Online College Degrees
- 1 Why Choose Online College?
- 2 Benefits of Getting a Degree Online
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions about Online Degrees
- 4 Getting Started
Why Choose Online College?
It has long been known that higher education is the ticket to success in modern America. The level of education one has achieved often has a direct correlation with the level of opportunity and pay available in the working world.
Unfortunately, college is an expensive and often intimidating experience for most people, and quite often does not fit into a busy work or family schedule. Finding the right classes, getting all the books, even finding parking and dealing with conflicting personalities in a huge classroom environment can deter even the most dedicated student. Fortunately, in the 21st century, there is a better solution.
If you are truly interested in improving your life in the most time-tested and well documented way possible, you are ready to start your college carreer at (Fill in the name of the “institution”). Still not convinced? Well, take a look at what we offer, and how it can fit into your life.
Benefits of Getting a Degree Online
Online college degrees offer a number of benefits to potential students that traditional higher education cannot. The advantages of online college degrees include:
· Learn at your own pace
· Reduced cost of materials
· Freedom to learn where and when you want
· Interactive learning environment with real people
Learn at Your Own Pace
At traditional colleges and universities, professors have to structure their classes over the course of a long semester. This antiquated notion makes sense if everyone had the same desire to complete a class every few months, but in the fast-paced world of the 21st century, many people find themselves frustrated with the bounds of traditional education. Online college degrees often let you learn at your own pace, speeding up or slowing down depending on your individual learning needs. Not everyone learns the same way, so you set the best tone for learning the required material.
Reduced Cost of Materials
Traditional college is very expensive. Few people rarely receive their diploma without also receiving a mountain of debt that will take them years to finally pay back. Books, classes, student fees, parking, and transportation add up quickly. Online college degrees allow you to significantly reduce the amount of money you have to spend on materials by providing electronic teaching materials that are often available right when you access the learning program.
A common complaint of people that attend traditional colleges as opposed to online colleges is the amount of time they have to waste on the non-academic aspects of learning; picking classes, “crashing” full classes, registering, paying fees, finding books, and traveling to school in the middle of a busy work day or family schedule are now unnecessary stresses. Online college degrees allow people to skip over these hassles with a single mouse click or keystroke. The hours and days you save and mountains of stress avoided can make getting your online degree that much more satisfying (not to mention, a whole lot quicker).
Freedom to Learn When & Where you Want
The physical act of going to a traditional university is often an extremely unpleasant task. Getting up to wait for public transportation or struggling to find parking takes hours away from the learning experience, and more than a few students have “missed” the bus or “couldn't find parking” and missed important learning opportunities. No more. You can wake up and walk to your computer and start your online course. Or, find a few hours to study before or after work so you can take the test from the comfort of your own home. Most classes are available on the weekends, further reducing the time that separates you from your degree.
Interactive Learning Environment with Real People
Most opponents of online college degrees alledge that the learning experience must suffer if students only connect to other students over the Internet. How could it possibly be the same, they assert. The truth is that online college degrees often involve an interactive learning environment with real people. Even in a supposedly equal environment such as higher education, not every type of personality gets along with every other type of personality or even the professor of the class, and can turn a what would be an otherwise simple class into an intellectual dictatorship. In online classes you have an equal voice with all the other students in your course, and better yet, you all have equal access to the valuable time of your instructor.
Ultimately, no one can make your choices for you. If you truly want to get ahead in life, further yourself not only in your career but also as a well-rounded person in general, but you simply do not have the time or energy to devote to a traditional college education, then an online degree is most likely the way to improve your life. The sooner you start yourself on the path to self-improvement, the sooner you can realize your dreams.
Frequently Asked Questions about Online Degrees
Q:Will my diploma say "online"?
Q:How do I transfer credits into an institution?
A:In order to transfer prior credits, you can request that official transcripts be sent from your previous schools to your online school of choice.
Q:How do I get credit for life experience?
A:Many schools offer the option of writing something entitled an experiential learning portfolio. Schools will allow you to transfer in a certain percentage of credits using your prior life/work experience provided that you show that you have met the course objectives of each specified course you do not feel you should have to take.
Q:Can I transfer my credits from an online school?
A:While each school has its own specified criteria for transferring in credits, schools will accept credits from schools that have a regional accreditation, provided that you have a grade of “C” or higher and the school has a class for which you are seeking credit.
Q:Is there an admissions test?
A:Some online schools will require you to complete an interview over the phone or through email with an admissions advisor. The advisor may or may not recommend you to their specific program. Some schools may also require you to take a placement exam in an area such as English or Math simply to place you in the appropriate class.
Q:Do I need SAT scores?
A:Provided that the school has an open enrollment policy, no, you do not need SAT scores.
Q:What will the cost of an online program be?
A:The cost of an online degree will be analogous to that of any other regionally accredited university.
Q:What is a consolidated loan?
A:A Federal Consolidated Loan combines several existing student loans into one new loan. You can enjoy the convenience of lower monthly payments, a single fixed interest rate and one monthly payment.
Q:What is the interest rate on a consolidated loan?
A:The interest rate for a Consolidation Loan is the weighted average of the interest rates on the loans being consolidated, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent. This rate is fixed for the life of the loan and cannot exceed 8.25%. Effective July 1, 2005, rates on Stafford Loans in grace are 4.70% and in repayment are 5.30%. The rate on your Consolidation Loan will be fixed for the life of your loan. The interest rate on a Consolidation Loan is set according to federal law.
