‘U.S. News & World Report’ Ranks Embry-Riddle Highest for Online Bachelor’s Degrees, Among Private Institutions

Woman works on a laptop

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s online undergraduate degree programs were the highest rated among the nation’s private institutions, according to the 2024 “U.S. News & World Report” (USNWR) Best Online Bachelor’s Programs ranking.

From 2016 to 2023, Embry-Riddle’s online bachelor’s degree programs ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 overall, compared with all institutions — private and public — in the annual USNWR ranking. This year, a new ranking methodology placed Embry-Riddle Worldwide in the No. 13 slot, across all 348 schools assessed by USNWR.

Embry-Riddle’s Worldwide Campus ranked No. 5 overall among the best online bachelor’s degree programs for veterans, in the 2024 rankings (tied with the University of Central Florida).

Online graduate-level degrees offered by Embry-Riddle Worldwide also performed well in this year’s USNWR ranking – particularly engineering and business offerings and programs for veterans.

Across the university, programs offered by the Worldwide Campus as well as Embry-Riddle’s two residential campuses, in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Prescott, Arizona, currently hold nine Top 10 rankings. (Residential campus programs are ranked separately, in the fall.)

Understanding the 2024 Rankings

USNWR’s 2024 ranking methodology does not reflect the fact that only 17% of all Worldwide Campus students graduate with any debt and the average amount of student debt on a per-capita basis is $4,095 — a much lower amount than at most other institutions.

Student debt is a key factor in USNWR’s ranking of online programs.

Unlike in prior years, for its 2024 ranking USNWR assessed student debt levels based solely on the average debt among graduate borrowers, without adding the percentage of student borrowers into the calculation. Under this new methodology, a school where 1,000 out of 1,000 students each took out a federal loan of $10,000 would receive higher marks from USNWR than a school where only 10 out of 1,000 students needed to borrow $10,500.

Calculating Return on Investment

The 2024 ranking also does not reflect the high return on investment of a degree from Embry-Riddle Worldwide, where nearly 98% of surveyed graduates are employed (96.8%) or pursuing further education (0.8%) four years after graduation.

In addition, the median annual earnings of former Embry-Riddle Worldwide students who received federal financial aid, 10 years after enrolling at Embry-Riddle Worldwide, is $82,012, whereas the midpoint across all schools nationwide is $50,482, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard. (Embry-Riddle’s own alumni surveys set the full-time mean annual salary for graduates at $98,400, four years post-graduation.)

Summary of Embry-Riddle’s 2024 Rankings

Embry-Riddle Worldwide’s key rankings were as follows:

  • Highest rated online bachelor’s degree programs, among private institutions
  • No. 5 best online bachelor’s programs for veterans (tied)
  • No. 9 best online master’s in engineering programs for veterans (tied)
  • No. 13 best online bachelor’s degree programs, among all 348 institutions ranked
  • No. 14 best online master’s in engineering programs overall (tied)
  • No. 22 best online master’s in business programs for veterans
  • No. 23 best online bachelor’s in business programs (tied)

As of fall 2020, about 11.8 million undergraduate students were enrolled in at least one distance education course, and 7 million were enrolled exclusively in online classes, according to USNWR.

Embry‑Riddle has offered classes in multiple learning modalities for more than 50 years. Online degree programs feature a variety of start dates, and courses generally run for nine weeks. bachelor’s and master’s degrees are available to the Worldwide Campus’ 20,000 students.

Posted In: Institutional News