Online Colleges and Degrees – Are They Legitimate?

Many working adults who wish to go back to college but are not able to attend a local campus during the day are finding that an online college is the perfect solution. A person can work during the day and pursue their degree at night and on the weekends. But while all online colleges offer certifications or degrees in various fields, not all credits and degrees obtained online are the same. As a result, certain credits may not be transferable to other colleges, and that certification or degree that you worked so hard for may not be recognized by many employers.

The following is a list of things that you should investigate when considering enrolling in an online school:

Accreditation: All colleges, whether it’s online or a typical “brick and mortar” campus must be accredited in order for the credits obtained there to be transferable and their degrees recognized as legitimate. However, not all online colleges receive accreditation from the same organization. A nationally accredited college does not carry the same weight as a regionally accredited one. A college that is regionally accredited is the most highly regarded, and the credits and degrees earned at these schools will easily transfer to other colleges and be recognized. A college that is nationally accredited, on the other hand, is not as highly regarded, and the credits and degrees earned at it will probably have difficulty transferring and being accepted. To check what type of accreditation a college has, you can check the Council for Higher Education Accreditation website at http://www.chea.org.

Educational Support: Some online college students have found that after enrolling, they received little or no support from instructors or faculty. Thus, it would be a good idea to verify if and when your instructors and perhaps tutors will be available to answer your questions and help you succeed. Along with that, ask about the student-to-instructor ratio. The lower the number of students for an instructor, the more he or she will be able to give individualized attention.

Tuition: While many online college tuition costs are in line with local colleges, some charge tuitions that are considerably higher. Most colleges base tuition on credit hours, but some online colleges may charge additional fees, such as for the use of their software or servers. Inquire about all of the costs involved so that your bill is not a shock when it arrives. Additionally, many online colleges, just like brick and mortar colleges, will offer financial assistance, which could come in the form of student loans, grants, or scholarships. Investigate these options first, as they could greatly reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

Job Placement Assistance: Most likely your purpose in going back to college is to ultimately get a better job, so ask the college about job placement assistance. They also should be willing to share with you their most recent job placement numbers.

Attending an online college will take a lot of effort and discipline on your part. But in the end, you want to be assured that all of the time and effort you put into your endeavors will be rewarded. As you can see, not all online colleges are equal. But by investigating the above mentioned factors, you can be confident that the online college you chose was the right one for you.

David Deering is a professional writer for http://www.localcollegeinfo.com and a 40 year-old college student himself. To research and request free information from local and online colleges, please visit http://www.localcollegeinfo.com

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