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Nonprofit Online Colleges in Wisconsin

Are you searching for the perfect online degree program in Wisconsin? Often, students are overwhelmed by the amount of choices available. In today’s digital world, almost every school offers online degree programs. To help narrow the search, we’ve ranked the top online schools in Wisconsin. The featured schools are all nonprofit colleges and universities. And they have been selected due to their extensive selection of affordable online programs. 


Online Schools: Wisconsin

Methodology for the Top 15 Nonprofit Online Colleges in Wisconsin

Online Schools: Wisconsin

To find the top 15 online colleges in Wisconsin, we consulted NCES College Navigator. We looked only at four-year accredited schools offering undergraduate and master’s degrees. Then, we created our ranking for the top Wisconsin online universities. Our list is ordered according to affordability. All of the online colleges are public or private nonprofit institutions. 

The tuition listed is based on undergraduate students’ cost per academic year. Online students, non-residents, and those pursuing a graduate degree may have different rates. Be sure to check with each school you’re interested in to determine your net costs. 

Top 15 Best Online Colleges Wisconsin                                             

  School Undergraduate Tuition

Ranking the Best Online Colleges in Wisconsin


distance education programs

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is located in Kenosha, Wisconsin. It is a distinguished institution within the University of Wisconsin System. Established in 1968, it boasts a rich history of academic excellence and community engagement. The school is home to 3,900 students. Its commitment to smaller class sizes promotes an intimate and personalized learning experience. 

U.W.P. is an affordable college. And it is strongly connected to its community. It is a beacon of education and enrichment in the area. A University of Wisconsin online degree gives you access to an accredited four-year university from home. Online students can take degree completion programs. Or, they can earn certificates or degrees entirely online. The online degrees offered by UW-Parkside include:

  • Associate Degree (Arts and Sciences)
  • Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology
  • Master of Arts in Applied Professional Studies
  • Master of Science in Biological Sciences
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Master of Science in Computer and Information Systems
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Master of Science in Health & Wellness
  • Master of Science in Healthcare Administration
  • Master of Science in Information Technology Management
  • Master of Science in Professional Communication
  • Master of Science in Sport Management
  • Master of Science in Sustainable Management

Online graduate certificates offered by UW-Parkside include:

  • Applied Bioinformatics
  • Data Analytics
  • Digital Marketing Analytics
  • Digital Marketing Management
  • Emerging Technology in Fintech
  • Human Resource Management
  • Leading Fintech Transformation
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Senior Living and Services Management
  • Smart City Policy and Civic Partnerships
  • Sport Management Sustainability
  • Sport Communication
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Sustainability and Well-being

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,466 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission 


distance education programs

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is the third-largest university in Wisconsin. This public university was established in 1871 as the Oshkosh State Normal School. Today, it enrolls around 13,705 students. At Oshkosh, students can choose from a range of online learning programs. All are taught by professional faculty and experts.

U.W.O. features several online degrees. These are offered through the Division of Online and Continuing Education. Affordable and flexible choices are provided for lifelong learners of all ages. Most of the online courses are delivered in accelerated, seven-week sessions. Fully online degree programs offered by UW-Oshkosh include: 

  • Associate Degree (Arts and Sciences)
  • Bachelor of Science or Art in Communication Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Services Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science or Art in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Medical Imaging
  • Business Fundamentals Certificate
  • Certificate in Forensic Investigation
  • Professional Communication Certificate

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,795 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


distance education programs

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is a public university. It is an integral part of the University of Wisconsin System. The school’s motto is: “Every Day is a Great Day to be a Pioneer!” It is Located in Platteville, Wisconsin, and was established in 1866. Today, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville enrolls close to 7,000 students.

