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Online Degree

Choosing Between Campus-Based and Online Degrees

Since there are so many online schools around these days, students have even more options for furthering their education. People who have jobs find online schools appealing as it allows them to keep their jobs without making any major changes. However, this does not mean that choosing between studying on campus or online is an easy choice. When trying to decide between the two, it makes sense to look at the similarities and differences.  Your career choice and finances will also play a role in your decision.

Scheduling

This is one of the biggest selling points for online degrees. Many people like the fact that they can generally set their class time for the time most convenient to them. When you are on campus, you do not have this flexibility. If you miss a class online, it is generally easier to catch up as many programs have online forums where class notes are uploaded. Of course, with advances with technology, this is now possible with many campus-based programs as well.

The downside to online learning flexibility however, is that some people end put putting off their classes and assignments for too long. By doing this, some students take much longer to complete their courses. If you are working and your job does not have flexible hours and you are good at time management, then online classes could be the right thing for you. Some people prefer the strict format of campus based learning as it challenges them to work harder. When you do classes online, you will have to motivate yourself.

The program

Details on any course of study are important if you want the best value for your investment. Make comparisons between the course curriculum for both online and campus-based schools. The online program should offer the same or similar subjects as campus-based programs of the same course. If important areas or major differences exist, look at other online schools or select a traditional brick and mortar school.

Cost

There is no doubt that most online programs are cheaper than studying on campus. Online schools generally do not charge as much as other universities for the same course of study. Also, you don’t have to worry about expenses like staying on campus or traveling to school. Overall, however, most online students are happy with the fact that they can save money on their education.

Interacting with others

If working with other students face to face is important to you online learning might not be suitable for you. This is one of the drawbacks to studying online. You will only be able to keep in touch with other students and the lecturer by email, web conference or by text. Some students have no problem with this, but others may find it difficult.

Access to technology

For online learning to be successful, you need to have the necessary tools to participate in the classes. If you do not own a computer and have no Internet access, learning online will be difficult. When you attend a campus, some of these challenges are less. You have to think about the expense of getting a good computer and access to the Internet if you want to study online. Alternately, you need to have a reliable alternative such as a library. On the other hand, even if you have to pay a computer and get Internet access, it may be still be cheaper than paying for a campus-based program.

In the past, many online schools had trouble getting accreditation. These days, this is not such a major issue. Most accreditation bodies recognize most online schools. In addition, many online schools are affiliated to or are extensions of established traditional universities. This means you can get a valid degree by studying online, but it makes sense to research the school first. Choosing between online or a campus for your studies is a personal decision. Take the time to explore your options so that you will make the best possible choice.

Scam City - Wading Through the Online Degree Maze

Many people become victims to online scams every year. Even in the field of education, you have to be careful because some courses are not what they seem. Online degree scams are common, but there are ways to protect yourself and your money.

It is understandable that students sometimes fall for online scams. The people behind this illegal practice know how to make their websites look convincing. Here are some tips to help you to know the difference between genuine online degrees and the fake ones.

Looking at Some Online Scams

Education scams have existed for many years, but the Internet made it easier to carry out this type of crime. Here are a few examples of some types of online education scams in recent times:

  1. After a child died following poor advice, the doctor, Laurence Perry was investigated. It was found that he purchased his diplomas from fake online schools.
  2. Dixie and Steven Randock were convicted of selling thousands of bogus online degrees. They also created fake degrees in the names of legitimate universities.
  3. As part of an undercover operation in 2005, the US Secret Service bought degrees from James Monroe University. The agency had concerns that terrorists could use fake diplomas to get jobs in the US.

Many other cases of diploma mills have been reported over the years.  These fake schools take advantage of people who want degrees to help them to get better jobs or move up in their jobs. Unfortunately, some people are aware that the degrees are virtually useless, but a large number of people are unaware. They only find out that the degrees are useless when they try to get a job or get into another degree program elsewhere.

How to Spot Scams

Diploma mills give real online schools a bad name, as they make some people overly cautious about online degrees. However, if you take the time to check, you will be able to spot the signs that an online school is a scam. Also, doing your own research is important when considering attending an online school. Some ways to confirm the validity of an online program include:

  • Finding out where the school is based: Many fake online schools are from places like Liberia or The Middle East. If you cannot find the location for a school’s office, then you should avoid it. Any real online school has an office that students can contact and ask questions.
  • Check with local authorities: In many states across the USA, and in many countries, agencies keep a list of accredited online schools. Do not apply to any school that is not on this list.
  • Research the school: You can find many complaints online about fake schools. Check for criminal cases brought against the school or complaints from former students. Real institutions that offer training online will often have some affiliation to a more traditional institution.
  • Look for reviews: Good schools usually get good reviews for the curriculum and quality of teaching. Do not apply to schools that attract many complaints and poor reviews.
  • Avoid the quick and easy: Schools that promise that you can earn your degree very quickly are not to be trusted. Compare their statements to those made by other online schools. Some fake schools make big promises because they know that some people are in a hurry to advance their careers.

The most important thing to remember as someone who wants a college degree is that it is best not to rush things. Take the time to look around and make comparisons of different schools and the programs that they offer. Talk to people who have earned real degrees from online schools.  Remember that your college degree is an investment and you don’t want to throw it away by applying to a fake school.

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