Q:Can I consolidate my loans while I am in school?
A:Yes. While you are in school, you can consolidate the federal student loans you already have. This requires you to request that the status of your loans be changed from "In-School" to "Repayment" to make them eligible for consolidation. Be sure your lender will place the loan on in-school deferment to ensure you consolidate at a rate that is 0.60% lower than the Stafford repayment rate. Keep in mind that by requesting early repayment, you will be waiving your six-month grace period.
Q:Is there a limit as to how much I can consolidate?
A:There is no limit to the dollar amount you can consolidate.
Q:Can I add an eligible student loan that I forgot to consolidate?
A:Yes, as long as you add the eligible loan within 180 days of your new consolidation loan.
Q:Can I get a new consolidation loan after I have already consolidated my student loans?
A:You can only enter into a new consolidation loan if you have an eligible student loan that was never consolidated or you get a new eligible student loan after the date of your original consolidation.
Q:Once my student loans are consolidated, can they ever be separated?
A:No, once consolidation takes place, the original student loans are paid in full and there is no way to reverse the process.
Q:Is an online education rated as highly as a residential education?
A:When attending an educational institution, the first thing you as the student should take notice of is the accreditation. This is how schools are judged. The highest and most widely recognized accreditation is called a “regional accreditation”. If a university has obtained this level of accreditation, their programs have to meet the exact same standards as that of any other major residential university.
Q:What do employers think of online degrees?
A:Consider a survey by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) that found that almost 70 percent of corporate supervisors rated the value of a distance degree as "just as valuable" or "more valuable" than resident-school degrees in the same field.
Q:How many people take courses online?
A:A 2005 Sloan Consortium report estimated that overall online enrollment increased from 1.98 million in 2003 to 2.35 million in 2004.
Q:What is the average age of an online student?
A:34 years old.
Online Learning Experience
Q:What is asynchronous learning?
A:Asynchronous learning allows you to participate on your own time. Correspondence usually takes the form of a message board, discussion forum, mail or email.
Q:What is synchronous learning?
A:Synchronous learning is when interaction with your instructors takes place in real time. In a campus-based school, this means attending a physical classroom. In an online environment, it requires that you log in to their classes at a specified time. In its most typical form, it is similar to a chat room.
Q:Is online school difficult?
A:Due to the fact that the programs do hold the same accreditation as a residential classroom, the classes will hold the same level of difficulty. What may make the workload slightly easier to handle is the convenience factor.
Q:How much time will I need to invest weekly?
A:This will depend on how many classes you take. Typically, a student will study 6 – 9 hours per week, per course.
Q:What’s the highest level degree I can get online?
A:A Doctorate degree.
Q:What are the teaching credentials for an online professor?
A:The same credentials required at a residential university! In order to teach online in most cases, instructors need to possess a graduate degree, as well as have real life experience in the area they are teaching.
Q:Will I receive the same support systems that I would on a traditional campus?
A:Yes. Online schools typically have career services, academic advisors, financial aid departments, technology help desks, and a myriad of other support services.
Q:How will I get my books?
A:Most schools will mail the books directly to your mailing address.
Q:How long will it take me to finish an online degree?
A:Each school differs in the amount of time it will take to finish a degree. It is typically up to you, the individual student, and how many courses you choose to take each quarter or semester. Due to the convenience, the online programs can usually be finished at a much quicker pace.
Paying for School
Q:How do I apply for financial aid?
A:Each school will have a financial aid department that will give you specific instructions and walk you through their financial aid process. In order for you to be prepared to fill out the financial aid forms, all you need are your tax forms from the prior year (if you filed) and a copy of your license or ID card.
Q:Can I use my Veterans benefits?
A:Yes, so long as the school is approved by the Veterans Administration, you can use your Veterans benefits. You may want to go to www.military.com to find a list of schools that the VA recognizes. You also have to be separated from active duty for less than 10 years.
Q:Can I use my military benefits?
A:Yes. You can use your military benefits TA AWARD if you have been on active duty for at least one year, however it is suggested that you review this with your Education Officer.
Q:Will grants cover my entire tuition?
A:No matter how many grants you receive, they are capped at $4,050 per year. Most likely, this will not cover an entire program, however there are always scholarships and other funding options available.
Q:When do I have to start paying back my loans?
A:You don’t have to start paying on most loans until 6 months after you complete your last course. At that point, you will receive a letter from your lender and most lenders give you a 60-day grace period to send in your first payment. Repayment terms may vary, so you should check with your lender. A typical loan term is 10 years.
Q:What if I already have loans I am paying back?
A:If you are currently paying back loans, you are still eligible to receive more loans as long as your loans are not in a “default” status. When you attend school for the second time, you have 2 options available to you. You can either continue paying back your loans or request an in-school deferment.
Q:What is an in-school deferment?
A:An in-school deferment allows you to postpone any payments you have from previous educational loans. Most schools will require you to submit an in-school deferment form that you need to send to your school as well as your lender.
Q:Do I need to put anyone else’s information on my financial aid forms?
A:The answer is yes if you are married, under the age of 24 and you do not have a child, or are not active military / veteran. If you are married, you will be required to put your tax information along with the tax information of your spouse. If you are under the age of 24, you will be required to provide your tax information as well as one of your parent’s information provided that you do not have a dependent.
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