Top Open Admission Colleges

Open Admissions Colleges

Top Open Admission Colleges

CHECK OUT OUR LIST OF TOP 2020 OPEN ADMISSIONS COLLEGES!

What Are Open Admissions Colleges? 

Open admissions colleges are colleges that accept all students that apply. That doesn’t mean they don’t offer a high quality education. It just means they’re easier to get into. 

One type of broadly known open admissions college is the community college system. Community colleges largely exist to promote educational access. So, they admit all or most students. Compare that with colleges that are harder to get into, which only admit a percentage of students who apply. Some colleges that run only online programs are also open. With no physical space to be concerned with, these types of colleges are able to offer access to college programs for many more people.

History of Open Admissions Colleges 

The idea of open admissions gained popularity in the 1960s and 1970s. The idea was to reduce discrimination and increase education access. In other words, open admissions policies were designed to serve those often over looked by elite colleges. 

City University of New York (CUNY) was the first major U.S. college to try out this concept. Today, CUNY no longer follows an open enrollment policy. But, many colleges have embraced open admissions. 

Open Admissions Colleges Enrollment Criteria 

Not everyone gets perfect grades in high school. But that doesn’t mean college isn’t possible. Colleges with open admissions focus less on your academic history and more on your future potential. That means you likely won’t have to take the SAT or ACT. And if your GPA wasn’t as high as you like, you could have the chance to start fresh. Requirements usually include: 

  • High school diploma
  • OR a GED
  • OR a qualifying equivalent 
Open Admissions Colleges

2020 Top 15 Open Admissions Colleges

More and more students are searching for open admissions colleges. To help you narrow down your search, we have ranked our top 15 open admissions colleges. Our methodology uses data provided by NCES. Education Connection does work with some of the schools on this list. No position on this list was influenced by this.

1 University of Phoenix
Visit UOP


UOP was founded to meet the learning needs of working adults. Founded in 1976 by Dr. John Sperling, the school initially offered evening courses. Today, students can study online, taking up to five 6 week course at a time. Access your classroom, the digital library, and more – all from a PC, tablet, or phone.

Undergrad Admissions

To apply to UOP, student must have earned a high school diploma or GED. If applying to an Associates degree program, you must be at least 16 years of age. For some programs there may be other elements the school asks for, like work experience.  

Popular Undergrad Programs

Business, Accounting, IT, Medical Office Assistant, Criminal Justice, Behavioral Sciences 

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad $9,552
Grad: $16,752

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
76% Get, Avg. Amt. $5,510
Federal Loans
78% Get, Avg. Amt. $7,207

Grad Rate

17%

Salary After Attending

$47,100

2 Western Governors University
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WGU was created by a group of U.S. governors to offer high quality education. It’s the first school where all Bachelors and Masters programs are competency based. That means students can move forward once they’ve mastered the material. There is no set timeline. This makes WGU an ideal school for busy adult students. Online courses make WGU even more flexible.   

Undergrad Admissions

WGU strives for hassle free enrollment. Criteria is minimal and includes a high school diploma or GED, and you must be at least 16. There are no exams like the SAT needed. But, some students may need to take the WGU Collegiate Readiness Assessment. Some programs may have additional criteria.

Popular Undergrad Programs

Registered Nursing, Elementary Education and Teaching, Business, Cyber Security, Human Resources

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad $6,670
Grad: $7,500

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards 
Avg. Amt. $2,635
Federal Loans
Avg. Amt. $3,103

Grad Rate

29%

Salary After Attending

$41,900

3 University of Maryland Global
Visit UMGC


UMGC is an online, public state university. It was founded to serve working adults and service members. UMGC offers undergrad and grad programs in over 90 programs and areas of focus. And, choose from online and hybrid courses for added flexibility. The university has locations in Maryland and at military bases around the world. 

Undergrad Admissions

UMGC focuses on making education open to many people. For admissions is a high school diploma or GED. Students who have already graduated from a U.S. college also qualify.

Popular Undergrad Programs

Business, Information Science, Cyber Security, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Human Resources  

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad $12,336
Grad: $11,862

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
40% Get, Avg. Amt. $3,948
Federal Loans
30% Get, Avg. Amt. $5,749

Grad Rate

15%

Salary After Attending

$51,200

Featured Schools

1

Southern New Hampshire University

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  • No application fee for April & June terms.
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Purdue Global University

  • Competency-based ExcelTrack™ Programs may allow you to earn your degree faster and for less money
  • Experience world-class education online with more than 175 programs at associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.
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4 American Public University System
Visit APUS


APUS is two schools. American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU). It focuses on serving adult students. That includes members of the military and veterans moving on from post military paths. The system is one of the largest online universities, with over 200 programs. APUS is home to 80,271 active students, 87% of whom are working adults. 

