Applying To An Online School
In general, the admissions requirements and application process are identical for online college programs and on-campus programs. To begin, you’ll submit an online application, either directly through the school’s website or through a universal college application portal, such as the Common App. Many schools charge an application processing fee, which can range anywhere from $25 to $90. Some schools only charge you the fee if you are accepted, and some are willing to waive the application fee for low-income students.
After submitting the application form, you will be given some additional time to submit the rest of your application materials. When applying to an associate or bachelor’s degree program, these additional items usually include:
- high school or GED program transcripts,
- SAT or ACT test scores ,
- one or more letters of recommendation from former teachers or other adults, and
- a personal essay or statement.
When applying to transfer into a bachelor’s program or to a master’s or doctoral program, you may also be required to submit transcripts of your previous college coursework and a resume. In rare instances, such as when applying to a fine art or computer programming degree program, you may be asked to present a portfolio of recent projects.
Best Accredited Online Colleges
Online universities, schools, and colleges have become increasingly popular with time and still continue to grow. Taking online classes from a reputable college is an equally fascinating option as being on-site for completing your education and getting your bachelors, masters, or doctorate degrees.
Whatever the circumstances may be, students have the flexibility to complete their degree programs through an accredited online college from anywhere. Accreditation is a way of verifying that institutional bodies are providing superior quality, useful, and valuable education to their students.
The college/university you enroll in must be institutionally accredited. Our comprehensive guide sheds light on some of the best accredited online colleges and universities across the United States that are known to offer the best education and degree programs.
Why National Accreditation Is Important
One sign of a school that may be worth your time and money is accreditation. Accreditation means that independent agencies review the school and its curriculum, faculty, and administration to ensure that they meet rigorous academic standards. National accreditation shows that the university maintains its high standards of educational performance on the independent agencys regular performance evaluations and audits of the college.
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Can You Start Online College Anytime
Start dates depend on the type of online program you’ve chosen. Many of the exclusively online colleges operate on a schedule that is different from the traditional school schedule. These schools often offer short terms of four to eight weeks in length that run consecutively year round. Thanks to their unique schedules, these schools are able to accept applications and enroll new students on an ongoing basis. New students are usually invited to begin taking classes within the next available term, which is never more than a couple of months into the future.
However, other schools, especially those that have both online and in-person programs, follow the more familiar semester-based model. Applicants may have to wait for an admission decision for several months, and newly enrolled students may have to wait for the next fall, spring, or summer semester to begin their studies. If the program is run on a cohort system, where each new class of students begin together, students assigned to each cohort are generally asked to wait until the next fall term to begin.
General Courses In An Online Bachelor’s Degree
Graduation requirements vary by school and major. However, accredited online bachelor’s degrees typically require general education classes in the humanities and sciences. These classes help students develop transferable communication, interpersonal, and analytical skills. Learners also strengthen their reading and writing abilities.
General education requirements often include the following classes. This sample general education curriculum includes course overviews. However, exact class requirements vary by school. Prospective students should review each school’s curriculum outlines. Applicants can contact an enrollment counselor or professors for course requirements.
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Ranking The Best Online Degrees To Get A Job
This ranking has one interest over all others what online degrees are more likely to get you a job and long-lasting career. To figure out where the jobs are, College Consensus editors looked to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the occupations with the fastest and highest job market growth rates. From there, we researched what kinds of online degree programs students should seek out.
Predictably, the majority of the top jobs are in technology, healthcare, and business. Criminal justice and security is a big one as well. These are all fields that are in periods of rapid change, and all experiencing a shortage of qualified professionals. Theres no way we can guarantee that youll get the job you set out to get, but these are the fields that are looking for people who can do the job. Good workers are hard to find, so make yourself one with an online degree.
Students may also be interested in the Highest Paying Careers for College Grads, Underrated Colleges Doing Great Things, and Most Unusual College Degrees for some inside and outside of the box thinking about careers and education.
Is An Online Education Right For Me
Attending college online can be an ideal choice for many students. One 2019 survey of current and former fully online students showed that 84% agreed that their online education was worth the cost. Virtual learning gives students the flexibility to get a college education on their own schedules. In many cases, it also gives students more opportunities to find a program that aligns with their goals and price range without having to relocate. Depending on the program, distance education may even allow students to earn their degrees faster so they can get out into the workforce sooner.