U.W. Platteville Online offers numerous bachelor’s, master’s, and associate degree programs. They also feature online certificate programs. Most of them are available entirely remotely. This means that online students are not required to visit campus. The university offers the following bachelor’s degree programs:

  • Applied Computing
  • Business Management
  • Criminal Justice
  • Cybersecurity
  • Engineering Physics
  • Finance
  • Human Resource Management
  • Marketing
  • Professional Studies
  • Supply Chain Management

Online Master’s degree programs offered by UW-Platteville include:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Cybersecurity
  • Engineering
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Organizational Change Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Management
  • Structural/Geotechnical Engineering
  • Supply Chain Management

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,862 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


distance education programs

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is a public university located in Whitewater, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1868 as the Whitewater Normal School. It became a member of the University of Wisconsin System in 1971. The school is known for excellence and affordability in numerous publications and rankings. There are 11,079 students enrolled at UW-Whitewater.

The programs at UW-Whitewater Online are designed to work with full schedules. The university offers unlimited possibilities and unequaled flexibility for online learning. The online degree programs allow students to pursue their goals at their speed. The majority of online programs at UW-Whitewater are offered in an asynchronous format. Some of the degrees offered to online students include:

  • Bachelor’s of Accounting
  • Bachelor’s of Applied Arts and Sciences
  • Bachelor’s in Communication – Corporate and Health Communication
  • Bachelor’s in Early Child Care and Education
  • Bachelor’s in Economics
  • Bachelor’s in Finance
  • Bachelor’s in General Business
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science and Applied Technology
  • Master in Applied Kinesiology
  • Master of Science in Business Education
  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Master of Science in Marketing
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate
  • Assistive Technology Certificate
  • Dyslexia and Language-Based Learning Certificate

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,864 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


distance education programs

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a public university founded in 1965. The school is in Green Bay, Wisconsin, but has three additional campuses. For six years in a row, UW-Green Bay was the fastest-growing U.W. campus in the state. It is home to over 9,599 students.

UW-Green Bay prides itself in offering a large number of online degree programs. The school also features several online certificates. Their motto is: “Gain knowledge on your time—where or however you learn best.” While some online programs are in hybrid format, several are 100% online. Fully online undergraduate programs offered by UW-Green Bay include:

  • Accelerated Associate of Arts & Sciences
  • Accounting
  • Business Administration 
  • Communications 
  • Community Health Education
  • Criminal Justice 
  • Finance
  • Health Information Management & Technology
  • Human Resources Management 
  • Humanities Management 
  • Marketing 
  • Nursing
  • Organizational Leadership
  • Organizational Leadership 
  • Political Science
  • Psychology 
  • Public Administration 
  • Sociology & Anthropology 
  • Writing & Applied Arts 

The university also offers several fully online graduate programs, including:

  • Applied Biotechnology 
  • Biodiversity & Conservation Management
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science )
  • Health & Wellness Management
  • Nursing Leadership & Management 
  • Sustainable Management 
  • Applied Bioinformatics
  • Biodiversity & Conservation Science
  • Conservation Data Management & Analysis
  • Conservation, Leadership & Policy Management
  • Data Science
  • Emergency Management
  • Foundations of Biodiversity Conservation & Management
  • Nursing Leadership & Management
  • Nutrition & Integrated Health
  • Sustainability & Wellbeing

Graduate certificates offered at US-Green Bay that are fully online are:

  • Applied Bioinformatics
  • Biodiversity & Conservation Science
  • Conservation Data Management & Analysis
  • Conservation, Leadership & Policy Management
  • Data Science
  • Emergency Management
  • Foundations of Biodiversity Conservation & Management
  • Nursing Leadership & Management
  • Nutrition & Integrated Health
  • Sustainability & Wellbeing

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,873 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


distance education programs

The University of Wisconsin-Superior is a public liberal arts university in Superior, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1893 as the Superior Normal School. US-Superior is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges. It is home to a student body of 2,710.

