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Online Universities: Five Questions to Ask Before Enrolling

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China expels Al Jazeera correspondent, Melissa Chan

Online universities provide great learning opportunities that can be taken advantage of by adults who would want to study, but have commitments with family and their jobs. Although online courses are proven to be good career shapers, knowing the best online college to enroll is will ensure that a student's needs will be met.

To help you in choosing the right university, nonprofit online university Western Governors University has released a list of questions that will help narrow down your choices, and lead you to enrolling in the best institution that will meet your needs.

Is the university regionally accredited?

Accreditation ensures that many employers and other institutions will recognize and honor your degree. Pursue a university with a regional accreditation as it is the highest form of accreditation given by the U.S. Department of Education. Institutions with this level of accreditation are recognized as great sources of good quality education.

How much will it cost?

Higher education is costly, so it would be best to check how much online education will cost you. Keep in mind that education costs include tuition, books, and other fees, and factor them into your considerations. There are some online schools that offer free education, though receiving certification will still cost you an amount.

How will you learn?

Online universities still require students to study, write papers, complete projects, and take tests, just like traditional universities. Choosing when and where to study, however, is different. Choose a competency-based university which will offer more freedom in terms of time, place, and your pace.

What kind of help and support will you get?

Online universities don't require physical classroom attendance, and you don't even have to meet your teachers, but getting some faculty support will be very crucial to your success as a student. Choose a university that provides a high level of faculty support as well as those that offer opportunities for student-to-student interactions.

Will your degree prepare you for career advancement or graduate work?

Choose an online degree that prepares you for a lucrative career, or a base for further study. Make sure the degree program you enroll in has an updated curriculum that will ensure employment opportunities after you complete your studies.

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