For many people, getting the career that they want can only be achieved by getting a college degree. Thanks to online learning, graduating from college is something that is becoming more and more obtainable for many people. With online colleges offering extra flexibility, the chance to choose your own study hours and environment, and much cheaper tuition fees, it’s easy to see why this alternative to classroom learning has taken off quite so well. However, when it comes to choosing an online college, it’s important to remember that not all are created equally. Some online colleges are not accredited, meaning that whilst you may learn a lot from completing a course that they offer, it may not get you very far with certain employers. We’ve listed some of the main things to consider when choosing an online school.
When choosing an online college, the best thing to do is opt for a school which is well-known and has a good reputation. Many online colleges are just an extension of traditional campuses, for example Arizona State University, which offers both classroom-based and online courses, such as their online nursing degree. Choosing a college that also has a physical campus is usually the best way to go when studying online, as not only can you be assured that you are getting a legitimate, accredited degree, you may also be able to take advantages of campus resources such as the library. However, just because a college is completely online-only doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth checking out. But, bear the following in mind before you do so:
When it comes to online degree courses such as an online RN to BSN degree, tuition fees can often vary. Although most online courses are much cheaper to fund than their campus based counterparts, you can expect to pay around a third less for most accredited and widely accepted courses. Some online colleges will offer courses that are completely free of charge. However tempting this may sound, it’s always important to make sure that you check out any ‘free’ colleges and do plenty of research – you don’t want to be hit with charges from the small print afterwards, or waste your time taking a degree that won’t get you a job.
As more and more students opt for completing their degree completely or partly online, reviews are becoming an important part of the process of choosing an online university. Student forums and independent college review sites can both be great places to find out more about what it’s like to study online with your chosen college. Don’t forget to look out for specific features, such as the amount of contact time you will get with mentors and lecturers, how the course is assessed, and whether or not it’s possible to accelerate the degree if necessary.
Online learning has really taken off, and there are now so many colleges available online that it can be difficult to make the right choice. By knowing what to look for in a good college and what to avoid, you can pick the perfect institution to study at.