Finding the right nonprofit online college is integral to ensuring the quality of your education experience. While there are many online education options, we believe that nonprofit online colleges offer students the best value for their money. We’ve assembled a list of the largest non profit online colleges below.
Methodology for Largest Non Profit Online Colleges
This ranking is based equally on enrollment data collected from the IPEDS Data Center of NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) and the number of degree and certificate programs offered by the schools. We began with a list of over 100 colleges and universities and narrowed it down to the largest 30 by enrollment and number of online programs.
#1. Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University is one of the fastest-growing non profit online colleges on this list. Located in Manchester, New Hampshire, Southern New Hampshire University currently enrolls over 138,000 students. This massive number of students makes it the largest non-profit university on this list. Southern New Hampshire University offers students a massive selection of academic programs to choose from. Students can enroll in over 200+ degree programs covering all levels of education and all subjects. Southern New Hampshire University offers over 100 online degrees and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
#2. Western Governors University
Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, Western Governors University is one of the largest non-profit universities in the United States. Founded in 1997, Western Governors University was founded by 19 United States governors. This group of governors wanted to create a large university that could serve their citizens online. Western Governors University was also one of the first non profit online colleges to receive accreditation from the NCATE. The school is divided into four different colleges: Business, Information Technology, Teacher Education, and Health Professions. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered across all four colleges. A major focus of Western Governors University is providing flexibility to students who are also working professionals. Western Governors University is a great option among accredited non profit online colleges.
#3. Liberty University
Founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell, Liberty University is one of the largest non-profit colleges in operation. Originally known as the Lynchburg Baptist College, Liberty University was founded in 1971. Over the coming decades, Liberty University would grow massively as it quickly adopted the latest modern trends in higher education. Liberty University students can select from over 450+ programs, over 200 offered to students online. Liberty University also makes sure to offer many of its online programs in accelerated formats to ensure that students can complete their degrees quickly. It is among the best not for profit online schools.
#4. Penn State World Campus
Established in 1855, Pennslyvania State University is the flagship institution in 24 statewide campuses in Pennslyvania. Founded in 1998, Pennsylvania State University World Campus is the online campus of Pennsylvania State University. Interestingly enough, Pennsylvania State University’s history of distance education dates all the way back to 1892, when they were a pioneer in the field of correspondence learning. Today, Pennslyvania State University serves nearly 85,000 students, over half of which are enrolled online. Leveraging decades of experience, Pennsylvania State University has created some of the top online programs for students, and is among the largest online universities.
#5. Arizona State University
Arizona State University is one of the largest public not for profit online schools in the United States. Established in 1885, Arizona State University has grown to be more than just an outstanding higher education institution over the past years. Over the past few decades, Arizona State University has worked to expand its online offerings aggressively. Now, Arizona State University is widely regarded as having some of the highest quality online programs for students to enroll in. Currently, Arizona State University offers over 150 different online programs from which students can enroll in. These programs are offered across the undergraduate and graduate spectrum and a variety of certification programs. Arizona State University is a great option among accredited non profit online colleges.
#6. University of Florida
Located in Gainesville, Florida, the University of Florida is the oldest public university in Florida. The University of Florida is highly lauded, having earned a ranking among the Princeton Review’s best values in public education and the U.S. News and World Report’s list of the top national public non profit online colleges. Choosing to earn a degree at the University of Florida ensures that students will receive a top-notch, highly-regarded education at a fair price. The University of Florida offers an extensive catalog of online degree programs ranging across undergraduate and graduate degree offerings; it is among the best not for profit online schools. The school is divided into 16 different colleges, each specializing in a specific area of study.
#7. University of South Florida
On top of an abandoned World War II airstrip, the University of South Florida was founded in 1956. Now, the University of South Florida is the fourth-largest public university in the state of Florida, and among the best not for profit online schools. Located in Tampa, Florida, the University of South Florida operates many satellite campuses throughout the region. Across these campuses, the University of South Florida enrolls just over 57,000 students, many of which are exclusively enrolled online. The University of South Florida offers many online education programs to its students across the undergraduate and graduate spectrum. Through its Innovative Education program, the University of South Florida allows students to complete a single course or a doctoral program entirely online.
