Distance Learning for all Degree Types

OnlineEducationThere are many common misconceptions about online education. One of these misconceptions is that its only purpose is to supplement a brick-and-mortar education. However, online education, or distance learning, is becoming an increasingly popular way to complete an entire degree. More people are turning to distance learning to complete associates, bachelors and masters degrees.

Associate’s Degrees

Pursuing an associate’s degree online is a great way to fit your academic life into your everyday life. With the convenience of being able to sit at home and learn whenever your schedule allows, online education is becoming an increasingly popular way to train for a career.

Obtaining a distance learning associate’s degree is a relatively simply process. There are hundreds of colleges that offer entire programs of study through distance learning. These schools can either be schools with physical campuses or completely virtual. Depending on how far you want to take your education, you may want to choose a school that offers the possibility continuing on after receiving your associate’s degree. If not, choose a school that offers job placement services after you have completed your courses.

An Associate’s degree will only be valid and applicable in certain industries, but there are many programs to choose from. Some distance learning associate’s degrees include studies in criminal justice, liberal arts, accounting, nursing, paralegal, interior design, engineering and computer technologies. While many of these degrees do not require work in the field, like an internship, before the degree can be completed, some do. Certain areas of study may require that you find a place to work and be observed in an environment where your skills can be assessed. Depending on what you are interested in, chances are there is a degree program that will fit your interests.

Bachelors Degrees

There was a time when obtaining a bachelors degree was almost impossible for some people because of the financial and time commitments. Now, with distance learning, you can even work towards a bachelor’s degree from the comfort of your own home.

A distance learning bachelor’s degree is just as valid as a bachelor’s degree from a traditional college. Obtaining a bachelors degree through online education can save you money. Getting a Bachelors degree through distance learning is much more affordable than brick and mortar colleges for several reasons:

1. There are usually no application fees
2. The software you need is often included with your tuition
3. There are no high cost parking fees for campus
4. You will not have to spend any money on gas to get to campus
5. You can continue to work while you earn your degree

With any online degree make sure the school you choose is accredited. This means that the classes you take are recognized by national standards of excellence in education and the school is recognized by non-government accreditation agencies located in the United States.

Masters Degrees

If you have been thinking about kicking your career up to the next level then an online masters degree might be something to consider. Like associate’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees, obtaining a master’s degree through an online school is more convenient and less expensive. With an online master’s degree program you can take your classes from anywhere in the world. All you need to complete a master’s degree through distance learning is a computer and the desire to learn. It used to be that anybody who wanted to pursue their master’s degree had to put their life on hold because of the time they had to dedicate to it. With distance learning programs, you take your classes online, so you can virtually do it from anywhere. Additionally, you will not break the bank getting your master’s degree. Online master’s degree programs are economical for the same reasons online bachelor’s degrees are.

By earning your Masters degree through distance learning, you are able to continue working full time. No more taking out thousands of dollars in loans to cover the cost of tuition and living expenses. Getting your Masters degree through a distance learning program has never been easier.

The scope of distance learning is expanding every day and revolutionizing the way that people engage in higher education. Online classes are no longer just a way to brush up on skills or learn new material; they are a way to earn a legitimate degree.

ScholarshipPoints Bonus Code: ABMDEGREES

Why GAAP Matters to You

Accredited Online Schools

Most have no idea what GAAP stands for, though they should if they are interested in an online education.  GAAP stands for Generally Accepted Accrediting Principles.  This stamp of approval is very important as it serves to delineate between the haves and have-nots.

To offer recognized accreditation under GAAP, a school in the U.S. must receive accrediting by an accrediting agency recognized either by the U.S. Department of Education and/or by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.  There are six regional accrediting agencies and numerous national accrediting bodies.

So not only do you want to ensure your school is accredited vs. unaccredited, but you also want to make certain your school has been recognized under the Generally Accepted Accrediting Principles, which is granted when an approved accrediting agency gives its stamp of approval.

If you have questions regarding your schools accreditation credentials you can either contact the Department of Education or Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) for more details.

A New Way to Finance Education

Phoenix-based Grand Canyon University (GCU) made history when it made a $230 million public offering on the stock market last November. GCU, the first regionally accredited nonprofit college in American history to become a for-profit company, was the most successful IPO in 2008.

