Liberty University's online program is among the top five for education and accounting. LU was recently ranked No. 3 in the nation for their teacher education program by TheBestSchools.org and No. 4 for accounting by TopCollegesOnline.org. SuperScholar ranks LU's online nursing program as among the top 25 in the nation.
LU is a non-for-profit school based in Lynchburg, Va. Their online program began in 1985 and has only continued to expand.
LU's online enrollment surpassed 82,000 students this year. Just five years ago enrollment was only at 27,500. Today the program offers more than 160 online degrees.
LU's nursing program has particularly unique online certification programs. Assistant professor of nursing Mary Highton says that the programs put the nurses ahead of the game.
“Most of these students are very assertive, they are critical-thinking nurses. (The course) just meets their appetite for more education and information,” she says. LU’s Department of Nursing is offering a new online certification this fall, for Maternal-Child Critical Care.
And as for LU's teacher education program: more than 1,000 students are currently pursuing their doctoral online degree from LU in education. The school was selected as No. 3 in the nation for education by TheBestSchools.org based on academic excellence, program depth and affordability. Specializations offered by LU in education include early childhood education, elementary education, special education, school counseling and administration.
Half of LU’s online students are pursuing undergraduate degrees, while the other half are pursuing graduate degrees. Rod Godwin, LU’s senior vice president of academic affairs, says that LU’s graduate programs are currently growing faster than the undergraduate programs.
The college is thriving. According to News & Advance, LU’s net assets have increased fivefold over the past six years because of their online programs—from $150 million to $860 million. Hence, while other colleges have been struggling even to stay afloat during the economic recession, LU’s financial situation has been growing stronger every year.
“We want to continue to improve the university and stay on the cutting edge,” says LU Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr., “but we also want to put money away for the future.”
While LU is putting extra money towards revitalizing the campus and improving their academic programs, they are also saving it to secure the school’s finances for the future. “You don’t have to go and spend it all, but that doesn’t mean you’ve made a profit. It means you’ve guaranteed the future of the university,” Falwell said.
Janel Spencer is a writer and content editor for 360 Education Solutions