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Essential Tips & Resources for Getting Your Associates Degree Online
One of the things that can keep students from pursuing an associates degree online is a perceived lack of help or resources. Attending a traditional college or university gives you physical access to teachers and counselors, but the distance learning option can leave some students feeling uncertain about how to get advice on the degree process. However, there are plenty of resources available online if you’re interested in getting your associates degree online.
One of the most important outlets is the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs, a searchable index of colleges and universities that have received national and/or regional accreditation. The only associates degree worth getting is one from an accredited school. You’re getting the best education, and you’re getting it from an institution that’s passed tests of academic rigor that future employers will trust. If your chosen online school hasn’t been accredited, it’s time to pick a new one. This database is invaluable for students considering online education.
Another great resource is the Department of Education’s home for Student Aid on the Web. It’s a hub of information about federal aid and scholarships, as well as calculators to help you know how much you’ll need to borrow and how long you’ll need to pay it back. If you’re looking for financial advice as you prepare to get your associates degree online, this is the place to go.
There are also some tips that online associates degree students would do well to remember. First, take advantage of the flexible nature of an online degree program to make sure your course work doesn’t interfere with your established work schedule too much. In fact, one of the advantages of an online program is the way it lets students keep working full-time or part-time and study at their own convenience. You’re in charge of the schedule, so set one that works for you. You should also remember to check with your employer to see if they offer tuition reimbursement for employees pursuing career-related degrees.
It’s also a good idea to decide on your degree and then begin researching what schools offer that associates degree, then which schools among those are accredited, and finally, which schools in that final group seem like a good fit. Nothing can replace the value of doing your homework when it comes to picking a school, so when you’re shopping for an associates degree program, look at the fine print: How much is tuition? How long will it take to get a degree? What do alumni say about the school? One of the best tips for online students is simply to spend some time getting familiar with a program before committing.
There are a variety of resources available to students who want to get their associates degree online. You just have to know where to look.