Home » Opinion » All Jokes Aside: Ohio State ranks first for online undergraduate programs, beats University of Phoenix

All Jokes Aside: Ohio State ranks first for online undergraduate programs, beats University of Phoenix

Students walk across The Oval at Ohio State, which recently had its online undergraduate program ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo Editor

Ohio State is taking pride in a recent ranking from U.S. News and World Report that puts the university as the top Online Bachelor’s Program in the nation. This is an impressive win out of 357 schools and the material makes for a good looking banner on Ohio State’s eLearning homepage.  

Our online classes do not come from the shabby back door of a for-profit institution. This is an Ohio State University degree. Students are held to the same standard, the same degree of excellence and, most importantly, the same price per credit hour.  

A 1.5 credit hour online course that is an alternative for a traditional class costs Ohio students $585. This is justifiably the same price as a class that uses air conditioning and an hour and a half of a professional’s time every week.

Online classes, as a whole, have curious pricing. A credit hour for an online class for an e-learning degree comes out as an overall discount, but a credit hour for an online class for a traditional degree is not discounted or credited.

Ohio State should not overhype online classes.

For example, one Ohio State professor claims that social interaction is even better online than in person.

“I really feel that I get to know the students even better online.” Barbara Jones Warren, professor and director in the Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program, said in a promotional video. “The connection tends to be even deeper online.”

Relationships just work better online. No one would ever know they’ve been catfished if all relationships stayed online. Also, a relationship is easier to end over AIM.

Students do not need real life interactions with their peers to succeed in the real world. Face-to-face in class discussions are fine, but a Carmen discussion post with blank avatars is even better.

Carmen discussion posts also are great practice for real-world situations, like fighting with your uncle about gun control in Facebook comments.

Online supplements have a place in a modern college degree, though. The “flipped classroom” is an effective learning approach when used correctly. In flipped classrooms, students watch online video lectures and follow up with activities, normally considered homework, for class times.

This leads to flipped classes being either fantastic or terrible; a Broadway play or a three-hour, experimental musical by high school students.

College students who are feeling isolated can gain deep, social connections through online classes and also never go to a physical place.

Unlike some perceptions, online courses aren’t destined to be isolated learning experiences,” Rob Griffith, now the associate vice president of distance education with the Office of Distance Educations and eLearning, said in a 2013 Lantern article. “Much like moving out of the information age into the connected age, students are able to experience a rich, socially interactive learning space”

Griffith is right — we are in a transitional period. Rate My Professor comments will soon change from “strict about attendance” to “great webcam.” This is the future of college education.

Online classes are not an overall bad idea, though. An online degree is a great alternative for people who are not in a position to attend college, because of time or finances. An online general education class can make a degree, in four years, possible for a student who wavered on a major. They are a great tool, but should not be seen as a crutch.


  1. I went to the fully-accredited (regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission) for-profit University of Phoenix and I can honestly say I received an exemplary education and it was much better than any education at any not-for-profit state public universities I have attended. The curriculum at the University of Phoenix was meaningful, relevant, rigorous, and applicable. I learned amazing skills and consider myself a scholar who is published and notable in his field. Not all for-profit schools are “bad” and many schools learned their lessons and are changing and adapting to the new rules, for the better! Oh, and let us not start a new form of discrimination where we discriminated against for-profit graduates. These are some of the hardest working Americans I know ! Finally, stop undermining people’s education. I love the University of Phoenix and so do its 1,000,000 alumni. Finally, do not forget that the University of Phoenix educated the non-traditional students and I thank the University of Phoenix! The University of Phoenix filled a demand where “traditional” academia would not. Fyi: loans all paid off!

    • The university of phoenix is a joke a drive thru education that is not even worth the paper the degree is printed on. As a teacher who taught there for more than 10 years, I should know.

      • I have to agree with Peter. I was a student at the university of phoenix and just graduated in business with a 4 point GPA and yet there was not much that I learned that was either relevant to my job or the real business world. It was all about having good attendance, doing all the meaningless assignments by sticking to the rubrics and writing endless pages of papers and countless online discussions and comments. I now have a degree but I do not feel that I have really accomplished anything.

        • I completely disagree with Mr. Svengoolie’s comments that there are many assignments to be completed at the university. I completed my MBA degree last Fall with a 3.8 GPA without attending a single class. I used to sign the roster at the beginning of class and leave (technically this meant I attended the class). Also, I just skimmed though the text before doing the assignments and the final exam, which was a joke. The fact that I could complete an MBA without really studying hard or attending the class lectures says it all. Best of all, my GI Bill paid for my degree.

  2. I looked at the OSU online offerings and am disappointed so I am not sure who ranked this but I would love to see the remainder of the list. I’m steering toward Franklin University.

  3. What is the metric of success that differentiates a for-profit, nonprofit or traditional student? It appears implicit bias outlines the fate of students.

    Does accreditation matter? If so, why do we degrade accredited institutions? https://goo.gl/San5Gr

    It appears there is a hidden caste system linked to a postgraduates success, or we have not acknowledged online education is the future of education.

    • Harold Knutczak

      The quality of education tends to be vastly inferior in online degrees due to inherent limitations with the online learning approach

  4. If you would want to do a Ph.D. on such a program, you should be obsessed with writing. And reading., surely. Do you? I wouldn’t recommend you to do that if you know anything about essay have writing services and used to use it. In a postgraduate and undergraduate program, you should do everything by your own strength. Are you ready? I use the writing resource from time to time, so I wasn’t sure. Maybe it would be better to know more about that.

  5. Harold Knutczak

    I am an Associate Professor at a major US Medical School. Online degrees are a joke. If you are thinking about this, I strongly suggest looking into in-person degree options instead.

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