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Education

5 Factors To Check When Choosing an Online School

Approved, accessible graduate programs are popular among students at the most popular online universities. On top of achieving accreditation standards for academic rigor and quality, each of these schools has built a good reputation among online students.

Tuition rates and suggestion rates have been offered to assist students in making more educated judgments and locating the institution that best meets their educational goals. We’ve also included details on popular factors among students in their online degrees.

Prospective students often choose online classes because they are a convenient and affordable alternative to enrolling on campus, but there are many other factors that influence college decisions. Everything from credit transfer options to student support services can play a role in helping students succeed within an online learning environment.

When reading about popular aspects of undergraduate and graduate programs below, students should keep the importance of accreditation in mind. Programs can receive either regional or national accreditation, and accrediting bodies ensure that programs are meeting a given standard. Attending an accredited school is consequential when it comes to financial aid, the ability to transfer credits, and employment.

1. Affordable programs

The cost of tuition continues to be an important consideration for many, with more than half of online students citing this as the leading factor when choosing a program. As student debt continues to rise in the U.S., more students may turn to online degrees as a more affordable alternative to enrolling in on-campus programs and consider financial aid options when pursuing higher education.

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2. Reputation

Although they may not be located on campus, online students still want to be proud of their school and feel like they’re part of a community. Online students rank school reputation as one of the top considerations prior to enrollment, and may seek out schools with a good reputation in their community to help them in their job search after graduation. Three in four online students choose a school within 50 miles of where they live, making it easier for local employers to recognize their credentials.

3. Easy credit transfer

Many college students who enroll in distance education want to complete their degree as quickly as possible and make their previous academic credits count. The option to transfer credits from other institutions is appealing for obvious reasons – it can save students money and time, and help maximize their investment.

While students have historically struggled to apply transfer credits to their degrees, higher education institutions have become more flexible in recent years. Some institutions, such as the University of Maryland Global Campus, allow students to earn credits for prior learning or work experience, making higher education more affordable and accessible for working adults.

4. Career services 

Extensive career services such as the ones offered at American Public University are a key component to student success post-graduation. Online students often enroll with specific professional goals in mind. They want to see tangible outcomes after earning their degree, whether it’s starting a new role, earning more money, or advancing in their current industry.

Because online degrees are often geared towards working adults, most online colleges provide career guidance services, including resume assistance, career counseling, and advisors to help students find a degree that best fits their goals and education needs.

5. Up-to-date technology

Having an intuitive, user-friendly interface is an important component of distance learning. Whether they’re using a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, students want to be able to access online classes and complete assignments from wherever they are.

Many online degree programs use learning management systems such as Canvas or Blackboard, which allow students to submit assignments, participate in discussions, view grades, and contact instructors on the website or through an app on their phone.

Wide range of available programs

 If the program they’re interested in isn’t available online, students will usually find it at another school rather than change their field of study or enroll in on-campus classes. Adult learners are also becoming more interested in non-degree options than traditional education pathways, especially during COVID-19.

Online colleges with credentials at every level, from certificate programs to bachelor’s degrees and doctoral programs, are often popular because they provide many options to meet student needs.

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