Saint Leo University's online education programs are among the top in the nation, according to 2013 rankings.

The Guide to Online Schools, an annual ranking that lists schools based on overall quality and affordability, places Saint Leo University at number 18. The data and statistics used in this ranking are compiled from The National Center for Education Statistics – the primary governmental department responsible for gathering education-related data.

The guide used five criteria to rank schools: recommendation rates (student feedback), cost of tuition, retention rate, repayment rate (percentage of students who pay back their loans within the allotted time), and accreditation (Saint Leo is regionally accredited).

The U.S. News & World Report's "2013 Best Online Education Report" puts Saint Leo's online bachelor's degree programs within the top fourth of the 237 participating regionally accredited for-profit, private and public institutions that grant bachelor's degrees through online degree programs.

U.S. News used faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, and student engagement as its criteria for determining the virtual undergraduate programs rankings.

National stature stems from commitment to core values

"This recognition clearly indicates that Saint Leo is a national leader for online learning, and that is a direct result of our commitment to our mission and core values," said Vice President of Enrollment and Online Programs Kathryn McFarland.

"Our outstanding faculty and staff are dedicated to ensuring that Saint Leo provides a student-centered environment for all learners, whether that environment is online or on campus, and to educating for the 21st century.

"In everything that we do, we are guided by our commitment to excellence, community, respect, personal development, responsible stewardship, and integrity. The result is a university that continues to grow and expand even during times of economic challenge."

A tradition of serving adult learners

Forty years ago, Saint Leo began a unique partnership with the United States military to provide academic degree programs to members of the nation's armed forces, regardless of their location in the world. In 1998, the university offered its first online degree programs, expanding its commitment to enabling students to pursue a degree by using technology to make distance and time irrelevant to higher education.

Today, Saint Leo offers over more than 40 online degree programs geared toward the unique needs of adult learners, including associate, bachelor's, master's degree, and graduate certificate programs.

Image Credit: Saint Leo University Communications