If you’re planning your college career and considering an online bachelor degree program; choosing the right college is as important as choosing the right concentration. Here are some practical tips to help you navigate the path to the right online college for your needs:
List your options. Once you’ve defined your field of study, do a Google search for online colleges that offer degree programs in that concentration. Consult websites and gather as much information the program as possible. Is the college an online-only institution or are there brick-and-mortar locations too? Consult academic counselors or admissions officers to learn more and ask questions about program curriculum. Clear any doubts before making your final decision.
Check Accreditation. A major part of developing your short-list of online colleges involves checking accreditation. There are many reputable online colleges but as diploma mill scams rise, it is extremely important to vet a schools credentials. Research whether the online schools on your list are nationally accredited, regionally accredited, or both. Do they hold any program-specific accreditations’? For example, some nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). An online bachelor degree from an un-accredited college may not serve your intended purpose since many employers will not recognize the degree as valid.
Check School Rankings. Whether you are considering an elite college, a for-profit location and online-based program or online-only program, research school rankings. How is the curriculum ranked? How does the faculty and facilities (if classroom-based study is offered with an online component) rank? The Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report are two publications that survey students, colleges and faculty and compile rankings annually.
Check Program Cost. The cost of online bachelor degree programs vary greatly. You’ll need to determine whether the program cost suits your budget. There are additional costs that will affect your decision in addition to tuition such as textbook costs, exam fees, workshop fees, lab and other fees. Find out if any additional fees are included with tuition each semester or if you can expect to pay them separately.
Student Life-line. What type of student support is available? Are there systems in place to guide students as they navigate through an online bachelor program? You’ll need to determine if each school offers mentors, student advisors and tutors as a part of student education as well as how available these services are to support online students.
Choosing the best college to earn your online bachelor degree requires determination and work. Once you’ve made your decision, you’ll be well on your way to a brighter future. For even more information on online learning, check out the infographic below provided by the good folks at WiredAcedemic and OnlinePHDPRograms.
About Ashworth College
Ashworth College has built a tradition of excellence that spans more than 25 years. Our online bachelor degree programs are accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) which is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.
Infographic Via: Online PhD Programs Blog