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Earning a Bachelor Degree Online Tips

Read these 17 Earning a Bachelor Degree Online Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Bachelor Degree tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Scheduling Your First Online Course

After doing the research, you finally decided on an online university that fits all your needs. It has the classes you want for the price you can afford. So now it's time to choose your first online course and start classes!

Scheduling for your first online course might seem daunting since there are so many online class options. First, you should go online to your school's course catalog. Here you can review class details, such as the semester it will be held, and tuition and fee amounts.

You will need to mail or fax your registration form to the university and they will enroll you in the class.

Once you are enrolled in your first online class, expect to receive information about logging in, class times and course material.

Can I travel while I take online classes?

Have Laptop, Will Travel

Not only can degrees be earned from the comfort of your home, you can travel anywhere while going to college. Thanks to wireless Internet connections and laptops you can do your homework on a beach, backpacking across Europe, or simply in the front yard while the kids play. Those enrolled in online liberal arts courses may take advantage of studying abroad. Why not write that essay on Shakespeare while visiting his childhood home in Stratford-upon-Avon? This is permitting, of course, that you have the money to travel so effortlessly. Regardless, the point remains that the sky's the limit while earning an online bachelor degree. Sometimes, it's just nice to take a break in a coffeehouse with your homework.

What do employers think of online bachelor degrees?

Online Bachelor Degrees and Employers

Online bachelor degrees from accredited universities are as prestigious as bachelor degrees obtained from campus courses. A bachelor degree represents a broad knowledge as well as specialized training in a particular field. Not only does the degree require hard work and discipline, it opens doors for future employment and/or post-graduate degree programs. An employer knows that one with the tenacity to complete a four-year degree will be an asset to their company.

Do I have to be knowledgeable about computers to take online classes?

Becoming Technically Savvy

Virtual classrooms, live feeds, listservs, teleconferencing. These are terms that are familiar to those earning a bachelor degree online. Although you don't need to be a computer genius, it wouldn't hurt to brush up on your technical know-how before you begin your distance learning. Thankfully, many programs are designed to be user-friendly. Don't let technology scare you off from what is a great learning opportunity. Many online colleges offer 24-hour technical support and there is always the trusted online search engine when in doubt. However, if you aren't comfortable with computers, you may not be the best candidate for online coursework.

What kind of benefits does learning online have?

The Convenience of Online Learning

Online learning programs come with a wealth of convenience. From time management to class organization, and most importantly life management, earning your degree online affords you the luxury of a customized program for your needs. Not only do online bachelor degree programs save you commute money, they save you the actual commute. Many of us are surprised to find how much stress that reduces in our lives. With a more convenient way to attend school comes peace of mind and the ability to focus on studying and earning your degree. computer and going to the kitchen.

Is an online degree taken as seriously as one obtained on campus?

Equal Rights For Online Degrees

Although still a fairly new option for students, a bachelor degree from an accredited university is legitimate whether it was obtained via Internet or in person. In fact, an online degree may demonstrate even more tenacity in a college graduate. After all, one must be very disciplined to set a schedule and adhere to it without anyone looking over their shoulder. The same amount of work and credit hours must be finished when earning a bachelor degree online, and most employers know that. Anyone under the impression that online degrees are easier will soon be educated as the number of distance learning graduates grows.

Can I earn a degree online?

What You Don't Know About Online Courses

Undergraduates everywhere have heard of distance learning, but few realize how many degrees are available from the convenience of home. While most universities offer a few distance courses that can be taken over the Internet, there are also many accredited universities that offer whole online degree programs.

What question do I need to know to earn my online bachelors degree?

Quick Questions to Earning a College Degree Online

Whether you are thinking of taking a single college course to update your jobs skills or you want to pursue an accredited online bachelors degree, here are a few quick question to consider.

  1. What technical and academic prerequisite skills will you need? Some classes will require you to have taken other classes before enrolling in the desired course. These are commonly referred to as prerequisite courses. Be sure to check what is required for each class at least a term in advance so you can plan your schedule accordingly. The same goes for technology. If a specific course requires a technology competency or skill then be sure to plan in advance before registering for the course.
  2. Is an online orientation available? Most of your better online bachelor degree programs offer an orientation class prior to your first actual class. These are almost always a great investment in terms of both time and money. You will learn how to navigate and use the coursework platform used for the online classes as well as library resources and other study materials.
  3. Where and how do you order course textbooks and required supplies or software? Be sure to ask whether these are included in the price of tuition or not and if you must order them or if the school send them to you. If you must order then be sure to plan ahead as it can take awhile to receive them.
  4. Who provides technical support for online courses and what hours are they available? Can you reach them through the phone or email only? Remember, most teachers are there to teach the material directly related to the course so if you are having a problem uploading your homework, the teacher is not the person to contact. The best online programs provide technical assistance directly to students in several formats including on-line help manuals, email, and phone support.

