10 Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges

An online degree may not be new but its complete penetration depends on the answers to several vital questions students are asking. Are online degrees and colleges worth it? Do online degrees have accreditation? You will get all answers to these online degrees and colleges faq here. Stay put!

Earning an online degree is now generally accepted as a credible academic qualification. The trend has also resulted in a wide selection of online schools popping up to offer more varied online degree programs.

More established traditional schools and universities such as Yale, Stanford, and Harvard have joined the trend to offer online education.

In this article, we will be answering 10 Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges and Online Education.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges and Education

This section explains the 10 frequently asked questions about online college and education. But, you have to enroll in an accredited online college for degrees.

Here are the online degree faqs:

#1. Is online education right for me?

Online education requires more discipline than traditional college courses. Because students do not meet in person at a set time, there is a need for online students to schedule their own time for study and coursework. 

Successful online learners will be self-starters who can incorporate their studies into an existing schedule.

#2. Will I miss out on the college experience?

Many students choose to pursue online education because they cannot attend classes on campus because of work or family schedules.

While this does provide the opportunity for high-quality education for those who would not otherwise be able to pursue their studies, other online students long for a traditional college experience.

You should consider what you want to get out of your educational experience. Are the friendships and networking that occur on campus important to you?

If so, you may wish to seek out night classes or other flexible on-campus options.

Some online programs attempt to simulate these interactions using online message boards that are available for everything from study groups to emotional support.

As with every other aspect of online education, you will need to evaluate if the virtual environment is right for you.

Further Reading: 45 Free Online Courses With Printable Certificates 2022

#3. What subjects can I reasonably study online? Are there any subjects that I cannot study online?

In the past, the largest obstacle for online students in any field of study was the asynchronous nature of the discussion.

Because all students in the class were not available online at the same time, the classroom discussion and dialogue that lead to higher-level thinking required active participation through discussion boards and email correspondence over the course of several days.

This can be rewarding considering students and instructors alike have time to consider their input into discussions, which can lead to a more meaningful dialogue.

However, for some students, there is a need for discussion and feedback to be in real-time. In recent years, technological advances have allowed online courses to incorporate asynchronous and synchronous elements.

  • Synchronous online classes allow students and instructors to be online at the same time. All Lectures, discussions, and presentations occur at a scheduled time. In order to participate in these activities, everyone must be online at the ordained time. This may be a concern for those seeking out online education because of a busy or unpredictable work schedule.
  • Asynchronous classes allow students to participate in course activities whenever they choose. Materials, lectures, tests, and assignments are provided by instructors beforehand and can be accessed by students at any time. Students are often given a time frame during which they need to connect at least once or twice. 

#4. Is online education effective?

If you feel comfortable learning solo—and many students are more than prepared to do so—an online degree program may be right for you.

If this is your first attempt at managing your educational affairs without the assistance of parents or teachers, make sure you are up to the challenge. Make sure to use all the support services available to you. This may be a family member or a professional tutor to help you through the early stages of transition and hold you accountable.

Your performance at an online college is determined in large part by the way that you have historically approached education.

According to an editorial from the New York Times (2013): performance at an online college is determined by the way you have historically approached education.

They observed that courses delivered solely online may be fine for highly skilled, highly motivated people, but are inappropriate for struggling students who make up a significant portion of college enrollment and who need close contact with instructors to succeed.

It is important that you, as the college applicant, know exactly which of these categories you fall.

For some enrollees, compatibility will require the adoption of improved study habits, better schedule management, and a stronger work ethic.

Of course, the positive offshoot is that if you can successfully make this transition, you will also be gaining absolutely essential life skills.

These skills won’t just help you to succeed in your online education; they will make you more valuable to prospective employers.

That said, high rates of non-completion are rampant in online education. This suggests that one must be realistic about one’s abilities before deciding to go this route.

#5. Can I blend online courses with on-campus courses?

Increasingly, students are experiencing higher education through a blended course of study that involves a combination of online and physical class time.

This provides students the opportunity to take a course that they previously were not able to take because of a scheduling conflict.

Additionally, some students who commute can reduce the number of trips to campus by blending on-campus and online courses.

Some science courses offer the lecture part of a course online while requiring students to attend the laboratory component offline.

#6. Will I be able to continue to work full-time while earning an online degree?

