All too often, student’s shy away from the idea of an online university because they're worried about getting scammed. The fear of getting scammed chases the students away from the convenience online universities provide over their traditional counterparts. This is a sad state of affairs since it is so simple to avoid the diploma mill scam. All it takes is just a little homework, a little more research, and a little dedication.
The first thing potential students need to do when they're looking at an online university is to contact the National Educational Association and make sure that the school they are looking at is accredited. Most legitimate online universities will display their accreditation directly on their web site.
The second step potential students should take before applying to an online university is to ask the admissions counselor what type of student teacher support network exists. Students should ask the admissions counselor about how to contact professors with problems, what information will need to be downloaded to complete a course, and what type interaction there is with other students. The more a potential student knows about an online university, the more comfortable they will be filling out an application and ultimately sending in a tuition check.
Once contact has been made with the admissions counselor, students should locate a course catalog and read all of the online degree program descriptions. While they are going through the catalogs, they should write down any questions they may have and then get back in touch with the admissions counselor for answers.
Try talking to other students. Find out how they feel about the online college. Ask how they've handled problems in the classroom. See if they have any recommendations or suggestions for new students.
If you're lucky enough to live near a home base of the online university, try to schedule a visit.
If you're considering taking online classes at a traditional university, check to make sure the classes are completely online. Some schools advertise having online courses but require that the students still report to campus when it is time to take tests and exams. It would be tragic if you started to take classes at an out of state university and get half way through the class only to find out you must report to campus to take the exam or fail the class.
If you have previously taken college classes and amassed any credits, check with this online university and find out if those credits are transferable. Find out how to transfer the credits. Also check to see if the credits you acquire while at the online university will transfer to traditional universities or other online universities. While you might be planning on completing your degree program at the same university, no one can predict the future and things might change.
Before applying to an online university, consider the cost, how many credits will be needed to complete a program, and what the average length of time for completion of the degree program you're considering. Compare the results of this list to other online colleges and traditional universities you have been looking into.