What is it like to take an online bachelors degree?

The Online Bachelors Degree Experience

Years ago during the infancy of the Internet, the concept of a distance learning degree conjured up images of lonely students sitting in a room staring at text on a computer screen in isolation. Nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to today's online bachelors degree experience!

So, what can you expect from an online bachelors degree experience?

First of all, advances in technology now allow video, audio, chat discussions in real time, online presentations and much more! As with any course, the actual content and method of delivery are up to the discretion and creativity of the individual instructor so be sure to ask for an advanced copy of the syllabus for any course you are interested in taking.

The community of online students is also greatly enhanced at most online degree universities. For instance, Penn State offers newsletters, recognition of student achievements, honor societies and other services for students enrolled in the accredited online bachelors degree programs.

One of the most common questions about the online bachelors degree experience is whether or not a student qualifies to participate in the graduation ceremony. After all of the hard work and effort you certainly have earned it!

Some program have special graduation ceremonies for online degree participants while others like Penn State encourage graduates to participate in the traditional Penn State on-campus commencement ceremonies. Be sure to ask what type of graduation is provided by the college once you have earned your degree.

Does it matter what online classes I take and when?

Timing an Online Bachelors Degree Program

One of the important reasons to earn a college degree online is the advantage of the flexibility of online courses. It's up to you when to log into the class and there is a lot to be said about being able to participate in a class discussion while sipping your morning coffee or taking care of a newborn!

There is also a great deal of individual discretion when it comes to how long it will take you to complete a degree or when to take specific classes. Despite the convenience there are a couple items to keep in mind when timing an online bachelors degree program.

If you have applied or receive federal, state or other forms of financial assistance then it is important to know what the minimum number of hours or credits are required to receive assistance. This can be particularly tricky because some accredited online bachelors degree programs don't follow the same calendar as the traditional campus. Pay special attention to how many credit hours you register for each term and make sure you understand what term each class will be associated with.

It's also important to find out in advance when each course is offered. Some popular courses are available each and every term but other less common courses may only be offered as little as once a year. This is particularly true for upper level courses that you may need during your junior or senior year so be sure to plan ahead. There are few things more frustrating than finding out a required course won't be offered during the term you hoped to graduate! Take advantage of academic advising for an online degree program during the start of your degree program rather than at the end. All too often students are surprised to learn they cannot graduate when hoped due to a course conflict or unfulfilled requirement.

Is an online degree expensive?

Comparing the Cost of an Online Bachelors Degree Program

Online bachelor degree programs vary considerably in terms of cost but it's important to keep the “big picture” in mind when comparing the cost of obtaining an online bachelors degree to that of a traditional program. Depending upon the type of institution {public or private, technical or degree}, the program of study and level of degree {associates, bachelors or graduate}; the cost of the online degree program may vary from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per course. However, the total cost of obtaining an online bachelors degree doesn't stop at paying the tuition. In fact, it's possible that an online degree program may actually save you money even if the tuition is higher since many people find they can continue their education without taking time off work to attend classes!

To get an idea of how much an online degree program will cost here are a few items to keep in mind:

  • Tuition,
    Books and Supplies,
    Internet Connection,
    Computer: To calculate how much a traditional degree program will cost you would need to include all of the above plus the following:
  • Travel to and from classes:
    Parking, tolls, parking decals for student parking, etc.
  • Time off work
  • Meals on campus
It doesn't take long for most people to recognize a major savings in terms of both time and money by completing their degree online. If you are searching for a convenient but lower cost online degree program then begin by exploring public colleges and universities that offer online degree courses. Particularly if you are in-state, tuition is usually substantially less than other programs and you may be eligible for financial aid or tuition reimbursement to assist with the cost!

What type of online courses are available?

