Frequently Asked Questions: Online Colleges in Maryland

Does Maryland have good online colleges and universities?

It depends. At the bachelor’s degree level, Maryland’s online programs are relatively limited compared to the options in other states, and they are not particularly affordable. At the graduate level, by contrast, Maryland is home to some of the top online programs in the country, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. For instance, Johns Hopkins University, one of the most prestigious universities in the country, ranks in the top five nationally for a range of technology and engineering online master’s degrees. University of Maryland holds the No. 1 spot for Online MBA in Marketing and is also ranked highly in other business and engineering online degree programs.

Do online college credits in Maryland cost more than in-person classes?

The answer to this question depends on which college you attend. Some colleges offer discounted rates for online courses regardless of where you live, while others charge an additional fee for online courses to help cover the cost of software licenses, technical support, etc. Most online degree programs in Maryland charge out-of-state and international students more than in-state students. At the community college level, out-of-state students also tend to pay more than in-state students.

Why should you choose Maryland for online higher education?

Maryland’s few online undergraduate programs are not highly ranked nor particularly affordable, so there may be better options in other states. At the graduate level, however, several universities in Maryland offer the strongest programs in the country.

The Cost of Online College in Maryland

How much does an online degree in Maryland cost?

The cost of an online degree in Maryland depends on which institution you attend as well as the type of degree you choose to pursue. For example, undergraduate courses are usually more affordable than graduate degrees. Also, you may find yourself paying more for your degree if you major in a STEM field rather than the humanities.

Regardless of the cost per credit, you should also consider that you may be able to save a lot of money on indirect expenses, such as transportation and housing, by earning your college degree online.

To give you a sense of exactly how much you should expect to pay for your online education, we’ve listed the current rates for earning an online bachelor’s degree in Maryland below:

  • Most affordable online college in Maryland: Stevenson University, $450 per credit
  • Most expensive online college in Maryland: Morgan State University, $629 per credit

Average College Tuition Cost

Source: Education Data Initiative

How long do you have to live in Maryland to get in-state tuition rates?

Maryland requires you to live in the state for 12 consecutive months prior to the term for which you are declaring Maryland residency. In order to qualify for in-state tuition, you must prove that you came to the state for a reason other than education. This requires owning/renting and continuously occupying living quarters in Maryland, having all or most of your personal property in Maryland, paying Maryland income tax on all taxable income, registering your vehicle(s) in Maryland, possessing a valid Maryland driver’s license (if licensed), and being registered to vote in Maryland (if registered).

Who qualifies for reduced tuition costs in Maryland?

Maryland offers several ways to reduce your tuition costs. One is through participation in the Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market, which enables residents of southern states to pay in-state tuition at institutions located in the south. This can end up saving you thousands, even tens of thousands, on your degree.

The state also sponsors the Howard P. Rawlings Educational Assistance (EA) Grant​, which awards need-based aid of up to $3,000 per year to Maryland undergraduates attending an accredited public college or university in the state. Eligibility for the grant is determined based on FAFSA application data, so it’s important to file early and accurately. The FAFSA will also show if you are eligible for Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and other financial aid awards.

College Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Grant Programs in Maryland

In addition to the Academic Common Market and the Howard P. Rawlings EA Grant​, there are a number of other programs available that can help you cover the cost of college. Some of these programs are also based on financial need, while others are awarded based on factors such as demographics or academic merit. We’ve reviewed a few of the most prominent financial aid options for you below:

Central Scholarships

This organization offers more than 80 scholarships and interest-free loans designed to help students focus on what’s important — learning, not tuition. There are scholarships for trade/professional school students, undergraduates, and graduates. Award amounts range from $1,000 to $10,000 or more. The average scholarship award is $4,000.

Who’s eligible? Maryland residents with a minimum 2.8 GPA who attend an accredited college or university in the state and have a family income of $90,000 or less per year.

Contact information: [email protected] | 410-415-5558

Learn more

Jack F. Tolbert Memorial Student Grant Program

This scholarship awards $500 to eligible students attending a private career school in Maryland.

Who’s eligible? Maryland residents enrolled at an approved private career school for at least 18 credit hours per week.

Contact information: [email protected] | 800-974-0203

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AFCEA Washington, DC STEM Scholarships

To promote higher education in the STEM fields of computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and management information systems, this organization awards scholarships to local graduating high school seniors.

Who’s eligible? Residents within the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments who have been accepted to a U.S. accredited college or university in a four-year, full-time STEM curriculum.

Contact information: [email protected] | 703-660-4835

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The Kahdine DaCosta Endowed Scholarship Fund

This foundation awards scholarships of $1,000 per year to students who reflect the qualities of the late Kahdine Ann DaCosta.

Who’s eligible? Students majoring in communications who are first-generation college attendees and/or of Caribbean descent, and who demonstrate financial need and academic excellence.

Contact information: [email protected]

Learn more

5 Fastest Growing Industries in Maryland

If you’re still in the process of assessing your college options, you may also be undecided on your major. When selecting a major, one of the most important factors to consider is your future employability. Thinking about which industries and careers are growing the fastest in Maryland can make it easier to find a job once you graduate, and being in demand should also help you earn a higher salary.

By consulting the U.S. Department of Labor’s Long-Term Occupational Projections 2018–2028, we’ve determined that the following five careers have some of the highest projected growth rates in Maryland:

Physical Therapists

Physical therapists (PTs) help patients restore optimal movement and mobility through exercises, hands-on treatment, and education. They work everywhere from hospitals and nursing homes to schools and private homes. In Maryland, PTs earn an average annual salary of $90,000.

  • Growth: 31%
  • Degree options: Doctor of Physical Therapy

Registered Nurses

Registered nurses (RNs) perform a wide range of health and patient care duties, depending on where they work (hospital, doctor’s office, health clinic, etc.). Maryland expects to add a whopping 13,130 RN jobs over the next decade. RNs in Maryland earn an average salary of $82,660.

​​Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

Market research analysts and marketing specialists use data to understand consumer preferences and tailor a company’s marketing campaigns to what will bring the greatest return on investment. In Maryland, market research analysts and marketing specialists make an average salary of $69,140 per year.

Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) specialize in treating speech impediments and other issues that arise in the mouth and throat area, including chewing and swallowing food. Demand for SLP services is expected to rise greatly in Maryland and across the country, largely due to the aging population and prevalence of health issues such as stroke and Alzheimer’s, which can impair speech and eating skills. In Maryland, SLPs make an average annual salary of $85,850.

  • Projected growth: 32.8%
  • Degree options: Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology

Information Security Analysts

Information security analysts monitor and manage an organization’s computer networks and systems. Specifically, information security analysts keep an organization’s data safe. As cybersecurity and information security become increasingly important in our digital world, security analysts are in high demand. They are also well-compensated, making an average annual salary of $126,110 in Maryland.

Our Research

To determine the best online colleges in Maryland, we looked at public and private institutions. There are large state universities and small colleges on the list — all of which are accredited. Multiple factors were reviewed when choosing schools, including credits needed to graduate and tuition costs.

Regional accreditation is a must when it comes to academic and professional credential recognition. All the colleges on our list are accredited by either the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) or the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Both these accreditors are federally recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and accredit colleges in multiple states based on strict quality standards.

  • 38hours to write this article
  • 73universities and colleges we assessed
  • 121education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Maryland

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