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Online Universities and Degrees - the Perfect Solution for Busy Lifestyles?

Aug 17, 2007
In comparison to a regular university degree, are online universities really worth it? Traditionally, getting a professional qualification has meant that a student physically attend a college or university, adhere to fixed schedules, attend regular classes and seminars and participate in time-bound projects. Any departure from these standard protocols would invariably result in students getting lower grades, leading to high dropout rates, a scenario that is not very uncommon in this day and age. Today's fast-paced life demands greater flexibility and control over daily schedules, and a balanced lifestyle that is not too unduly skewed towards mere academic excellence. Financial considerations might also force individuals to opt out of college education to earn a living. Under these circumstances, it is but natural for students and even seniors to turn to online universities for getting professionally qualified while retaining their day jobs.

The Advantages of an Online University Degree

The biggest advantage to seeking a degree from online universities is the convenience of not having to be physically present at pre-scheduled times on a regular basis, and not being forced to relocate to a different city, in case one is unable to attend college locally. This eliminates the need to commute daily, a task that is not only very time consuming but also impossible for people with busy lifestyles and regular full-time jobs, not to mention single moms who have their kids to look after. Online universities typically offer their entire course-work and training material via dedicated education portals, which incorporate sophisticated learning management systems that make learning a pleasure. All assignments, tests and projects are usually managed via these interactive systems, thus potentially eliminating the need to ever attend a single day of lecture at a campus. This gives people who are otherwise averse to a traditional education system an opportunity to further their careers by getting a higher degree from the convenience of their own homes.

Check for Accreditation to Avoid Being Scammed

With the rise in demand for online modes of knowledge delivery and certification, online universities have started mushrooming all over, some of which are setup with the sole purpose of making money, while offering little or no intrinsic value. Many of these online universities are not even recognized or accredited by the U.S. Department of Education, a sure sign that the university failed to meet certain minimum standards of teaching excellence. Accreditation is thus one of the most important factors to consider in choosing an online university program, as most employers and organizations prefer hiring candidates with an accredited degree from a reputed university.

Check for Financial Aid Availability before Applying

You should also ascertain the availability of financial aid programs before you select a university. There are numerous options available in this regard, and if you have a job, your employer might be willing to pay a portion of the tuition fees. It is always wise to check with the particular online program of interest to see what financial options are available, since some universities might not offer financial aid to students who enroll in online degree programs.

Getting an online degree is a legitimate, convenient, and flexible way for you to advance your career. All it requires is firm commitment, motivation and some time management skills.
About the Author
Jim Zorn is web master of the Guide to Distance Learning. Please visit to learn more about online colleges and universities, distance learning degrees, majors and courses offered.
http://www.guide-to-distance-learning.com/index.html
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