Read full story from Christianity Today

Testing The Waters With Online Education

Testing the waterBy now most people know at least some of the benefits of online education. We know that it is convenient for working adults, it is good for the environment and students can complete online degrees at their own pace. Online education is great, but it does not have to be the end all be all. Have you ever considered testing the higher education waters with an online program? Many people have a hard time deciding if pursuing a degree is the right step for them. They sometimes sit on the fence between action and apathy for years. The beauty of online education is that you can take a class or two without making a huge commitment.

This is true for people pursuing a degree for the first time and professionals making the decision to go back to school. An online course can help a person determine if a certain field of study and degree program is what they want. After making a decision they can decide to continue on with the online degree, transfer into a full time brick-and-mortar program, or a combination of both.

If you fall into the category of the undecided it may be the perfect time to try out a few classes. Online courses and online degree programs are extremely flexible and the credits are usually very liquid so you do not have to worry about getting stuck if the water isn’t your temperature.

Benefits of an Online Engineering Degree

Learn from Home

Online education degrees are becoming widely available in almost every subject and degree level. Online engineering degrees in particular are becoming very attractive to those looking to earn more. Engineering majors on average get the highest paying jobs after graduation. The average starting salary for a Mechanical Engineer is $58,648 and for a Chemical Engineering is $65,466, making Engineering one of the highest paying degrees in the US. While the salary for an engineer does vary base on the specialty, as mentioned, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median annual income for an engineer is between $68,730 to $108,020.

Popular Online Engineering Degrees

Today online engineering degrees can be found at many of the top online schools such as Strayer University and Kaplan University, and cover a variety of specialties. To note, Walden University offers a distance learning Ph.D. in Engineering Management. Walden’s program is one of the only distance-learning doctoral programs in this field. This specialization allows either practicing engineers who plan a move into management or engineers who are already managers to learn the social and behavioral aspects of management. Learn more…

Strayer University offers degrees in software engineering including an online MS degree and an online engineering certificate. The Executive Graduate Certificate program is designed for individuals seeking career opportunities in the Information Systems field specifically mid to senior level managers, professional and technical specialists. The online graduate program encompasses the knowledge and skills needed in professional software engineering. Interested persons should possess at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Learn more…

If you are interested in an online associate degree in engineering, Kaplan University offers an Engineering Drafting with CAD associate’s degree program online. This program is designed to help students grow professionally by providing you with education and experience. Learn more…

About Getting An Online Engineering Degree

Online degrees can be comparable in price to some campus schools, but in contrast, the online program makes it easier for those working full time to achieve higher education in the growing and profitable field of engineering. The additional savings on transportation, food and other expenses associated with attending a brick and mortar school like room and board, are also eliminated. This makes online learning a very affordable means of obtaining your higher education and career goals.

An online degree is a great option for some people, but not everyone. Before you begin an online degree program, make sure you are up to the challenges. Obtaining your degree in engineering online requires self-discipline and dedication, as there are no teachers or other students present to motivate you. If you do decide to further your education with online schooling for engineering, stay focused and motivated.

An online engineering degree is a great way to begin a new career, or further your current one, inexpensively. The online aspect allows for busy students to work according to their schedule, going to class when it is convenient, not when it is scheduled. Engineering degrees are highly marketable and an excellent way to boost your income and get into a great field.

Is there a shortage of financial aid? How to Afford a High Paying Degree

Many are touting that there is a shortage in financial aid ahead, and predicting that there will be few options for many students through 2012.  In a US News article by Kim Clark  she states that, “only about 50 percent of college students are expected to receive free money in 2011 and 2012.” So how can the other 50% afford a college degree?

Finding Free Money

The best strategy for obtaining, “finding” money for college is applying for financial aid and scholarships early, finding schools recruiting in your area, making top grades, saving and cutting expenses. Scholarships are the best source for “free money” and although it may be tough to find the right scholarship, we recommend searching on StudentScholarshipSearch.com to find one that will help you, and joining ScholarshipPoints.com which requires no essay or test scores to qualify*.  But before you go on the hunt for scholarships, there are money saving decisions you should consider from the start, such as: is the cost of the program worth it?

Find a Program That Works for YOU

Finding the right education program is the clearest path towards earning more, but it has to make sense.  The most important feature that should influence your enrollment decision is the program offered – not the price, but the reality is that if you are investing in an education program you should research if and when you will be able to pay back loans and college expenses after graduating. The numbers are out there, all you have to do is a bit of research to find the highest paying degrees and the starting salary in a variety of fields.

