When evaluating online colleges, how do you determine which are great affordable online colleges?
Are considering getting your degree online but want to find great affordable online colleges? Are brick and mortar schools too expensive? Things have changed since your parents went to school. Online college is extremely popular. Last year over 5 million students took at least one online course. But there are lots of misconceptions about the overall value of the educational investment. So let’s debunk the top 5 biggest myths and separate fact from fiction!
Fiction #1: Online College is Easier than a Live Classroom
It is NOT easier by any means, it is just different than attending live classes. It can actually be harder. Some colleges require software that detects plagiarism, some require students to go to a central classroom for testing, and some even require that students use a webcam to ensure that cheating does not occur.
You get a lot more flexibility but there are several challenges as well. Time management is extremely important since no one will remind you of homework assignments or when projects are due. To be successful, you will need to be a self-starter and be more organized than if you attend a physical, bricks and mortar classroom. It can also require as much, if not more time than attending the same class live.
Fiction 2: The quality of your education will be lower.
Certainly, educational standards will always vary from school to school, but more accredited online courses at great affordable online colleges go through the same rigorous certification process as their traditional classes. In some cases, the online equivalent might even be better than it’s on-campus equivalent. Why? Because it forces the professor to communicate differently. They have to think about capturing a students attention, speaking clearly. Often times, it actually makes them a better teacher.
Fiction 3: Online credits may not Transfer to a Brick and Mortar College
It is true that some course may not transfer in certain situations, but the same holds true with traditional courses. This can occur if you complete your studies online or on campus. In reality, a college would not have any way to verifying if a course being considered was taken in a classroom, online or some hybrid of the two. Credits from online colleges are not any harder to transfer than traditional college credits.
Fiction 4: Online courses are not accredited.
Accreditation has nothing to do with the how you take your courses. Most of the larger programs are all accredited. But make sure to check. If you attend an unaccredited school, credits may not transfer, federal and state financial aid may not be available and employers may not recognize the degree. This is very important. We recommend checking with the Higher Education Accreditation Council. They publish a comprehensive list of accrediting groups as well as accredited colleges for review.
Fiction 5: Its harder to get a job with an online degree.
You may run into baby boomers that don’t feel like an online degree holds the same weight as a traditional degree. However, with skyrocketing costs, opinions are changing. Most employers will support employees who are enrolled in colleges that have reputable credentials regardless of the method of study. In fact, some companies even sponsor online students. Starbucks employees can receive partial tuition reimbursement for online classes at Arizona State University’s online program. The perception is directly tied to the school name and reputation so we recommend sticking with the more well-known college’s online programs. The truly great affordable online colleges are typically tied to a big, brand name University.