How to Find the Right Online School for You

Finding an online school that fits all your needs can be tough. With hundreds of institutions offering online courses around the country — and around the world — it can be hard to find your perfect fit. Whether you're pursuing a degree for the first time or you're returning to college, the following factors can help you decide on the college that works for you.

Accreditation

Most institutions are either regionally or nationally accredited. Before choosing a school, research companies you would like to work for and find out if they have stipulations on accreditation for employee education.

Transfer Credit

If you have taken previous college courses or have participated in professional or military work that may qualify for course credit, you will want to attend the school that recognizes the most of your experience, and transfers it into credits towards your degree. Research each school to make the most out of your previous coursework and find out how much and which kinds of transfer credits they accept.

Goals

If you know what industry or position you want to eventually land in, search for degree programs that will prepare you for your future goals. Talk to other professionals in the field and find out what schools they recommend.

Tuition and Financing

According to Online College Students 2019, a report published by Learning House, affordability is the most important ranking factor for both undergraduate and graduate students at online universities. Compare various schools you are interested in and find out how their tuition, payment plans, financial aid services and scholarship opportunities stack up.

Support and Flexibility

Excellent support services are important, especially for online learners. Find schools with great faculty and staff reviews. They’ll be able to help you with important things like productivitytime management and preparing for a career upon graduation.

The flexibility to complete a degree at your own pace can be another important consideration. Learning House reported that undergraduate online students consider offering the quickest path to a degree their third-highest ranking factor when choosing a school.

Statistics

When choosing a school, make sure to check the numbers. All schools must publish their graduation rates, student loan default rates, graduate employment rates and satisfaction rates. Make sure to choose a school with an outstanding record in these reports.

With flexible learning optionshelpful support staff, affordable tuition rates and more, Columbia Southern University may be the school you are looking for to continue your education.

Related Stories:
4 Benefits to Being an Adult Learner
This is the Future of Education
How Working Adults Find a Way to Finish a College Application