The world is changing. Online technology has made it possible not only to attend an online university college, but also to have high quality education across the country.
We have seen the impact of online university colleges everywhere. Almost all public universities offered some form of online learning even before the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the University of Pennsylvania became the first Ivy League school to offer a fully online undergraduate degree.
Millions of students have used one online university college or another to improve their job prospects, deepen their knowledge and earn a degree. But why are online universities so popular and how do you know which one is best for you?
We have put together a comprehensive and valuable guide to all online colleges and universities. Here’s everything you need to know before applying to an online university college:
Online University College in a nutshell: The Statistics.
Let’s look at the online colleges and universities in numbers:
- Enlistment. Over six million Americans are currently studying online. And the numbers are increasing. Of the 19.7 million students enrolled in Bachelor programs in 2017, around a third had enrolled in some form of distance learning. More than three million people had registered exclusively for online programs.
- High Request. The demand for online programs is increasing. According to a trending report, 98% of administrators said the demand for online education has stayed the same or has increased over the past few years.
- Demographics. It’s never too late to start. The average online student is 32 years old and 84% of them already have a job. Older students flock to online universities because of their flexibility in terms of schedule, location, and course offerings.
- Back to school. Only 5% of online college admissions are undergraduate students. Online colleges and universities are fast becoming the best option for people who have already started a career and need new skills, want to go back to school and complete their education, need a degree to advance their careers, or want to change domains.
- Health and business are popular. Together, health and business studies make up about 61% of the activities of those attending online universities.
- Many colleges offer a hybrid experience. Does the experience have to be taken online and only online? In many cases, a hybrid experience will also work. A survey found that 47% of students reported an experience entirely online.
- Part-time students. The majority of online students (56%) study according to a self-study model. It is a must have for people who have to work to feed themselves while studying.
Technology requirements for online degrees.
Given these technological demands, should students be prepared for a big bill at the local electronics store? Not necessarily.
For example, a public library can have almost anything a student needs to graduate online. Here are some of the technology requirements that you can expect:
- A computer with a current operating system such as Windows, Mac or Linux.
- Office software. Students may need to open files such as PowerPoints. The good news is that these files can be easily accessed online (e.g. by opening PowerPoint with Google Docs).
- File storage. Students also need storage space for files. Online services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer free storage options.
- High speed internet access. This is an obvious requirement. But the good news is that it’s not hard to find in the United States. More than 110 million households meet this requirement. Public WiFi is another option.
- Interactive tools. A webcam, speakers / headphones and a microphone enable remote interaction with people.
- CD / DVD player. Some courses may contain software that can be played on CD / DVD drives. It is important to have a computer that can meet these requirements. However, if your computer doesn’t have one, you can use a portable CD / DVD drive that connects via USB.
- Antivirus software. Distance students will do many downloads as part of an online educational program. Antivirus software can scan incoming files for viruses and disable them to prevent data loss. The good news? There are many free options for antivirus software these days.
Graduating online is easier when you have everything you need at home. But even on a limited budget, it is possible to take advantage of free public technology for much of the online college experience.
What is the best online university college?
There are several ways to rate the “best online university college”. However, we feel it is helpful to take it step-by-step to determine which option best suits your needs.
Step one: check the correct accreditation
Do a quick cross-reference in the section above to ensure that the online university college you are considering is not only accredited, but also properly accredited by an accredited agency.
Step two: Find sources other than accreditation
You can find other quality indicators from legitimate awards and reviews, so look for awards the college has received online, as well as student testimonials.
Step 3: Read Student Reviews and Success Stories
Accreditation is one of the most effective ways to gauge whether an online university is having a good experience. But what if the accreditation is not enough? What if you are comparing multiple universities? Check out student reviews and success stories to bridge the gap between two fully accredited online universities.
If you already know your path, you can even search for alumni who are similar to you. Were you able to take the professional step you wanted? Did your online training help you achieve the same goals as you?
Step 4 : check the professional mediation file
Since many people are looking for income in online education based on their career choices, it is important to evaluate this aspect of online education. Look for an internship report and key stats like the average raise four years after graduation. These are solid numbers that you can use to gauge your educational options.
You should also pay attention to two things when it comes to placement:
- Career counselor. Does the university offer them online? Is it easy to make an appointment with them? Will they do a CV / cover letter review?
- Focus on career and placement. Does the university emphasize internships with webinars and specialist events? Are they helping people prepare for life after college? Otherwise, you may find that an online institution does not have the support to help you achieve your goals.
Ultimately, it follows the history of the online university college. Look at your history, your numbers, and your students’ experiences.
Just because online universities are relatively new compared to centuries-old universities doesn’t mean they can’t help you. And that doesn’t mean you can’t find a history to help you with your reviews.
You need to do due diligence before applying to any online university college. I hope this info will help your search. All the best!