Education

2021 Best Education Colleges for Non-Traditional Students

572 Colleges
88,927 Bachelor's Degrees
$26,598 Avg Cost*

Finding the Best Education Schools for Non-Traditional Students

Best Education Colleges for Non-Traditional StudentsWith 88,927 bachelor's degrees handed out in 2018-2019, education is the #10 most popular major in the United States.

This year's Best Education Colleges for Non-Traditional Students ranking analyzed 572 colleges that offered a bachelor's degree in education. This ranking identifies schools with high-quality education programs as well as strong support for students classified as non-traditional.

To come up with these rankings, we looked at factors such as affordability, and overall quality of the education program at the school. Check out our ranking methodology for more information.

More Ways to Rank Education Schools

When choosing the right school for you, it's important to arm yourself with all the facts you can. To that end, we've created a number of major-specific rankings, including this Best Education Schools for Non-Traditional Students list to help you make the college decision.

In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.

2021 Best Education Schools for Non-Traditional Students in the United States

The following schools top our list of the Best Education Colleges for Non-Traditional Students.

Top 25 Education Schools for Non-Traditional Students

#1

Valley City State University

Valley City, ND

Valley City State University tops the 2021 list of our schools in the United States that are best for non-traditional education students. Valley City State University is a small public school located in the town of Valley City. Valley City State University also made our Best Colleges for Education list, coming in at #3.

The student loan default rate at Valley City State University is lower than is typical, just 7.4% of students default in three years. 738 students at Valley City State University are exclusively online. About 675 of the students at Valley City State University are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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The College of New Jersey comes in at #2 in this year's ranking. TCNJ is a medium-sized public school located in the suburb of Ewing. TCNJ not only placed well in our non-traditional rankings. It is also #1 on our Best Colleges for Education list.

About 2.4% of TCNJ students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 306 students at TCNJ that take at least one class online. 693 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Athens State University earned the #3 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the fringe town of Athens, Athens State University is a public college with a small student population.

The student loan default rate at Athens State University is lower than is typical, just 7.5% of students default in three years. 2,049 of Athens State University students are exclusively distance learners. 1,815 of Athens State University students are attending part time. Athens State University does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#4

Towson University

Towson, MD

The #4 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Towson University. Located in the small city of Towson, Towson is a public school with a very large student population. Towson not only placed well in our non-traditional rankings. It is also #9 on our Best Colleges for Education list.

The student loan default rate at Towson is lower than is typical, just 3.5% of students default in three years. There are approximately 3,895 students at Towson that take at least one class online. About 4,538 of the students at Towson are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Our rankings recognize Concordia University, Nebraska as the #5 school in this year's rankings. Located in the town of Seward, Concordia University, Nebraska is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Concordia University, Nebraska is in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Education list.

About 5.1% of Concordia University, Nebraska students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 467 of Concordia University, Nebraska students are exclusively distance learners. There are roughly 687 part time students in attendance at Concordia University, Nebraska. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#6

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, UT

The #6 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Western Governors University. Located in the large suburb of Salt Lake City, WGU is a private not-for-profit college with a very large student population.

About 4.2% of WGU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 121,437 students at WGU and they are all exclusively distance learners. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#7

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

University of Florida earned the #7 spot in our 2021 rankings. UF is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Gainesville. UF also made our Best Colleges for Education list, coming in at #4.

The student loan default rate at UF is lower than is typical, just 1.5% of students default in three years. Approximately 21,513 students take at least one class online at UF. 8,083 students are part time. UF does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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Our rankings recognize University of Nevada - Las Vegas as the #8 school in this year's rankings. UNLV is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of Las Vegas. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UNLV also is in the top 5% of our Best Colleges for Education ranking.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 6.5%. Approximately 11,188 students take at least one class online at UNLV. 8,916 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Pennsylvania State University - University Park landed the #9 spot in our 2021 best education schools for non-traditional students. Located in the city of University Park, Penn State University Park is a public college with a fairly large student population. Penn State University Park not only placed well in our non-traditional rankings. It is also #5 on our Best Colleges for Education list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 4.9%. There are approximately 13,255 students at Penn State University Park that take at least one class online. About 1,670 of the students at Penn State University Park are attending part time. Penn State University Park does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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The #10 spot in this year's ranking belongs to University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Located in the large city of Minneapolis, UMN Twin Cities is a public college with a fairly large student population. UMN Twin Cities also made our Best Colleges for Education list, coming in at #7.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.2%. There are approximately 13,571 students at UMN Twin Cities that take at least one class online. 10,971 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#11

Wayne State College

Wayne, NE

Wayne State College comes in at #11 in this year's ranking. Located in the town of Wayne, WSC is a public school with a small student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, WSC is in the top 20% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Education list.