The allure of online education, for many, lies in the fact that classes can be taken anytime and anywhere.

Many students think that because online courses are so flexible that they can incorporate a college education into a life that already includes a full-time job and a family. They are correct but should be careful.

A great number of students have successfully completed degrees while working full-time jobs. So, consider all the obligations on your time before beginning a program of study. 

Online courses require as much, if not more, study time as traditional college classes.

#7. Are online degrees accredited?

Yes. There are several types of accreditation that may be given to a college or university.

The gold standard is regional accreditation. Online courses and degrees do not have separate accreditation from the school.

According to the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), regional accreditation is a self-regulatory process based on rigorous standards.

Accordingly, academic institutions receive accreditation based on internal evaluations conducted by colleges and universities and in accordance with such rigorous standards.

Once self-review is complete, accrediting commissions call for a peer review of the applying university or college.

Following these steps, a commission within the agency determines an institution’s accreditation status.

This process also has a concrete plan for the review of accreditation status in the event that changes occur in the operation of the institution.

Schools not awarded accreditation status at the end of this process often receive counsel and support from the accrediting agency so that they can make the changes and improvements needed to merit accreditation.

For instance, the accrediting agency may identify lapses in the quality or consistency of academic programs, and set out a course of action to redress them before the school can reapply for accreditation.

Institutions with accreditation may lose this recognition due to a decline in quality or a problematic change in operations.

#8. How do I know if an online school is legitimate?

Unfortunately, not all online colleges have your best interest in mind. As with any new technology and industry, online education has proliferated over the past decade.

There is no shortage of for-profit institutions that claim to offer high-quality online education that is little more than scams that prey on those wishing to obtain a college degree.

It is important to research any institution in which you are considering enrolling.

So, how do you know if a school is legitimate? Regional accrediting agencies regulate and evaluate higher education in order to make this determination easier for prospective students.

Accreditation is the educational stamp of approval that guarantees a school a certain standard of operational, procedural, financial, and academic practice.

Regional accreditation is the gold standard!

Check this out: 471+ Free Online Courses with Certificates 2022 …

#9. What are the best online degrees?

The best online degrees are those offered by affordable schools that help you further your education and accomplish your goals.

That being said, some online degrees are better received by graduate schools and employers than others.

We have highlighted The 25 Best Online Degrees which tend to fall into one of the five following categories: Business, Computers and Information Technology, Healthcare, Science and Engineering, and Social Science and Criminal Justice.

#10 Are online degrees as good as on-campus degrees?

When considering an online college and degree, the reputation of the school and specific program is of great importance.

Schools that are renowned for a given program of study will offer degrees that are useful to students whether they earn their credentials in person or through distance education.

However, the prestige of the school is not the only consideration when weighing the value of a degree.

In many cases, the skills you gain during your studies will eclipse the degree that you earn.

If this is true for you, then you need to seek an online college with a positive track record in its quality of instruction.

Consider conducting some research on the employment rate for those who have previously graduated from a given online college program.

Evidence that graduates are enjoying gainful employment in their chosen field of study is usually a good indicator of an online college’s relative quality.

What Do Employers Really Think About Online Degrees?

The perceived dividing line between these two modes of education is becoming increasingly blurred to prospective employers.

As online education continues its expansion into traditional institutions, it has become a necessary part of the course catalog for major colleges and universities,

Employers are becoming less apt to scrutinize the medium through which degrees are earned. Although they are likely to place greater stock in the reputation of the college/university from which you earned it.

For example, obtaining a Free Online Courses at Harvard University for All Students will be accepted by employers.

Some employers may even place a higher premium on prospective employees who have demonstrated the ability to manage their own education, to work well with others from a distance, and to operate on a flexible and non-traditional schedule.

Indeed, the same skills that one might exercise to successfully complete an online education are highly adaptable to a wide array of 21st-century jobs.

CONCLUSION

Still, for these gains, there are employers who may view online education as a subject too great a variance in quality.

There are employers who, if pressed to choose between two worthy candidates, will instinctively choose one with a brick-and-mortar education over one with an online degree. Some employers are just plain old-fashioned.

However, this shouldn’t underscore your desire to get an online education. Just don’t include your model of education. This is because there is never a reason to specify on your résumé how your degree was earned.

All the faqs on online colleges, degrees, education have been answered. Remember to attend an accredited online college for your degree.

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