MyCollegesandCareers.com ranked Liberty University Online number one in its “Top 10 Best Online Universities” list, compiled by one of the website’s writers Michael Moss.
“I view Liberty University as one of the few online colleges that provide students with a complete education and the feeling of pride and identity that is often overlooked in online education,” Moss said.
Moss formed his list based on the Online Education Database (OEDb) rankings for best online universities from 2009, which places Liberty University in sixth place, according to the OEDb website.
“We were not aware of the ranking until the list came out,” LUO Executive Director of Admissions Steve Peterson said. “It was a pleasant surprise.”
Moss then looked personally at each university in the running to decide on which online university would take the number one spot.
One of the factors Moss first noticed about LUO was the size of its student body, which is currently 46,000, said Peterson.
Peterson said LUO reached its peak last year with 50,000, and the goal for the end of this year is 60,000 students.
“Online degrees have yet to truly gain acceptance in the workforce, so attending schools with a higher number of graduates improves the chances for an online student to network professionally and obtain a job in their chosen field,” Moss said.
Another aspect Moss factored into the choice of LUO for the number one spot was the strong identity that Liberty maintains.
“It is clearly labeled as a Christian school, and that is reflected both in its course offerings and philosophy.” Moss said. “It is difficult for potential students to see the differences between the many online universities out there, and Liberty’s strong self-identity makes Liberty University a clear choice for similar-minded people seeking an online degree.”
Moss was also impressed with the number of masters and doctoral degrees offered at LUO.
“The My Colleges and Careers websites feel that graduate and post-graduate education has great potential for online colleges since they allow students to maintain full-time employment while working on degrees to advance their careers,” Moss said. “Few schools offer online masters and doctoral degrees but Liberty offers masters degrees in business, accounting, nursing and many others.”
Peterson and Executive Director of Enrollment John Donges said the high amount of faculty interaction that LUO offers also helps to place it above the rest.
“The faculty interaction is a sense of investment in the students. Our goal is to have them finish and graduate with us,” Donges said.
Roughly three out of four students finish and graduate from LUO, a statistic high above other online institutions, Donges said.
LUO was also named one of the most military-friendly schools again this year by GI Jobs.
Donges said about one-third of LUO’s enrollees are military students.
“Liberty University takes its students seriously and offers several student services to help you on your way to success,” according to the My Colleges and Careers website. “The faculty and staff are dedicated to helping you from the day you enroll to the day you graduate.”