Unbiased Rankings

Our Methodology

Unbiased Methodology for Degree Programs Ranking

We started ranking The Best Online Programs to provide you, the prospective student, with unbiased information when evaluating your next college degree opportunity. No ranking system is perfect but our goal is to evaluate programs based on what they advertise, how they serve adult learners, and how they are academically structured to serve students studying at a distance.

Over time we hope to advance our methodology to include other parameters.

Our current BSW methodology is based on seven categories; weighted percentages are in [ ]:

  1. Accreditation of the college or university and the accreditation of the academic degree program [20%]
  2. Graduation growth as measured by the number of conferrals over the past five years from publicly available IPEDS data [10%]
  3. Academic degree program can be completed online at full-time status [30%]
  4. Academic degree program can be completed online at part-time status [10%]
  5. Academic degree program is available to any student in the United States [10%]
  6. Academic degree program does not require any on-campus requirements (i.e.the program can be completed 100% online without any visits to campus) [10%]
  7. The published per-credit hour rate of the academic program is within 10% of the mean [10%]

Our current MSW methodology is based on eight categories; weighted percentages are in [ ]:

  1. Accreditation of the college or university and the accreditation of the academic degree program [20%]
  2. Graduation growth as measured by the number of conferrals over the past five years from publicly available IPEDS data [10%]
  3. Academic degree program can be completed online at full-time status [10%]
  4. Academic degree program can be completed online at part-time status [25%]
  5. Academic degree program is available to any student in the United States [10%]
  6. Academic degree program does not require any on-campus requirements (i.e. the program can be completed 100% online without any visits to campus) [10%]
  7. The published per-credit hour rate of the academic program is within 10% of the mean [5%]
  8. Academic degree program offers an Advanced Standing option [10%]

Colleges and universities cannot pay to be ranked by BestOnlineSocialWork.com. Our unbiased ranking is developed prior to informing colleges or universities that they are in our Top 10. Top 10 programs and other colleges and universities may advertise on this site and we are compensated for that advertising.

We are dedicated to providing objective information about higher education. We are focused on helping you achieve your dream of a college education.