Distance education is now making it more possible than ever before to obtain your college degree. Single mothers, full time workers, or someone who does not have a traditional campus near their home are among the ones choosing online virtual campuses to pursue their degree. If you are considering taking the step to obtain your degree online there are five important things you should remember when you are selecting the University of your Choice.
1. Always look for a college that offers accreditation. Accreditation means that a University meets or exceeds a minimum educational standard. This will be very important if you ever plan to transfer to a different University. Most schools will only transfer credits from an accredited University. Accreditation of the school that you earn your degree with will also play a vital role when seeking employment with potential employers in the future. Be aware that while most colleges that offer online education are fully legitimate, there are many that are scams. Known as degree mills, your diploma will not mean anything more than the piece of paper it is written on. To avoid this problem you should only consider accrediting agencies approved by the United States Department of Education.
2. Fully investigate the financial aid packages that a University can offer you. With the help of grants, loans, and scholarships you will find that obtaining your education will be easier than you ever thought possible. For students who do not qualify for any of the above programs, some colleges offer installment plans to pay out your education as you complete your classes.
3. The ease of contacting your instructor varies school to school. Some instructors are reached by e-mail while some others may offer help with your classes via chat or even telephone. Find out the options available for contacting instructors at the schools you are considering and then select a school that will meet your needs and expectations.
4. Make sure that you are aware if your course work for your desired degree can be completed entirely online. Some programs may require residency periods or other requirements.
5. Find out once your course work is complete how your degree will be obtained. Many universities will mail your degree. However, some Universities will allow you the opportunity to travel and attend a graduation to walk across the stage and receive your degree in person.
Keep the 5 things above in mind as you search for the school that is right for you. Remember that an online degree can be completed at any time. Therefore, do not let a admissions advisor rush you into making your decision. Choosing the college that you will obtain your degree with is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.