Universities By Name:
Universities By State:
Why should I earn an online degree?
Higher education can be your ticket to financial success. According to the US Census Bureau, college graduates earn about twice as much as high school graduates. This means that over a lifetime of work, the average bachelor degree holder earns about $1 million more than the average high school graduate.
An online degree can lead to a promotion. Sometimes, being a stellar employee is not enough to earn you a promotion. Work promotions tend to be based on a combination of job performance and educational qualifications. If you’re looking to move ahead at work, talk with your supervisor about certificate programs or degree programs that could fast-track your career. Some employers even offer tuition assistance and permit you to learn from your office.
Education makes life more interesting! Online learning isn’t only intended to support career goals. Even if you’re retired or satisfied with your job, why not conveniently learn a foreign language, hone your artistic ability, or otherwise deepen your knowledge with online learning? You’ll find life more enjoyable and you’ll acquire more knowledge and skills to share with others.
How does online education work?
An online course connects an instructor to students through the internet. In many cases, all aspects of a course take place online. This includes: enrolling; listening to and watching lectures; downloading readings; submitting assignments; communicating with the instructor and other students; taking tests; and receiving grades. Students might infrequently be required to travel in order to take proctored exams. Some schools offer on-campus graduation ceremonies for their distance learners.
Some online courses are more accurately referred to as hybrid courses. These are partially online but require occasional attendance on campus or at an affiliated learning center. For example, some schools combine internet learning with interactive television (ITV). For students’ convenience, online colleges and universities tend to establish numerous ITV sites throughout a state or across the country.
Certain subject areas are not conducive to exclusively online learning. To become a licensed teacher, for example, an online student will need to complete a student teaching internship in person.
Which degrees can I earn online?
Online education has rapidly evolved over the past decade. Thousands of schools, from community colleges to Ivy League institutions, now offer higher education
degrees through distance learning. Many online colleges and universities
offer associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and master’s degrees in most subjects. Some offer doctoral degrees in areas such as education, psychology and an online business degree to mention a few.
Most online schools also offer certificate programs. These are non-degree programs that require completing just a few courses. Certificates can serve as useful résumé enhancers.
Which subjects can I study online?
Virtually every college subject can be studied online. The main subject categories therefore include:
- Criminal Justice
- Graphic Design
- Liberal Arts
- Social Sciences
Some online degrees include an offline requirement. For example, to truly understand chemistry, a student would need to perform laboratory experiences. Similarly, to prepare for the business world an MBA student would benefit from a corporate internship. Programs that combine online learning with offline studies are referred to as hybrids or blended programs.
Can I afford online school?
The fear of additional bills keeps many people from furthering their education. In the long run, however, earning a degree that helps you secure a job or a promotion will more than pay for itself. Furthermore, tuition assistance is available from the government, schools, and private groups.
When you apply to an online university, they will probably require you to fill out the FAFSA
, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form will assess your financial aid and will help your school to determine how it might offer assistance.
You may be offered scholarships or interest-free student loans. Some schools also offer work study options. If your school has a physical campus, then you could secure a part-time campus job to help pay for your studies.
How do I apply to an online college or university?
Not surprisingly, online schools accept applications online. Their application processes range from being very simple to being very time-consuming. Some schools accept virtually all students and request little information. Others are more selective and require your educational transcripts, standardized test scores (e.g., the SAT or GRE), letters of recommendation, and a number of personal essays.
The application process may also involve taking school-specific assessments. These are intended to sort students into appropriate classes in areas such as language and mathematics.
When can I apply for school online?
Some online schools follow the application patterns of traditional schools. This means that students can only apply at a certain time of year, generally in the fall or spring, in order to enroll for the next winter term. However, some online schools start new classes year-round. They may review applications on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Do online colleges and universities accept transfer credits?
Most accredited online schools accept transfer credits from other regionally and nationally accredited institutions. The University of Wisconsin, for example, allows baccalaureate students to apply all credits earned for an associate’s degree at other UW sites. However, some schools limit transfers to just six or so credits. If you intend to transfer your credits after learning online, you’re advised to investigate your options before committing to a specific online program.
Will I need special computer equipment to learn online?
The technology used in most online degree programs only requires a relatively fast computer with a high-speed internet connection. Some schools specify that certain Windows and Mac operating systems or computers with certain processing speeds be used.
If special software is required, it can typically be downloaded from the university’s website for free. Some schools also offer software such as word processors and anti-virus programs at a discounted student rate.
Do I need to be a computer wiz to learn online?
No. Most online degree programs begin with an online orientation. Orientation lasts for about two weeks. This helps students become adept at accessing course material and interacting with the professor before grades are involved.
Do I need to log on at a certain time of day?
Time requirements vary with programs and schools. Some online programs are asynchronous. This means that the instructor and the student needn’t interact in real time. For instance, a professor can deliver a speech in the morning and the student can either view it live or download it later. However, other courses require online participation at a specified time.
How do I get my course materials?
Depending on the course, you’ll pay for a physical book or access assigned readings online. Distance learners are also eligible to use campus libraries. Research can easily be accomplished off-campus with online journals and electronic books.
How long will my program take to complete?
Online degree programs vary in length. Some follow the same schedule as on-campus programs, so a typical bachelor’s program takes four years. However, accelerated programs are also available. For example, many associate’s degree programs and MBA programs that normally require two years of study at a traditional school only require one year of online study.
Some programs are self-paced. These allow students to work at an accelerated pace or to spread their classes out over several years.
How much time should I devote to each online course?
Prospective online students sometimes mistakenly believe that online courses are less rigorous. This generally isn't so. To perform well in a distance learning course, you’ll need to invest about the same amount of time needed to do well on campus. Professors generally recommend allotting 3-4 hours per week per credit hour. Thus a 3-credit class would entail 9-12 hours of work every week.
Whether you’re new to higher education or seek graduate degree programs and certificates, online colleges and universities
can help you achieve academic goals and expand your career opportunities. Check some popular online schools to see what options are available.
Check out our newest infographic with some very interesting facts about the 21st century college student. Click to view it in full size!
We now support Piwik