It takes a lot of discipline to get college degrees online. In this day & age you can even get an online master's degree. However, since it's new territory you really need to study up to make sure that it's the right choice for your lifestyle. It can even affect any future schooling that you choose to do. Here is how to assess if college degrees online are right for you.
Check accreditation. Some schools may say that you can finish your degree in a matter of months. They may even tempt you by saying that you can work around your current schedule or even attend classes in your pajamas. It's especially important to make sure that your online college degree will transfer to any graduate work you may plan in the future. If you're asking "Are online degrees worth anything?", it just depends on the kind of certificate.
Be prepared to pay out of pocket. Many college degrees online tout their financial aid programs. They rarely, if ever, offer scholarships. You'll also probably be ineligible for Pell grants, which you wouldn't have to pay back in a traditional school. Most of the financial aid at these colleges comes in the form of hefty student loans. Be prepared to pay up front, or factor it into your monthly budget for years to come. Consider financial aid when asking "what is the best online college"?
Look into your local colleges & universities. You might just think that for college degrees online you have to go with an internet school. You might not even think that you have time for higher education & that's why college online appeals to you. However, call colleges in your area & ask if they have correspondence courses. This way you won't run into accreditation issues, & they just might surprise you. Top online degree programs might be at the college that you already go to.
Test out your future work force. Some employers might pass you over if you got college degrees online. They might even just assume you printed one off the internet. One of the downsides to online schools is that they don't offer you internships. These are vital to get experience so you can find work after you graduate. These schools are more tailored to the working professional, because you'll need contacts already in place to get real world experience.
Finish your college degree online. You might be tempted to just take a few courses online & then continue on when you have the time or money. If you have a degree, it will generally transfer. However, if you just have a few stray online classes, a brick & mortar college might not give you credit for them. Then you'll essentially have to start all over. Go for broke & get your diploma.
Say goodbye to the college experience. With some online programs you might have to show up at a campus to take tests. However, you won't have the traditional college experience of living in a dorm, having roommates, going to parties, or making it on your own for the first time. If you are a freshman, this can seem lonely, but you'll still have time for a part or full time job.
Realize that it's still work. Getting college degrees online is flexible & fun. However, it does take months of studying. Plus, it's easy to lose track of time when you are doing things by yourself. You will need to be completely motivated. Set aside a quiet study area in your home where you can get work done.
College degrees online can make a bachelor's, master's, or associate degree obtainable. You might be the first person in your family to go to college. Higher education is getting more accessible so you can make your dreams come true.