The U.S. News & World Report just released their new 2021 Best Online Programs Report. The listing is comprised of 356 schools in three categories: Public, Private, and For Profit. They further paired down the list to one that lists the 96 Best Online Programs for Veterans, but still in the three categories.

6 Best Public Online Four-Year Colleges for Veterans

That is still a lot of schools to go through to find best one for you. The six schools highlighted here are ones that are not only public on the Best Online Programs for Veterans list, but ones that also meet the following methodology:

  • Affordable – While the Post 9/11 GI Bill covers tuition in full at public schools, I wanted to minimize education expenses to non-resident students not covered under the less-than-three-year-discharge rule by only showing schools that offer either the Yellow Ribbon Program or in-state tuition.
  • Accessible – Stable online programs that can be accessed anytime from anywhere in the world.
  • Reputable – Regionally accredited and certified to accept the GI Bill by the VA.
  • Has a significant military student population track record – active-duty, Selected Reserves or veteran.

… and all the schools had to rank in the top half of the U.S. News & World Reports 2021 Best Online Program list.

1. University of Florida

UF was ranked the by the U.S. News & World Report as being the #2 school for having the Best Online Programs for Veterans and #3 overall for having the Best Online Bachelor’s program. Launched in 20-14, UF Online off 25 pathways to a bachelor’s degree. Popular majors with veterans include:

  • Business Administration and Management
  • Fire & Emergency Services
  • Public Relations/Image Management
  • Criminology
  • Psychology

2. Oregon State University

With over 38 online undergraduate programs, this school was awarded the #3 spot in the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Online Programs for Veterans. With their Ecampus program, online military and veteran students have access to the schools military certifying officials as well as advising services designed to work with students with a military background. Majors popular with veterans include:

  • Computer Science/with an additional option of a certificate in cybersecurity
  • Psychology
  • Fisheries and Wildlife Services/with over eight 24-credit specializations available such as Wildlife Biologist or Wildlife Law Enforcement
  • Geography and Geospatial Science
  • Business Administration and Management

3. Arizona State University

ASU Online was recognized by the U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10 best for online bachelor’s programs and for being the most innovative school in America. Online bachelor degree students also have an option to choose a minor that complements their degree major. Some of their more popular majors for veterans, out of the 200 available online, include:

  • Psychology
  • Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
  • Engineering/Engineering Management
  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services
  • Organizational Leadership

4. University of Arizona

Located in sunny Tucson, AZ, this school took the honors of being U.S. News and World Report’s Best Arizona College for Veterans in the National College category and #7 in the Best Online Bachelor’s Program in the Nation. Popular majors for veterans include:

  • Administration of Justice
  • Cyber Operations
  • Intelligence and Information Operations
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Geographic Information Systems Technology

5. CUNY School of Professional Studies

CUNY’s online bachelor’s degree programs was recognized by the U.S. News & World Report as being in the top 2% of online schools in the nation and #6 for Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans. While they do offer undergraduate degrees in 17 different areas, the popular majors for veterans include:

  • Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse
  • Communication and Media
  • Psychology
  • Health Information Management
  • Information Systems

6. Colorado State University – Global Campus

CSU Online focuses on majors that serve the career fields that are in high demand now and projected to remain so well into the future, like:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Cybersecurity
  • Information Technology
  • Project Management
  • Healthcare Administration

Select Data Comparison


Acceptance Rate

Number of Applicants

Graduation Rate

Regional Accreditation

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Remote Learning Gives more Options

Online learning offers military servicemembers and veterans the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree from anywhere in the world. While online degrees used to be looked upon as being secondary to ones earned on campus, that is no longer an issue. As a matter of fact, many schools today offer the same classes online as they do on campus. Be part of the 33% of adults that have a four-year degree and use your Post 9/11 GI Bill to pay for it.



Regional Accreditation Legend:

NWCCU – Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

HLC – Higher Learning Commission

SACS – Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

MSCHEMiddle States Commission on Higher Education

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.