Pursuing Further Education? How to Pick an Online University

Technology these days is luckily advanced enough that you can earn your degree online from the comfort of your own home. Earning or finishing your degree online is a wise decision for many reasons. Costs are lower because room and board are not necessary. The hours are flexible to fit your demanding needs, and the pace is often quicker due to a more independent nature. For these reasons and others, online universities have become exponentially more popular over time. However, the path to finding the perfect online university is not always as straightforward as it may first appear.

Check the Accreditation

Accreditation is the first and most important factor to consider when deciding among online universities. The obvious reason that you are enrolling in an online university is to get credits from an institution that will be accepted and acknowledged by future employers. In America, regional accreditation boards are where this recognition originates. Spread across six different regions, accreditation must come from either the Middle States Association of Colleges & Schools, Northwest Commission on Colleges & Universities, North Central Association of Colleges & Schools, New England Association of Schools & Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges & Schools or Western Association of Schools & Colleges. Depending on where your online university is based, check with the respective regional board to verify that the online university in which you are interested is indeed registered with them and accredited.

Look at Reviews

Honest feedback is one of the most critical components to consider when choosing among online universities. If even trillion-dollar companies like Amazon are susceptible to fake reviews, it stands to reason that a competitive landscape such as online universities would be no exception to the rule. Fake reviews typically come in the form of overly positive reviews or overly negative ones. Independence University asserts that average reviews have a surprising amount of value to them, as they tend to be more realistic and less biased than reviews at either extreme. Seek out legitimate consumer affairs sites worth exploring.

Compare Costs

Once accreditation and reviews are thoughtfully taken into consideration, the cost of studies must next be considered. This is the most important aspect of the entire process for some because it can certainly be a barrier to entry. According to Best Colleges, the average cost for online courses is $282 per credit hour. The average cost in total for an online degree is about $30,000 compared to traditional universities that cost around $85,000 on average.

Consider the Programs

While some prices may be more attractive and some institutions may have marketed themselves better than others, choosing the online university with the best program for your desired field of study will ultimately constitute the wisest choice for you. If you stick to the best program in your field, you will be much better off down the road. Moreover, discussing this fact with prospective employers shows them that you’re serious about your work and that you always strive to excel.

There are many different types of online universities. Choose the one that satisfies all of your requirements and matches your ambition. Make sure to check the accreditation and look for unbiased reviews. You’ll be on your way in no time.

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