Despite the many positive qualities, online college is not for everyone. Those students who need or want greater structure and in-person connections with their peers and instructors may prefer a more traditional college experience. Many younger college students also look forward to living on or near campus, where they can develop essential life skills and build lasting friendships.
If you’re thinking about earning a college degree online but you’d like to get a better feel for what it entails, you may want to take a free online course. Quite a few schools offering online programs provide free trials and sample courses that simulate the experience. With minimal time and effort, you will get a clearer picture of how well online learning fits your personal style and preferences.
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Best Online Marketing Degree Program
Total Enrollment: Acceptance Rate: Graduation Rate: Retention Rate:
About This School:Ferris State University offers a number of online certification programs that provide students with the skills theyll need to specialize in their career. Among the certification programs that can be completed entirely online are business-to-business marketing, direct marketing, e-commerce marketing, and general marketing. These certificates serve as the perfect complement to a business-oriented bachelors degree, such as the business administration degree that is also offered at Ferris State University. By earning these certificates in addition to the Bachelors Degree in Business Administration, students will have a solid foundation from which to secure employment upon graduation.
The Advantages Of Virtual High Schools
There are many benefits to attending an online school, and while all of these pros may not apply to every virtual school, most share some common advantages.
Many high school students who opt for an online school experience want or need a highly flexible schedule. Some are juggling work, school, and family responsibilities, while others have health problems or other issues that keep them from attending in-person school consistently. For students who travel frequently, remote high school is more convenient. And many students simply like the freedom that comes with being in control of their own schedules.
For many students, the traditional classroom experience is too slow, and they want to skip ahead and earn a high school diploma sooner. Others may feel rushed and overstimulated on campus and wish to complete their assignments at a slower pace. In all of the above cases, the flexible schedules afforded by most online high schools are usually the number one reason people choose them.
Quiet and Peaceful Environment
Since virtual schools are not constrained on space, they can often offer many more classes than a traditional school without enough classrooms or instructors. Therefore, students looking to take a specific class, like an AP or advanced course, may have a better chance to do so at a virtual high school.
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How To Know If A School Is Accredited
You know accreditation is important it helps distinguish legitimate programs from ones that, in the worst-case scenario, are fly-by-night operations that sell you a meaningless diploma. But how do you know if a school is accredited? And, even if its not accredited, if its still a program worth pursuing? There are several ways to find out. You just need to do your homework.
Checking a schools credentials is more important than ever. With the rise in online education opportunities, providing more and more people with access to higher education, theres also unfortunately been a rise in diploma mills as well. These are institutions that literally sell you a degree, diploma, or certificate, and offer the allure of a quick, easy degree in a matter of days or weeks. The problem is that they offer no real education, rendering the degree you receive completely worthless. Some claim that you can earn a degree based solely on life experience. In addition, there are ones that, as the Higher Education Opportunity Act notes, lack accreditation by a recognized accrediting agency. These are often the most deceptive diploma mills, as they can convincingly pose as legitimate schools to trick prospective students. But no matter the scenario, any degree or certificate you receive from a degree mill will not be recognized by other schools or employers.
How Can You Decide If An Affordable Online College Is Right For You And Your Learning Style
Given the different learning formats used in colleges and universities, choosing the type of degree program to pursue is a crucial decision to make. Before choosing an inexpensive online college such as nonprofit online colleges, you need to determine if the program is right for you and your learning style. Consider several factors, including:
- What you are passionate about: You need to identify the field of study you are passionate about and link it to your attributes. For instance, if you are passionate about impacting other peoples lives, you should consider an online college offering healthcare degree programs.
- Consider your learning style: If you are an individual who prefers to learn from home rather than physically attending classes, you probably need to enroll in an online school. Online colleges allow students to earn their degrees from flexible learning environments.
- Are you a tech-savvy person? Online learning processes mainly take place over the internet and through computer gadgets such as laptops and desktops. If you are a tech-savvy individual, you will probably enjoy learning online.
- Career Potentials: Online college programs have different career potentials. If you seek to land a job immediately after graduating, you should probably enroll in a college that offers career advising and has a high employability rate.
The Process Of Losing Accreditation
If your school loses its accreditation while you are enrolled, the consequences can be far-reaching. Attending a school with no accreditation can render your degree worthless to employers, eliminate your eligibility for federal financial aid, and make it difficult to transfer your credits to another school. To avoid this, we recommended that you research an institutions accreditation prior to enrollment. Also, check into when the school received its accreditation and when it will expire. If you are unable to find this information on the schools website, it can be found on the U.S. Department of Educations College Navigator website.
