Moms are going back to school in droves thanks to the growing presence and increasingly sterling reputations of most online college programs. However, before simply enrolling and spending their hard-earned money, moms should carefully consider the following critical factors when choosing an online college program.
1. Proper accreditation matters
There are online colleges that are not accredited at all. Moms should stay away from them. Accreditation is critical. Online school accreditation is important if you want to have a public record of your learning that will be widely accepted by employers, professional associations, and other colleges and universities. Moms should definitely check for a school’s accreditation.
2. Accrediting agency must be credible
It’s not enough to just check on the accreditation of the online college. Moms should also check if the accrediting agency is reliable and recognized by the Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The list of recognized accrediting agencies should be found on their websites. (1)
3. Affordable and sensible payment options
Accredited online colleges are more affordable since they charge by the credit hour or by the course. There are no huge, flat fees that have to be paid right away. Moms should be wary of online colleges that demand huge payments upfront. (2)
4. Flexibility of the program
Moms should consider online college programs that have very flexible transfer policies. For moms, who have already earned a couple of college credits, look for schools that would honor already earned credits. In fact, there are online colleges that honor previously earned credits, regardless of the length of time that has passed.
5. Availability of resources and support offered
An accredited online college provides all the resources and support to make it easier for their students. For example, there should be ample resources online that moms can easily access. At the same time, there should be 24-hour support services. Whether it’s technical or academic support, the online college should be able to provide it. (3)
6. Presence of credible faculty members
Moms shouldn’t just settle for the names and faces of the faculty members listed on the website. They should go the extra mile by researching their qualifications. There are available online resources that can help moms figure out if the online college has credible faculty members. (4)