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Accredited Online Colleges in Tennessee: What Are the Best Virtual Colleges in Tennessee?

Ajayi Abimbola Samuel - February 21, 2022


Tennessee is home to 83 institutions of higher learning , including public universities, private schools, and community colleges. Through accredited online colleges in Tennessee, students can pursue bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Some colleges also offer grants and scholarships to financially disadvantaged students to support their access to quality education.

So, if you’re looking for an accredited online college in Tennessee, many schools in this state offer online courses and online degree programs . In this article, we’ll talk about some of the best virtual colleges in Tennessee. This will give you an idea of what each school has to offer and how they can meet your learning needs.

Types of Accredited Online Colleges in Tennessee

Accreditation is a status used to describe an institution that has met the quality standard set by the accrediting agency. Schools undergo a quality assurance process for an accreditation agency to determine if they meet strict service and operational standards. The two main types of accreditation they receive are regional accreditation and national accreditation.

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Regionally Accredited Online Colleges

Regional accreditation certifies state-owned and non-profit colleges and universities. In collaboration with the US Department of Education, regional accrediting organizations review and evaluate whether these schools are up to quality standards or not. Regionally accredited schools are known to have higher educational standards than other schools.

Nationally Accredited Online Colleges

National accreditation certifies trade schools, vocational schools, religious institutions, industry certification programs, and career programs. It’s easy to think that national accreditation is more prestigious than regional accreditation. However, the opposite is the case. National accreditation has fewer education requirements and its process is not as standardized as regional accreditation.

Choosing Between Virtual Schools in Tennessee: 3 Factors to Consider

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 35 percent of students took distance education programs in 2019. This shows that online learning started becoming a popular alternative to the conventional on-campus learning experience, even before the pandemic.

Most students prefer online academic programs due to its flexibility, affordable options, and school-life balance. Below are some things you should consider when picking a virtual school in Tennessee.

Accreditation

Prospective students must ensure that the virtual school that they want to sign up for is accredited. This is especially important because your future prospective employers will want to make sure your online degree is from an accredited school. Accredited online schools usually have their accreditation status in the About Us section of their websites.

Experience

Another thing to consider is experience. You want to be sure that your preferred school has proven years of delivering quality online education. Schools that are experimenting with their online programs may not have the expertise to provide quality education, online.

Student Support Resources

A standard virtual school should have highly responsive technical and academic support for online students. You will need easy access to technical support teams who can help you fix any Internet connection or technical issues that may affect your learning. Academic support teams can also provide you with the online student resources that will support your academic program.

Best Online Colleges in Tennessee: Overview

School City Standard Online Tuition (Per Credit) Top Online Programs Accreditation
Austin Peay State University Clarksville In-state: $398
Out-of-state: $629
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies, Master of Science in Healthcare Administration Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (regional)
Bethel University McKenzie In-state: $430
Out-of-state: $430
Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Master of Arts in Theological Studies, Bachelor of Science in Psychology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (regional)
East Tennessee State University Johnson City In-state: $422
Out-of-state: $573
Doctor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Human Services, Bachelor of Science in Sociology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (regional)
Johnson University Knoxville In-state: $450
Out-of-state: $450
Graduate Certificate in Biblical Studies, Associate of Science in Intercultural Studies, Doctor of Leadership Studies Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (regional)
King University Bristol In-state: $305
Out-of-state: $305
Master of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Administration, Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (regional)
Lee University Cleveland In-state: $413
Out-of-state: $413
Associate of Science in Christian Ministry, Master of Science in Marriage and Family Studies, Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (regional)
Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro In-state: $385
Out-of-state: $538
Bachelor of Science in Leisure and Sports Management, Bachelor of Political Science, Master of Science in Aeronautical Science Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (regional)
Tennessee State University Nashville In-state: $358
Out-of-state: $888
Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Information Systems, Bachelor of Science in Health information Management, Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (regional)
Tennessee Technological University Cookeville In-state: $433
Out-of-state: $573
Master of Science in Engineering Management, Master of Professional Studies, Master of Accounting Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (regional)
Union University Jackson In-state: $1,150
Out-of-state: $1,150
Master of Science in Christian Studies, Bachelor of Science in Christian Leadership, Doctor of Education Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (regional)

Top Online Schools in Tennessee: Deep Dive

A man in a grey shirt reading a book and taking online degree completion programs. Accredited Online Colleges In Tennessee
Undergraduate students can choose an online learning option and gain valuable life experience.

Numerous online learning opportunities await undergraduate and graduate students in Tennessee. Students can earn online bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in reputable universities, even if they’re just at home. Below is a detailed description of some of the top online schools in Tennessee.

