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Online University Guide

Updated on March 19, 2013

The popularity of the online university

Getting a degree from an online university (often referred to as "distance learning") is becoming more common every year. Once viewed with skepticism, online degrees are now becoming more accepted in many industries as a viable way to achieve a relatively inexpensive degree in a flexible fashion. For many who do not have the time or ability to acquire a degree from a bricks and mortar university, online universities offer programs that allow many who might otherwise not be able to further their academic career an option to do just that, without sacrificing their current employment situation.

The Pros And Cons Of A Degree From An Online University

When people feel like heading back to school, they will want to know about the pros and cons of a degree from an online university. Once they have weighed their options, they can begin signing up for courses. It is often best to consult with someone who has been to such a university before. Such people can give excellent advice.

The pros of enrolling in an online school are evident. With a flexible schedule, men and women will be able to attend class whenever they want. This is especially crucial for people who have to go to work during the day. They can then keep their full-time jobs while still taking a few classes on the side. It will be, in essence, the best of both worlds.

One especially big benefit is that students can take classes from the comfort of their own home. They will not have to commute across a busy city to get to class on time. Hence, gas money can be saved. Individuals who go to school electronically will find that they can do their homework in the comfort of their own living room.

Taking classes over the Internet will also be cheaper in the long run. The tuition itself will be below average, which will certainly help some people out. Men and women who are trying to support their families will be looking for economic breaks wherever possible. Lower tuition is one way in which they can save money through time.

On the flip side, there are some negatives to enrolling in online classes. Because there will be no teacher in the classroom, students will have to watch lectures online. If they don't understand something, they will not be able to simply raise their hand and ask the teacher. This can hurt some people in their quest for good grades.

Students will also be missing out on class interaction. One of the biggest benefits of going to a regular classroom is getting to know one's classmates. If someone does not understand something, a fellow student can be turned to for help. With Internet classes, people will have to read through textbooks in the hopes of finding a clearer explanation of the subject.

Lastly, non-traditional classes will also require students to be self-starters. This means that they will have to force themselves to watch the digital lectures and complete the homework on time. Because the instructor will not be reminding people about important deadlines, individuals will have to watch out for themselves. Missing a deadline for an examination or a paper might mean the difference between passing and failing. For this reason, the syllabus should be printed out and placed in a prominent location in the house.

In the end, people must consider the pros and cons of a degree from an online university. Once they have done this, they should be able to come to a reputable decision. With dedication and a bit of patience, young men and women can move on and obtain the degrees that they have been after their whole lives.

How To Find The Best Online University

In 1989, the University of Phoenix was the first to offer web based coursework, before the mass commercialization of the web. Nowadays, it is possible for thousands of people to study for a bachelor's or master's degree online. This makes things much easier to people who might find it impossible to get access to a physical classroom. There are so many different forms of distance learning to choose from, and not all are legitimate, so it is essential to get plenty of advice about how to find/research the best online university.

Weeding out the unscrupulous websites that only exist to make money by sending visitors through affiliated sites to real university websites can be daunting. Some affiliates do offer valid tips, but many more are merely money-making scams which do nothing to help a student prepare to choose the right web based education. Unaccredited colleges and diploma mills are a waste of time, money and effort.

Digital learning offers the same range of types of undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees as can be obtained via a top traditional higher education. Most "bricks and mortar" universities and colleges (including the most prestigious) offer web based degree programs nowadays. In fact, more modern students apply for internet courses than for "live" classes.

The first step in the preparation for researching into the best web based higher education (HE) institutes is the realization that a degree based on current employment or life experiences will be meaningless. You will have to earn a legitimate degree through time, money and brainpower. Seek guidance from sources that provide free information and rankings of all accredited online universities.

Planning and research are vital to making a good decision about finding the best web based university to suit your needs. You will need the technical know-how to use a computer to access multimedia content as video, audio, bulletin boards and chat rooms will be used for tuition. Contact with professors will be via e-mail, phone or possibly chat rooms. Find out what software platform the coursework is taught in.

Speak directly with the university's enrollment counselor to get answers to any questions you have about the reputation of the college or your particular course as well as getting information about tuition and course structures. Ascertain whether a 2 or 4 year program is best for you. Two year courses tend to be more career orientated, using a real world curriculum, but can be more challenging and intense.

Research the graduation rates and ask an admission advisor how many graduates have found jobs in their field of study. Look into the faculty members. Find out which schools offer online libraries and other methods of lesson support.

