Online Colleges in Missouri

OnlineSchools.org

Missouri has set a Big Goal for its residents in 2014. By 2025, the state wants 60% of its adults to have earned a professional certificate, associate degree, bachelor's degree, or another higher education credential. Missouri has made tremendous strides toward that goal in recent years, with about 50% of its residents completing postsecondary certifications or degrees.

State leaders knew jobs would require a higher level of training than in the past and wanted to ensure its residents would be ready. Below, you will find a ranking of online colleges in Missouri that can help you achieve your own big goals. A college degree can open the door to higher paying jobs or new career paths, and enrolling in an in-state school can connect you with other professionals in your field while saving you thousands of dollars in tuition charges.

Higher Learning Initiatives in Missouri

Missouri Virtual Instruction Program

Founded in 2007 as a virtual school for Missouri students in grades K-12, this self-paced program remains open to public, private, and homeschooled students. MoVIP was launched by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to provide students with opportunities to take advanced classes unavailable at their regular schools. Many MoVIP students also aim to graduate from high school early.

MoVIP features more than 50 courses in all major school subjects, including foreign language courses. Students with early experience in online learning will likely succeed if they pursue online college classes later on.

P-20 Initiatives in Higher Education

The P-20 Initiatives work to connect educational systems for increased student performance and efficiency. The Missouri Department of Education aims to make the transition smoother from elementary and secondary schooling to college. In 2006, the Senate signed a bill into order to create the P-20 Council. This group remains responsible for creating and meeting goals designed to prepare Missourian students for 21st-century careers in the competitive global market.

The council has improved early childhood education by using data systems to measure student performance and teacher excellence, as well as changing the high school curriculum to one that will better prepare students for college.

The University of Missouri High School

Established in 1999 as a supplementary educational tool for primary and secondary students, MU High School exists as a fully accredited online high school that awards diplomas. Students can complete a full load of coursework at MU High School or enroll in a few courses while also attending a traditional high school. Because the school is not a part of the public school district system, students are required to pay a tuition fee for each course.

High school students typically choose MU High School courses to take part in classes not offered at their school. The program features self-paced courses, semester courses, gifted and talented classes, and advanced placement classes. Students can also sign up for dual enrollment, which allows them to earn college credit while still in high school.

Popular Degree Programs in Missouri

Missouri's location in the central portion of the country makes it a popular choice for business and manufacturing. An aging population has sparked an interest in healthcare and social service jobs, as well. More students in Missouri seek degrees in social psychology or business management and administration, the most disproportionately popular major and the most commonly held degree respectively.

  • Business Management and Administration: An associate or bachelor's degree in business administration prepares graduates for entry-level jobs in business, banking, human resources, or marketing. The analytical and problem-solving skills gained in this field prepare students for management positions or continued study in business areas. The versatility of this degree makes it a popular choice nationally, as well. The National Center for Education Statistics also finds the major ranks as the top choice among all undergraduate students, with more than 364,000 degrees conferred in 2014-15.
  • Social Psychology: Social psychology provides a foundation for students interested in clinical- or research-related psychology careers, both of which require advanced degrees. Social psychology specializes in the ways people behave in groups. The subject explores topics of criminal behavior, cultural gender roles, and social learning theory. Business Insider found this major attracted a disproportionate number of students in Missouri compared to its overall population.

Paying for College in Missouri

While college graduates reap the rewards of better and higher paying job opportunities, college attendance costs can still prove intimidating. Students can reduce their financial burden by selecting schools that offer a quality education at a reasonable price. College costs vary significantly depending on if you attend a public, in-state college or a private university. Many schools offer financial planning tools that help students understand tuition costs and factor in possible grant and scholarship assistance, which reduces the real cost of attending the school.

Tuition Prices

The table below highlights the savings online colleges in Missouri offer to in-state students when compared to national averages. These lower tuition costs allow students to achieve their educational goals with less out-of-pocket costs and student debt. Tuition represents only one of the expenses students must anticipate when planning their budgets, however. Be sure to plan for books, software, and technology purchases, as well as travel and living expenses.

