Community colleges have long provided an affordable and convenient way for students to achieve their academic and career goals. Today, these two-year schools provide increasingly flexible scheduling options for students, including hybrid and fully online certificate and degree programs. In this ranking, we examine these community colleges and their academic offerings and present our choices for the top 5 best online community colleges for associate’s degrees.
Rating and Ranking Methodology
- Under $10,000—1 point
- Under $7,500—2 points
- Under $5,000—3 points
- Under $2,500—4 points
Number of Online Associate’s Programs
- 5 or more—1 point
- 10 or more—2 points
- 15 or more—3 points
- 20 or more—4 points
- 25 or more—5 points
1 point per feature that “wowed” us
Rating and Ranking the 40 Best Online Community Colleges for Associate’s Degrees
For this ranking, our editors considered nearly 70 different community colleges that offer online associate’s degree programs. To apply the rating and ranking methodology above, we consulted College Navigator for tuition information and visited each school’s website to analyze their associate’s degree offerings. Note that in cases of a tie, the more affordable school was awarded the higher ranking. What follows is our selection of the top 40 best online community colleges for associate’s degrees.
Featured Online Schools
#1 –Pitt Community College
Winterville, North Carolina | Website
Number of Online Associate Degree Programs: 21
Pitt Community College is a top online community college offering fully online degree and certificate options for busy students. Associate degree options include programs like Emergency Medical Science, Healthcare Management Technology, Nuclear Medicine Technology, Office Administration, Industrial Management Technology, Polysomnography, and Early Childhood Education, for example. Students looking for fully online certificate programs will find plenty of options at Pitt, including Advertising and Graphic Design, Information Technology, Healthcare Management Technology, Advanced Medical Coding, MRI Technology, and Medical Office Administration. It is important to note that some of the online degree programs from this particular online community college may require some face-to-face components.
In-State Tuition: $1,930
#2 –Barton County Community College
Great Bend, Kansas | Website
Number of Online Associate Degree Programs: 52
Now one of the best online community colleges in the nation, Barton County Community College has been offering online classes since 1998. Among its many, fully online associate’s degree offerings are AS programs in Economics, Dietary Management, Early Childhood Education, and Pharmacy, AA programs in Political Science and Anthropology and Cultural Studies, and an AAS program in Networking Specialist. A variety of online certificate programs are also available. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges and is also a member of the American Association of Community Colleges.
In-State Tuition: $3,456
#3 –Copiah-Lincoln Community College
Wesson, Mississippi | Website
Number of Online Associate Degree Programs: 33
Copiah-Lincoln Community College is one of the best online community colleges in our ranking in terms of the number of fully online associate’s degree programs available. Students can choose to study subjects such as paralegal studies, kinesiology, psychology, elementary education, international business, accounting technology, and healthcare data technology, for instance. Copiah-Lincoln is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award AA and AAS degrees and is an active member of the American Association of Community Colleges, the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges, and the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Employers. Some programs also carry their own separate accreditation.
In-State Tuition: $3,180
#4 –Central Texas College
Killeen, Texas | Website
Number of Online Associate Degree Programs: 28
Central Texas College is a top online community college accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school’s fully online associate’s degree offerings include programs in Hospitality Management, Computer Science, Child Development, Applied Management, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Homeland Security and Emergency Management among numerous others. Many of these programs feature concentration options for further customization. Fully online certificate options include Criminal Justice Addictions, Emergency Management, Basic Mental Health Professional, Chemical Dependency, and Medical Office Technology.
In-State Tuition: $3,390
#5 –Washtenaw Community College
Ann Arbor, Michigan | Website
Number of Online Associate Degree Programs: 18
Washtenaw Community College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to award online courses and degrees. Students can elect to pursue one of eighteen fully online associate’s degree programs. Some offerings include an AS in Construction Supervision, AAS programs in Retail Management and Supply Chain Management, and an AA program in Business. Online certificate programs are also available in Principles of Cybersecurity, Core Business Skills, C++ Programming, and Computer Software Applications, for instance. Transfer programs are also available for students who wish to eventually pursue a bachelor’s degree program.
In-State Tuition: $3,960