Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns TopOnlineCollege?

TopOnlineCollege is owned by Western Governors University, a regionally accredited, nonprofit institution. To learn more about WGU click here.

Is there a conflict of interest since TopOnlineCollege is owned by WGU?

We work hard to make sure that there is not. When you browse the site, you will notice that we do not rank ourselves at the top of the lists. We follow the NCES data meticulously, and that sometimes means that we will not come out on top. We are ok with that. We want every prospective student to find the best fit for them, even when the best fit for them is not us.

How does TopOnlineCollege rank schools?

Our rankings are created by using an algorithm based on IPEDS and NCES data. This data is published annually.

What kind of resources do you provide for students?

TopOnlineCollege provides program ranking data for college programs, particularly focused towards online schools.

Is there a charge for any of the resources or services you provide?

No. We provide a resource intended towards helping perspective students find the right college for them. In addition, and unlike many ranking pages, we do not sell your information to colleges for a fee. Information provided to institutions is provided as a service to you, the consumer.

Is TopOnlineCollege a nonprofit?

TopOnlineCollege is a non-income driving division of Western Governors University, a non-profit, regionally accredited university.

How often do you update your website's content?

We update content frequently, including adding blogs and other reference material. However, we only update rankings when new data governmental data is available, which is twice a year.

What should I do if I want to advertise on TopOnlineCollege?

We do not accept advertising on TopOnlineCollege at the current time.

How can your rankings help me find a college?

There are many factors that you need to consider when choosing a college. Price, program ranking, location, whether it works with your schedule and more. Each of these factors are important components of the right fit for you. Our goal is to provide unbiased information to help you make your decision.

Are for-profit or non-accredited colleges included in your rankings?

We use governmental data to create our list. We do not remove any schools from the lists based on their for-profit status.

Can I change the information included in my school's write-up in a ranking?

If there are any inaccuracies in your school listing, we are happy to correct them. Send an email to with the name of your college, the page the error is on, along with the corrected information. We will investigate the claim and adjust the listing once it has been proven to be correct. We do not alter information that is correct and accurate.

My school was ranked higher (or lower) on last year's ranking. Why did its position change?

Our rankings are based on governmental data. When changes in the data are present, our rankings are changed accordingly.

Can a college pay to be included on your rankings, or sponsor one?

No. TopOnlineCollege is not a “pay to play” ranking system. Our rankings are based on governmental data, and we do not allow paid placement.