Five Things to Consider When Choosing an Online College

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eLearners.com, a resource of EducationDynamics, helps students determine the questions to ask when selecting an online college. By early this year, one in 10 college students is expected to enroll in an online degree program according to Eduventures, a research and consulting firm for the education industry.

Getting an online degree is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly and one that will have a tremendous impact on a student's life, likely improving their career, confidence and salary.

Have you taken an online course? If the answer is no, chances are you will within one year. In fact, by early this year one in 10 college students is expected to enroll in an online degree program according to Eduventures, a research and consulting firm for the education industry. The Internet is revolutionizing the education world, making a high-quality education more accessible than ever. To help students connect with online education, eLearners.com, an EducationDynamics website, offers comprehensive resources and a community for prospective online learners, as well as listings for more than 2,500 online degrees and more than 6,000 online courses.

By going to school online, people can get their degree without having to drive to class or follow a strict schedule. An online education allows them to study anywhere, anytime and at their own pace. Once they receive their degree, it usually results in financial rewards. According to economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, for each additional year of school completed, an individual's earnings increase, on average, about 11 percent.

"Online learning has become a mainstream way to go back to college because it is a convenient way to achieve the education one needs to advance in their career," said Terrence Thomas, Chief Marketing Officer for eLearners.com. "The question we at eLearners.com get most often is how to select the right online college and program from the thousands of offerings available."

With online education being more a question of "when" versus "if" for prospective students, here are the top five considerations before selecting an online college:

1. Is the Online College Accredited?
The most important aspect any student should look into is accreditation. If a student receives an online degree from a non-accredited institution they may find that their degree is not recognized by some employers or that a course they took may not transfer to other institutions. Accreditation is a validation process, but unlike the practices of most other countries, the United States government does not ensure all online colleges are accredited. eLearners.com offers degrees from only accredited online universities and colleges.

2. What is the Credit Transfer Policy?
Every online college and university has a different credit transfer policy. It is important for students who already have earned some college credits to make sure they understand the credit transfer policy before beginning an online program. Check with the institution to clarify any questions about transfer requirements, so no surprises arise.

3. What are the Financial Aid Options?
When researching an online college it is important to look into the institution's financial aid options. According to a 2003-04 report by the National Center for Education Statistics, 63 percent of all undergraduates receive some type of financial aid. Financial aid options include scholarships, work-study programs, grants, loans and loan-forgiveness programs. The eLearners.com Student Loans and Financial Aid Center includes the Debt-Free College Guide with more than 500 financing options and $15 billion in financial aid, as well as a loan buying guide.

4. Is Your Learning Style Suited for an Online Education?
Although an online education is the ideal way to learn for millions of people, it doesn't fit everyone's learning style. Before starting an online degree program it is important to make sure online learning is conducive to your lifestyle. eLearners.com has created the eLearners Advisor to help students determine if online learning is right for them. The Advisor is an assessment that through a series of targeted questions ranging from technology access and skills, to personal motivation and learning styles can help prospective elearners determine if online learning is right for them. The site is located at http://www.elearners.com/advisor/.

5. Do you have Support from your Family and Employer?
In order for students to do their best academically, they need to have the backing of those closest to them. Make sure to talk about the impact of going to school and how things might be different around the house. In addition, it's important for students to make sure they have buy-in from their employer and that their manager will support them if they spend their lunch hour catching up on a paper or answering a discussion question for their class.

"An online education suits millions of people perfectly, but like everything else thorough research must go into choosing an online college," continued Thomas. "Getting an online degree is a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly and one that will have a tremendous impact on a student's life, likely improving their career, confidence and salary."

For more information about online colleges, log onto http://www.elearners.com.

About eLearners.com®
The eLearners.com website is one of several high visibility, high-quality prospecting tools offered by EducationDynamics, LLC. Since 1999, eLearners.com has been successfully connecting learners to online education, including online degree and certificate programs, specialized career training, and a variety of online courses. For prospective students, eLearners® provides a powerful search engine for users to find thousands of online degrees, as well as educational evaluation tools and financial aid resources. For colleges and universities, the eLearners.com website offers a low-cost, performance-based method to provide national exposure and increase enrollments in their programs. For more information on eLearners.com, visit http://www.elearners.com.

About EducationDynamics
EducationDynamics, LLC, a portfolio company of Halyard Capital, is a leading interactive marketing and information services company focused on helping higher education institutions find, enroll and retain students. Through some of the most visible education websites, including EarnMyDegree.com, eLearners.com, GradSchools.com, and StudyAbroad.com, as well as its Internet marketing services team, EducationDynamics is one of the leading providers of qualified leads for colleges and universities. The company offers a full suite of web-delivered products and services to manage a school's relationship with students across their entire life cycle from inquiry through enrollment to retention. For more information on EducationDynamics, please visit http://www.educationdynamics.com.

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