What to Check for When Applying for Online Courses
Applying for online courses is an exciting time. In the excitement, you may overlook some important aspects that insure your distance education is legitimate. There are many schools and organizations, while perfectly acceptable to some, are not acceptable to others. There are a few things to check on before you apply for any course online.
Make sure that any school or organization you apply to is accredited. There is a variety of accrediting agencies floating around on the internet. Some schools claim to be accredited by agencies that focus solely on distance education. Others claim to be state certified or registered. Still, others claim to be accredited by some international accrediting agency accepted worldwide. These agencies sound professional and legitimate to unsuspecting students eager to begin online courses.
However, to reputable institutions and some employers, these agencies are not anything but a name. When applying, make sure the school is regionally accredited. If the school is foreign, double check that their accreditation standards would be recognized in the country you live in as legitimate and reputable.
Reevaluate whether to apply to any school that offers life experience degrees. No reputable school offers to give someone a degree for living life. Since everyone has different life experiences, how can they determine any sort of standards towards earning a life experience degree? They cannot. They just offer this degree for a lot of money to unsuspecting students who are excited at the prospect of earning a degree. Also, avoid any school that claims you can earn a degree with only five classes. Degrees take time and dedication to learn. Five classes is a semester, not a degree.
Watch out for schools that offer their own college scholarships. If an online school is offering a scholarship of five hundred dollars or less, they are using the scholarship to bait you. Most likely, they are a diploma mill operating as an online school. These are easy to spot because you will not have to actually apply for the scholarship or do any sort of interviewing to win it. They will award it to you for your grades, life experience or some other reason. Then you will be charged a hefty tuition price that they will make a big show about deducting the five hundred you earned. The world of college scholarships is competitive and legitimate schools do not just hand them out.
Double-check the faculty listings. If most of the faculty graduated from the school or a school that does not sound too familiar, think about applying elsewhere. If the school name is brand new, or the school recently changed locations, this is an orange flag to do some extra research before sending in any money or application. The easiest way to find out if a school is legit is to call a school you are interested in transferring the course credits to and ask if they accept credits from that school.
By double-checking all the facts and information you find about a school that offers online courses, you are more likely to avoid taking courses from a school not recognized in other schools or workplace.