More academic institutions are offering online degrees each year, giving prospective students a wide array of options to complete education. For adults who cannot afford to stop working for full-time academic pursuit, online classes has become a favorite alternative.
There are some things prospective students need to know before investing in an online degree. You may have heard people talk about online education before, and are unsure whether it is the best alternative. In this article, we address common questions about online education.
Studying online is not the same as attending a traditional college
Students of online institutions don’t have to be physically present in a classroom. This fact significantly changes the learning dynamic of online courses when compared to traditional methods. Those who want to study online must keep in mind that they will often have to look for third party sources to obtain the required knowledge.
In an online course, students choose how much time to dedicate on a single subject. Building a learning strategy is recommended when family and work occupy most of the time. Family members can provide assistance with the process, allowing students to finish assignments without delays.
Online degrees are accredited, just like normal ones
Online institutions need an accreditation as proof that they meet certain educational standards. This certification is required in order for them to issue degrees accepted by other institutions and organizations. A degree that is not accredited has little to no value, and many states have passed legislation restricting institutions from issuing them.
Before investing in an online degree, make sure the institution being chosen is accredited by one of the six regional agencies across the country. Their accreditation can be verified by consulting with the agency that operates in the area and inquire about the institution in question. Organizations like the Distance Education and Training Council also provide accreditation to online schools nationwide.
The accreditation process has allowed online degrees to be as recognized as traditional ones. The rise of online education has incentivized institutions to improve their teaching methods and meet higher education standards. Even longstanding brick and mortar colleges such as Harvard and Cambridge are now offering online courses, a move that has helped the industry grow up in the last few years.
Employers and universities accept online degrees from accredited institutions
The main question prospective students often ask about online degrees is whether they are accepted by companies and other educational institutions across the country. The answer is yes, as long as the institution that issued the degree has been accredited. Some companies have arrangements with online institutions in order to allow employees to continue their education while at work, often with significant discounts.
People who, for any reason, were unable to finish college in the past, can resume their education in an online institution. Accredited online colleges allow incoming students to transfer previously approved credits onto their academic record. Brick and mortar colleges have also recently made it possible for online students to transfer their credits and seamlessly continue their careers in the campus.
Online degrees are a source of quality education that caters to all learning styles
A study by the U.S. Department of Education has concluded that online education from accredited institutions is as effective and reliable as traditional methods. Many institutions work hard to offer high quality education, and many online students often outperform their traditional counterparts.
Online colleges have the upper hand against traditional methods when it comes to learning flexibility. The majority of institutions offer a wide array of programs designed to allow students to process information according to their strengths and learn at their own pace. People who desire to study online can choose a school better aligned to their learning practices.
Most prominent universities now offer online degrees, and you can receive financial assistance when completing one
An increasing number of traditional colleges now offer online degrees. Popular institutions such as Harvard and Cambridge have given credibility to the online education market, offering prospective students the opportunity to obtain a degree from their favourite university. It is now possible to study most careers from home, with few exceptions such as medicine, physics and mechanical engineering.
Online degrees have to main benefits: they are cheaper than traditional college degrees and meet eligibility criteria for most financial assistance programs. This means low income families have the option to obtain a valuable college degree at a lower cost while receiving financial aid from state and federal education grants. Pell and FSEOG grants, the two largest federal education assistance programs, are open to people studying at an accredited online institution.
We are living the information era, where everything is deeply interconnected. It’s no wonder that many academic institutions are taking advantage of this new development to reach those who lack the time to attend college and give them the opportunity to get the degree they desire. Colleges and universities around the country are opening affordable alternatives struggling families can take advantage of to improve their finances.