If you are a Work-At-Home-Mom who is considering pursuing your college degree, you are certainly not alone. In 2006, there was a national study conducted that is known as the Degrees of Opportunity. In it, it was revealed that over 70 million Americans have a desire to return to college and of that amount; over 89 percent of them felt that it was a wise investment.
Plus, thanks to the ever-evolving developments of technology, online college makes things just that much easier for women who are balancing working at home and a family. So, if you’re considering going back to school, and you want to do it by going to college online, here are five tips that you definitely should consider first:
Do your research. Just like there are a lot of physical institutions to choose from, there are even more colleges online that provide the opportunity for you to get a degree. Except, with online schools there tends to be one big catch: not all of them are accredited. That’s right. They may advertise themselves as a reputable school, but you shouldn’t simply take their word for it. The good news is that if you go to http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/, you will be provided with information on schools that are actually accredited and those that aren’t.
Speak with professors and graduates. As you start to narrow down your options, it’s a good idea to speak with some of the teachers and students who either work at the school now or have since graduated from it. Thanks to social media platforms, that’s pretty easy to do on websites like Facebook and LinkedIn.
Inquire about the particular program(s). Any school that has a reputation for being legitimate should be able to handle just about any question that you have. So, when it comes to the particular kind(s) of program(s) that you are interested in, don’t hesitate to speak with the institution directly about how long it will take to earn the degree that you will want; how much it will cost; the kind of online support you will receive; if you can move at your own pace; the percentage of graduates who have gotten jobs with a degree from their institution, and if they have local representatives on hand for you to speak with before officially enrolling.
Look into funding. Just like with traditional schools, there are grants and scholarships that are available for students who attend college online. Plus, being that the price on online degree is pretty steep (whether you’re going to get a four-year undergraduate degree or an online accredited MBA), it’s also smart to inquire about the loans and/or payment plans that are available directly through the school.
Speak with your employer. There are a large majority of people who go back to school so that they can earn more money on their jobs or so that they will feel more confident about applying for other ones. If you are currently employed with a company, it’s smart to speak with your supervisor or the human resources department to see what the ROI (Return On Investment) will be when it comes being promoted within the company, just to see just how far the online degree can take you—not just from a personal standpoint, but also a professional as well. Good luck.
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