Thanks to online schools education options are expanding and more students have access to higher education. Current students fill credits on summer and winter breaks by taking an online class specific to their major, and others are opting for the 100% online route to save on cash and time.  It is no longer just the well known and established online programs at University of Phoenix, DeVry University or Cappella University, many established campus schools such as Boston University and Quinnipiac University offer successful online options too.  Learning online means learning at your own pace, online education, however, is not right for everyone.

Just like a traditional program, online colleges are no walk in the park! You have to commit time to learning and be self motivated, to make the grades, but when financial aid is not available this is a viable path towards successfully getting your degree and starting a career.  Online programs can range in costs, but offer additional savings in travel and parking and the ability to keep a current job. A benefit of working while earning your degree online is tuition reimbursement.  Many employers will compensate an employee for their education efforts by increasing pay, or through tuition assistance and reimbursement programs.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask For Help

If you are having trouble securing scholarships and financial aid in 2011 do not give up on ways to earn your degree. Ask your employer, get in touch with financial aid experts and scholarship foundations. Education is a very valuable asset that can help you achieve personal as well as professional goals.  If you are struggling with a financial situation and have tough financial aid question visit www.financialaidforum.com to find resources, and get answers from financial aid experts.

Reasons to consider an online bachelor’s degree

Many high school graduates cannot wait to head off to college and experience everything that goes with it. However, other students are less than charmed by the idea of living on a college campus, going to class every day and eating in a dining hall. Students who fall into this category should not dismiss the idea of a bachelor’s degree all together. They have the option to enroll in an online bachelor’s degree program.

There are many reasons to consider an online bachelor’s degree. Here are just a few of them:

  • It pays to earn your bachelor’s degree. People with bachelor’s degrees earn nearly thirty percent more than those with associate’s degrees and nearly fifty percent more than those with high school diplomas.
  • Online bachelor’s degrees are convenient. You do not have to commute to campus to take your online classes. You can complete your coursework from the comfort of your own home or anywhere there is Internet access.
  • You can hold down a full time job while pursuing your degree. Many students simply cannot afford to go to school full time. If you need to work while going to school and online degree makes it much easier.
  • The online bachelor’s degree options are endless. No matter what it is you want to study you will be able to find an online program that fits your needs.

ScholarshipPoints Bonus Code: BACHONLINE

Online Education, A Cheaters Paradise?

fem041-01Cheat cheat, never beat?

Online classes are perfect for working professionals and career beginners who want to complete or advance their education.  But are online students actually ”earning” their degree?  I’ve spoke to many undergrads who revealed to me how easy it would be to cheat on an exam, and countless others who openly admitted to cutting a few corners.

Online exams are usually timed to help combat cheating by expediting the decision making process for the student.  It is assumed that some foundation of knowledge would be required (i.e. completed assignments and reading) to score well on a timed examination.  But if the timer is set too long it can easily grant a student ample time to execute a dishonest agenda.  Additionally there are no safeguards in place to stop a student from having one of their friends, who happen to be knowledgeable on that particular subject matter, take the exam. Only a students personal code of ethics would stop them.  But the real question is why do people cheat?

I’ve heard many passionate arguments as to why students will cut those corners to make the grade.  Many rationalize their decision by saying, I’ll never need to know this information in the real world. Prime numbers, Andy Warhol, and conjugating verbs will have nothing to do with what my job consists of some day.  Others have told me they’re only taking the class because it’s a core requirement and that it really doesn’t matter much to them.  To be honest it is difficult for me to disagree.  I’ve worked for some of the biggest companies in the U.S. and have never been asked to solve for x, been quizzed about Andy Warhol’s artistic flare with a Campbell’s soup can, or been handed an essay and asked to conjugate the verbs.

Don’t get me wrong I do not endorse cheating, I simply understand the viewpoint behind why some people do.  But earning your degree in this fashion would be no different than going to a Degree Mill and purchasing a piece of paper saying you hold a BA in this or an MBA in that.  You will only be cheating yourself today, while setting yourself up for failure tomorrow.

Have you ever cheated on a test – either online or in a classroom?  Sound off!

ScholarshipPoints code: CHEATBEAT

Top 10 Online School Reviews

Students on computerGetting information through a school is okay, but what potential students really want to know is what other students think. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 online school school reviews from colleges ratings by you, the students.

