Best Online Colleges in Tennessee for 2022

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Employment of Tennessee’s civilian labor force shows a definite upward rise in employment numbers in recent months. From a low of 3,216.2 million people, the numbers showed a slow, steady increase.

For those students who hope to start school this year or graduate within the next couple of years, this can be a very important metric to keep your eye on. However, it’s also important to know that employment shift up and down within specific industries, as well. For example, the cyber security industry has registered a huge number of openings unfilled each year for nearly a decade.

Other roles that have had plenty of openings recently include those in nursing, retail, and others. If you’re uncertain of what field you are interested in, then you might want to consider figuring out what industries in your state need workers the most. That way, you’ll at least be certain that you can find a position in your field once you graduate.


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Online Higher Education in Tennessee


  • How many students are enrolled in Tennessee and in what format do they take their classes?

    Colleges in Tennessee report that 333,810 students were enrolled in a recent school year. Of this number, 281,923 students were earning undergraduate degrees and 51,887 students were earning graduate degrees in the 2021-2022 academic year. Full-time students numbered 231,984 and graduate students numbered 101,826.

    Looking at enrollment status, 199,290 undergraduate students were enrolled full-time while 82,633 attended part-time. There were 32,694 graduate students that attended full-time and 19,193 graduate students attended part-time.

    Many Tennessee students may have decided to earn online degrees. The numbers for these distance learners show that 89,180 enrolled solely in online courses. Another 106,857 were enrolled in some online programs, but also took some courses in traditional classrooms.

  • Why does the cost of tuition have such a big range?
    With 184 colleges and universities in Tennessee, some of these schools are public and some are private. Each school charges its own tuition rate, and those schools which are public are subsidized by taxes. This allows them to charge a lower tuition rate for any students who live within the state. Private schools, on the other hand, are often more exclusive, which allows them to charge more. But they charge the same amount to students who attend from within or outside the state.
  • What are the-state and out-of-state tuition rates?
    In-state tuition was $6,652 for students who were Tennessee residents and, for out-of-state students, this was $18,048. For graduate students, in-state tuition was $11,050 and, for out-of-state students, this figure was $21,486.

Our School Rankings Methodology


Before choosing a college or university, students and their parents might want to consider school rankings to help them figure out which schools would be the best for them. Our rankings found here are focused on those schools which offer online learning options for students. These may be online colleges or online universities, but more often than not these days, these programs are offered by regular institutions that are looking to expand accessibility, or just to keep up with the trends. For Tennessee students who already have jobs, or those who live in nearby states and aren’t interested in moving, online colleges in Tennessee may be the best option.

Our researchers pull data from various organizations to help determine which schools are the best, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They also find data on government websites related to the Department of Education and make use of private data-gathering sites that can help students know what the average salary of those in specific states or cities might be.

Data such as retention rates and graduation rates can help tell students and their families how well individual colleges and universities are educating their students.

What are the Best Online Associate & Community College Programs in Tennessee?


Student debt has been a hot topic in the news for a while. This is one excellent reason that students should consider attending a community college in their state to start their education. Not only do community colleges offer vocational and starter degrees that can get you into a job for less cost, but they also charge significantly less for credits that can be transferred to another in-state school, which means you can leave school with the bachelor’s you want while spending around a third less. Prospective students planning to earn an associate degree can use rankings to help them choose the best two-year institution before enrolling.

The cost of attendance at a four-year university may make a community college education a necessity. Distance learning may be even more affordable, depending on the student’s degree program. And if the student qualifies for financial aid, that can ease the money pressure even more.

Roane State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
5,172
Graduation Rate
30%
Net Price
$4,721
Grads Salary
$34,706
Volunteer State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
8,832
Graduation Rate
25%
Net Price
$5,839
Grads Salary
$36,435
Motlow State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
6,616
Graduation Rate
32%
Net Price
$8,157
Grads Salary
$34,100
Walters State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
5,742
Graduation Rate
30%
Net Price
$5,000
Grads Salary
$31,441
Northeast State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
5,397
Graduation Rate
31%
Net Price
$6,364
Grads Salary
$31,200
Cleveland State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
3,074
Graduation Rate
28%
Net Price
$7,754
Grads Salary
$32,400
Nashville State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
7,064
Graduation Rate
17%
Net Price
$6,370
Grads Salary
$34,900
Chattanooga State Community College
College Type
2-year, Public
Student Population
7,452
Graduation Rate
21%
Net Price
$6,479
Grads Salary
$33,600
South College
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit
Student Population
5,171
Graduation Rate
30%
Net Price
$11,654
Grads Salary
$32,700
Hussian College-Daymar College Clarksville
College Type
4-year, primarily associate's, Private for-profit
Student Population
655
Graduation Rate
65%
Net Price
$24,011
Grads Salary
$27,700

What are the Best Online Universities & College Programs in Tennessee?


At four-year universities, the cost of tuition and related costs is often one of the biggest factors for students to consider. Other metrics to consider may include student-to-faculty ratio and the graduation rate, though cost is often the biggest concern for many.

Students who opt for distance education may save on some related costs, such as transportation and room and board. Also, if the degree program a student needs is not offered in Tennessee, an adjoining state may offer a bachelor’s degree through online learning. While this may be more expensive due to out-of-state tuition, the cost may still be lower than an on-campus program when you take into consideration all the fees and extra costs associated with attending school on campus.

University of Memphis
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
22,205
Graduation Rate
52%
Net Price
$13,777
Grads Salary
$69,000
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
30,559
Graduation Rate
71%
Net Price
$21,133
Grads Salary
$69,000
Tennessee Technological University
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
10,177
Graduation Rate
57%
Net Price
$16,618
Grads Salary
$70,000
Freed-Hardeman University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
2,188
Graduation Rate
66%
Net Price
$17,350
Grads Salary
$66,000
Middle Tennessee State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
22,080
Graduation Rate
51%
Net Price
$12,265
Grads Salary
$63,000
Trevecca Nazarene University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
3,968
Graduation Rate
56%
Net Price
$16,508
Grads Salary
$66,000
Tennessee Wesleyan University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,116
Graduation Rate
48%
Net Price
$13,183
Grads Salary
$64,000
East Tennessee State University
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
13,713
Graduation Rate
50%
Net Price
$13,661
Grads Salary
$64,000
Christian Brothers University
College Type
4-year, Private not-for-profit
Student Population
1,918
Graduation Rate
57%
Net Price
$17,830
Grads Salary
$64,300
The University of Tennessee-Martin
College Type
4-year, Public
Student Population
7,117
Graduation Rate
54%
Net Price
$11,895
Grads Salary
$56,000
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