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Our Ranking of Popular Online & Distance Learning Graduates

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Shaquille O'Neal

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School: University of Phoenix

Degree: Masters

Area of Interest:

Shaquille O’Neal left LSU (Louisiana State University) his junior year to enter the NBA draft. The #1 pick of the Orlando Magic led the Magic to the NBA Finals in 1995 and was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers where he won three (3) NBA titles and he picked up another title with Miami Heat in 2006. While a Hall of Fame NBA is a major lifetime achievement in and of itself, Shaq made good on his promise to finish his undergraduate degree at LSU in 2000. In 2005, he received an MBA online at the University of Phoenix. Shaq initially earned his credentials as a backup plan for his NBA career. Throughout his learning journey, however, he realized that education and the pursuit of knowledge is the ultimate priority. In 2012, he earned his Ph.D. (Ed.D) in Human Resource Development from Barry University in Boca Raton, Florida. His doctoral thesis was in “The Duality of Humor and Aggression in Leadership Styles”. The great “Shaqademic” in another illuminating example of how to use education to improve your contributions to humanity. 

I am smart to know that even at my tender age my pursuit of education is never finished.
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Ranking: 12

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Sidney Crosby

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School: Southern New Hampshire University

Degree: Bachelors

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Sidney Crosby is one of the most highly decorated and beloved NHL players in the sport’s history. Known as ‘Sid the Kid’ Crosby began his professional career in 2005 and has been smashing records ever since. He is a member of the Triple Gold Club, an honor in Professional ice hockey in which a player has won an Olympic Gold Medal, a World Championships gold medal and a Stanley Cup. The down to earth Canadian took history courses at Southern New Hampshire University in 2015 and has told reporters he is considering more online education in the off-season. In 2020 he will captain the Pittsburgh Penguins.

I always wanted to be the best and to get the most out of myself.
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Ranking: 24

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Venus Williams

Category:

School: IU East's online degree completion program

Degree: Bachelors

Area of Interest:

Seven (7) Grand Slam singles titles, 14 women’s doubles titles, and four (4) Olympic Gold medals. If that was not enough, Venus enrolled and completed her Bachelors of Science Degree in business administration from the University of Indiana East. This online program was designed in collaboration with the Women’s Tennis Association that enabled athletes to compete professionally and complete their studies. Venus understands that knowledge is critical to her success and immediately launched a successful interior design company, V Starr Interiors and her own fashion line, EleVen in collaboration with Steve & Barry’s. “One of the main reasons that I chose IU East was because I felt so at home. It was like family, like it was my school, and I was so excited. It’s been an incredible journey,” Williams said.

I’ve learned so much. It was always my dream to have a business degree and I ended up going to art school so many times, but in the back of my head, I felt like I needed the tools to be a better leader, to be a better planner, to be better at all of the things I wanted to do in my businesses because I’m so hands-on.
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Ranking: 32

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Simone Biles

Category:

School: University of The People

Degree: Bachelors

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Simone Biles is the United States most successful gymnast winning a total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals. She is currently the world's third most decorated gymnast, behind Belarus' Vitaly Scherbo (33 medals) and Russia's Larisa Latynina (32 medals). Biles is likely to top the charts after a spectacular 2019 season puts her in good stead for 2020. In 2018 Biles announced she had enrolled in an online business administration degree at the University of the People and would also work as a brand ambassador for the institution.

To go out there and prove what I can do has taught me a lot about who I am.
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Ranking: 42

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Nick Foles

Category:

School: Liberty University

Degree: Masters

Area of Interest:

Nick Foles made history in 2018 when he lead the Philadelphia Eagles American football team to its first-ever Super Bowl win. The talented quarterback has had a lifelong love affair with football but he is also a scholar and bio-hacking enthusiast. Foles is proud to be taking online classes at the Christian university Liberty College and has noted he would like to be a Youth Pastor one day.

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Ranking: 44

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Philipp Lahm

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School: Ashford University

Degree: Bachelors

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Philipp Lahm is widely recognized as one of the greatest football defenders of his generation and by some, the greatest defender of all time. Born in Germany, Lahm started his career with Bayern Munich before being loaned to VfB Stuttgart for two years. Lahm represented his native Germany in both Youth and Adult leagues, he became the youngest ever captain of a German football team during the 2010 World Cup. He retired in 2014 and has a reported net worth of 100 million USD.

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Ranking: 49

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Larry Fitzgerald Jr.

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School: University of Phoenix

Degree: Bachelors

Area of Interest:

Larry Fitzgerald has been playing professionally for the American Football team, the Arizona Cardinals, since 2004. The talented wide receiver has since been selected to play in the Pro Ball eleven times and is second in NFL career receiving yards, second in career receptions, and sixth in receiving touchdowns. Despite playing college football at the University of Pittsburgh in 2002, Fitzgerald graduated from college in 2016 from the University of Phoenix external program with a Bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in marketing. Fitzgerlad will continue the 2020 season with the Cardinals.

I love to see new things, and I love to learn. I always learn so much when I travel - that's the best thing.
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Ranking: 51

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Chaunté Lowe

Category:

School: Western Governers University

Degree: Masters

Area of Interest:

Chaunté Lowe is a four-time Olympian and bronze medalist in the high jump. She is the American record holder in the women's high jump with an outdoor clearance of 2.05 m in 2010. Lowe was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer in 2019 and underwent a double mastectomy to stop the spread of the disease. Despite this, Lowe is currently in training for the 2020 Olympic Games and is studying a master’s degree at Western Governors University.

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Ranking: 60

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Lisa Leslie

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School: University of Phoenix

Degree: Masters

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Lisa Leslie has the unbelievable title of being the first player to dunk in a WNBA game. Leslie is a three-time WNBA MVP and a four-time Olympic gold medal winner. Her WNBA career started in 1997 and included eight WNBA All-Star selections and two WNBA championships for the Los Angeles Sparks, before retiring in 2009. She didn’t slow down though, the same year Leslie graduated from an online Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Phoenix. Leslie is currently the coach of the ‘Triplets’ a team in the BIG3 professional basketball league, as well as a studio analyst for Orlando Magic broadcasts on Fox Sports Florida.

As a role model for young girls and women, I just encourage them to continue their education and set their goals. And for me, mine are just really high and I just happen to be a professional basketball player but I really am a stickler for my goals and I wanted to get my Master's.
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Ranking: 63

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Steven Holcomb

Category:

School: University of Phoenix

Degree: Bachelors

Area of Interest:

Steven Holcomb was an American bobsledder who competed at an international level from 1998 until his death in 2017. He won gold in the four-man event at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and silver in both the four-man and two-man event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. These medals were upgraded to silver on March 27, 2019, when the International Olympic Committee stripped Russian pilot, Alexander Zubkov, of his gold medal due to the Russian doping scandal. He majored in Computer Science at both the University of Utah and the University of Phoenix's online program. Holcomb died in his sleep at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, New York on May 6, 2017, aged 37.

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Ranking: 64

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