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

  Public Two Year Public Four Year
Missouri $3,580 $8,670
U.S. Average $4,234 $9,978

Source: College Board

Employment Outlook in Missouri

The Missouri Department of Economic Development expects the state to add more than 219,000 jobs through 2026, a growth rate of more than 7%. Missouri continues to report strong unemployment rates below the national rate, with a mean wage only slightly below the national mean at $45,520. The state projects more than 20% growth in employment of financial managers through 2026, with 18% growth in employment for computer and information systems managers. Missouri's focus on education has yielded multiple years of positive economic growth, and the state looks forward to increased job opportunities across all industries.

Unemployment rate, August 2018
Missouri 3.1%
United States 3.8%

Source: BLS

Annual Mean Wage, May 2017
Missouri $45,520
United States $50,620

Source: BLS

Accreditation for Colleges in Missouri

The Higher Learning Commission serves as the regional accrediting agency for colleges and universities in Missouri. Formerly known as the North Central Association, the commission covers 19 states and ensures that member schools meet independent quality standards. While accreditation remains voluntary, schools must earn regional or national accreditation before accepting federal financial aid. The regional accrediting agencies remain more popular and widely accepted than the newer, national accreditation organizations.

Students should verify their school's accreditation status since many universities and colleges only accept transfer credits for courses completed at regionally accredited schools, and students who plan to attend graduate school must earn their undergraduate degree from an accredited institution. Accredited schools offering online degrees generally meet the same accreditation requirements as the on-campus programs.

Regional and national accreditation evaluates the overall academic program at a college, including teaching quality, available resources, and institutional effectiveness. Many departments within a university may also seek programmatic or specialized accreditation, such as teacher preparation programs, business degrees, or health science degrees. Some professional licenses or graduate programs may require graduating from an accredited program. Consider your long-term career goals and ensure your chosen school will meet the standards required to work in your field after graduation.

Scholarships for Missouri Online College Students

Missouri students can access a variety of sources for financial aid. The state's department of higher education offers financial assistance to learners attending accredited online colleges in Missouri. Students should also contact local civic organizations, business associations, or nonprofit agencies for scholarship opportunities. The list below includes several opportunities for students who live in the state.

A+ Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Graduates of approved Missouri high schools may apply for this award to pay any tuition left after schools deduct federal and state grants. For consideration, a student must graduate high school with a 2.5 GPA or higher. In addition, they must have achieved 95% attendance and completed 50 or more hours of tutoring or mentoring.
Amount: Varies

Apply Here

Access Missouri

Who Can Apply: The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) administers this needs-based award for students enrolled full-time in an undergraduate degree at a participating college. Students must have an estimated family contribution of $12,000 or less as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Amount: Up to $2,850

Apply Here

Bright Flight Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This merit-based scholarship supports graduates of Missouri high schools attending approved colleges and universities in the state. Applicants must rank in the top 3% of all Missouri students on the ACT or SATs. The state provides a set amount for the scholarship fund. The higher education department may reduce the award amount to meet funding demands.
Amount: Up to $3,000

Apply Here

Minority and Underrepresented Environmental Literacy Program

Who Can Apply: Academically talented minority students seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree in environmental studies may apply for this award from the state. Each applicant must reside in Missouri and possess a 3.0 GPA or higher in high school or 2.5 GPA if enrolled in college. Students can renew the scholarship, provided they continue to meet academic requirements and remain enrolled full time.
Amount: Varies

Apply Here

Marguerite Ross Barnett Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students attending school on a part-time basis may apply for this scholarship offered by the MDHE. Students must attend a participating school and not have previously earned a bachelor's degree.
Amount: Varies

Apply Here

Purdy Emerging Leaders Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Named in honor of Allan Walker Purdy, this merit-based scholarship supports students with academic merit, leadership potential, and character. Undergraduate students may apply and must submit a recommendation from an appropriate individual.
Amount: $2,000-$5,000

Apply Here

Missouri Bankers Foundation Scholarships

Who Can Apply: The foundation awards seven scholarships to support graduating high school students planning to major in banking-related programs in college. Students must demonstrate academic potential and financial need. The application includes two letters of recommendation, resume of activities, and signature of an officer of a member bank.
Amount: $1,000

Apply Here

Missouri Minority Teacher Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Minority residents intending to enter the teaching profession may apply for this scholarship. The state provides $2,000 as a loan matched by a $1,000 scholarship from your school. Students must teach in a Missouri public school for five years or repay the loan plus interest.
Amount: $3,000

