Why This Matters


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bachelor’s degree holders earned a median weekly wage of $1,248 in 2019. High school graduates only earned a median weekly wage of $746.


    College Board reports that Tennessee undergraduate students paid an average of $10,380 for in-state tuition and fees for the 2020-21 school year.


    Bachelor’s degree program students — and other undergrads — each received an average of $14,940 in financial aid in 2019-20.

Our Research

We researched a wide variety of online colleges in Tennessee for our best-of list. In addition to liberal arts and Christian colleges, there are state schools and research institutions from which to choose. Some of the criteria we used to rank colleges include graduate cost per credit hour and credits needed to graduate.

The Tennessee online colleges on this list are accredited, which is important for credit and degree transfer and professional recognition of credentials. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accredits the majority of schools on the list using a number of stringent standards. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) is another Tennessee accreditor that uses multiple criteria to determine educational excellence.

  • 49hours to write this article
  • 106universities and colleges we assessed
  • 207education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Colleges in Tennessee

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What You Should Know About Graduating From College in Tennessee

An understanding of the highest-paying Tennessee occupations for bachelor’s degree holders can help you choose the best program for you. Chief executives rank as the highest paid, followed by architectural and engineering managers. Physical scientists, computer and information systems managers, and natural science managers also appear on the top of the list.

When it comes to Tennessee bachelor-level jobs with the most expected openings, general and operations managers come in first. Registered nurses and all managers are second and third. Accountants and auditors also have a high number of projected jobs between 2018 and 2028, along with elementary school teachers except for special education.

Tennessee careers with declining employment for bachelor’s degree holders include insurance underwriters and tax examiners and collectors. Reporters and correspondents can also expect declining numbers between 2018-28. Conservation scientists and buyers and purchasing agents are two more career fields on the decline.

What’s Next?

It’s important to know about the financial aid opportunities that may be available for Tennessee online college students. There are state and federal financial aid resources that can help, as outlined below:

  • Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). Through the THEC, prospective online bachelor’s students can access College Pays TN and information about the TNStars College Savings 529 Program. Learn about state and federal loans, grants, saving programs, and other financial resources.
  • Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The U.S. Department of Education awards billions to students in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and other types of aid. Determine your federal financial aid eligibility at FAFSA4caster or apply by completing the online FAFSA form.
  • CareerOneStop. This website contains comprehensive information about financial aid. Prospective bachelor’s program students in Tennessee can filter opportunities by state and degree level to narrow things down. Find details about application requirements, dollar amounts, and contact information at this government-sponsored resource.