But just how can a school lose its accreditation? Once an institution of higher learning has received accreditation, it is regularly monitored by the accrediting agency. According to the Department of Education, each accredited institution or program is monitored throughout the period of accreditation granted to verify that it continues to meet the agencys standards. Furthermore, public complaints against an institution that are brought to its accrediting council will be considered, provided the complaint is against the institutions practices , and the specific standards or criteria that are being violated are detailed in a formal complaint.
North Hennepin Community College
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
At North Hennepin Community College, students may earn a degree online for little to no cost. In fact, thanks to NHCCs financial aid awards and scholarships, students may earn a free online degree. Online degree offerings include AA, AS, or AAS degrees in accounting, business computer systems and management, computer science, finance management, marketing, and more. Online certificates may also be earned in areas like accounting, business, computer information systems, and computer science. Types of financial aid programs available at North Hennepin include both state and federal grants and work-study. While need-based, Pell grants may offset the cost of tuition and allow students to earn their degree at North Hennepin free of charge.
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What Is Institutional Accreditation
Joining a college or university that is not institutionally accredited is deemed a severe mistake that can jeopardize your entire academic life and career. It is vital to ensure that your online college or university of choice is accredited.
Most employment centers and organizations will only acknowledge credits from colleges that are nationally and regionally accredited.
Characteristics And Benefits Of Regionally Accredited Schools
- Their designated regional accreditation agencies periodically review regionally accredited schools.
- This accreditation is more widely-recognized and considered the most prestigious.
- These schools tend to be more expensive.
- These schools tend to be more selective during their student selection and admission process.
- They are mostly academic institutions that fund-raise and depend on legacy giving and federal grants to meet financial obligations.
- Unfortunately, regionally accredited schools dont typically accept credit transfers from nationally accredited schools. They tend to favor other regionally accredited schools.
- When you attend a regionally accredited school, you are eligible for pretty much every corporate tuition reimbursement plan.
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University Of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
With numerous campuses in the University of North Carolina system, the Chapel Hill campus offers online and tuition-free options for undergraduate students. Low income students are provided a debt-free education at UNC through the Covenant Program. This program promises first-year and transfer students that they will graduate debt-free if they demonstrate financial need. Scholarships and grants are provided so that students do not have to take out loans and graduate with burdensome debt. Students receiving these scholarships agree to commit to work study programs and summer school programs. UNC offers a large number of online programs. Also, U.S. News and World Report ranks UNC #30 in best national universities.
University Of Central Florida
Visit WebsitePoints: 16
The University of Central Florida is a public research university and part of the State University System of Florida. It has the largest student body of any public university in the United States, with over 70,000 students enrolled. Recognized as a leader in innovation, the school offers flexible programs and affordable course materials with tailored digital learning to fit each students needs. UCF has 25 years of experience providing top online degrees, which span almost 100 options. Students receive quality education no matter where they are located.
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Tuition per credit: 105.07
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Collin County Community College
Collin College offers degrees and courses online for students seeking to earn a free online degree that can be used to continue on to a university or four-year college degree or to enter the workforce in a specific career path. To pay for classes, students should apply for federal financial aid by completing the free application for federal student aid , which will qualify them for federal and state aid. This type of aid includes grants, loans, and work-study. Students from low-income backgrounds often qualify for enough aid to fully cover tuition, books, and living expenses. In addition to federal and state aid, students can apply for a variety of foundation and transfer scholarships through the completion of a general application, which will match them up to the best opportunities.
Why Should I Get An Online Degree
This is a question posed by many students considering going to school. There used to be a stigma associated with online degrees, but that is no longer the case. Open Education Database offers a list of online education benefits. Online degree programs typically offer a larger choice of courses and programs. Today just about every type of degree is attainable online, from certificates to graduate degrees. Online programs are flexible so students can work them into their lives, especially if the student is working or taking care of a family. The course material is always accessible since its online. Other online education benefits include students ability to do the online coursework while working to enhance their current position, or potentially enable them to move on to a different career path.
For some students, there may be some disadvantages of online learning. Online degrees require the student to be accountable and responsible for timely completion of all coursework and exams. There are no regularly scheduled meeting times to which the student must report. Students must stay on top of their own schedule. Students may feel like they arent able to get to know their classmates since they dont interact in person. These disadvantages are minor and can be easily overcome by the student.