Apply Here

Missouri Torchbearers Endowment Scholarships

Who Can Apply: This award, from Epsilon Sigma Alpha's Past Presidents, considers service and leadership, financial need, and academic ability. Each applicant must possess at least a 3.0 GPA for consideration.
Amount: $1,200

Apply Here

Ann & Doug Sickles Memorial Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The Community Foundation of the Ozarks offers this scholarship to students seeking a degree in social science or health-related subject. Each applicant must attend a Missouri school and have a 2.5 GPA or higher. Recipients may reapply, as well.
Amount: $1,000

Apply Here

Resources for Students in Missouri

  • Missouri Department of Higher Education: The department oversees the state's public colleges and universities through policy and budget initiatives while connecting Missouri students to financial aid resources. The site features various resources for parents, students, college professionals, and others. Students can also check that Missouri has approved their school to offer degrees in the state.
  • Missouri's Big Goal: The MDHE launched the Big Goal initiative to increase the number of residents with postsecondary training to 60% by 2025. The site offers links to various programs that support the goal, such as the 15 to Finish program to help students stay on track to timely graduation and the Certified School Strategic Initiative.
  • CORE 42: The 42 college credits identified in CORE 42 ensures students can transfer their general education college credits between public colleges and universities. Courses cover basic knowledge in communication, managing information, and higher-order thinking. The website offers a database of approved courses. All public two-year and four-year higher education institutions have implemented the program.
  • Missouri Connections: This online career development and planning site helps students identify their talents and matches them with potential careers. Students connect with potential employers, learn about the training and education required, and identify potential resources to help fund their education. The site helps students explore what they want to do with their lives and how to make it happen.
  • LifeSmarts: The Missouri DESE developed a curriculum to help middle school and high school students learn about personal finance, consumer rights, technology, health, and safety. The state sponsors competitions for students across the state, with online contests for LifeSmarts, Future Business Leaders of America, and Family Career and Community Leaders of America. The coach resource section offers information and links related to each of the areas.

Online Schools in Missouri

Avila University

Kansas City, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Average Net Price: $19,749

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Calvary University

Kansas City, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Average Net Price: $11,791

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Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies

Fayette, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Average Net Price: $17,797

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Culver-Stockton College

Canton, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Average Net Price: $18,403

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Drury University

Springfield, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Average Net Price: $21,478

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Evangel University

Springfield, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Average Net Price: $21,336

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Fontbonne University

Saint Louis, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Average Net Price: $14,666

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Hannibal-LaGrange University

Hannibal, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Average Net Price: $16,408

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Harris-Stowe State University

Saint Louis, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 8%
  • Average Net Price: $10,961

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Lindenwood University

Saint Charles, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Average Net Price: $21,694

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Logan University

Chesterfield, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Average Net Price: $6,600

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Maryville University of Saint Louis

St. Louis, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Average Net Price: $22,453

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University of Missouri-Columbia

Columbia, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Average Net Price: $16,600

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Missouri State University-Springfield

Springfield, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 55%
  • Average Net Price: $14,585

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Missouri Western State University

Saint Joseph, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 30%
  • Average Net Price: $11,092

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Missouri Baptist University

Saint Louis, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Average Net Price: $17,449

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Missouri Valley College

Marshall, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 25%
  • Average Net Price: $16,478

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Missouri Southern State University

Joplin, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 33%
  • Average Net Price: $91,10

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Northwest Missouri State University

Maryville, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 52%
  • Average Net Price: $10,933

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Ozark Christian College

Joplin, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Average Net Price: $13,803

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Park University

Parkville, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Average Net Price: $9,841

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Southwest Baptist University

Bolivar, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Average Net Price: $16,889

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Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 46%
  • Average Net Price: $12,497

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Saint Louis University

Saint Louis, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Average Net Price: $28,380

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Stephens College

Columbia, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Average Net Price: $23,950

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Saint Louis Christian College

Florissant, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Average Net Price: $13,390

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University of Central Missouri

Warrensburg, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Average Net Price: $15,246

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University of Missouri-Kansas City

Kansas City, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Average Net Price: $19,271

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University of Missouri-St Louis

St. Louis, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Average Net Price: $13,322

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Webster University

Saint Louis, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Average Net Price: $26,434

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William Woods University

Fulton, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Average Net Price: $21,079

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Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO


  • Graduation Rate: 94%
  • Average Net Price: $22,036

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