Austin Peay State University | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College

Austin Peay State University is one of the best online schools in Tennessee. It’s a public university that provides a wide range of online programs at cheaper costs, compared to private institutions. It has numerous degree options including an associate degree program, 25 online bachelor’s degree programs, and 26 online master’s programs.

It also has certificate programs in a wide range of academic studies. Online learners enjoy an ideal learning experience for nontraditional students. As a result, they’re a step closer to achieving their education goals.

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Bethel University | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College

Bethel University provides a high-quality learning platform for students to experience world-class online education in a faith-based school. It offers undergraduate online programs, seminary online programs, and graduate online programs. Students can take online programs in different formats, such as fully online programs, hybrid programs, and fully online programs with on-campus intensives.

East Tennessee State University | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College

The East Tennessee State University’s online programs allow students to receive education on their terms and enjoy a personalized learning experience at any degree level. This school offers online undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees, and certificates in numerous fields. The areas of study include arts, health sciences, business, education, and technology.

Johnson University | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College

Johnson University is one of the best Christian colleges offering online programs to educate students in Christian ministries and a range of other professional disciplines. Students can access high-quality associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs at an affordable tuition. They offer a biblically-based education, which provides opportunities for students to nurture their Christian faith.

King University | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College

King University offers various online degrees in arts, business administration, holistic nursing, social work, and education. It’s a presbyterian-affiliated Christian school that’s well-known for offering private school education at a public school tuition costs. Online learners can also benefit from its financial aid programs.

Lee University | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College

Lee University is a leader in higher education and one of the largest private institutions on the Christian school rankings in Tennessee. It offers a wide range of fully online graduate and undergraduate programs. These programs help you progress in career goals, while giving you a Christ-centered perspective in achieving your educational goals.

Middle Tennessee State University | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College

Middle Tennessee State University offers graduate and undergraduate degree programs in numerous concentrations. It has a wide range of fully online and hybrid courses for students. Online students can also take individual online courses in their preferred field of study. This school is perfect for undergraduate and graduate students looking for flexible learning options.

Tennessee State University | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College

Tennessee State University (TSU) offers online programs to the global community through distance education programs hosted on TSU Global online. Students can explore numerous educational opportunities to help them build job-ready skills and achieve their career goals. They can take fully online courses or choose the hybrid format, depending on their preferences.

Tennessee Technological University | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on College

Tennessee Technological University, also called Tennessee Tech, is one of the top public universities in the state. It’s a great university for enjoying experiential education opportunities in graduate degrees. It offers academic programs in liberal arts, education, social sciences, engineering, nursing, environmental studies, and cyber security. Its online programs provide hands-on experience for distance learners.

Union University | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Union University is one of the top Christian colleges in Tennessee and in the United States. Its distance learning programs provide flexibility. While enrolled in distance education programs, online students can also take on-campus courses that integrate high-quality educational standards and the Christian faith.

Should I Consider Accredited Online Colleges in Tennessee?

Yes, absolutely. If you’re looking to flexibly study in Tennessee and maintain school-life balance, then accredited online colleges are your best option. As an adult student, you can balance your busy life while studying, as this format allows you to earn reputable degrees on your own schedule. Online classes are also cheaper than on-campus learning.

Accredited Online Colleges in Tennessee FAQ

How do I find out if an online college is accredited?

You can easily find if an online college is accredited using a school search on the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs on the US Department of Education website. You can also confirm with the regional accrediting agencies if the school in question is an accredited university. Alternatively, you may contact the university directly to learn about their accreditation.


What are the best accredited universities in Tennessee?

All the options listed in this article have high scores on the school rankings for the best school in Tennessee. Other notable options are the University of Memphis, Trevecca Nazarene University, Cumberland University, Tennessee Wesleyan University, Franklin University, and Lincoln Memorial University.


Do employers consider online degrees?

Yes, they do. A study conducted by Northeastern University reported that 61% of hiring managers believe that online programs have an equal or greater quality to traditional methods. Employers generally are more concerned about the quality of your education than the college degree delivery format.


Is it cheaper to go to college online?

Yes, it is. Online schools are mostly more affordable than traditional college programs. Online students enjoy less-than-average tuition rates. They also benefit from financial aid opportunities and institutional scholarships. They also spend less than on-campus students, as they’re spared from additional expenses, such as transportation and course materials.

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Ajayi Abimbola Samuel

About the author: Ajayi Abimbola is an expert content writer who has written for sites like LocalPrana and Junkar Ninja. He holds a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, where he also studied Java and Python.

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