#8. Indiana University
Founded in 1820, Indiana University is the flagship university in the Indiana University system. Located in Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana University is one of eight state campuses. Indiana University also offers a robust online education platform called IU Online. More than 40,000 students are enrolled at Indiana University – many of which are enrolled as online students. Students can study various topics at Indiana University, including Business, Technology, Humanities, Labor Studies, and much more. Indiana University offers undergraduate and graduate programs to its students entirely online.
#9. University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is one of the largest non-profit colleges in the United States. Founded in 1831, the University of Alabama was the state’s first public college. Now the school is one of the top non profit online colleges globally and is consistently ranked atop the best schools rankings as one of the best non-profit online schools. The University of Alabama is broken up into 13 different schools and colleges. Through their Bama by Distance program, the University of Alabama has offered an extensive catalog of academic programs to its students virtually. The University of Alabama is a great option among accredited non profit online colleges. These programs cover both undergraduate and graduate offerings. The University of Alabama has poured many resources into its Bama By Distance program to ensure that it is one of the top distance education platforms.
#10. George Mason University
Located in Fairfax, Virginia – just outside of Washington, D.C. – George Mason University is the state’s largest public university, and one of the best non-profit online schools. Currently enrolling over 38,000 students, George Mason University boasts a highly diverse student population, pulling students from across the globe. George Mason University is divided into 10 different schools and colleges that house the school’s various academic programs. The school offers over 200 different academic programs for students to enroll in, many of which are offered to students online through their online education platform.
#11. University of Southern California
The University of Southern California is one of the top private research universities in the world, as well as one of the best non-profit online schools. Founded in 1880, the University of Southern California is one of the state’s oldest research universities. A leader in online education, the University of Southern California has a storied history with the Internet as one of the earliest nodes on ARPANET, the precursor to the modern Internet. Currently, the school enrolls nearly 48,000 students. Students at the University of Southern California can select from over 100 different academic programs to enroll in. The University of Southern California offers undergraduate, graduate, and certifications to students all online.
#12. Baker College
Located in Flint Township, Baker College is a private nonprofit university with twelve additional campuses across Michigan. An integral part of Michigan’s history, Baker College is home to the Auto/Diesel Institute and the Culinary Insitute of Michigan. Baker College enrolls a student body of over 35,000 students. Students at Baker College can select from 40+ different programs, many of which are offered entirely online through the Baker College Online platform. This platform follows a virtual classroom model where students are assigned groups that mimic a traditional classroom setting. Online degrees offered at Baker College include certifications, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs.
#13. Boston University
Boston University currently enrolls a student body of just under 35,000 students, making it the largest university in the Boston-area. Operating two campuses in Boston, Boston University has been serving the people of Boston, Massachusetts, since 1839. The school was founded by the United Methodist Church and still maintains its affiliation to the church. A total of 300+ different programs of study are offered to students at Boston University. A vast majority of these programs are also offered to students entirely online through the Office of Distance Learning. Boston University is divided into twenty different colleges, each one home to a different academic subject.
#14. Colorado State University
Part of the Colorado State University System, Colorado State University-Global Campus is a fully independent, entirely online university. Growing out of the various distance education programs offered across the Colorado State University System schools, Colorado State University-Global Campus was eventually created to house these online programs. Specializing in online learning, students enrolled at the Colorado State University-Global Campus can choose from over 150 different entirely online programs at this non profit online university. Colorado State University offers students a wide variety of different academic programs to select from, many of which are offered in accelerated formats.
#15. Brigham Young University
Founded in 1888, Brigham Young University was originally known as Ricks College. Established in affiliation with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young University still maintains its connections to the church to this day. Brigham Young University is made up of eight different colleges that house the school’s various academic subjects. The school specializes in what is referred to as a stackable online program. Students can select programs that comprise more than one academic certification. Degrees are offered in a certification, undergraduate, and graduate combination. This allows students to efficiently move through the different levels of education and earn graduate degrees quickly at this non profit online university. Students at Brigham Young University can choose from over 180 academic programs.
