By organizing your search and starting your preparations early you’ll be in the best possible position to find a great school well within your means.
Learning more about the application process will help you understand what colleges are looking for, and this will bring you a cut above other applicants.
Understanding what you are looking for in a college is the first step to finding the best school that meets all your requirements.
Learn more about ways you can afford college through financial aid, work-study programs, and some simple planning before you attend.
From internships to taking advantage of career centers read information about how to succeed in college from your first day, to when you walk across the stage for your diploma.
College is the natural goal for many high-school graduates, stay at home parents, and working professionals who want to further their careers. College provides the promise of a quality education, but traditional college campuses do not come without challenges.
It’s difficult for many non-traditional students to commute to class everyday, especially when they have to struggle to find parking and childcare. This becomes even more of a challenge when the student combines working with full or part-time work. More, it is difficult for many students to get the most out of their education when lecture halls are overcrowded and professors are difficult to track down in-person.
With the advent of the Internet, students can eliminate the challenges of a traditional college education and obtain a degree online. Most online degrees are career-focused, making them a practical option for all. Whether it’s an online trade degree to get started, or a JD degree to advance to high levels in the legal system, students can enter an online school, earn their degree in the comfort of their own home, and sooner than they know it, start a career they love.
Online classes encourage you to be an independent learner. In other words, it's your responsibility to complete and hand-in assignments via the school's website or educational portal. While you may have to attend a few virtual lectures, the rest of your schedule is quite flexible. Studying, reviewing lectures, and when you want to complete assignments are all on your schedule.
Your professor will usually give an online syllabus outlining all your assignments at the beginning of each course. Assignments can run the gamut from essays and papers to online tests and quizzes completed totally online. That way, you'll be responsible for retaining the information you read and learn about in lectures.
Some professors may ask students to participate in group discussions or online chats with other students. This is a great opportunity to ask peers any questions you have about the course material. Additionally, professors will post online, "office hours," in which they will be available for email, phone, or online instant message conversations so you can discuss any questions or concerns you may have regarding class material.
Expect to earn an online degree in roughly three to four years. Some schools even hold regional graduation ceremonies where students can collect their diplomas. The choice is yours...
Each online college will offer a different set of degrees, all of which are typically available in on-campus formats as well. So, whether you're studying healthcare, business and finance, education, social sciences, criminal justice, or psychology, you'll be getting an accredited education from a real, reputable college or university.
Examine your specific career goals. Are you interested in earning a bachelor’s degree and possibly a master’s, or are you looking into earning your certification for a specialized skill? Narrow down your goals to make the most out of your research.
Online colleges make it easy to earn your degree, but you’ll need access to a computer with high speed Internet for around four hours a day. Consider investing in a laptop or personal computer.
Be prepared to spend as much as four hours a day on your online education. While flexible and convenient, earning a degree online still requires a dedicated commitment.
Most online degrees are more affordable than traditional on-campus programs, especially when you don’t have to spend extra money on room and board. Typically, online classes will cost anywhere from $400-800 per credit. Look into financial aid options to help offset the cost.
Most degree programs will require a high-school diploma or GED to make sure you're up to speed.