Online Colleges in Arizona

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Arizona boasts several quality online programs that can meet your career needs. Online degree choices include accounting, engineering management, regulatory science, and hundreds more. The best online colleges in Arizona provide flexibility, allowing you to take courses from home. When combined with the growing number of programs, online education stands out as an attractive choice.

Higher Learning Initiatives in Arizona

Strategic Realignment 2010 Forward

The Arizona Board of Regents proposed an initiative called the Strategic Realignment 2010 Forward to help advance Arizona higher education. Regents hope to increase Arizona State University’s online enrollment to 30,000, up from 3,000; increase Northern Arizona University’s online enrollment to 15,000, up from 7,000; and expand the number of online degree options at every Arizona university, which will help enhance and increase each university’s efficiency and effectiveness.

Tri-University Scholars Portal Project

The Arizona Board of Regents approved more than $1 million to fund an online library for Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona. In doing this, the board helped create the country’s largest electronic library. Online college students can now access an array of scholarly resources, online courses, and online programs. The board helped increase the number of online-accessible educational tools for college students.

Application for Technology-Based Learning and Support

Through the Application for Technology-Based Learning and Support, the board sought approval for $25 million to fund a stronger online delivery component of many of Arizona State University’s educational tools and individual degrees. The university addressed student enrollment increase and faculty decline by implementing more advanced learning tools through online modules. The initiative helped improve the university’s website, collaboration tools, student involvement tools, faculty services, course delivery tools, and online courses. Using schools such as Penn State University, Brigham Young University, and the University of New Mexico, the board demonstrated that a strong online platform remains key to advancing education.

Popular Degrees in Arizona

Aerospace and defense and registered nursing represent some of Arizona’s most popular online programs for many reasons. Both employment sectors are among the state’s top industries. Arizona contains more than 1,200 aerospace and defense companies, while healthcare stands as the state’s No. 1 growth industry.

  • Aerospace Engineering: Arizona’s aerospace and defense industry remains the country’s fourth largest employer market. Aerospace engineers apply their knowledge for spacecraft design and work to improve guidance, control, and propulsion. Aerospace engineering degrees may include specialties in thermodynamics or aerodynamics.
  • Registered Nursing: Individuals who attain a bachelor of science in nursing can specialize in areas such as pediatrics or public health. Graduates often work as nurses or case managers. A BSN creates more career opportunities than an associate degree or diploma.

Paying for College in Arizona

Paying for school remains an important consideration when choosing between a two-year or four-year college. The average college student owes more than $37,000 in student loans. Two-year public colleges in Arizona typically cost less, but students should consider whether their credits will transfer and their degree will meet a four-year college’s prerequisites.

Tuition Prices

Average tuition at the best online colleges in Arizona varies based on the type of school you attend. Keep in mind that tuition costs exclude other expenses and fees, such as books, transportation, and room and board.

Average Price for In-State Tuition and Fees by Institution Type, 2017-18

  Public Two Year Public Four Year
Arizona $2,580 $11,540
U.S. Average $4,234 $9,978

Source: College Board

Employment Outlook in Arizona

With a steadily low unemployment rate, Arizona boasts many job opportunities. The future looks strong as the state expects to add nearly 543,000 jobs by 2026. Arizona continues to outpace U.S. in growth in all but two categories: natural resources and mining and other services. The employment outlook in categories such as education, health services, construction, and finance is especially strong. Given the statistics and the state’s outlook, Arizona’s overall employment landscape remains promising.

Unemployment Rate, November 2018
Arizona 4.7%
United States 3.8%

Source: BLS

Annual Mean Wage, May 2017
Arizona $48,160
United States $50,620

Source: BLS

Accreditation for Colleges in Arizona

Accreditation means colleges offer academic programs that meet a minimum educational standard for students. Two types of accreditation exist: regional and national.

The country contains seven accrediting bodies that accredit colleges in specific regions. The Higher Learning Commission accredits schools in the region that includes Arizona. Students find it easier to transfer credits between regionally accredited schools because they abide by the same standards.

Nationally accredited schools typically exist as for-profit institutions that focus on trade, vocational, and technical programs and training. Regionally accredited schools remain more popular because students can easily transfer credits. Schools with regional accreditation generally do not accept transfer credits from nationally accredited schools.