Undergrad Admissions

To attend, you must have at least a high school diploma or a GED. Students who have not earned college credits must send proof they have finished high school. Applicants may also be asked to complete a College Readiness Assessment.

Popular Undergrad Programs

Business, General Studies, Health Professions, Child Care Provider, Criminal Justice, Data Processing

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad: $6,880
Grad: $6,300

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
94% Get, Avg. Amt. $5,786
Federal Loans
69% Get, Avg. Amt. $10,399

Grad Rate

42%

Salary After Attending

$62,400

5 Ashford University
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Ashford is a global, online school offering more than 80 degree programs. Founded to offer accessible education, they welcome students from diverse life paths. In fact, 25% of Ashford students are in the military. Online courses are offered in ongoing 5 or 6 week terms.

Undergrad Admissions

Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED. They must also be at least 22 years old. The age criteria may be waived under certain conditions. Check with Ashford for details!

Popular Undergrad Programs

Business, Early Childhood Education and Teaching, Health Care Admin, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Behavioral Sciences 

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad: $12,160
Grad: $11,790

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
87% Get, Avg. Amt. $4,183
Federal Loans
74% Get, Avg. Amt. $6,228

Grad Rate

8%

Salary After Attending

$41,200

6 Excelsior College
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Excelsior College is a not for profit school. It was founded in 1971 to serve under served students. As a distance learning college, they offer education for adult learners around the world. Choose from more than 30 programs across six areas of study. These include business, health sciences, liberal arts, nursing, public service, and technology.

Undergrad Admissions

Entrance criteria depend on the program you are interested in. For instance, business and liberal arts programs have no special criteria. Just follow the application instructions – like sending over your transcripts. Other programs, like nursing, have other criteria, such as work experience. 

Popular Undergrad Programs

Business, Liberal Studies, Registered Nursing, Nuclear Engineer Technology

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad: $NA
Grad: $NA

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
Avg. Amt. $2,968
Federal Loans
Avg. Amt. $6,581

Grad Rate

NA

Salary After Attending

NA

7 St Petersburg College
Visit SPC


St. Petersburg College (SPC) was founded in 1927 as St. Petersburg Junior College. It was Florida’s first two year college and soon became the first state college in Florida to award Bachelors degrees. Today, the college offers 110 career focused degree and certificate programs, at 11 locations.

Undergrad Admissions

SPC features an open admissions policy. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED. That’s all there is to it! 

Popular Undergrad Programs

Business, Technology Management, Liberal Studies, Registered Nursing, Vet and Animal Health Technology 

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad: $9,286
Grad: NA

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
68% Get, Avg. Amt. $7,675
Federal Loans
24% Get, Avg. Amt. $5,367

Grad Rate

32%

Salary After Attending

$32,900

8 Purdue Global University
Visit PG (Sponsored School)


PG is a public, nonprofit institution. It is part of the respected Purdue University system. Purdue is committed to serving adult students, through tailored online programs. Students can choose from 175 online programs and flexible learning paths, including competency based ExcelTrack™ programs. 

Undergrad Admissions

To be admitted to Purdue Global, you must have a high school diploma or GED. You may need to complete an informational interview and take an entrance exam,. Some programs may have other requirements.

Popular Undergrad Programs

Business, Health and Wellness, Health Admin, Registered Nursing, Criminal Justice, Accounting, Human Services 

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad: $14,343
Grad: $10,560

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
25% Get, Avg. Amt. NA
Federal Loans
25% Get, Avg. Amt. NA

Grad Rate

48%

Salary After Attending

NA

9 Colorado Technical University
Visit CTU (Sponsored School)


CTU was founded by Lt Col Robert Turkisher, to help veterans pursue their educational goals. The school offers a tech focused education in areas like business, engineering, IT, and beyond. CTU has campuses in Colorado Springs and the Denver area. In 1995, they added online learning. Students can choose to study on campus, online, or both.  

Undergrad Admissions

The admissions process at CTU is simple. To get started, you must contact an admissions advisor to discuss your goals. Along with your application, you must submit valid proof of high school graduation or GED.  

Popular Undergrad Programs

Business, IT, Registered Nursing, Health Care Admin, Medical Office Assistant, Criminal Justice

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad: $11,960
Grad: $13,409

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
87% Get, Avg. Amt. $5,801
Federal Loans
75% Get, Avg. Amt. $6,795

Grad Rate

29%

Salary After Attending

$42,200

10 Saddleback College 
Visit Saddleback


Saddleback College serves the South Orange County Community College District. The school offers 43 fully online degree and certificate programs. Saddleback is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges, of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. 

Undergrad Admissions

Saddleback is an open admissions college. To qualify, you must be a high school graduate or have a high school equivalency certificate. Or, if you are 18 years of age, you may be admitted if you can show evidence of being able to benefit from instruction. 

