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By now most people have heard of the convenience and flexibility provided by an online or distance education format, yet fears surrounding the quality and reputation of obtaining an accredited degree online remain a concern. The fact is many of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the nation now offer accredited degree programs that are indistinguishable from the more traditional degree program. In fact, some online degree programs like Penn State provide transcripts and diplomas that look exactly the same as any other Penn State student's transcript or diploma.
There are two main criteria any prospective student will want to consider when choosing an online university: accreditation and reputation. Accreditation is important in determining if a course or program of study will be recognized by other colleges and institutions of higher learning. This is particularly important if you are exploring a bachelor degree program with the potential of graduate school in your future.
Not every online university degree program is equal. Some are relative newcomers to the educational arena and are known by name as solely online programs. Other online offerings like Penn State are indistinguishable from the main accredited university program. Essentially when you obtain a degree from Penn State, whether in person or through the accredited online degree program, you are granted a diploma with the full reputation and prestige of an established and reputable college with over one hundred years of history. Find out in advance if your diploma or transcript will differentiate your degree from others.