9 Questions to Ask Before Applying to An Online College

By Herschel Lee
05/06/2015
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Have you finally decided to get that bachelor’s degree? Want to further your education but don’t have the time to drive to and from class everyday? Receiving a degree from an online university can be the right choice for many reasons. Before applying, here are 9 questions you should ask yourself.

1. What is my goal?

It’s important to know exactly why you are enrolling. Mapping out a game-plan and endpoint is important in deciding which online college is right for you.

2. How will this help me?

Similar to #1 but with a key distinction: you may know that your goal is to get a specific degree or certification, but do you know how that will fit in with your plans? Writing down how this education will help you will keep you focused and energized when it comes time to hit the books. Will this degree help you get a promotion? Will you be able to transition to a more rewarding job? Maybe neither and you just want to become more of a well-rounded person. Identify what your motivation is and keep it in mind.

3. Can I handle not being in a classroom?

Some people need to see a chalkboard and desks in order to focus, while others can work on a crowded subway in the middle of rush hour. Most of you considering an online education are well aware that you won’t be in a classroom but it’s important to take a moment to visualize yourself doing your school work in your own setting.

4. Have I done my homework?

Are you prepared to go back to school? While many courses will have a quick refresher period for skills and knowledge that are crucial to the material, it’s a good idea to freshen up on your own first. Be mentally prepared and plan out what the time commitment will look like and how it will affect your day to day life.

5. Does it fit my budget?

What does your budget look like? Online courses are often a more cost efficient solution for those on a budget, but make sure you can handle the cost before committing. If not, you might want to check out some financial aid options.

6. What courses do I want to take?

A very practical question. What courses will you be taking, and does the college your considering offer everything you need? Better to ask this now rather than apply, take your first course, and then find out that you want to take a few extra classes but can’t.

7. Have I told people about my decision?

It’s a good idea to let your family, friends, and relatives know that you’re planning on going getting a degree. It makes it much more difficult to quit, and all of the love and support you’ll get will do wonders for your motivation.

Also, if you’re like many people considering a degree from an online college, you’re a part of the workforce. It’s a good idea to let your employer know that you’ll be taking some classes. That way, you’ll have some leeway during finals week and your boss may gain some newfound respect for your ambition.

8. Have I Done My Research?

It’s important to weigh your options when considering something as important as your education. Make sure you check out a number of schools and speak with representatives before applying. If you have any questions about the school, you’re not ready to apply yet.

9. Commit
I guess this last one doesn’t count as a question, but you get the point. Now that you’ve answered all of the questions on the list, you’re ready to go. Apply to the online schools of your choice, commit to one, and get to work!

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