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Checklist for Returning to College Online

November 25, 2014 by Kelly Paul |
Kelly Paul
Back To School PhotoYou’ve decided you want to finish that college degree or pursue a graduate degree. Because you have adult responsibilities — likely a family and a job — the best way to do it may be to get a degree online.

Here’s a list of things you should check out to ensure you receive a quality education that meets your goals.

  • Quality

    Most colleges and universities have to meet strict educational standards through a recognized regional accrediting agency. Verify that the college or university you're considering is in good standing with their accrediting agency. For example, UNCG is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and its accreditation is in good standing.  

  • Affordability

    Public non-profit colleges and universities typically charge less tuition than private or for-profit colleges and universities, and sometimes tuition for online courses is less than what is charged for on-campus programs. Estimate how many courses you’ll be taking, what that translates to in tuition dollars and see if that fits within your budget. Also, make sure to contact the Financial Aid Office at the college or university you’re considering to see if you qualify for aid, grants or scholarships. 

  • Program of Study

    Make sure the degree program you’re considering will help you meet your career or personal goals. If you aren’t sure, be certain to talk with the program manager or someone in your desired career path for insight and direction. Most institutions offer multiple degrees (at UNCG we have more than 30 online degrees) so look around a bit.

  • Technology

    Colleges and universities share the technology requirements you must meet to successfully take online courses. Make sure you have access to the right technology whether at home, work (if allowed) or your local library. If you don’t you’ll need to factor technology costs into your budget.

  • Student Success Services

    A good online degree program will provide advising, library access and tutoring services – all online - to help you succeed. Check with the manager of the program you’re considering and verify that these services will be available to you.

Learning online is a great way to access continued education with many conveniences. For more information on some of those benefits, check out our blog What Mom Never Told You About Online Degrees.


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