The 15 best online bachelor's programs

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Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen says that half of American colleges will be bankrupt in 10 to 15 years because low-cost online education will effectively undermine the business models of traditional institutions and run them out of business.

Online education also has the power to dramatically improve the lives of working Americans who have some college experience but have not completed their degrees. According to most recent data from the U.S. Census, 128,345 Americans fit this description and by finishing their degrees online, they could significantly increase their earning potentials and even increase their life expectancies.

U.S. News & World Report assessed nearly 1,500 distance education programs in order to calculate which online programs are the best. U.S. News considered student engagement, student services and technology and faculty credentials in order to form their list.

Check out the 15 best online bachelor's programs:

15. University of Illinois — Chicago

State: Illinois
Score: 88

14. Loyola University Chicago

State: Illinois
Score: 89

12. University of Florida (tied)

State: Florida
Score: 90

12. Western Kentucky University (tied)

State: Kentucky
Score: 90

9. Colorado State University — Global Campus (tied)

State: Colorado
Score: 91

9. University of Oklahoma (tied)

State: Oklahoma
Score: 91

9. West Texas A&M University (tied)

State: Texas
Score: 91

7. Pennsylvania State University — World Campus (tied)

State: Pennsylvania
Score: 92

7. University of North Carolina — Wilmington (tied)

State: North Carolina
Score: 92

Oregon State University Beavers campus in Corvallis, Oregon
Oregon State University | Collegiate Images | Getty Images
Oregon State University Beavers campus in Corvallis, Oregon

6. Oregon State University

State: Oregon
Score: 93

5. Utah State University

State: Utah
Score: 94

4. Arizona State University

State: Arizona
Score: 95

2. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (tied)

State: Florida
Score: 98

2. Temple University (tied)

State: PA
Score: 98

1. Ohio State University — Columbus

State: Ohio
Score: 100

Ohio State University.
Denis Jr. Tangney | E+ | Getty Images
Ohio State University.

Ohio State University topped U.S. News' ranking for the first time ever and earned a perfect score of 100.

Thirteen of the top 15 online programs come from public universities. The only private institutions to make the list are Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Loyola University Chicago. No for-profit colleges cracked the top 15.

"The Best Online Programs rankings offer adults the information needed to identify programs that best suit their life and career goals," says Anita Narayan, managing editor of Education at U.S. News. "The top programs not only demonstrate strong academics but also create learning environments that are particularly well-suited to remote students."

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