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How to Choose An Online College

February 10, 2021

How to Choose An Online College Grace Online

In life, we all have to make decisions. Some are easy, some not so much. When it comes to deciding between furthering your education or continuing your career, the choice can feel paralyzing. Both are great choices. Why can’t you just choose both? Here’s the good news — you can!

The secret to your success in managing a career and college is understanding how to choose an online college. So, what exactly should you be looking for in an online college program? There are plenty of factors you’ll need to contemplate to find a school that’s just right for you, but we’ve spelled out four specific areas to consider as you choose an online college. 

Accreditation

One of the most important things you can do is ensure the school you attend is accredited. Accreditation is recognition from an accrediting agency that the school in question meets the mandatory education standards. It is crucial that the online college program you choose is officially recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. 

So now you’re probably wondering how to choose an online college that you are confident is accredited. This can be hard to discern when it comes to online colleges, as many for-profit institutions have become degree mills that are simply seeking to turn a profit for investors. One good way to gauge a school’s legitimacy is to check and see if the college is connected to a brick-and-mortar institution. This strategy is not fool-proof, but it’s a good place to start. 

Find an accredited school, and your degree will demand more credibility, merit, and respect from future employers. 

Grace College has been accredited by multiple agencies. You can learn about our online accreditations on our website

Degrees

The second thing you should consider when asking about how to choose an online college, is this question: what exact degree, license, or program you are looking for? Consider what you excelled in or enjoyed during previous schooling. Doing what you enjoy is just as important (if not more important!) than what you are good at. Motivation in your craft is the key. Be aware — not all schools offer the same degrees online that they offer in-person.

Grace College Online offers a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degrees that are 100% online. These degrees include, but are not limited to Business Administration, Psychology, Human Services, Ministry Studies, Mental Health Counseling, and more.

Finances

Tuition, textbooks, student fees, and other expenses must be taken into account as you choose an online college program. Investigate what financial aid packages the school offers. Do they accept transfer credits?  Compare the baseline prices between schools, but also keep in mind the enrollment timelines. A low annual cost could be deceptive if the program requires you to enroll for several years to complete the program. 

Visit the Grace College Online website, and check out our affordable prices on our financial aid webpage. (We are among the most affordable online schools of our kind, and our Master’s of Clinical Mental Health Counseling is the most inexpensive CACREP-accredited degree in the nation!)

Courses and Communication

When choosing an online college, do as much research as you can. Read course descriptions, feedback policies, and professors’ backgrounds. Discover how large the class sizes are, and familiarize yourself with course schedules to get a better understanding of the experience. One of the biggest differentiators between online and in-person learning is accessibility to your professors. Some online schools excel at this…others do not. Look into the ways you can communicate with your professors. Do professors feel warm and approachable? Or are they distant and hard to get a hold of? This could be a make-or-break factor for online college programs, so it’s important that you get a gauge on this before you commit to a school. 

Lewis Wheeler, among the first graduating class of Grace’s associate’s degree, learned this the hard way at the first institution he selected. But then he found Grace, and it flipped his college experience on its head! Unlike the former school, Wheeler experienced clear, timely, and gracious communication with his professors at Grace. Read his story to hear more.

So now that you know how to choose an online college, put what you’ve learned into practice! Keep these five areas in mind, and you will definitely find an online college program that’s right for you — one that is affordable, flexible, and academically sound. 

If you are looking for an online college that checks all four boxes, check out Grace College Online, and find out that we are the right choice for you.

 

Learn more about Grace Online.