10 Tips for Choosing Your Online College

April 2015
10 tips for choosing an online college
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Choosing your college is a very personal decision. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of online school versus a traditional campus program. If you’ve made the decision to attend an online college, but don’t know which one to choose, follow these tips below to help make your decision easy.

1. Accreditation

Be sure that the college you choose is an accredited school and not a scam. Some online schools are not legitimate and will not provide a real diploma at the end of your degree.

2. Long-term goals

Make sure that your online school offers the program you want and fits with your ultimate career plans.

3. Research the faculty

Do your research ahead of time and get familiar with the school’s faculty. Research the background of the professors so you know what type of qualifications each one holds.

4. Finances

Investigate your financial options, whether it’s a payment plan or a student loan. There are tons of options for students on a budget, so don’t think you need to have thousands of dollars in the bank to afford school.

5. Choose your degree wisely

Make sure you understand exactly what’s involved in the degree program you choose. Some degrees cannot be completed entirely online, and others require additional years of schooling to complete. Don’t be caught by surprise.

6. Class size

How many students are allowed to enroll in each class? This is important to know if you’re the type of student that needs one on one attention from your professor.

7. Specialty

Often, online schools specialize in a certain field of study. Try to find the school that specializes in your field. These schools usually have highly qualified professors for their specialties and offer advanced degrees in the field.

8. Credit transfers

Find out about transferring credits, should you decide to attend an on-campus college or different online school in the future. Not all credits are transferrable, so it’s important to know how flexible your school is with this policy.

9. Reputation

What type of reputation does your online school have? Are they known to grade harshly or offer one on one help to students who request it? Research your school and decide if it fits your needs.

10. Student reviews

Perhaps the best way to choose an online school is to read reviews from other students who’ve attended the school in the past or are current students. Ask them how enjoyable their time has been and what issues they’ve faced, if any. First hands experience is always the best, but speaking with others before taking the plunge can be a huge help and save you a lot of headaches down the line.