Popular Undergrad Programs

Business, Speech Communication and Rhetoric, Health Services, Registered Nursing, Liberal Studies, Psychology 

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad: $9,392
Grad: NA

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
36% Get, Avg. Amt. $4,914
Federal Loans
1% Get, Avg. Amt. $4,350

Grad Rate

38%

Salary After Attending

$38,700

11 Rio Salado College
Visit Rio Salado


Rio Salado College was founded in 1978 to provide innovative educational programs. As a community college, they focus on affordable access to higher education for students with diverse backgrounds and goals. The offerings at Rio Salado include college bridge pathways and online learning.

Undergrad Admissions

Rio Salado is another open admissions college. To get started, select your program of study. Then, submit an online application and proof of your identification and lawful presence.

Popular Undergrad Programs

Business, Human Resources, Early Childhood Ed and Teaching,  Health Care Admin, Criminal Justice, Psychology

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad: $7,854
Grad: NA

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
81% Get, Avg. Amt. $4,096
Federal Loans
47% Get, Avg. Amt. $2,965

Grad Rate

5%

Salary After Attending

$39,500

12 Full Sail University
Visit Full Sail


Full Sail offers programs in entertainment, media, art, and technology education. They offer 93 Associate, Bachelor, and Master degree programs in these areas. Programs strive to offer learning that encourage students’ creativity. The Winter Park campus features over 110 studios and labs. Or, earn select degrees online. 

Undergrad Admissions

Applying to Full Sail starts with an interview and online application. You’ll need a government issued photo ID. If English is not your first language, you must submit proof of English proficiency. Check to see if your program of interest has other criteria. 

Popular Undergrad Programs

Human Computer Interaction, Digital Arts, Film and Cinema, Music Technology, Writing Studies, Multimedia 

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad: $24,109
Grad: $15,235

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
81% Get, Avg. Amt. $8,633
Federal Loans
68% Get, Avg. Amt. $11,130

Grad Rate

31%

Salary After Attending

$39,300

13 Keiser University
Visit Keiser


Keiser was founded by the Keiser family to offer career education in small classes. The school has campuses throughout the state of FL. Or, you could study online. Pursue programs at the Associate, Bachelor, and graduate levels. They offer career focused subjects ranging from accounting to sport management.

Undergrad Admissions

Applicants must provide proof of high school graduation or GED. Check with your admissions counselor to learn if your program of interest has other criteria.  

Popular Undergrad Programs

Business, IT, Medical Assistant, OT Assistant, Registered Nursing, General Studies 

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad: $20,208
Grad: $27,072

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
86% Get, Avg. Amt. $8,730
Federal Loans
66% Get, Avg. Amt. $11,315

Grad Rate

65%

Salary After Attending

$31,100

14 Foothill College
Visit Foothill


Foothill College has a reputation as one of the most renowned community colleges in the United States. Founded in 1957 in Los Altos Hills, California, the college offers many resources for students and the surrounding community. It serves more than 15,000 students at its campuses, learning sites, and online. Choose from 167 degree and certificate programs.  

Undergrad Admissions

Foothill College has an open admission policy. So, you only need a high school diploma or GED for admission. 

Popular Undergrad Programs

Business, Speech and Communication, Psychology, Social Sciences, Sociology, Math

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad: $7,503
Grad: NA

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
39% Get, Avg. Amt. $4,473
Federal Loans
3% Get, Avg. Amt. $4,600

Grad Rate

63%

Salary After Attending

$46,500

15 Central Texas College
Visit CTC


Central Texas College is a community college founded in 1965. The school offered its first online Associate degree program in 2001. Today, it is a leader among two year colleges that offer distance learning. Along with many Associate degree programs, CTC offers over 40 certificate programs. They also have services to support students from all walks of life. That includes single-parent support services and programs for military service members. . 

Undergrad Admissions

Students should have proof of high school graduation or the equivalent. But, there are exceptions. For instance, some students may apply for Individual Approval status to take courses at CTC before finishing high school. 

Popular Undergrad Programs

Business, Registered Nursing, General Studies, Criminal Justice, Military Applied Sciences, Liberal Studies 

Tuition & Fees

Undergrad: $7,050
Grad: NA

Financial Aid

Grants & Awards
64% Get, Avg. Amt. $4,796
Federal Loans
15% Get, Avg. Amt. $5,204

Grad Rate

17%

Salary After Attending

$31,000

Featured School

Southern New Hampshire University

  • No application fee for April & June terms
  • Take advantage of some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, while earning a degree from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
  • Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
  • Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access.
  • Offering over 200 online degree

Popular Programs

Business Administration, Psychology, Information Technology, Human Services…

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© Education Connection 2019. All Rights Reserved.

EducationDynamics maintains business relationships with the schools it features.

Sources for school statistics is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.