Finding the Online Program that Best Suits Your Needs

Finding the online program that best suits your needs is a matter of research. Some things that might be included in your research could be public or private schools, what you'd like to study and what type of degree or program would interest you and how much it would cost.

Types of Schools With Online Programs

You should be aware of your options as you begin looking through different schools offering studies via distance learning. There are strictly online schools as well as community colleges and four-year colleges and universities that offer online education programs.


A concern that you may have is whether or not the program or school you're interested in is accredited. The six major regional accrediting bodies are: The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Learning Formats

Hybrid online courses and programs are also an option. This is where students take courses online and must complete on-campus requirements in order to finish their chosen degree. These types of programs might be a better option for those who cannot make full-time on-campus commitments.

Other distance-learning programs are offered entirely online, in areas such as nursing, liberal arts, education, and business.

Enrollment Information

You may also want to research specifics about program and school admissions. Some schools have more stringent minimum requirements for GPA and standardized test scores. In addition, you may want to examine credit requirements and transfer credit policies. If you have existing work experience, some schools may take that into consideration and award you credit toward your degree.

Required Materials

Depending on your major, some online programs may require specialized software programs, in addition to textbooks and other learning aids. Some schools offering distance education include these costs in the tuition and fees that you pay, while others don't.

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