The student loan default rate at WSC is lower than is typical, just 7.5% of students default in three years. Approximately 562 students take at least one class online at WSC. 900 students are part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#12

Chadron State College

Chadron, NE

Chadron State College landed the #12 spot in our 2021 best education schools for non-traditional students. Located in the remote town of Chadron, Chadron State College is a public school with a small student population.

The student loan default rate at Chadron State College is lower than is typical, just 7.6% of students default in three years. 1,114 students at Chadron State College are exclusively online. 850 of Chadron State College students are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#13

Missouri Baptist University

Saint Louis, MO

The #13 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Missouri Baptist University. MBU is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Saint Louis.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 6.9%. There are approximately 1,103 students at MBU that take at least one class online. About 3,684 of the students at MBU are attending part time. MBU does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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University of Central Florida comes in at #14 in this year's ranking. Located in the suburb of Orlando, UCF is a public college with a very large student population. UCF excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Education list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 2.4%. Approximately 29,001 students take at least one class online at UCF. 21,900 of UCF students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#15

Kean University

Union, NJ

Kean University earned the #15 spot in our 2021 rankings. Kean is a fairly large public school located in the large suburb of Union.

About 6.9% of Kean students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 826 students take at least one class online at Kean. There are roughly 3,382 part time students in attendance at Kean. Kean does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#16

Central Washington University

Ellensburg, WA

Central Washington University landed the #16 spot in our 2021 best education schools for non-traditional students. Located in the distant town of Ellensburg, CWU is a public college with a fairly large student population. CWU excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 15% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Education list.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 5.8%. There are approximately 7,872 students at CWU that take at least one class online. About 1,774 of the students at CWU are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Illinois State University landed the #17 spot in our 2021 best education schools for non-traditional students. Located in the medium-sized suburb of Normal, Illinois State is a public school with a fairly large student population. In addition to being on our bet for non-traditional students list, Illinois State is in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Education list.

The student loan default rate at Illinois State is lower than is typical, just 3.9% of students default in three years. There are approximately 3,895 students at Illinois State that take at least one class online. 2,428 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Our rankings recognize University of Nebraska at Kearney as the #18 school in this year's rankings. Located in the town of Kearney, UNK is a public college with a medium-sized student population. UNK excels when it comes to major quality. It's ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our Best Colleges for Education list.

The student loan default rate at UNK is lower than is typical, just 4.6% of students default in three years. 1,997 students at UNK are exclusively online. 2,115 of UNK students are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Our rankings recognize Black Hills State University as the #19 school in this year's rankings. Located in the distant town of Spearfish, BHSU is a public college with a small student population.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 8.2%. 1,106 students at BHSU are exclusively online. There are roughly 1,973 part time students in attendance at BHSU. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#20

Rider University

Lawrenceville, NJ

Rider University earned the #20 spot in our 2021 rankings. Rider is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Lawrenceville. Rider also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Education list. It's in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 4.3%. Approximately 813 students take at least one class online at Rider. 986 of Rider students are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#21

Mayville State University

Mayville, ND

Mayville State University earned the #21 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the remote area of Mayville, Mayville State University is a public school with a small student population.

640 of Mayville State University students are exclusively distance learners. About 571 of the students at Mayville State University are attending part time. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#22

Trinity Christian College

Palos Heights, IL

Trinity Christian College earned the #22 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the suburb of Palos Heights, Trinity Christian is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. Trinity Christian also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Education list. It's in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

About 4.9% of Trinity Christian students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 172 students take at least one class online at Trinity Christian. 187 of Trinity Christian students are attending part time.

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#23

Concordia University, Chicago

River Forest, IL

Concordia University, Chicago earned the #23 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the large suburb of River Forest, Concordia University, Chicago is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 4.6%. 3,437 of Concordia University, Chicago students are exclusively distance learners. About 4,292 of the students at Concordia University, Chicago are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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#24

Lee University

Cleveland, TN

Lee University landed the #24 spot in our 2021 best education schools for non-traditional students. Lee University is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Cleveland. On top of its placing in our non-traditional rankings, Lee University also did well on our Best Colleges for Education list. It's in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in that analysis.

