How to Enroll for Your College Degree Online in 2021

How to Earn Your College Degree Online

Once a rarity in higher education, the availability of online degrees has skyrocketed in recent years. With flexibility as the hallmark of an online program, they are becoming increasingly popular. Virtually every college and university now offers at least a portion of their curriculum online, and many offer full degrees at all levels of education, from bachelor’s degrees to doctoral degrees. Some programs are conducted entirely online, while others offer blended learning options, where students split their time between in-person and online courses. Let’s take a look at online degrees, including how they work, how to enroll in one – and their cost.

What students are asking about online degrees in 2021

Starting Your Online Degree
What online degrees pay the most?
How do I enroll for online college?
What online degrees are available?

Online College Basics
Are online degrees credible?
How does an online degree work?
When are classes held?
How long does it take to earn a degree online?

Earning Credits
Can you transfer credits to an online college?
Can I get college credit for life experience?

Costs and Financial Aid
How much do online degrees cost?
Can I get financial aid for online college?

Start your online degree
Which online degrees pay the most?

As with traditional, on-campus degrees, what students earn after graduation from their online program will vary depending on the area of study and the level of education; of course, higher degree levels typically correspond to higher salaries. The following table provides a quick summary of what students can expect to make with particular degree fields.

Accounting $65,940
Art $58,250
Biology $71,940
Business Management $74,090
Communications $50,950

What online degrees are available for Study?

Potential online college students may not realize that distance learning has not always been a common way of education. During the 2003-2004 school year, approximately 15 percent of students were enrolled in at least one online course. Less than 10 years later, that number had more than doubled to 32 percent. By the fall of 2015, over 6 million college students – approximately 30 percent – were taking at least one online college course.

With the ability to take courses on a flexible schedule without having to be in a specific classroom at a specific time, online programs are great for those who don’t have the time, skill, or inclination to take up traditional college education Track experience. This means online degrees are ideal for parents with family responsibilities, full-time employees, and those who are far from a particular school, e.g. B. rural and international students.

Online Associates Degree
Online Bachelor’s Degree
Online Masters Degree
Online PHD Degree

How do I enroll for online college?

Online college uses a different format of learning, but enrolling in a course or program is usually similar to an inpatient school. Students can expect the following steps:

Decide on the degree or academic qualification

Before enrolling in a program, determine what academic qualifications or degrees are required for your ultimate goal. For example, is an associate degree required or is a certificate or diploma sufficient?

Identify personal learning needs

The biggest advantage of online learning is the flexibility it offers. However, each program is structured differently. Some involve course assignments on campus or special online planning requirements, e.g. B. for lectures or participation in lessons.

Research online programs

Using your goals and requirements as a guide, research various online programs and identify several potential candidates.

Meet the admission requirements

Before you fill out the application, you need to determine what you need to do to apply, e.g. B. Take entrance exams, get letters of recommendation and write personal essays. Take enough time to register, study, and complete exams like SAT or GRE, and give your references sufficient warning to write letters on your behalf.

Apply to schools

Organize your application documents and apply to schools. If the admission standards are competitive, plan on applying to more than one school to increase your chances.

Apply for financial support

If you need financial assistance to pay for the school, collect your financial information. The first step is to complete the Free State Student Aid Application (FAFSA). It’s also a good idea to research individual scholarships or grants that are offered directly by the school or a private organization.

Common Online Degree Questions

How does an online degree work?

From an academic perspective, an online degree is exactly the same as a traditional degree, with students following the same curriculum as their on-campus colleagues. Because so many on-campus courses contain technical learning elements such as online discussion forums or digital assignments, sometimes the only difference between an online and an on-campus course is in the form of the lecture. Online courses usually offer lectures via video or audio streams that are either broadcast in real time to students or recorded for later viewing.

Doing homework, submitting assignments and communicating with teachers is often done using an online learning management system such as Blackboard, Moodle or Canvas. These systems can also provide teaching materials and content, and students can use these systems to communicate directly with professors. Professors can also usually be reached by phone, email, or online chat.

When do courses take place?

Some online courses or programs allow students to choose where to attend. However, students should not expect complete control. Many programs require at least personal participation. Courses labeled “fully online” or “100% online” offer fully remote learning. Since students never have to enter campus, schools offering these programs will explicitly advertise this benefit. Programs with some requirements on campus or in personal curricula may be referred to as “blended” or “hybrid” programs and are common in areas of study that require intensive hands-on learning, such as college and university education. B. Nursing.

Provided a course is available online, the courses are either synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous learning, also known as “fixed-time learning”, means that students have to follow a specific schedule for part of the class. This can include live lectures and real-time discussions among students. Asynchronous is the opposite; As long as the students meet their deadlines, they can work at their own pace without any deadlines. Asynchronous learning can sometimes be referred to as “open learning”. While synchronous learning limits flexibility, it also enables greater interaction with the professor and among fellow students.

How long does it take to graduate online?

The flexibility of online courses means that students can set their own pace, which can be faster or slower than the traditional timeline. The exact duration depends on the course load and the subject. However, here is a rough estimate of the time it will take, along with the credits required.

Employee: two years; 60 to 65 credits
Bachelor: four years; 120 to 130 credits
Masters: Eighteen months to two years; 30 to 60 credits
Doctorate: three or more years; 60 to 80 credits (The time required to complete a dissertation can extend this.)
Several online programs offer accelerated curricula for students looking to speed up their education. For example, a traditional MBA takes two years, but some online MBA programs allow students to graduate in 18 months. While not a formal option, students can manage their academic lesson plans to complete coursework at their own pace as quickly as possible.

Are Online Degrees Credible?

As online degrees have matured, they have largely overcome the skepticism that surrounded them in their early days. In most schools, all students receive the same certificate and diploma regardless of whether they are completing an online or an on-campus degree.

Accreditation can solve the problem of credibility. Accreditation is the process of an independent organization that reviews a school’s academic programs to ensure that they achieve a basic level of instruction and adequately prepare students for entry into their subject areas. Students wishing to enroll in an online college or university should confirm that the school (and the individual program, if applicable) is accredited. It is not worth getting a degree from a non-accredited school online or not.

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