Education

Starting Your Online Education

You’re ready to begin your online education program, but you’re not quite sure how to get started. We’ll explain what you need to do to begin your online academic career here.

Choosing a Course of Study

The course of study you select will determine which online schools can meet your needs, so it’s important to have some idea of what you’d like to study before you enroll. First decide what the ultimate goal of your online education is. For example, would you like to earn a degree or certificate? Accumulate continuing education points? If you’d like to pursue a degree or certificate, you will need to decide on an academic discipline and the type of degree you’d like to pursue. In other words, would you like to pursue an associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in your chosen field? If you’re unsure of the degree or program you’d like to pursue, you might instead select one or two courses that interest you to get started.

Finding an Online College or University

Once you’ve determined your field of study, you can begin looking for online colleges and universities that offer that particular program. You can browse the websites of the major online learning institutions to view the various degrees and programs they offer. Alternatively, you can save yourself some time by using our free referral service. We can put you in touch with a school that offers the degree or course of study in which you’re interested. When selecting your online education program, make sure you take accreditation into consideration. Accreditation is essential if you want your degree taken seriously by future employers and other learning institutions. The accrediting body for your online school should be approved by the department of education. Online schools may be either regionally or nationally accredited.

Selecting Your Classes

As soon as you’re admitted to your online university or college, you will usually be assigned to an academic adviser that can help you plan your courses. The school should also have a full listing of the available classes on its website. One of the many benefits of online education is that classes tend to be shorter, which means new academic terms begin more frequently than at traditional learning institutions. In fact, some online schools even have continuous or open enrollment, allowing students to enroll in online classes at any time.

Paying Tuition

If your online school is accredited, you are entitled to all of the financial aid that traditional students receive. Talk to your school’s financial aid adviser for more information. Working students should also talk to their employers about the possibility of tuition reimbursement to cover the costs of online education. Many employers will pay for at least some of the costs of tuition, books, and other education-related expenses.