5 Tips for Choosing the Best Online College

For decades, families have been going through the process of choosing traditional four-year college programs, including listening to recommendations, visiting campuses and reading reviews.
With the rise of accredited online colleges and more and more students pursuing an advanced degree on the Internet, new and important questions arise.
If you are thinking about an online college for your education, here are some of the top tips to choose which college will be best for you.

Make Sure the College is Accredited

Be warned, not all online schools are accredited, even sometimes when they say they are. Make sure to confirm the accreditations that a college claims to have and look for the seal of approval from the National Education Association. Your degree will be worth more in terms of recognition from potential employers and the ability to transfer credits if the institution is fully accredited.

Find the Degree(s) you are Interested in

When making the financial and intellectual investment necessary to pursue a degree, it’s important to follow a course of study that you value. You should confirm the online colleges you look at offer majors you desire as well as options you are interested in should you decide to adjust your plans.

Learn More About the Faculty

Like traditional universities, a determining factor in the quality of education lies in the faculty who teach the classes and run the school. Just because you are participating in an online environment doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect your instructors to be highly educated and experienced. Look especially closely at the faculty members from the department you plan to major in and the reputation that precedes them.

Investigate the Community and Culture

It takes a village to raise a child, and the same often proves true in educating one. When choosing an online college, consider things like how the school supports its students and to what degree it embraces the latest technologies. Make sure the institution you choose offers the types of services and opportunities you are looking for in an online college experience.

Talk to Other Students and Graduates

One of the best ways to get a feeling for a school and satisfy questions and concerns is to speak to someone who has already experienced it. Check to see if the school offers the opportunity for prospective students to interact with those currently enrolled. While you will base your decision on a variety of factors, hearing the real opinions of fellow students can be very helpful.
Final Thoughts

The Internet offers a totally new way to get a college education, with options that continue to expand and evolve. Where you get your online degree is just as important as where you get a traditional one, so treat the process of choosing an online school with the same reverence.

Guest Author Byline: 
Guest post contributed by Shane. Passionate about all forms of education, Ben writes about everything from the newest methods to teach kids how to read to how to choose accredited online colleges. 
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