3 Tips for Choosing a Great Online University

Photo (cc) by ChristinaT

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.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
8 Award-Winning Products That Impressed 40,000 Shoppers
8 Award-Winning Products That Impressed 40,000 Shoppers

The Product of the Year awards help shoppers find the best pet products, personal care items and everything in between.

13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon
13 Brilliant Bulk-Buy Items on Amazon

Every household should have these products on hand. Buying them in bulk on Amazon saves you cash.

5 Ways Retirees Can Lower Their Income Taxes
5 Ways Retirees Can Lower Their Income Taxes

Here’s how to keep Uncle Sam’s mitts away from your nest egg.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

14 Things We Buy and Then Almost Never Use
14 Things We Buy and Then Almost Never Use

Save your money. These items seem alluring, but they often end up as coat racks and dust magnets.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

Prices Are Soaring on These 7 Items
Prices Are Soaring on These 7 Items

Some surprise price jumps are making life more difficult for consumers.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.