#16. Excelsior College
Excelsior College is a distance learning university founded in 1971. Originally opened to help serve the working adults of New York City, Excelsior College soon shifted its focus to online learning and became a non profit online university. By embracing distance education, Excelsior College has provided working professionals with the highest degree of flexibility when it comes to higher learning. Students can earn undergraduate and graduate degrees across the five schools that make up Excelsior College. Still a member of the University of New York System, Excelsior College has been a non-profit and independent university since 1998.
#17. University of Missouri
The only public research university in Missouri, the University of Missouri is the flagship institution of the state. Currently, the University of Missouri offers it is over 30,000 students more than 300 different academic programs to choose from. Many of these programs are also offered to students online through the school’s Mizzou Online distance education platform. The University of Missouri comprises 13 different colleges, each offering programs through the Mizzou online platform. These programs are designed to maintain quality parity with their on-campus counterparts. The University of Missouri is the only doctoral-level institution in the state of Missouri.
#18. Northeastern University
Northeastern University has its roots in alternative learning. Founded as an evening institute, Northeastern University originally catered to the immigrant working class of Boston, Massachusetts. Now, the school has grown to offer campuses not only in Boston but also in Washington and North Carolina. Northeastern University is comprised of nine colleges covering a variety of different academic pursuits. Students at Northeastern University can choose from over 180 different academic programs. Of these undergraduate and graduate degrees, many of them are also offered through Northeastern University’s online education platform.
#19. George Washington University
Named after the United States’ first president, George Washington University is at home in Washington, DC. Operating additional satellite campuses across the state of Virginia, George Washington University comprises ten different colleges and schools, each focused on a particular area of academia. George Washington University currently enrolls a student body of over 27,000 students. Students at George Washington University can select from over 100 different academic programs. George Washington University has also invested a lot of resources into its distance education school GW Online. Their students can find a large selection of online undergraduate and graduate programs. These online programs are meant to match the quality of their on-campus counterparts and are provided via state-of-the-art distance education technologies.
#20. Johns Hopkins University
Located in Baltimore, Maryland, Johns Hopkins University was first founded in 1876. Named after the notable Quaker entrepreneur and abolitionist, Johns Hopkins, Johns Hopkins University has grown into one of the highest-rated and lauded nonprofit online colleges in the country. Landing among the rankings of Forbes and U.S. News & World Report, as well as a variety of other publications, Johns Hopkins University is a storied institution with an incredible reputation. Johns Hopkins University also offers an equally a regarded distance education program. Students at Johns Hopkins University can enroll in over 260 different academic programs, many of which are also offered entirely online.
#21. Drexel University
Among the largest private non profit online universities in the United States, Drexel University is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Drexel University currently operates multiple campuses across the city of Philadelphia and an additional satellite campus in Sacramento, California. They also maintain partnerships with other outside colleges. In 1996, Drexel University launched Drexel Online, their online learning platform. Students at Drexel University can choose from over 150 different academic programs, which are also offered entirely online. Drexel University offers undergraduate, graduate, and certification programs to its students.
#22. National University
National University was founded in La Jolla, California, in 1971. Established by retired US Navy Commander David Chigos, National University was created to help adult learners earn college degrees. Now, National University has grown to be the largest private university in San Diego, with over 45 additional California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Texas, and Virginia, and is one of the largest non profit online universities. National University was early to offer online learning programs for its students; that was twenty years ago. National University now offers over 100 academic programs to its students entirely online. These programs leverage various technologies and media and follow an accelerated format designed to help students earn their degree quickly.
