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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.

For this year's Best Education Colleges for Non-Traditional Students ranking, we looked at 572 colleges that offer a bachelor's in education. Not only do the schools that top this list have excellent education programs, but they also offer a lot of support to non-traditional students.

When determining these rankings, we looked at things such as overall quality of the education program at the school, affordability, and presence of non-traditional students. See our ranking methodology to learn more.

More Ways to Rank Education Schools

As a non-traditional student, you have a lot to consider when it comes to choosing an education. That's why we've developed rankings specifically for you. Check out more major-related rankings here..

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

Check out the education programs at these schools if you want to see which ones are the best 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 remote town of Valley City. As a testament to the quality of education offered at Valley City State University, the school also landed the #3 rank in our Best Colleges for Education ranking.

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. 675 students are part time. Valley City State University does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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The College of New Jersey comes in at #2 in this year's ranking. TCNJ is a moderately-sized public school located in the large suburb of Ewing. TCNJ did well in our major quality rankings, too. It placed #1 on our Best Colleges for Education list.

The student loan default rate at TCNJ is lower than is typical, just 2.4% of students default in three years. Approximately 306 students take at least one class online at TCNJ. 693 of TCNJ students are attending part time. TCNJ does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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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 school has a low student loan default rate of 7.5%. 2,049 of Athens State University students are exclusively distance learners. There are roughly 1,815 part time students in attendance at Athens State University. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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#4

Towson University

Towson, MD

The #4 spot in this year's ranking belongs to Towson University. Located in the city of Towson, Towson is a public college with a very large student population. Towson did well in our major quality rankings, too. It placed #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. Approximately 3,895 students take at least one class online at Towson. About 4,538 of the students at Towson are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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Our rankings recognize Concordia University, Nebraska as the #5 school in this year's rankings. Located in the distant town of Seward, Concordia University, Nebraska is a private not-for-profit school 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 students at Concordia University, Nebraska are exclusively online. 687 students are part time. 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 suburb of Salt Lake City, WGU is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly 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. WGU does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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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 midsize 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 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%. There are approximately 11,188 students at UNLV that take at least one class online. 8,916 students are part time. UNLV does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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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 very large student population. Penn State University Park did well in our major quality rankings, too. It placed #5 on our Best Colleges for Education list.

About 4.9% of Penn State University Park students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 13,255 students take at least one class online at Penn State University Park. About 1,670 of the students at Penn State University Park are attending part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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

The student loan default rate at UMN Twin Cities is lower than is typical, just 2.2% of students default in three years. There are approximately 13,571 students at UMN Twin Cities that take at least one class online. There are roughly 10,971 part time students in attendance at UMN Twin Cities. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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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 college 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. WSC does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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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 college 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 students are part time. Chadron State College does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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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.

About 6.9% of MBU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 1,103 students at MBU that take at least one class online. 3,684 students are part time. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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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 school 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 student loan default rate at UCF is lower than is typical, just 2.4% of students default in three years. Approximately 29,001 students take at least one class online at UCF. About 21,900 of the students at UCF are attending part time. UCF does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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#15

Kean University

Union, NJ

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

The student loan default rate at Kean is lower than is typical, just 6.9% of students default in three years. There are approximately 826 students at Kean that take at least one class online. There are roughly 3,382 part time students in attendance at Kean. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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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 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.

About 5.8% of CWU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 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 midsize suburb of Normal, Illinois State is a public school with a very 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.

About 3.9% of Illinois State students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. Approximately 3,895 students take at least one class online at Illinois State. There are roughly 2,428 part time students in attendance at Illinois State. Students may be able to receive credit for their military training, depending on their background.

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Our rankings recognize University of Nebraska at Kearney as the #18 school in this year's rankings. Located in the distant town of Kearney, UNK is a public college with a moderately-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 of UNK students are exclusively distance learners. About 2,115 of the students at UNK are attending part time. UNK does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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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.

About 8.2% of BHSU students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. 1,106 students at BHSU are exclusively online. About 1,973 of the students at BHSU are attending part time. BHSU does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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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.

About 4.3% of Rider students default on their loans in three years, which is lower than average. There are approximately 813 students at Rider that take at least one class online. About 986 of the students at Rider are attending part time. Rider does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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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 college 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. Eligible students may be able to receive credit for their military training.

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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 school 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.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 4.9%. There are approximately 172 students at Trinity Christian that take at least one class online. About 187 of the students at Trinity Christian 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 moderately-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. 4,292 of Concordia University, Chicago students 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 medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the 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.

The school has a low student loan default rate of 8.2%. 540 of Lee University students are exclusively distance learners. About 1,411 of the students at Lee University 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 distant town of Cortland, SUNY Cortland is a public school with a moderately-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.

The student loan default rate at SUNY Cortland is lower than is typical, just 3.5% of students default in three years. There are approximately 599 students at SUNY Cortland that take at least one class online. About 467 of the students at SUNY Cortland are attending part time. SUNY Cortland does offer credit for military training for eligible students.

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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 represents the rest 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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