UW-Superior offers ten online graduate degrees. These can be completed anytime and from anywhere. These degrees carry the same merit as on-campus learning degrees. Online students have access to academic counselors and technological assistance. They also have numerous online tools to assist them with research and writing. The online degree programs available at UW-Superior are: 

  • Master of Science in Education — Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Track
  • Master of Science in Education — Counseling, Marriage and Family Therapy Track
  • Master of Science in Education — Counseling, School Counseling Track
  • Master of Science in Education — Educational Administration
  • Master of Science in Education — Instruction
  • Master of Science in Education — Special Education
  • Education Specialist in Educational Administration — Superintendent/District Administrator

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,167 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


distance education programs

The University of Wisconsin-Steven Point is a renowned public university. It is located in Steven Point and has two additional locations. It was founded in 1894 and was the first in the country to offer a major in environmental protection. Fun fact: It was also one of the first institutions in the U.S. to teach young women “domestic science.” Today, we know this as home economics. The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point boasts a student body of 7,964 students.

UWSP Online provides the flexibility of 100% online study. Online students can take courses on their own schedule. Numerous online degree and certificate programs are offered at UWSP. Graduate degree online programs include:

  • Master of Science in Applied Biotechnology
  • Master of Science in Community and Organizational Leadership
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity
  • Master of Science in Data Science
  • Master of Science in Education
  • Master of Science in Health and Wellness Management
  • Master of Science in Healthcare Administration
  • Master of Science in Information Technology Management
  • Master of Science in Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems
  • Master of Music Education
  • Master of Natural Resources
  • Ed.D. in Educational Sustainability

Undergraduate degree online programs available at U.W. – Stevens Point include:

  • Associate of Arts and Sciences
  • R.N. to B.S.N. Completion
  • Bachelor of Science in Accounting
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Counseling
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Information and Technology

The university also offers some excellent online certificate options. They are:

  • Applied Bioinformatics
  • Data Science
  • Environmental Education and Interpretation 
  • Equity and Inclusion in Education
  • Project Management 
  • Health and Wellness Coaching
  • Trauma and Resilience

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,376 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


distance education programs

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s motto is “Excellence. Our measure, our motto, our goal.” It was established in 1916 and renamed the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1971. The university now enrolls over 10,000 students. UWEC has previously been ranked in the top three in Wisconsin among all colleges and universities by Forbes.

UWEC provides online students with the same quality of education as those on campus. The university offers numerous fully online degrees. They are:

  • Associate of Arts and Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Communication and Leadership in Health Organizations Certificate
  • Director of Special Education and Pupil Services Certificate
  • Master of Public Health
  • Master of Science in Data Science
  • Master’s in Business Administration
  • Master’s in Business Administration – Healthcare Management Emphasis
  • Master’s in Communication Science and Disorders

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,914 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


distance education programs

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse is a public university in Lacrosse, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1909 with the motto “Mens Corpusque.” Today, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse enrolls a student body of 10,274 students. The school boasts an impressive 84% retention rate for bachelor’s degree students.

U.W.L. is constantly improving its online programs. The Online Learning Consortium has acknowledged the school for its online education programs. There are several graduate degree and certificate online programs available at U.W.L. They are:

  • Data Science Certificate
  • Digital Marketing Analytics Certificate
  • Digital Marketing Management Certificate
  • Emerging Technologies in FinTech Certificate
  • Enterprise Infrastructure Certificate
  • I.T. Leadership Certificate
  • I.T. Operations Certificate
  • Leading FinTech Transformation Certificate
  • Senior Living and Services Leadership Certificate
  • K12 Educational Leadership, Reading, and Learning Community Certificates
  • Cybersecurity M.S.
  • Data Science M.S.
  • Healthcare Administration M.S.
  • Information Technology (I.T.) Management M.S.
  • Business Administration M.B.A.
  • Master of Public Health
  • Medical Dosimetry M.S.
  • Recreation Management – Professional Development M.S.
  • School Psychology (M.S.Ed.+Ed.S.)
  • Student Affairs Administration M.S.Ed.
  • IPSE M.S.Ed.
  • Student Affairs Administration and Leadership Ed.D.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,232 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


distance education programs

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is a public institution. It is located in Milwaukee and was established in 1855 as the Wisconsin State Normal School. Today, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee enrolls a student body of 22,676 students.

