05 Apr Choosing the Right Online College
Furthering your education can be done right from the convenience of your own home, with online college courses which have become very popular these last few years. But finding just the right online college can be quite a task, but is necessary if you want to make sure the investment you’re making in your future is spent wisely. One should investigate a few educational facilities before making their final decision, and in order to help make this tedious task a little easier here are a few tips for finding the best online colleges to choose from.
You should keep in mind that, although you are taking online courses and are not in a regular classroom, you should not be without interaction with other students and instructors. Some of the best ones offer student-teacher and student-student interaction through video or internet chat in different forums. Classroom interaction and dialogue can be very important in understanding and learning the courses being taken.
Some students often need additional help in learning, so looking at colleges that offer on-campus assistance, lectures and courses always makes for a better choice in schooling. This doesn’t mean you have to take courses on-campus, but the option for assistance is available to you if you should require it.
Reading previous student reports and critiques of the colleges is another way to weed out those who will not benefit you. After all, attending college is one of the most important investments you’ll be making in your lifetime, so you want to make sure the college you’re considering is held in high regards by previous graduates, attendees, as well as the education board in your area.
Furthering your education is a big step in your future and finding the right education source for furthering your education is important to your career, as well as your finances. A great way to further your education is by utilizing online colleges. It can be easier to find just the right one by following some of these tips.
If you are currently seeking online colleges in order to get your degree, you might wonder how to choose with all the options available. Getting into a reputable online college is important, as there are a lot of scams out there. Here are some questions you should ask about the online colleges you are interested in:
Questions To Ask:
Is my online college accredited?
One of the first things you want to look for is that the college is accredited. There are many online colleges that don’t carry the proper accreditation in some areas, so it’s best to find ones that are regionally accredited in your area. The reason for making sure the college has the proper accreditation is because you don’t want to spend your time and money on attending a school that won’t provide you the certifications you need for your career.
There are six regional agencies that are approved by the US Department of Education and the Council for Higher Accreditation. These agencies provide accreditation for online and traditional schools. A school that is accredited guarantees you that the hours you earn will be recognized by future employers and future universities or colleges you attend.
Finding out whether or not the school you want to attend is accredited is pretty easy. First, find out which state your program is in. Then, find the accreditation agencies responsible for that state. Finally, check to see if it has been accredited by that agency! Accreditation ensures that your time and money are not wasted on undesirable degree programs.
Can you transfer credits?
Since you don’t know what the future holds, the ability to transfer the credits you’ve worked hard to earn is a necessity. Otherwise you could end up needing to take all of the classes again – meaning more time and money. Not all schools accept transfer credits, so its best to ask before you apply. The more credits that are transferable, the better off you’ll be.
Are there life experience credits?
Sometimes, adult students with years of work experience are able to trade this experience in for certain college credits. This could save you thousands of dollars on tuition, and time – both because you will graduate sooner, and in the sense that you don’t have to spend time on that class. Every school is different on experience credits, some have very strict requirements to meet in order to get them, and some don’t offer them at all. If you believe your experiences could qualify, search around and see if you can find online colleges that will give you credits. Be prepared for the possibility of interviews, standardized tests, an assembled portfolio, or other way of proving you have gained the necessary experience. Also, be aware of online colleges that offer these credits too easily. This is a common way for “diploma mill” schools to lure in students. Reputable schools offer these credits, but its never an easy process.
Does the college offer scholarships/grants?
The cost of the schooling is also an important factor one needs to consider when making the perfect choice. Many online colleges offer some sort of financial aid or grants. Choosing one that provides the most financial support will help reduce the cost to you. Grants and scholarships are financial assistance that doesn’t have to be paid back which can reduce the cost or the amount of student loans one may need to acquire the education one desires.
Does the degree program meet the requirements of your state?
Depending on your career, there might be certain requirements in order to get a job or related license. These requirements will often depend on the state you live in. Check the requirements for your career in the state you live in, and triple check that the online college you choose meets these requirements. The last thing you want to do is spend 4 years in school and have it “not count” in your state. A traditional school will usually educate you on the requirements of your career as you progress through your degree program. Online colleges, however, have students from all over the country – making it impossible to counsel each student.