Framingham State University ranked sixth out of 20 on a list for “2020 Best Online Colleges in Massachusetts” by SR Education Group.
SR Education Group is an organization “responsible for creating and maintaining websites aimed at connecting students with the resources necessary to complete their educations,” according to its website.
FSU is the highest-ranking state university on the list, and the only one in the top 10. In the top five are Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, UMass Lowell, Wentworth Institute of Technology, UMass Amherst, and Assumption College.
This list is an initiative called “Guide to Online Schools,” which is described as “helping prospective students find the right online college since 2004,” as stated on guidetoonlineschools.com.
The organization boasts “free, easy-to-use tools [that] allow prospective students to find schools based on degree, tuition, student recommendation rate, and military benefits, among other important attributes,” according to the guide’s website.
The website’s description of FSU states, “A picturesque New England school, Framingham State University benefits from the growing innovation of Boston and its surrounding areas. Its campus hosts a planetarium, an art gallery, and impressive science laboratories.
“Students pursuing an online
certificate or degree have options in multiple subject areas, including education, business, nursing, and nutrition. Framingham [State] online students are provided with a student orientation at the start of each semester, information technology services, and access to the Center for Academic Success and Achievement.”
The guide’s website states the methodology used to calculate rankings differs depending on whether the school is being accessed on a state or national level.
According to the website, “To be considered for these state rankings, schools need to be regionally accredited and need to offer at least one fully online degree at the bachelor’s level.”
FSU offers one online undergraduate degree, 10 online master’s degrees, and four online certificate programs. The undergraduate degree is in liberal studies, and the master’s degrees range from business administration to nutrition education.
Consideration for the “fully online” requirement was still given to “programs that require some on-campus coursework were still considered for our rankings if the amount of in-person work required was limited to two weeks or [fewer],” according to the website.
“This allows students to retain their current employment or other personal responsibilities,” it states.
Other factors considered in the ranking include “median mid-career salary data, as well as manually researched tuition rates and degree offerings.” Salary data was obtained from the website PayScale, and tuition rates and degree offerings were obtained from official school websites, according to SR Education Group.
Sung Rhee, the CEO of SR Education Group, said in his organization’s Oct. 1 press release, “In our 10th year of publishing college rankings, we are proud to lead the way in offering the most accurate, comprehensive, and accessible rankings for online students.
“We know that program costs and return on investment are two objective, important factors to current students,” he added. “This is why we have spent the past year researching over 1,900 schools to highlight the best online colleges of 2020.”
FSU President F. Javier Cevallos said, “It is always nice when the University receives recognition for the quality and value of our educational programs. The importance of being able to offer a high-quality online educational experience is only going to continue to grow in the future.”
He added, “FSU offers a variety of fully online and hybrid options. The University recently launched a fully online MBA program, and we continue to explore new opportunities to expand.”