Are All Online Degree Programs the Same?

The explosion of online college degree options in recent years is making higher education more accessible than ever.  If you plan to take advantage of an online college degree, choose wisely and read carefully. Not all online degree programs are created equal.

Online degree programs may differ.

Online programs are becoming increasingly popular, due to the convenience and flexibility they offer for working professionals. Much like traditional on-campus programs, online degree formats, offerings and requirements may differ depending upon the type of degree you’re interested in and the university or college you’re looking at.

What program is right for me?

You’re likely to run into three main types of online programs. Choosing the program format that’s right for you will depend on your needs, interests, goals, and work and family obligations.

  • On-campus programs with online course options- typically offer the majority of coursework on-campus but offer the option to take some classes online.
  • Partially online or hybrid programs- generally allow half or more of coursework to be done online, but still require some on-campus coursework.
  • 100% fully online degree programs- Allow 100% of your degree coursework to be done online.

Gaining flexibility doesn’t mean sacrificing quality!

Bogus programs and degree mills lead many students to be skeptical of all online degree programs. While you do need to be cautious about what program you sign up for, there are several ways to ensure you receive the same high-quality education online as you would on-campus. Things to consider when evaluating a program include

  • Accreditation- Regional accreditation is the gold standard for education and a great quality indicator.
  • Coursework and credits- Curriculum should be relevant and practical, and credits should be transferable to comparable institutions.
  • Support- You should be able to easily access advising staff, faculty and university support services.

By thoroughly evaluating your options and being a savvy consumer, you can earn your college degree online according to your schedule.

Published on June 24, 2014