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How to Compare Distance Learning Colleges - Finding the Best Online Degree Program

There are many distance learning colleges, and choosing the one that is right for you can seem like an overwhelming decision. It is a good idea to compare several different schools before you make a final decision about the best online degree program for you.

Some questions you should ask to get the online degree information needed to make an informed decision include

  • Is the school accredited? If so, is the accreditation regional or national?
  • Will the program qualify you to sit for any necessary state licensing exams?
  • Are there any set times for online class meetings or instructor conferences?
  • What is the average program completion time?
  • If you are training for a new career, inquire about the availability of job placement assistance and graduate placement rates.
  • Ask if your prior college transcripts can be evaluated for credits that can be transferred into your online degree program.
  • Ask if non-traditional students are eligible to apply for life experience credit.
  • To what extent will you have access to the instructor? (For example: What hours? Via email? Via telephone?)
  • Is tutoring available? If so, when and what are the fees?
  • What is the class format (live chat, email, video, forum postings, webinar, etc.)
  • How much is the tuition on a per credit hour and/or program basis?
  • What types of financial aid are available for students?
  • Are there any institutional scholarship programs for which you can apply?

Taking the time to ask these questions when you are comparing online degree programs can be very useful to you are you narrow down your choices to ultimately select the training option that best meets your needs.

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