Do you want to stay home and attend school online? It’s entirely possible! Plenty of colleges now offer classes online – and some are entirely over the internet, too. Here are some tips on what you should look for in an online college and some of the best virtual schools available to students.
Should You Attend an Online College?
There are definitely pros and cons to attending an online college and it’s important to decide whether or not it’s right for you. And don’t worry – if you discover that distance learning or an in-person school isn’t for you, you can always transfer to something you’d be more comfortable with.
Here are some factors you should consider before you make a decision.
Why Should You Attend an Online College?
- You’ll save money on a dorm room or apartment.
- You’ll be able to stay at home and won’t have to relocate.
- You won’t have to travel or pay transportation costs.
- Online classes tend to be cheaper than in-person.
- With all the cost savings, you’ll likely have less debt at graduation.
- Online classes have a more flexible schedule.
- Some have recorded videos that you can watch at a later date, meaning you don’t always have to be online for the class time.
- You could graduate faster.
Why Shouldn’t You Attend an Online College?
- You miss out on the college experience.
- It’s more difficult to make friends.
- You may not have as strong a connection with your professors.
- They can also be more difficult to reach.
- Your choice of clubs and extracurriculars will be limited.
- Some employers do not like online degrees.
- They can be less engaging.
- Not all types of classes can be offered online.
- Labs, for example, need to be in-person.
- Some students may struggle with the format.
- This can especially be the case if you’re several sessions behind.
What Else Should You Know About Online Learning?
- Some degree requirements may vary from in-person degrees compared to online degrees.
- Some schools only allow online students or transfer students who have 12 or less college credits.
- You may still be allowed into the program if you have more, but you may not be able to transfer all of the credits.
- The virtual school experience can vary greatly from student to student. Colleges use different programs, for example, and online learning isn’t for everyone.
- Remote learning admission requirements and admission chances may vary compared to their in-person programs.
What Should You Look for in an Online College?
If you decide an online college is for you, or you’re at least curious, it helps to know what to look for.
It Should be Accredited
One of the most important factors to look in for an online college is whether or not it is accredited. This goes for all schools, really, online or not. Accreditation means that they meet certain academic standards, so you can be sure you’re getting a quality education and that your online degree is just as good as a real degree.
Most accredited schools also will accept credits from other colleges that are accredited. This means if you decide to go to an in-person school later on, your credits will likely transfer.
Know What You Want in a School
This is true with any school you choose. You need to make sure it’s what you want. You will want to consider the online college’s
- Strength of the major program
- Career outlook after graduation
- Online clubs and extracurriculars
- Flexibility regarding scheduling
What Are Some of the Best Online Schools?
Here are just a few of some of the best online schools you can choose.
Southern New Hampshire University, located in Manchester, has over 200 online college degree programs available to their students. This includes associates, bachelors, master’s, and certificates. The school also has
- Accelerated bachelor’s to master’s programs
- Academic support
- Financial support
- Technical support
- Online clubs and extracurriculars
- Online volunteering opportunities
University of Central Florida is located in Orlando and has more than 100 online degrees ranging from legal studies to anthropology. They offer bachelor’s, master’s, certificates, and even doctorates online.
Students interested in the program must have a minimum 2.0 GPA. They also offer academic coaches, internships, and career assistance.
Arizona State University – Skysong can be found in Scottsdale. They offer over 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs online in a variety of subjects as well as certificates and non-degree programs.
The school also has 24/7 live chat assistance, over 200 tools and services, academic and wellness coaching, counseling, tutoring, and more.
The University of Massachusetts, which has several campuses, also has an online program known as UMass Global. Designed with flexibility in mind, the university has over 90 programs and degrees available. Hybrid options (some in-person, some online) are also available.
How Can You Find Online Colleges?
Many colleges and universities offer online or hybrid programs at the moment. The easiest way to find the colleges that fit your needs and wants is to use our College Match tool. The resource lets you input all your personal information, college wants, desired major, and achievements to help you determine the best schools for you and your goals.
If you have any questions about online schools or hybrid programs, make sure to reach out to the college or university you’re considering. They can direct you towards the appropriate information and help you choose the best classes and programs for your education.