About 8.2% of Lee University students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 540 of Lee University students are exclusively distance learners. 1,411 of Lee University students are attending part time.

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#25

SUNY Cortland

Cortland, NY

The #25 spot in this year's ranking belongs to SUNY Cortland. Located in the town of Cortland, SUNY Cortland is a public school with a medium-sized student population. SUNY Cortland also claimed a spot on our Best Colleges for Education list. It's in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

About 3.5% of SUNY Cortland students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 599 students take at least one class online at SUNY Cortland. About 467 of the students at SUNY Cortland are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Rest of the Top 50 Schools for Best Education Colleges for Non-Traditional Students

#27

SUNY Geneseo

Geneseo, NY
#28

Northern State University

Aberdeen, SD
#29

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN
#30

Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, FL
#32

Winona State University

Winona, MN

#34

Emporia State University

Emporia, KS
#35

Ashland University

Ashland, OH
#36

Western Washington University

Bellingham, WA
#37

Morningside College

Sioux City, IA
#41

Ball State University

Muncie, IN

#42

University of Delaware

Newark, DE

#43

Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL
#44

University of Central Missouri

Warrensburg, MO
#47

Utah State University

Logan, UT
#49

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY
#50

Bridgewater State University

Bridgewater, MA

Additional Award Winners

This section shows the remainder of the schools awarded a Best Education Colleges for Non-Traditional Students badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 572 different United States education schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
52 Eastern Washington University Cheney, WA
53 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC
54 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
55 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
56 Saint Cloud State University Saint Cloud, MN
57 National Louis University Chicago, IL
58 University of Northern Colorado Greeley, CO
59 William Paterson University of New Jersey Wayne, NJ
60 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, AZ
61 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
62 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
63 Grand Canyon University Phoenix, AZ
64 Bethel University Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
65 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI
66 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
67 University of Hawaii at Manoa Honolulu, HI
68 University of South Dakota Vermillion, SD
69 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
70 Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, AL
71 Mississippi State University Mississippi State, MS
72 Minnesota State University - Moorhead Moorhead, MN
73 Northeastern Illinois University Chicago, IL
74 University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL
75 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
76 University of Nebraska at Omaha Omaha, NE
77 University of Sioux Falls Sioux Falls, SD
78 Auburn University Auburn, AL
79 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
80 Salisbury University Salisbury, MD
81 Pittsburg State University Pittsburg, KS
82 DePaul University Chicago, IL
83 Harding University Searcy, AR
84 SUNY Potsdam Potsdam, NY
85 University of Nevada - Reno Reno, NV

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for non-traditional students studying Education that almost earned our Best Education Colleges for Non-Traditional Students award.

Rank College Location
86 Eastern Illinois University Charleston, IL
87 University of South Carolina - Upstate Spartanburg, SC
88 New York University New York, NY
89 Edgewood College Madison, WI
90 University of Minnesota - Duluth Duluth, MN
91 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
92 Northwest Missouri State University Maryville, MO
93 Carson - Newman University Jefferson City, TN
94 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
95 Elmhurst University Elmhurst, IL
96 The College of Saint Rose Albany, NY
97 Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI
98 Minot State University Minot, ND
99 Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Kutztown, PA
100 Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA
101 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
102 Newman University Wichita, KS
103 Mount St Mary’s University Emmitsburg, MD
104 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL
105 Stevenson University Stevenson, MD
106 University of Northern Iowa Cedar Falls, IA
107 Monmouth University West Long Branch, NJ
108 Kansas State University Manhattan, KS
109 William Carey University Hattiesburg, MS
110 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI
111 Boston University Boston, MA
112 Northern Kentucky University Highland Heights, KY
113 Dakota State University Madison, SD
114 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT

Education by Region

View the best for non-traditional students Education colleges in a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Education Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Teacher Education Grade Specific 88,570
Teacher Education Subject Specific 40,256
Educational Administration 35,008
General Education 29,223
Special Education 27,544

View All Education Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Social Sciences 199,377
Psychology 174,455
Communication & Journalism 116,237
Family, Consumer & Human Sciences 37,407
History 32,643

View All Education Related Majors >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Cost is for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Veteran-specific data can be found at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Horadrim.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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