#23. Wilmington University
Known as Wilmington College up until 2007, Wilmington University is located in New Castle, Delaware. Wilmington University is one of the largest nonprofit colleges around, situated just outside of Wilmington, Delaware (for which it is named). Wilmington University offers students over 130 different academic programs to choose from. A large number of those programs are also made available to students entirely online. Wilmington University offers its courses in a seven-week format, allowing for faster degree completion. The school, one of the largest non profit online universities, also offers special tuition pricing to those who have served in the military.
#24. Kansas State University
Founded in 1966, Kansas State University is one of the largest public, nonprofit colleges in Kansas. Today, Kansas State University operates campuses in Manhattan, Olathe, and Salina, Kansas. With its main campus in Manhattan, Kansas, Kansas State University is home to a student body of just shy of 21,000 students. Kansas State University offers students an extensive catalog of over 400 academic programs to choose from. Many of these programs are offered to students entirely online via Kansas State University’s Global Campus initiative; this is certainly among the largest non profit online universities. Programs offered on the Global Campus include undergraduate and graduate degrees. Kansas State University has received institutional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
#25. Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern University is located just outside of Fort Lauderdale in Davie, Florida. Currently, almost 21,000 students are enrolled at Nova Southeastern University, many of whom are enrolled in online courses. Nova Southeastern University comprises 18 smaller colleges and schools that house the various subjects taught at the school. Nova Southeastern University has invested many of its resources into bolstering its online education program. Students can select from a large catalog of undergraduate, graduate, and certification programs offered to students entirely online.
#26. Keiser University
Once a for-profit institution, Keiser University changed courses in 2011 to become a nonprofit university. In doing so, Keiser University became one of the largest nonprofit colleges around. Enrolling just under 20,000 students, Keiser University offers over 100 different academic programs for students to choose from. Keiser University adopted a one class per month format for its online learning. This format allows for a greater deal of engagement with the material while ensuring that students can complete the degree in an accelerated format. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has provided Keiser University with institutional accreditation.
#27. Park University
Founded in 1875, Park University was originally known as Park College. Renamed to Park University in 200, the school is named after George S. Park, who graciously donated the original campus land. Today, Park University has grown to operate 40 campuses across 21 states. Park University has made many of those campuses accessible to the military only as part of their commitment to helping those in the armed services with their higher education needs. Students at Park University can choose from over 80 different academic programs offered at the school. Park University is comprised of 11 different departments, each of which offers programs to students entirely online.
#28. Saint Leo University
The oldest Catholic college in all of Florida, Saint Leo University was founded by Benedictine monks in 1889. Named to honor Pope Leo the Great, Saint Leo University is located in Saint Leo, Florida (also named in honor of Pope Leo the Great). Since 1973, Saint Leo University has proudly offered those in the military access to their academic programs at a greatly reduced rate. Saint Leo University was also one of the first non profit online universities in the nation to begin offering distance learning programs. This early predecessor to online learning has grown into Saint Leo Worldwide – its current online learning platform. Just under 12,000 students are enrolled at Saint Leo University.
#29. Bellevue University
Bellevue University, originally known as Bellevue College, was founded in 1966 and is one of the largest non profit online universities. With locations dotting Bellevue’s city, Bellevue University’s campus is made up of many buildings and locations belonging to the National Register of Historic Places. Bellevue University enrolls just over 10,000 students making it among the largest nonprofit colleges out there. Students at Bellevue University can choose from over 80 different academic programs. Bellevue University has dedicated many resources to its online learning platform. A wide variety of online programs are offered across the undergraduate and graduate spectrum disciplines, including Business, Communication, Graphic Design, Psychology, and more.
#30. Webster University
Founded in 1915, Webster University was originally known as Loretto College. With its main campus in Webster Groves, Missouri, Webster University was named after Secretary of State to Millard Fillmore: Daniel Webster. Outside of its main campus in Webster Groves, Webster University also operates additional campuses in seven countries. Webster University’s academic programs are offered across five schools and colleges. Each school offers various undergraduate and graduate offerings for a total of over 160 academic programs to select from. Webster University offers a wide selection of these programs to students entirely online. The Higher Learning Commission has provided Webster University with institutional accreditation.