University rankings have always been a major part of every college decision, stemming from the days when only twenty universities were in existence. Since this point in time, online education has become a major factor for every type of university, and students now have ranking systems of all types to look at even before applying to a school now. Online university rankings are no different from traditional rankings, although they more actively take into account the degree programs, length of study, and accreditation than most traditional colleges take into account.
Online university rankings typically revolve around schools like the University of Phoenix, Kaplan University, and other traditional universities like DePaul and Liberty. However, ranking systems for online colleges remain vastly different from traditional university ranking systems. Because these systems are so different, we have yet to see the way traditional schools rank against online colleges. However, since many top-ranked traditional schools are now turning to online education, we have more of an insight into the process students take in deciding what courses or degree program to take in an online college.
Schools like Liberty University and DePaul University have been traditional, brick-and-mortar institutes for decades, but have recently decided to implement online education programs in order to attract a new type of student to their programs. This has been greatly beneficial for these schools, many times enrolling more than three times the population of traditional students into their online courses. However, their ranking system remains the same, whether online or traditional because they base the larger portion of their studies on the traditional education system. However, we must ask the question as to whether this is fair for their new students who do not have the luxury of visiting their library or college campus.
The online ranking system is difficult to master, especially when online colleges exist in two forms. We are left to ponder which form to choose from – online or traditional? This is the new question many educators are grappling with to this day, albeit in a different setting. However, as online education has begun to take over much of the industry, we need to pay more attention to the ranking system and the schools that are ranked in the top percentage of online colleges. These are the schools that will begin to attract the majority of students in the coming years and will earn a better reputation than many traditional schools today.