U.W.M. has long been a pioneer in online education. On an average year, the schools offer over 850 online courses. The same faculty teaches the online courses as the on-campus courses. Students can fulfill their General Education Requirements through a special program. Master’s degrees offered online by UW-Milwaukee include:

  • Adult, Continuing & Higher Education Administration
  • Cultural Foundations of Community Engagement and Education
  • Computer Science
  • Educational Administration & Supervision
  • Health Care Informatics
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Information Science and Technology
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Mathematics Teacher Leadership
  • Social Work
  • Translation & Interpreting

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee also offers several excellent bachelor’s online programs. Some of these include:

  • Applied Computing
  • Architectural Studies
  • Biomedical Sciences, Diagnostic Imaging
  • Biomedical Sciences, Health Sciences
  • Business: General Business
  • Communication
  • Community Engagement and Education
  • History
  • Information Science and Technology
  • Jewish Studies
  • Nursing, Registered Nurse-BSN Completion Program
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Sociology

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,620 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


distance education programs

The University of Wisconsin-Stout is known as Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University. It is located in Menomonie, Wisconsin. It was initially founded in 1891 by James Huff Stout. Today, the University of Wisconsin-Stout enrolls 7,234 students.

U.W.S. is an excellent alternative for those who want an engaging online or hybrid learning experience. Online students are allocated a specialized student support advisor and program director. They also get devoted help in the areas of student billing, financial aid, and the library. U.W.S. offers many bachelor’s degree online programs, including:

  • Automation Leadership
  • Career, Technical Education and Training
  • Cybersecurity
  • Digital Marketing Technology 
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Family and Consumer Sciences Education
  • Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management 
  • Human Development and Family Studies 
  • Individualized Studies
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Management
  • Marketing and Business Education 
  • Psychology 
  • Rehabilitation Services 
  • Special Education
  • Technology Education

Several excellent graduate degrees are also available online at U.W.S. They include:

  • Career and Technical Education Leadership 
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Construction Management
  • Education
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Information and Communication Technologies
  • Manufacturing Engineering
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Risk Control and Safety Management
  • Sustainable Management
  • Technical and Professional Communication
  • Training and Talent Development
  • Conservation Biology

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,663 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission 


online degree programs

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a public research university. It is the flagship of the University of Wisconsin System. It was established with the motto, “The divine within the universe, however manifested, is my light.” U.W.M. was founded in 1848, the same year Wisconsin achieved its statehood. Today, it is the home to a student body of 48,956 students making it the largest university on our list by enrollment. 

The school boasts impressive graduation and retention rates. 94% of the first-time students pursuing bachelor’s degrees continue the following year. And 89% of students at UW-Madison graduate.

UWM-Online gives students the flexibility needed to earn a degree or certificate. And they can do so without sacrificing their jobs or responsibilities. Fully online courses are offered in an asynchronous format. Students can complete their degrees on their schedules. UW-Madison offers fully online undergraduate degrees that include:

  • Business Administration–Human Resources 
  • Business Administration–Management.
  • Business Administration–Marketing 
  • Consumer Finance & Financial Planning 
  • Nursing

Additionally, the university offers several online graduate degrees and certificates. Some of these are:

  • Clinical Nutrition 
  • Consumer Finance & Financial Planning 
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice: Population Health Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice: Systems Leadership & Innovation
  • Educational Psychology: Learning Analytics 
  • Educational Psychology: Professional Educators 
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering: Power Engineering
  • Engine Systems
  • Engineering Management 
  • Engineering: Engineering Data Analytics
  • Engineering: Sustainable Systems Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Foundations of Management Certificate
  • Geographic Information Systems Fundamentals
  • G.I.S. Development 
  • Maintenance and Reliability Management Certificate
  • Personal & professional development certificate
  • Manufacturing Systems Engineering: Manufacturing Engineering
  • Personal & professional development certificate
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Sports Leadership 
  • Technical Leadership

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,796 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


online degree programs

Ottawa University is a private nonprofit university. It’s part of the Ottawa University System. It was established with the motto “Prepare for a Life of Significance.” O.U. was officially opened in 1992. Today, it is home to a small student body in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The school serves just over 120 students and has a student-to-faculty ratio of 2:1.