The Higher Learning Commission and the Council of Higher Education Accreditation offer reliable assistance in the process of working out how to find/research the best online university. You also need to know which web schools qualify as public schools with regards to federal student financial aid status. Being thoroughly prepared with the knowledge of what an online varsity has to offer will ensure that you obtain quality education.

Top Tips On How To Avoid Diploma Mills

To achieve career progression and to increase your marketable skills, it is essential that you pursue further education. This is now quite possible through online schools. Before you enroll in any online school, you must be sure that it is legitimate, otherwise you will loose your hard earned money and have nothing to show for it at the end of the day. There are some tips which you must know on how to avoid diploma mills.

You should be suspicious of any school that has a name that sounds close to another school's name. This is because fake schools will give their schools names that are almost same to well known schools in a bid to confuse potential students. Ensure that the school has been accredited with a credible body. Some accreditation bodies are not genuine or recognized by State agencies.

Check the website of the school to see if they have listed their contact information. Fake schools will not disclose their address. Alternatively, they may keep changing their address as they move from state to state. A genuine college will not have a problem displaying their mailing and physical address.

You can be able to obtain a degree from a fake school unbelievably fast. They will boast on how short their courses are. It takes time to study for a degree in a legitimate school. If you come across a school that makes it too easy to obtain a degree, then you have stumbled on a diploma mill.

In a fake school, you will not have to present any academic scripts or provide a history of your academic qualifications. Also, there will be no admission criteria. Most of the schools operate on the basis that if you can afford to pay the required fees then you can enroll in any course you want. There will be no specific guidelines provided on the coursework and there will be no requirements to be fulfilled by students before they can qualify to graduate.

Most schools normally charge fees for every semester attended, or for every course attended. Therefore, if you come across a school that charges on a degree basis, it is probably a scam. Such schools will lay emphasis on the degree you will get, rather than on the skills you will obtain. The school will not place priority on how classes will be conducted or the number of students in a class.

If the school fees is too cheap then the school is a scam. Check out what other schools charge and compare it to the school you want to attend. Also, fake schools will prompt you to enroll for more than one course by offering you a discount if you do.

To know how to avoid diploma mills, you should take time to dig and find out as much as possible about the school you want to join. Generally, if the school is offering a deal that is too good to be true, it is probably a scam. There is no reason why you should enroll in a fake school yet there are so many legitimate online schools.

How Will Potential Employers View A Degree From An Online University?

Many students wonder just how will potential employers view a degree from an online university? After all, there is no point to spending time and money to get a qualification only to find your hard-earned degree is worthless. It takes a lot of gumption to qualify through distance learning, and you want it to mean something, and help get a better job.

One thing you must make sure of up front is that the school you study through has all the necessary accreditations. An Internet search will quickly reveal the true state of affairs. There are a lot of diploma mills out there and you do not want to be taken in by one. A reputable school will state what accrediting bodies recognize their degrees, and you would be wise to check with the relevant bodies.

It is also important to find out if your course is recognized. The same considerations hold here, but in addition, although your college might be accredited, a particular course might not be recognized. Check up on this as well, as the consequences could be disastrous. As elsewhere, particular degrees from certain institutions may be preferred. Find out the facts regarding this before you start studying, as switching to another school midway through the course might cost some credits.

A good idea is to check with your employer as to how highly they regard the qualification, if appropriate. Otherwise get advice from someone employed in the field who knows which is the best online school to attend. Again, an Internet search might be very helpful, with many informative posts available.

Having made sure that your degree will be valid, you can proceed to the next stage. Some online degrees are highly-regarded, and some have little value. This also depends to a large extent on the attitude of the employer concerned. Some employers are wary of any qualification obtained on the Web. These institutions are reactionary, and should be avoided if possible.

Most forward-thinking companies are quite happy with a Web-based degree. After all there are brick-and-mortar diploma mills as well, although the advent of the Internet has made it easier for these sharks. In this case a recognized degree from an accredited college would carry equal weight, as standards are sure to be consistently high.

In fact, some companies will give you extra points for qualifying through distance education. They realize the environment is very challenging. By qualifying you have shown qualities such as persistence and the ability to motivate yourself which should translate well into your work performance. These factors could make such a qualification a positive advantage.

So, just how will potential employers view a degree from an online university? The answer really depends on many factors. There are plenty of companies willing to accept such degrees, and any company which undervalues them should be avoided. Many qualifications are now primarily available through the Web, and this training medium is achieving increasing legitimacy. As long as the institution is reputable and maintains high standards, there should normally be no problem.

Do you feel that online universities deliver a quality degree?

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