Accreditation for online programs is the same. Most major universities offer online programs, and the accreditation applies. Ensure that your desired university boasts accreditation by researching accredited online colleges in Arizona in this database.

Scholarships for Arizona Online College Students

To help reduce the expense of attending one of the best online colleges in Arizona, students can explore a range of scholarships. See below for a small sampling of available scholarships and take time to explore the many others available.

Jacques Avent Scholarship

Who Can Apply: African-American students interested in public administration, public affairs, or related studies may pursue this funding. Students must submit an official transcript, personal statements, and two references.
Amount: $5,000

Apply Here

Phoenix Chapter of the Project Management Institute

Who Can Apply: The PMI Phoenix chapter offers a scholarship to students pursuing a degree in project management at the bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral level. Students must submit a transcript, resume, one reference, and a short essay.
Amount: Up to $2,500

Apply Here

Medical Group Management Association

Who Can Apply: MGMA offers scholarships to students in public health, healthcare administration, and other fields associated with medical practice management. Applicants must maintain MGMA membership.
Amount: $2,500-$5,000

Apply Here

Korean American Foundation's Western Regional Chapter Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This funding remains open to high school seniors and college students of Korean heritage who possess financial need and participate in community service or extracurricular activities. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.
Amount: $500-$5,000

Apply Here

Arizona CPA Foundation for Education and Innovation

Who Can Apply: The Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants offers scholarships to students who wish to pursue careers as certified public accountants. Students studying at public and private institutions may apply. The foundation considers whether applicants intend to stay in Arizona.
Amount: $1,250-$2,500

Apply Here

The Arizona Business and Professional Women's Foundation

Who Can Apply: The Arizona BPW offers scholarships to women age 25 and older who are returning to school. Applications must include two recommendation letters, an income tax return, and unofficial transcripts. Recipients must attend at least one BPW event per year.
Amount: $1,500

Apply Here

National Independent Automobile Dealers Association Scholarship

Who Can Apply: NIADA offers scholarships to high school students who demonstrate academic excellence. Applicants must include an essay on the changes in car buying that have affected the automobile industry.
Amount: $3,500

Apply Here

Tall Clubs International Student Scholarships

Who Can Apply: TCI provides scholarships for women taller than 5’10 and men taller than 6’2 who are under age 21 and entering their first year of college. Applicants must request an application via email.
Amount: Up to $1,000

Apply Here

PepsiCo Cesar Chavez Latino Scholarship Fund

Who Can Apply: Students of Latino descent who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership through extracurricular activities and volunteerism may apply. Students must also demonstrate financial need.
Amount: $5,000

Apply Here

Mattie Cowan Scholarship

Who Can Apply: High school graduates who plan to pursue agriculture careers may pursue this funding. Applicants with a background in ranching or agriculture receive preference.
Amount: $1,500

Apply Here

Resources for Students in Arizona

  • Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education: This site provides information on scholarships, grants, and financial aid programs. A helpful FAQ makes it easy to find programs and applications.
  • Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education: This agency regulates more than 200 private postsecondary schools in the state. Students can access an overview of laws, financial aid and records requests, and currently licensed schools.
  • Arizona Board of Regents: The board offers information on the state’s three public institutions: Northern Arizona, Arizona State, and the University of Arizona. Students can obtain information on tuition and fees, programs, and admission.
  • The Arizona College Access Network: This membership organization helps Arizona’s low-income and first-generation students find the necessary resources to succeed in postsecondary education.
  • College Board: This nonprofit connects students to college information, including tips on the SAT and AP exams. Students can also search for scholarships and college planning information.

Online Schools in Arizona

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ


  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Average Net Price: $16,449

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Arizona State University-Tempe

Tempe, AZ


  • Graduation Rate: 58%
  • Average Net Price: $11,436

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Arizona Christian University

Phoenix, AZ


  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Average Net Price: $27,448

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Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, AZ


  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Average Net Price: $14,253

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Ottawa University-Phoenix

Phoenix, AZ


  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Average Net Price: $18,157

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Prescott College

Prescott, AZ


  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Average Net Price: $25,537

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott

Prescott, AZ


  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Average Net Price: $29,542

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