Online Learning For Almost Everything

Only a few short years ago, online courses were few and far between. Once in awhile, a progressive instructor might transfer a course to an online format, but it was still relatively difficult to find an accredited online bachelors degree program for most fields of study.

All of that has changed! Today there are many ways to earn a college degree online for almost any field of study, including some you may not have ever considered!

For example, Penn State World Campus offers more than 50 online degree and certificate programs ranging from undergraduate to graduate degrees in diverse fields such as:

business administration, adult education, criminal justice and information sciences and technology.

It is possible to earn a college degree online for almost any field of study. Be sure to compare different possibilities when searching for an online degree program and find out whether the college offers graduate degrees in the field. Online courses, like those at Penn State World Campus, are so convenient and flexible that many students decide to pursue an advanced degree after completing their online bachelors degree program!

What type of institutions provide online degree programs?

Types of Institutions Providing Online Degree Programs

When searching for online degree classes, it's important to understand exactly what type of institution is offering the course. The type of institution will often determine what financial assistance is available and if you'll be able to transfer credits. There are a variety of places to earn a college degree online, but almost all fall within a few categories.

First, there are career and technical education centers which award postsecondary certificates in occupational, vocational and technical fields. These may be public or private, so be sure to ask when inquiring about any program. Financial assistance includes federal and state loans, need-based assistance and available merit scholarships. Although many of these offer online courses or training programs, they tend to award certificates or certifications rather than degrees upon completion of the program. It can be an excellent way to upgrade or enhance your job skills, but verify whether the program will count toward earning a college degree if you plan to continue your education.

Public community colleges award associate's degrees, while public colleges and universities award bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees. Financial assistance includes federal and state loans, need-based assistance and available merit scholarships.

Finally, there are private colleges and universities which award the same degrees as public colleges and universities. These institutions are usually governed by private boards of trustees. Financial assistance includes federal and state loans, as well as other available merit scholarships and need-based assistance.

If your employer provides tuition reimbursement, ask the Human Resources department if there are any limitations on the type of institution you can attend while receiving tuition reimbursement. Also, be sure you understand what type of institution you are attending and whether you will receive a degree or certification upon completion.

Will there be instructors to help me while I take online courses?

Online Instructors

Working toward an online bachelor degree doesn't mean you will be learning alone. Online degree programs offer guidance and instruction from the university's finest faculty members. Take advantage of all the program has to offer and don't be afraid to ask questions. Whether you are being instructed face-to-face or via computer, you are entitled to the cooperation and communication of all your instructors.

How are classes conducted over the Internet?

Different Courses, Different Methods

There are actually several different kinds of learning environments for an online bachelor degree. Some courses for online bachelor degrees are given in a synchronous manner, meaning that you take it at the same time as other students and can participate in a live chat, or “virtual classroom”, for lectures. Other courses are offered asynchronously, in which you may want to communicate with other students via message boards and e-mail. While there are instructor-led online courses, there are many that will be mentor-led or completely learned through computer software and textbooks. In order to get the most out of your online education, try to find out which learning environment is best for you.

What kind of work is required of an online college student?

Motivation For An Online Bachelor Degree

Bachelor degrees require over 100 hours of coursework and more hours of motivation. However, if you are someone who works well independently and can work well at your own speed, then an online degree from an accredited university is a wonderful opportunity. Should you start an online program and find that it's challenging, seek the help of a university counselor. The online bachelors responsibilities of an undergraduate are many, but shouldn't be enough to dissuade you from your goals. Your motivation and quest to succeed will pay off with an online degree that enhances your career and life options.

Where to find academic advising for an online degree.

Academic Advising for an Online Degree

Academic advising for an online degree is a problem for most online bachelor degree programs. To put it plain and simple: it's an area that needs work for the vast majority of colleges. Sure they have ample advisors and counselors for onsite students but when it comes time to earn a college degree online many people find they are left out in the cold. One exception to the rule is Penn State who is one of the only distance education providers to have a team of professional advisers on staff to provide academic advising for an online degree. Most online colleges and universities could learn a lesson or two from Penn State's program.

Here is what you should look for when it comes to an academic advisor for an online degree program:

  • clarifying your goals
  • admissions counseling
  • selecting the right courses to meet your program requirements
  • navigating the college or university system from a distance
  • convenient time and methods to contact advisor
Be sure to ask how and where you will have access to an academic advisor for any online degree program you may be considering!

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