We use data to empower people to make better decisions about careers and education.

OUR STORY

2021 Best Online Colleges & Degrees

2021 Best Online Colleges for ROI Badge

In order to help students deal with rising tuition costs and combat the student debt crisis, we've launched the first ever online college rankings to utilize salary and debt data by program. For each online degree, we calculated a 10-year return on investment using these program-specific outcomes data. We identified colleges we believe are worthy investments because of their low average student debts and high median alumni salaries, as reported by the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard. View Rankings »

Reviews

We have collected over 85,000 ratings and reviews from students. Learn which schools are improving graduate outcomes at GradReports and GraduatePrograms.

Rankings

We independently research thousands of colleges to identify the ones offering the best quality and price. View our rankings at OnlineU.

Scholarships

Each year we give away $260,000 of our profit in needs-based scholarships. Visit our scholarships page to learn more and see our recent winners.

Optimal helps prospective students make informed, data-driven decisions to improve their collegiate experience and their post-college careers. We provide over 85,000 in-depth student reviews and college rankings for every major based on alumni salaries and manually researched tuitions. Our tools provide accessible and transparent data regarding cost and earning potential, allowing students to choose educational paths to success without the burden of insurmountable debt.

VIEW OUR PRODUCTS

Thought Leadership

empty college campus

Should Students Pay Full Price for an Online Education During the Pandemic?

While the future of higher education may be uncertain this school year, one thing is clear. Students don’t want to pay the same price for online classes as they would for in-person instruction. Many schools...

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woman sitting at desk

The Class of 2020: Optimal’s New Teammates Share Perspectives on Online Learning and Graduating Into a Pandemic

Last spring, millions of students across the country were unexpectedly thrown into online classes when higher education made the switch to remote...

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two people in front of a computer

College in the COVID Era: Students Share What Went Well and How Schools Can Do Better

Surveys conducted early in the pandemic show students were not happy with the quality of education when classes initially moved online due to COVID-19. Since then, schools have worked to improve...

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SCHOLARSHIPS

As part of our mission to make college more accessible, Optimal has given away $676,961 of our profit in need-based scholarships since 2010.

Community College Scholarship

ELIGIBILITY: Students enrolled at a public community college, junior college, technical college, or city college, and working towards a certificate, diploma, or degree at the associate’s level or a first-time bachelor’s level.

AWARD: $5,000
DEADLINE: 12/31/20

Military Scholarship

ELIGIBILITY: Students who are veterans or active members of the U.S. military and are enrolled at a private or public educational institution, and working towards a certificate, diploma, or degree.

AWARD: $5,000
DEADLINE: 12/31/20

Undergraduate Scholarship

ELIGIBILITY: Undergraduate students enrolled at a private or public educational institution, and working towards a certificate, diploma, or degree at the associate’s level or a first-time bachelor’s level.

AWARD: $5,000
DEADLINE: 12/31/20

Graduate Scholarship

ELIGIBILITY: Graduate students enrolled at a private or public educational institution, and working towards a certificate, diploma, or degree at the post-bachelor’s level.

AWARD: $5,000
DEADLINE: 12/31/20

Online Degree Scholarship

ELIGIBILITY: Students enrolled at a private or public educational institution, and working towards a certificate, diploma, or degree at the associate’s, bachelor’s or post-bachelor’s level. The academic program must be pursued online - all classes require little to no attendance on campus.

AWARD: $5,000
DEADLINE: 12/31/20

Careers

Careers

At Optimal, we embrace a culture of growth, experimentation, and creativity. Our small and agile team allows all members to exercise great responsibility and freedom, leading each person to have a measurable impact on our business. We also offer unique benefits like tuition reimbursement and charitable donation matching. We enjoy solving hard problems just as much as we enjoy our wine and cheese parties and snuggling with our troop of quirky office dogs.