Is an Online College Degree Worth the Cost and Time?

Are Online College Degrees Worth It?

Is an online college degree really worth anything?
"What would happen if I spent a lot of money on a college degree and it didn't help me get a better job? 
"What if I wasted four years of hard work?"
These are the kinds of thoughts I had when trying to decide which college to attend.

Many of the people I talked with said they thought online degrees were stupid, that employers wouldn't hire me and that the amount of learning that takes place is very minimal compared to real world, on campus college.

Some said that online colleges have no socialization and you miss an important part of college. Ack.

Guess what? They were wrong.

Online college can be a scam... but, so can on campus colleges. I've taken courses on campus and online -- there are good teachers and bad teachers in both worlds.

I've had online teachers that inspired me, taught me things that blew my mind and connected with me as a student and as a person. Much more so than any of my on campus courses.

I'm not saying my on campus teachers were necessarily bad, but it's hard to connect with a single teacher when you are number 56 in the third row. You come to class, listen to the lecture and maybe ask a question. Class over.

Online, you have many ways to connect with the professor "face to face". It's counterintuitive but you probably have experienced the same kind of connection with someone over skype or in an email exchange. It is not only possible to create great relationships online -- it's likely you will.

Online school is reading and writing intensive and employers are starting to wake up to that fact.

Online students have to be great communicators.  Communication is an ever increasing skill needed in today's information age.

The trick to getting a good education is to do a lot of research before you enroll. Read reviews. Ask questions. Evaluate the costs involved.

One thing I've learned is that for profit online schools are almost always a bad deal. They are very, very expensive. They have no brick and mortar campus to anchor their reputation. And many of them are dishonest about the true cost and will ding-dong you to death trying to get you to sign up once you reveal the slightest interest.

And did I mention expensive? Some of their four year degrees are five times the cost of a degree from a public institution such as your local state college.

Check out the state colleges and universities in your tri-state area... you'll find a wonderful selection of online degrees and certificates. For a bargain price.

Are Online College Degrees Valid?

Is Your School a Scam?

It's mission critical to determine if an educational institution's online college degrees are valid. Is your school a scam? How do you tell a diploma mill from a valid online college? How do you make sure that the degree you are paying for and working on will be accepted by employers and other colleges? 

Fortunately, the answer is EASY.The National Education Board of the U.S. government has given seven private agencies across the country the authority and duty to examine and accredit individual schools. If the school you have chosen to attend does not carry a certification (or accreditation) by one of these seven agencies… your degree may be essentially worthless.
List of Accreditation Agencies in the United States

In Canada, if your college does not belong to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) and have a provincial charter to grant degrees -- you've got a loser. The provincial charter and membership in the AUCC act as de facto accreditation for Canadian colleges. Here is a list of AUCC member colleges. 

When choosing a valid online degree program, consider the reputation and status of the college or university and the types of diplomas they issue. Ask the distance learning department if the online degrees or diplomas they issue are different than the ones issued by the main campus. (If they aren't the same - a red flag should go off in your mind that perhaps they are not issuing valid accredited online degrees.)

Most colleges issue distant learning diplomas (degrees) that are exactly identical to those issued by the main campus. The transcript itself does not distinguish between online courses and main campus courses. Same - same, in every way.

There are few reasons to attend a high priced, overly advertised, for-profit, exclusively online University, when there are so many land grant colleges with inexpensive online degree programs that exactly parallel their on campus programs. Online degrees are one of the greatest bargains of the new millenium.