Online Degree Programs
Your Education Starts Here
An online degree program has many traits that make it both similar to, and different from, an on-campus degree. Sometimes referred to as distance learning, online degrees have actually been around a long time. The first online degrees were more like correspondence courses, where students would log into the schools system of threads and find new posts from their instructor and fellow classmates. They would submit assignments via email, and sometimes chat with other students, but all of the material was read-only. There was no audio or video. Now, online degree programs are robust, with the ability to meet your classmates, see live or recorded lectures, participate in class through an online portal, and collaborate on assignments through a live feed. Online degree programs have come a long way, and the best part is that to employers, your degree will look no different.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
There are thousands of online bachelor’s degree programs available nationwide, and many of these will also accept credits from prior colleges, or take work or life experience for college credit. With the pace of an online degree, you can often shave months off the completion time, earning your degree faster and getting your new career started sooner.
Master's Degree Programs
Master’s degree programs are commonly offered online, and may not have the same strict enrollment requirements as an on-campus program, like the GMAT or GRE. From Criminal Justice to Education to Business, you can advance your credentials with an online program. Many online master’s programs have the same instructors as on-campus
Become College Educated
A college education helps bridge economic gaps and improves generational outcomes. College degrees lower unemployment and raise lifetime earnings. In fact, workers with a bachelor’s degree will earn 56 percent more than their peers without a degree over their lifetime. If you’re looking for a good return on your investment, engineering degrees have the best return at 21 percent, followed by computer and health majors at 18 percent and business majors at 17 percent.
People who pursue a college degree may have aptitudes and personality traits that make them different from those who don’t earn a degree. These differences can also play a role in why hiring managers are more apt to bring on a candidate with a degree than without. Since economic well-being is tied closely to a college education, it is important to make degree programs more accessible – this is the role of online degree programs, since they bring a college education into rural communities, economically disadvantaged communities and places where people may not otherwise have access to higher education.
For an online degree, you only need a working computer and a solid internet connection. If you don’t have these things, your school or the local library may have a lending program, and there are also discounts with Google, Dell and Apple for students. You can also receive help with internet and devices from your local government.
Apply to an Online Program
After you’ve narrowed your choices down, it’s time to apply. You’ll need to get any previous transcripts and test scores, pay an application fee and submit any other required documents.
Apply for Financial Aid
Once you are accepted to the program, you can apply for financial aid or scholarships. The FAFSA is free to fill out, and you can see how much you are awarded in loans and grants.
Start Your Coursework
Many online programs have rolling start dates, which means they don’t follow the traditional school calendar. Some online programs start every week, while others start every 5 weeks or twice a year.
Online Degree FAQ
How long does an online program take?
Can I work and go to school with an online program?
Will my diploma say 'online' on it?
Does financial aid work for an online program?
Financial aid works exactly the same for on-campus and online programs. To qualify for financial aid, you must meet certain attendance requirements as determined by your school.
Can I get a degree 100% online?
Yes, you can earn a degree 100% online, without ever having to set foot on a campus. However, you can choose to attend your graduation in-person, so good luck!
Are online degrees respected?
It is up to you whether you disclose that you earned your degree online or not, but online degrees today are respected due to their curriculum and their rigorous nature.
Are there any degrees you can't earn online?
Some technical degrees or degrees that require lab work can’t be earned 100% online, but you can take some of the coursework online and some in-person.