Northland Online Programs Ranked #10 Nationally

Online Associate Degrees receive distinction for providing an exceptional return on investment

December 28, 2020 — Northland Community & Technical College’s online associate degree programs have been ranked tenth in the nation for best return on investment by

This ranking sourced graduate salaries and student debt amounts from government databases and identified the colleges that offer the best return on investment (ROI) for their online associate degree.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, online education has been aggressively gaining in prevalence. Northland has been a leader within the Minnesota State System and region in online education, and more recently a leader in hyflex pedagogy--a method that allows students to shift from online or remote to in-person instruction--even prior to the pandemic as one of the first colleges in the region to offer these methods of learning. Northland offers more than 20 degree programs online.

“There has been significant growth of online learning due to the pandemic,” states Northland President Dennis Bona, “Having a clear view of your future financial outcome is very important. As student debt continues to rise exponentially and finances are strained as a result of COVID-19, we strive to offer a high-quality, affordable education that will give graduates an economic headstart on a bachelor’s degree, or get them out into the workforce quickly.”

This fall, Northland also launched the Z-Degree program, which utilizes freely available open educational resources (OER) to eliminate textbook costs, saving students upwards of $2,000 over the course of their time at Northland. This initiative furthers its mission of reducing financial barriers that may prevent would-be students from achieving their academic goals.

The award for Northland is timely, as it highlights the value of local, community-driven education that is oftentimes more flexible, accessible, and certainly more affordable than what can be offered by larger institutions. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Northland is well positioned to seamlessly continue offering academic excellence to students with its many online offerings and flexible schedules that allow students to earn their degrees in a non-traditional fashion.

Northland Community and Technical College (Northland) is a comprehensive college with campuses in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota. Northland also has an aerospace site in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, and a satellite site in Roseau, Minnesota. Northland offers certificates, diplomas, transfer courses, two-year degrees (A.A.S., A.S., A.A.) in more than 80 areas of study, workforce training and education programs. Northland is a member of Minnesota State, the third-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. For more information about Northland Community & Technical College, visit or call 1.800.959.6282.

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