O.U. offers an impressive number of online degree programs. They are administered in an asynchronous format. This allows students to take classes any time of day. Undergraduate online degrees offered at Ottawa University include but are not limited to:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Accounting 
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration 
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration 
  • Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics 
  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication 
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science 
  • Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood / Special Education 
  • Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
  • Bachelor of Arts in English
  • Bachelor of Science in Finance
  • Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Management 
  • Bachelor of Arts in History
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources 
  • Bachelor of Arts in Human and Social Services
  • Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Management 
  • Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems 
  • Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing 
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology 
  • Bachelor of Science in Public Safety
  • Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education 

Ottawa University also offers some excellent graduate programs entirely online. They include:

  • Education Specialist (E.D.S.) in School Psychology
  • Master in Accountancy 
  • Master in Business Administration 
  • Master of Arts in Counseling 
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Online Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Masters Degree in Education – School Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Education – School Counseling
  • Master of Arts in Education | Elementary Education KS (non-licensure)
  • Master of Arts in Human Resources 
  • Master of Arts in Leadership
  • Master of Science in Addiction Counseling – Substance Abuse Counseling Degree
  • Master in Dual Degree MBA/MAHR

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,976

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


online degree programs

Established in 1890, Viterbo University is a private Roman Catholic university. It is located in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The school was established by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. Today, Viterbo University has a student body of almost 2,500 students. The student-to-faculty ratio at Viterbo is an impressive 12:1.

Viterbo University knows that traditional classes do not match everyone’s schedule. This is why they offer several degree programs 100% online. Students can balance their degree with work, family, and personal life. And they can choose from the following popular online degree programs:

  • Bachelor Completion – Business
  • Bachelor Completion – Education
  • Bachelor Completion – Nursing
  • M.B.A. in Health Care Leadership
  • Graduate Programs in Education – Wisconsin
  • Graduate Programs in Education – Iowa
  • Master of Science in Community Medical Dietetics

Undergraduate Tuition: $31,150 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission


online degree programs

Lakeland University is a private university located in Plymouth, Wisconsin. It was founded in 1862 in close affiliation with the United Church of Christ. Today, Lakeland University is home to a student body of 2,406 students.

LU is a pioneer in providing flexible learning choices. They enable students to balance education with their demanding career and personal life. L.U. has been providing online programs for over 20 years. They were among the first colleges in the United States to provide an entire degree program online. Lakeland offers seven or twelve-week courses. The online bachelor’s degree programs include:

  • Accounting
  • Business Administration
  • Communication
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Education (William R. Kellett School)
  • Food Safety and Quality
  • Hospitality Management
  • Industrial Systems Data Analytics
  • Management Information Systems
  • Marketing
  • Nursing: R.N. to B.S.N. Completion Program

Fully online graduate programs are also available at Lakeland University. Students can choose from:

  • Graduate Certificates (Business)
  • Master of Arts in Counseling
  • Master of Business Administration 
  • Master of Education 
  • Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Development
  • Graduate Certificates (Business)
  • Hospitality Management (Certificate)

Undergraduate Tuition: $31,786 

Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

What is The History of Nonprofit Colleges in Wisconsin?

Online Schools: Wisconsin

Nonprofit colleges in Wisconsin have a rich and storied history that dates back to the early 19th century. These schools have been essential for educating people in Wisconsin and helping the state’s culture and economy. The University of Wisconsin, founded in 1848, is often considered the cornerstone of higher education in the state. The University of Wisconsin, Madison, has become a top research school and a model for public education in the U.S.

