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Learn how to help pay for college through scholarships, grants and student loans. Get details about Pell Grants, Stafford Subsidized loans and scholarship programs. Take advantage of the Stimulus Bill Aid for Education. Compare traditional and online colleges and their degree programs. Learn about FAFSA too!
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fafsaThere are a lot of people who just don't have the time to go to a college campus for their education. This can be for many reasons, such as work, finding a babysitter, costs of college courses, or even coordinating it to fit into a busy schedule. There is a solution for this. You can obtain an online college degree.

An online college degree is just as valid as a degree you receive at a regular college campus. In fact, a lot of people prefer it. This is because you can get an online college degree from the comfort of your own home. You don't have to go anywhere to get the degree and you can register for the courses from your computer at home. You also don't have to commute to school, which in turn will save you gas, time, and money. An online college degree program will fit into any busy schedule.

Studies show that the number of students getting their degrees online is growing every year. With the rise in popularity of online degree programs, the number of online colleges and universities has exploded in recent years. Students seeking an online degree now have an unprecedented variety of online schools and degree programs to choose from.

Online education degree programs offer financial aid and other assistance just like regular college campuses. Many also offer job placement to those who complete the courses and obtains a degree. Online colleges often boast that you can get your degree in half the time it would take from a campus course program. This is true because an online college degree program allows you to take the courses as quickly or as slowly as you want. It's all done at your own pace.

Now that you see the advantages of obtaining an online degree, let's look at some of the online courses offered. They include: accounting, teaching, business degrees, computer science, criminal justice, paralegal, and dental assistant. There are even master degree programs offered online to continue your education.

The cost of online college degree courses varies from school to school and the degree sought. It's best to do research and see what school offers you the best deal and the best education. If you need financial aid, be sure the school offers it before you enroll.

Knowing something about a school's accreditation can tell you a lot about the value of the degree or course for which you are paying. If you obtain a degree or take a course from a non-accredited institution you may find that the degree is not recognized by some employers or that the course credits may not transfer to other institutions. The process of accreditation is supervised by a set of regional accreditation agencies across the United States. They examine all aspects of the online degree program to ensure that it meets or exceeds nationally established standards.

There are over 750 online degree programs that are accredited and open to the public across the United States. Some are very small and highly specialized while others are the giants of the university world and offer online programs in every occupational field that you can imagine. Some institutions even provide you with your own academic advisor who will help you navigate through course outlines and curricula in order to select the study program that meets your needs.

The largest universities offering online degrees include Kaplan University, Walden University, DeVry University, University of Phoenix and Capella University.

The criteria to use to rank online colleges and universities rankings are:

  • Student satisfaction (as measured by graduation and retention rates)
  • Peer and instructional quality (as measured by acceptance rate and student-teacher ratio)
  • Affordability (as measured by tuition costs and availability of financial aid), and
  • Credibility (as measured by years of accreditation, reputation and awards)

Warning: There are bogus universities, also known as degree mills, that confer degrees for little or no study. Be aware that a degree from a college without the proper accreditation is only worth the piece of paper it's written on.

Dploma mill operators often portray themselves as legitimate institutions and claim they're accredited. The problem: The organizations they say have accredited them are often bogus themselves.

College Degrees: choosing an Occupation

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