Finding the Best Online Universities For You
With so many great options in online education, it is hard to say which online school is the best. Since the decision is yours, you need to determine the most important factors of college. For accredited online colleges, you might find certain aspects, such as rankings and completion time, more important than a traditional college student would. While we cannot tell you which online college to choose, we can give you important factors that we think make up the best online universities.
One of the first aspects to look at are online college ranking sites. Legitimate online college rankings have gathered vital information from accredited schools and compared them to determine a ranking spot. From acceptance rates, graduation rates, financial aid to faculty-student ratios, you are sure to find a topic that will either help or hinder your college experience. Rankings are intended to help you compare online colleges and choose the best school that matches your academic and personal needs. Because online college rankings can be so influential and possibly sway your decision, it is imperative that you find a ranking that is honest and transparent about how they gathered their data. In order to know the legitimacy of a ranking, first check out the company or organization, find out who they are and why they conducted the study. Then, you should check to see if they provided information on their methodology and data gathering. Compare and contrast online college rankings to see if they are in-line with one another, as well. One online college ranking site you can trust is Online Education Database (OEDb). This site only evaluates accredited online colleges and is completely transparent about their methods for reviewing 1,041 programs from 88 accredited online colleges in their 2009 rankings.
The best online colleges have convenient methods by which each class is administered. Some classes offer live classroom lectures, online discussion threads and live chats with your instructor to accompany your online materials. This can help clarify complex material and provide more one-on-one time with your professors and classmates. In addition, schools that use more technologically advanced equipment or materials may be appealing to students in Web-related degree programs. These methods of communicating in online classes differ from school to school, but it’s another factor to consider when deciding on a college. Having good correspondence with professors and school personnel is really helpful when you encounter a problem or need clarification. Affordability is another aspect that most students look for in online colleges. When researching tuition rates, you have to consider the level of education you are pursuing and what you are studying. For example, a master’s degree from an online college is almost always going to cost more than a bachelor’s degree. If the tuition is not within your desired price range and you cannot afford it, you can apply for financial assistance. The best online colleges participate in Federal student financial aid programs and offer scholarships, grants and awards to their students.