In addition to the University of Wisconsin, more schools were established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Marquette University in Milwaukee was established in 1881 by the Society of Jesus. It became well-known for its excellent academic offerings in law, business, and healthcare. Carroll University, founded in 1846, is Wisconsin’s oldest institution of higher education.

Nonprofit colleges have also made significant contributions to the cultural fabric of Wisconsin. The Milwaukee School of Engineering was founded in 1903. It has been a leader in engineering education and innovation. Beloit College was founded in 1846 and is known for its dedication to liberal arts education. It has produced influential alumni in various fields, including politics and literature.

Over time, these nonprofit colleges have expanded and added more programs. This has dramatically helped the state’s workforce. Wisconsin’s commitment to higher education is shown through these essential institutions. They provide education, research, and community engagement. Nonprofit colleges in Wisconsin are vital to the state’s residents and society. They shape the future.


How To Afford an Online College in Wisconsin

The Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) oversees financial aid for Wisconsin’s colleges. It also provides support for the Wisconsin Distance Learning Authorization Board (DLAB). Additionally, Wisconsin is a Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) member. This allows online colleges in Wisconsin to offer high-quality academic programs to out-of-state students.

If you’re wondering how to afford online programs in Wisconsin, there are many resources available. HEAB features a list of grant, scholarship, and loan opportunities. 

The University of Wisconsin system also offers programs to help online learners afford college. For example, they feature the Wisconsin Tuition Promise. This program provides up to four years of tuition for students with family incomes of less than $62,000 annually. UW also publishes a helpful guide to help students navigate the financial aid process. It includes resources such as:

  • Checklists and charts for high school students considering college
  • Budgeting tips
  • A workbook for choosing a UW school that works for you
  • Instructions on how to apply for Federal financial aid and other assistance
  • Tuition calculators

Remember, there are many other scholarship opportunities out there. A college degree is within reach! You aren’t just limited to Wisconsin aid. Check out our article on the top 50 scholarships for online students for more information. 

Why Are Nonprofit Colleges Better?

Online Schools: Wisconsin

Our list of the top 15 Wisconsin online colleges focuses on nonprofit institutions for good reason. Here is why many online learners prefer nonprofit colleges:

Mission and Focus

Nonprofit colleges aim to educate and benefit communities, rather than focus on making money. This can lead to a more substantial commitment to academic quality and student success.


Nonprofit colleges spend money on education, facilities, and resources instead of giving it to owners and shareholders.

Financial Aid

Nonprofit colleges are eligible to administer state and federal financial aid and scholarships. For-profit colleges are not. This allows many more students to afford a high-quality college education. 

Alumni Networks

Nonprofit colleges often have helpful alum networks and connections. Students and graduates can benefit from these programs. They offer job opportunities and help with career advancement.

Research and Innovation

Nonprofit colleges often focus on research and innovation to advance knowledge and technology.

Long-Term Stability

Nonprofit colleges are stable and have a long history, which helps online learners and faculty feel secure.

Why Is Accreditation Important for Online Colleges?

Online Schools: Wisconsin

Accreditation is a vital component in choosing the best online colleges in Wisconsin. Accreditation benefits students in numerous ways. Here is why pursuing accredited online colleges in Wisconsin is vital for your education.

Quality Assurance

Accreditation assesses a school’s standards, teachers, curriculum, facilities, and support services. Online colleges use this process to ensure that the education they provide through digital platforms is high quality. It meets the same standards as traditional, on-campus education.

Transferability of Credits

Accreditation ensures that credits from an online college are accepted by other schools. This is critical for online learners who may want to transfer to another school or pursue further education. There are many online colleges in WI. But if a school isn’t accredited, your credits might not transfer. This results in a considerable waste of time and money. 

Federal Financial Aid

U.S. students can only get federal financial aid like Pell Grants and student loans if they attend an accredited college. Accreditation is a requirement to access these forms of financial assistance at WI online universities.

