The range of online degree programs available continues to grow. At one time, business courses were the most common online degree programs, but now you can get a degree in education, psychology, business administration, criminal justice and much, much more online. If you are considering pursuing your degree online, research the college of your choice to learn if they provide your chosen program online. If not, there are likely others who do.
The great thing about online colleges is that you don't have to apply only to those within your local area. You could live in Florida and attend an online university in California, or even in another country. However, if you chose to attend an out of country university, make sure that the degree will be acceptable where you plan to work. Out of country college degrees in any field that requires certification will probably not transfer to the U.S., and you will not be able to enter that field without additional study.
Online distance education is not quite at the mainstream level, yet, but most colleges are now including the opportunity to take classes online in their course schedules. Online courses are just as rigorous as face-to-face classes, often more so since students are more dependent on themselves to learn material than on the instructor.
If you are interested in learning more about online distance education, contact the state school or online university in which you are interested and ask for the following information:
- What online degree programs do you have?
- Are the programs totally online? (Some require at least a few days of face-to-face meetings.)
- Are classes asynchronous (no specific time set for classes) or do I have to be online at specific days and times?
- What are the eligibility requirements? Do I have to have a high school degree, an ACT, or SAT?
- What is the application fee? Will you waive the application fee? (Some do, most won't.)
- Are the textbooks included in the tuition? (Usually not, but a very few colleges include textbooks in tuition.)
- Are you a Title IV school? (If not, you may not be able to get loans, and will not be able to get Pell Grants.)
As more and more students, choose online distance education, and as more and more colleges offer online degree programs, online degrees are becoming quite acceptable to most employers. The ability to attend college online provides a real opportunity to those who for personal reasons cannot attend a brick and mortar university. The main thing to remember is to do your due diligence and know everything you can learn about the university and course of study you choose before signing the application.