What are some questions to consider before applying to an online school?

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What are some questions to consider before applying to an online school?

Erin Avery
Certified Educational Planner Avery Educational Resources, LLC

Pertinent Questions

Credentialing. Who has accreditted the institution? Will my credits transfer? 

Cheryl Millington

What are some questions to consider before applying to an online school?

There is obviously a huge difference between attending a regular, campus and an online school. If you’re very disciplined and feel confident that you can study independently, an online degree or courses may be a viable option for you. But note, there may be some reputational issues with doing some courses or a full degree online so research the school very carefully. You can also use online courses as a stepping stone to a more traditional degree.

Bill Pruden
Head of Upper School, College Counselor Ravenscroft School

What are some questions to consider before applying to an online school?

Online education is an increasingly valuable option but there are a number of things that anyone considering that route should consider. First, you should be aware of the accreditation status of the program, for proper accreditation can be a big factor in how the degree will be treated in both the job market and in any future educational endeavors. Related to this is the potential for transferring or applying the credit you earn on-line credits to another school whether an on-line program or a standard one. If you are planning to pursue a full degree or program at the on-line institution then it may not matter, but if you are simply seeking to get a couple courses under your belt as part of another larger program than it can. Too, cost is always a factor. One of advantages of the on-line offerings has been their relatively lower costs, but in some areas that is changing. Overall, on-line programs can be very valuable but make sure you know what you are getting.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

What are some questions to consider before applying to an online school?

Are you an accredited school? What are my chances of transferring my credits if I don't continue here? What's the average % of financial need that you meet?

Angela Hebert
Director of Admissions Fletcher Technical Community College

What are some questions to consider before applying to an online school?

There are several things to consider when applying to an online school. First and foremost, it is important to research the accreditation of the institution. With so many degree and diploma mills, you should always make sure that the institution you are applying to is accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies. If the institution is accredited by one of the six agencies, this will allow you to transfer credits you earn at this online institution to other accredited universities. Another important factor to consider is cost. Many online programs are offered through private institutions and can cost between $20 and $40,000 per academic year. Shop around before committing to an institution. Most importantly though, you need to determine whether or not you will be successful in an online learning environment. Online classes require you to be a self-motivated learner and little instruction is provided. You must be able to comprehend what you read and be able to process that information in order to successful in your classes.

Geoff Broome
Assistant Director of Admissions Widener University


Is the school Accredited? Is is a proprietary institution and who owns it? What is the reputation? The other piece..Is this what you want your college experience to be? Some view higher education is not only academic, but social. My mentor and Dean of Students told me, "Geoff, you are in class only 15 hours per week. I have to fill the other 153 with a social education."

Corey Fischer
President CollegeClarity

Are you self-motivated?

You must be independent and a self-starter in order to be successful in online classes. Often students think these courses will be easy, but they aren't. They require a lot of self-teaching and strong oganizational skills. Do you prefer class discussion? That is not very easy with online classes. Do you like to meet your professor and classmates? You will miss that personal interaction and connectedness that comes from sitting in a classroom. Look into how the courses are set up to make sure they sound manageable for you.

王文君 June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

time comittment and study skills

students shall consider their study skills carefully before signing up for online school. we all learn subjects differently. however, technology may not replace human interactions and two way of communicating between the student and the teacher is always the key to learn more than just text book concetps.

Donovan Blake
Lead Consultant Griffin Blake Educational Consulting

Should I bring my own bra?

There are two major concerns when taking online courses: 1) Support Services (the bra)- It is key to find out what types of support services are offered to you. Without supporting services, many student are unsuccessful in online classes. 2) Re-enrolling in a Course- If you are not successful in a class, you need to find out the policy for retaking a class. These two issues should be your key questions when considering an online school!

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Online School Applications

Make sure you do your homework on the program before signing up. Talk to a program director, not a salesperson. Investigate the course quality. What are the professor's credentials, what is the class size, are there teaching assistants? Is tech support available, will your credits transfer, is the school accredited? Ultimately make sure you have an advisor, who can help you plan your coursework and who will help when problems arise.