the cost by enrolling in an online community college. This holds true for degrees that only take two years to complete, such as an associate’s degree or a certificate in a specific field. They are less expensive overall, and students can take them at their own pace and in the comfort of their own homes because they are delivered entirely online.