3 Tips for Choosing a Great Online University

What's Hot

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

Trump Scraps FHA Rate Cut — What Does It Mean for You?Borrow

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your BudgetFamily

Thinking about getting your college degree online? Here are some things to know that will help you succeed and get a reputable degree.

Editor’s note: This is the first of two posts on how to successfully pursue an online college degree. 

Thinking about earning a degree through an online university?

Getting a college degree has never been as easy as it is today, especially with the availability of online classes and complete degree plans. People who live in remote areas or who have to flex their school schedule around family, military or job requirements can really benefit from an online degree option.

Make sure, however, to do your homework to ensure that you choose an online university that will give you a reasonably priced, quality degree that will be highly esteemed by employers and potential transfer universities.

1. Take a close look at your intended university’s status

If you are looking at a for-profit school to complete your online education, you should check into it very carefully, or perhaps look elsewhere.

Increased concern about these universities led to a two-year investigation by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions into high loan default rates and low retention rates of students. The for-profit universities tend to cost much more money, and their student loan interest rates can be as high as 18 percent. The Senate report said:

For-profit colleges devote tremendous amounts of resources to non-education related spending including marketing, recruiting, profit and executive compensation, while spending relatively small amounts on instruction.

Students may find it difficult to transfer credits, and potential employers may have reservations about degrees from for-profit universities.

Choosing a not-for-profit university that has an established brick-and-mortar school can be a wiser choice. Because greater legitimacy is one of the benefits of getting an education, it makes sense to ensure that the university you choose has a respected and credible reputation.

2. Look into the quality and the accreditation

Check out sites like U.S. News & World Report to find out the status of the school you are thinking about attending.

Make sure that the college is regionally accredited, which is the normal standard for accreditation, as opposed to nationally accredited.

You can check here and here to make sure the school you are interested in has legitimate accreditation.

3. Check into future transfer and completion requirements

Make sure to find out if the degree plan is available completely online or if it will be necessary to transfer credits to another university to complete the course work in person. If transferring is necessary, make sure that the transfer school will accept credits from the online university.

The options for a degree from an online university have expanded opportunities to many people who would otherwise never have been able to go to college.

Even those who do have opportunities to physically attend university may find that the convenience of an online learning option can make their lives much easier and enable them to squeeze classes into their busy lives.

With a little research and planning, you can earn a reputable degree and propel your career forward.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!


Read Next: 25 Ways to Spend Less on Food

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,882 more deals!