Employer Recognition

Employers value degrees and credentials from accredited institutions. Today’s employers know the difference between legitimate accredited online degree programs and diploma mills. When you have a degree or certificate from an accredited college, your knowledge meets specific standards. This is crucial when looking for a job or advancing your career.

Quality Improvement

Online colleges that are accredited must have regular evaluations to improve their quality. These evaluations help schools find ways to improve their programs and services, which benefits students.

Accountability and Transparency

Accreditation agencies require colleges to maintain a high level of accountability and transparency. This helps ensure that colleges are honest about their offerings and uphold their promises to students.

Consumer Protection

Accreditation agencies play a role in protecting the interests of students. They look into complaints and concerns, helping to solve problems with education quality and practices. Accrediting agencies also examine online degrees in Wisconsin.

International Recognition

Accreditation can also facilitate international recognition. This makes it easier for students from online colleges to pursue opportunities abroad. It also enables international students to have their credentials recognized in their home countries.

It’s important to note that not all accreditations are equal. Regional accreditation is generally considered more prestigious and widely recognized than national accreditation. When evaluating the accreditation of an online college, it’s vital to check the accrediting agency and its reputation.

What Should I be Looking for in an Online College in Wisconsin?

Online Schools: Wisconsin

When looking at online universities in Wisconsin, there are many factors to consider. These factors go beyond nonprofit status and accreditation. As you know, this decision can greatly affect your education and career. Here is an extended list of things to look for when searching for the best online learning programs.

Academic Programs and Majors

Ensure that the online college offers the academic programs and majors you are interested in. Some institutions may excel in certain areas, so check if they have a strong reputation in your chosen field of study.

Faculty Qualifications

Research the qualifications and experience of the faculty members. Experienced and well-credentialed instructors can significantly enhance the quality of your education.

Class Sizes

Smaller class sizes often lead to better student-to-faculty interaction. Look for WI online colleges that maintain reasonable class sizes, which can enhance your learning experience.

Learning Resources

Assess the availability of digital resources, libraries, and research materials. Access to online libraries, academic journals, and other learning tools is crucial for your academic success.

Technology and Learning Management Systems

Examine the technology infrastructure and the learning management systems (L.M.S.) used. All online online Wisconsin colleges use some form of L.M.S. A user-friendly, reliable L.M.S. is essential for a seamless online learning experience.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Understand the tuition costs, fees, and available financial aid options. Ensure the cost aligns with your budget and explore scholarships, grants, and other financial assistance.

Support Services

Make sure the college helps online students with advising, counseling, and technical support. These services can be invaluable for your success.


Online education is known for its flexibility. However, the level of flexibility can vary between colleges. Consider your schedule and commitments, and find a place that meets your needs.

Student Reviews and Success Stories

To understand their experiences, read reviews and testimonials from current and former students. You can use these success stories to see how well the college helps students.

Internship and Career Opportunities

If you want to improve your career opportunities, find out if the college has connections to industry internships or job placements.

Transfer Credits

Make sure the college accepts transfers and has partnerships with other schools. This will be vital if you want to transfer credits or continue your education later.

Retention and Graduation Rates

Look for student retention and graduation rates statistics. High retention and graduation rates often indicate a supportive learning environment.

Alumni Network

A robust alumni network can be valuable for networking, mentorship, and job opportunities. Research if the college has an active and engaged alumni community.

Cultural Fit

Consider the institution’s mission, values, and culture. Ensure they align with your beliefs and goals to create a positive learning experience.

Accommodations for Special Needs

Check if the college provides the support and accommodations you need for your specific requirements.

Licensure and Certification

If you need a license or certification, ensure the college’s online programs meet the requirements.

International Recognition

International students should search for globally recognized and respected colleges. This can affect their prospects in their home country and abroad.

Remember that what you’re looking for in an online college is unique to your goals and circumstances. Take the time to research and evaluate multiple options to find the institution that best suits your needs and aspirations.

This concludes our ranking of the best online colleges in Wisconsin.