Online College Degree

con't from Part 1

Most important on the which-school-is-best list should be teaching methods. Because self-discipline plays a major part in online learning, take care to evaluate your own learning style. If reading your way through college works best for you, watch for course offerings that include downloadable e-books, textbooks you can buy and read at home, and written lessons from the instructor. If you lean more toward listening as a learning tool, then pick online classes that offer audio lectures or concept-explaining sound bytes. For those whose brains learn better by actually seeing how things are done, a class that employs lots of demonstrative graphics to teach ideas might be best. People that need written communications find courses heavy with e-mails, online chats, and discussion-group forums excellent learning resources.

Another thing to consider in pursuing online college degrees is whether or not you want to take self-directed classes or those that are instructor-aided. The more self-disciplined you are, the more you're apt to want to study at your own pace, be flexible with the curriculum, and manipulate your time. Many people, however, need structure and deadlines to keep on track with delivery of assignments and to be guided successfully to the end of the course. Other features for instructor-led courses not available to self-directed classes are human feedback and any necessary help from teachers, though some self-directed courses do provide subject matter experts to facilitate learning.

Be sure and check out whether or not the institution you're considering offers tutoring, online library accessibility, labs, and technical assistance. Resources like these can make a big difference in the successful completion of online college degrees by helping along the learning process immeasurably.

Online college degrees don't come cheap - from anywhere. You can expect to pay more from nationally recognized universities, of course, but even the lowest-priced e-learning providers range from several hundred dollars to a thousand or more for courses linked to degrees. You'll then need to consider the cost of books, any lab fees, and any other unforeseen "extras" that may come up. One online college requires proctored exams at a participating brick-and-mortar university, but not for free. The participating school gets reimbursed $25 per test for their trouble.

So now that you've got the lowdown on online college degrees, you may be thinking, "Why not me?" That's a good question! So many people have asked themselves that same question, that it's not inconceivable that in the near future, the traditional, Socratic-based teaching methods of brick-and-mortar institutions will be the exception and not the rule. And for many, that may be the difference between getting a college degree and making up to a million more dollars in their lifetimes - or not.

See also: Online College Degrees