If you’re planning to earn your college degree online, there are many steps to take to make sure you select the right college or university. As you begin researching for schools online, you will discover very quickly that there are hundreds of schools from which to choose. However, your primary goal should be to find a school that is accredited.
Here are some important things you want to be sure to explore:
Proof of Accreditation
There are several ways to verify that the school you select is accredited, but it can be confusing because there are so many types of accreditation for online schools.
When you speak with the enrollment advisor about enrolling, but sure to question what type of accreditation the school has and ask where you can read the specifics of the accreditation online. If he or she hesitates to provide this information, you should view this as a red flag and continue your search
If you have attended college previously and you’re finally getting back to completing your education, make sure to find out if the school you select will accept your transfer credits and get this in writing before you enroll. You will have to provide transcripts and proof of the credits you’ve earned, but that won’t be a problem; just contact your previous school and ask them to send the transcripts to the college where you are planning to enroll.
Another important reason to make sure the online school you attend is accredited is so that you can transfer the credits you earn there should you decide in the future to change colleges. If your school is not accredited, credits will not be accepted by an accredited school. So this is super important.
Many students who are going to college as adults often feel anxious about returning to school after being out for so long, so they begin by entering an associate degree program to see how it goes. They usually have plans to get the associate degree under their belts and then continue on after its completion to earn their bachelor’s degree.
This is a smart plan since you can complete the associate’s degree more quickly and perhaps get your foot in the door at a new job. Then you can re-enroll to begin earning your bachelor’s degree. If you wish to go to a different school for your bachelor’s or master’s later on, you again must be sure your associate degree is earned at an accredited school so your credits will easily transfer to the advanced program.
Employment Post Graduation
You wouldn’t be planning to attend college unless you are trying to get a better job, pursue a new career, or advance your current career. So making sure the school from which you earn your degree is accredited is the only way to benefit you in the future by earning the degree.
Employers are much more familiar with individuals who have earned their degrees online and much more accepting of it than they were even ten years ago. However, the degree will be worthless if attained from an un-accredited institution. You can be sure your employer will want to know about the accreditation status of the school you attended to earn your degree.
Going back to school to earn your degree is an admirable pursuit. It will take time, dedication and effort. So be smart about finding a college or university that will offer you a top-quality education through their online degree programs and make sure you choose the one that will be the best fit and help you reach your goals for a brighter future.