Much has been said about online education, and quite frankly some of that information can be a little confusing. Here, I am going to outline 10 rules you can use when looking for an accredited university online.
The first thing to remember is that you cannot to sign up for a course if it is not from an accredited institution. This is because the chances of transferring to other colleges are almost zero if the online institution is not credible. Second, ensure that the accrediting agency is credible. There are many degree mills out there and many of them also run so-called accreditation agencies. To be wholly legitimate, a business entity has to get government approval. Thus one of the best ways to trust an accreditation agency is to find out if it is approved by the United States Department of Education.
Third, be sure that the degree course you are considering fits in your educational long range plans. For example, if you are pursuing an associate degree program, and you later want to pursue a bachelor’s degree, find out if the coursework will allow the transfer to another accredited university online or on site colleges that accept credits. Fourth, investigate about the class size of the institution you are considering. Class size is important as it is to a traditional classroom. Fifth, try to find out the faculties qualifications. Do they hold degrees and if so from what institutions? In what fields are their experiences? How long have they been lecturing and if so how long have they been teaching online classes? Look out for faculties that hold degrees from the colleges that they themselves are teaching. This is often a bad sign.
Sixth, consider the level of support offered to students? How easy does the institution make it for students to contact their instructors or tutors in case of help? Choose not only an accredited university online, but also an institution that offers support in line with needs and expectations. Seventh, do not let anyone rush you into beginning a program if you do not feel you have the time and commitment to follow it to completion with the time and effort that is required in order to achieve success. Sign up when you are ready. Eight, find out if the certification can be completed entirely online or if some on site project work or residency periods will be required.
Nine, find out about financial aid options that the institution has in place. This could be loans, scholarships or tuition installment plans that can make it more affordable. And finally, and probably the most important, online degree options are not as limited as they were 10 years ago, so do not settle for less. Request information from 5 or 6 colleges and go for the one that appears to offer what you want. If you at least use the above guidelines in your selection, you are likely to get an accredited university online that fits your needs and expectations.