While many people are tempted to sign up for a program with the lowest price, online programs tend to have lower graduation rates than on-campus courses. That’s because they require more self-motivation and direction to complete the course. That said, quality distance-learning programs are backed by robust student services and support. You should avoid the cheapest programs, as they aren’t as likely to offer high-quality student support and services.
First, consider the credentials of the faculty. Even though distance-learning courses are generally more independent than those found in a traditional classroom, quality professors are essential. Research the faculty credentials of your prospective distance-learning institution to determine whether the instructors have PhDs. For comparison, most community college teachers hold a Masters degree. A decent online college should also have faculty with similar credentials. If you’ve attended a physical college, look for a school that accepts previous courses or can offer course credit for professional or military experience.
Another thing to consider is the reputation of the school. The more expensive school with brilliant professors won’t necessarily guarantee you success after graduation. While the prestige of a college is important, how much effort does it put into coursework? Another way to compare colleges is to check the graduation rates. This will tell you if they have a good track record in terms of student retention and preparation for the workplace. Colleges with high graduation rates tend to have excellent student services, strong faculty, and engaging programs.