- Looking for cool apps ? Check out our post of the coolest apps around!
Find us on Facebook
In the fall of 2010, there were 6.1 million students enrolled in at least one online course. In the years since, the popularity of online colleges has boomed. Online colleges are a realistic option for those who would not have time to attend a university otherwise. With the thousands of choices of online schools, making a decision as to which school you will attend is overwhelming. Don’t make the decision more complicated than it has to be. Choosing an online school is no different than choosing a traditional school.
Let’s face it: Cost is the first factor that most students consider when choosing a college or university. Many people are under the mistaken impression that online colleges are cheaper than brick and mortar schools. Although this is sometimes the case, it is not the rule. Online schools can be just as expensive as their traditional counterparts; research the cost well.
Location is not as important when choosing an online school as it is when choosing a physical college, but it is important. Some colleges require that you attend an on campus orientation or visit the school to take final exams. Pay close attention to the major you choose. Look at the course catalog and speak to an advisor. If you will be required to visit the college for any reason, its location is a consideration.
Accreditation means that a school has passed an inspection and adheres to a rigorous set of standards. If you plan to transfer to another university, you don’t want to have wasted your first two years. Accreditation doesn’t guarantee that all of your credits will transfer, but you are more likely to see them follow you to your new school. Speaking of accreditation: Be aware of diploma mills. No reputable online school will offer to send you a diploma or degree for a set fee, without attending classes.
What do you want to study? When you have narrowed down your options based on cost and location, you’ll need to find out if one or more of those colleges offer your desired major. It makes no sense to enroll in an online school and not be able to pursue your goals. Most online schools offer multiple associates degrees but few four-year or graduate degrees. Ask the school for more information if you can’t find what you need on its website.
Rankings are important no matter what type of school you choose. U.S. News Ranks the top online colleges each year. Visit their website to see how different schools ranked. If you aren’t sure where to start your search for the right school, this list will be invaluable. You can find it here.
Don’t make choosing an online school more complicated than it needs to be. There is no trick to choosing a college, nor any magic ball that will tell you if you made the right decision. Use these tips to help you decide on a school that may be the best one for you and your situation.
Author Brett Harris writes full time in New York City. If you’re looking for an online school, check out the best online schools for 2014.