  1. Western International University
    Overall Grade from Western International University Reviews: A 

    With 17 degree and certificate programs, Western International University Online has a high student referral rate and provides quality education to adults. Degree programs include business, health science, criminal justice, science & engineering, and technology. Students WIU an A+ for the quality of their overall academic experience saying “The majority of the instructors are really on the ball and very proactive with the students and helpful. My questions always get answered in a timely manner.”

    >>Learn more about Western International University

  2. University of Phoenix Online
    Overall Grade from University of Phoenix Reviews: A 

    On CollegeGrader.com 110 Students rated University of Phoenix-Online Campus (use Arizona in state drop-down to find the University Of Phoenix Online-Campus review), for an overall grade of: A. Of those students 87% said they would attend this school if they could start over. While Academics Overall received an A-, the students in this survey rated the Quality of Professors at a B+, 85% said faculty members are Friendly, and similarly 81% said faculty members are Helpful.

    >>Learn more about University of Phoenix

  3. American InterContinental University
    Overall Grade from American InterContinental University Reviews: A- 

    Founded in 1970, American InterContinental University offers a variety of associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees. Available programs include technology, business, media production, criminal justice, design, visual communication, among others. Students rated the faculty among the best aspects of AIU, saying “I have had some of the best professors and they teach the material in a way that is wast to understand but challenging at the same time”.

    >>Learn more about American InterContinental University

  4. Strayer University
    Overall Grade from Strayer University Reviews: A- 

    Strayer University online offers an array of Master’s degree programs such as Education, Health Services Administration, Accounting, Information Systems and Public Administration. The university also offers some bachelor and certificate programs. The academics at Strayer were given an A overall. Here is what one student had to say: “I am a single mom, that works full-time and is a full-time student. I seem to have found the perfect school that is geared towards working adults that want an education that will enhance their qualities and make them more marketable in the workforce.”

    >>Learn more about Strayer University

  5. Walden University
    Overall Grade from Walden University Reviews: A- 

    Like most online schools, Walden University offers a variety of programs, however they are one of only 12 online schools to offer a doctorate degree in education. Out of their 35 degree programs, 17 of these are in the education field- perfect for teachers wanting to get back to school! Students seemed to like the academic quality of Walden most, giving the school an A. One student said, “as an online institution, they are the best”.

    >>Learn more about Walden University

  6. Ashford University
    Overall Grade from Ashford University Reviews: B+ 

    With over 100 different degree programs to choose from, Ashford University provides many options for students looking to obtain a degree. The majority of the programs are for students looking to get their bachelor’s, though there are some Master’s programs as well. Students rated both the faculty and overall academics B+ and said such things as “this school offer everything I want in a online school”.

    >>Learn more about Ashford University

  7. Kaplan University
    Overall Grade from Kaplan University Reviews: B+ 

    Kaplan University Online has nearly 100 degree programs to chose from, ranging from certificate programs to master’s level. Some of the many degree programs include areas of study such as Arts and Sciences, Information Technology, Nursing, Concord Law, Health Sciences, Education, Criminal Justice, Business and Legal Studies. Students gave the university a good overall rating, with the standout rating being overall academics with an A-.

    >>Learn more about Kaplan University

  8. DeVry University
    Overall Grade from DeVry University Reviews: B 

    At DeVry University, the flexibility of online education is one of the biggest draws for new students. DeVry university offers a number of programs at the associate, bachelor and master’s levels. Programs include business, computing and technology, health sciences, education and humanities. The faculty were given an A- and over 75% of students said that teachers were friendly and helpful.

    >>Learn more about DeVry University

  9. Grand Canyon University
    Overall Grade from Grand Canyon University Reviews: B 

    As a regionally accredited school, Grand Canyon University offers courses in the arts, business, education, law, and health sciences. GCU is committed to preparing students to become global citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators, and responsible leaders. Students have rated aspects of the college with faculty and academics both earning Bs.

    >>Learn more about Grand Canyon University

  10. Capella University
    Overall Grade from Capella University Reviews: B 

    Capella University‘s online degree programs include Certificates, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctoral programs. Students can find programs in a number of fields including business, criminal justice, education, technology, and health sciences. While the overall rating is a B, the quality of the programs earned a B+ from students.
    >>Learn more about Capella University

Tuition Assistance for Online Students in the Military

If you’re in the military, the government may be willing to pay for your online degree program.

Read full story from About.com