Do you know what to look for when considering non-profit online schools?
About 6.3 million students took at least one online course in the 2016, and that number continues to increase. Online courses can be an affordable way to get an education. It’s also great if you want to change careers without having to go back to school as an older student.
To make the most out of your education, there has to be some kind of return on investment. You have to be sure that the school you attend has a good reputation and you can get a job when you graduate.
Read on to learn the top tips for choosing the right online non-profit school for you.
Why Attend Non-Profit Online Schools?
In evaluating schools to attend, it can be easy to overlook the differences between an online school and a for-profit school.
They’re all the same, right?
That’s not always the case. With a for-profit school, it’s run like a business. There are sales quotas to meet and the schools focus on making a profit first.
Sometimes, these for-profit schools get into trouble with their business practices. Many of them close, leaving students with a degree and credits from a school that no longer exists.
Non-profit online schools, on the other hand, focus on education first. Their primary goal is to provide a quality education. Most traditional schools are based on the non-profit model.
There are many advantages to choosing an online school, from convenience to a flexible schedule. Here’s what you need to look for when choosing the right school.
Accreditation shows that the school meets certain standards when it comes to providing a quality education.
If one of your education goals is to get a job when you graduate, accreditation is going to be important. Employers generally won’t accept a degree from just anywhere.
You’ll have to do research to find out which accrediting agencies are legit and which ones are just smoke and mirrors.
The College Navigator site from the Department of Education lets you look up schools to find out if they’re accredited and by whom.
Financial Aid Programs
Some online schools function like diploma mills where they will do anything to get you to enroll. That includes the promise of student loans.
When you’re looking at online schools, look for online schools that accept FAFSA. That’s the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You’ll be eligible to receive low-interest student loans, federal grants, and work-study opportunities.
Wide Program Offering
Does the school have a wide and diverse program offering? Even if they’re geared towards one industry, there should be a diverse program offering that includes general education classes like math, English, and psychology.
You might think that these classes have nothing to do with the subject matter at hand, but you’re missing the point.
To be a thriving and productive member of society, you need to learn how to deal with people, communicate effectively, and think critically. Those are the skills that employers value most and you will be rewarded if you show you have those skills.
Let’s say you enroll in an online program. You like the program, but you found another option that’s a better fit. You may even change your mind and go with a completely different program.
As you start the process to enroll in the new online school, you discover that the credits you earned cannot be transferred to your new school or any school. That means you wasted time, money and energy into classes that really can’t serve you.
Make sure that wherever you enroll, your credits can be transferred to another institution easily.
Understand what the class requirements are before you enroll in an online school. One of the main reasons why students choose to attend online non-profit schools is because of convenience.
You’ll want to be sure that the classes offered work with your schedule. Some classes require that you are logged in at specific times, while others allow you to log in and take the course at your convenience.
Office Hours & Support
What kind of support is offered to students while they’re enrolled? Whether it’s technical support or subject support, you need to know you have someone to contact in the event that you need help.
If you’re having trouble managing a particular class, it the professor available to assist? That’s the type of support you’ll need to be successful.
The main reason why people go to school is that it gives them a better chance of earning a higher income or having a better job. It’s critical that the school you choose has a career services department to help you get a job after graduation. They’ll help you with your resume, provide contacts, and be a support during your job search.
Some schools like the Ultimate Medical Academy offer alumni continuous career support, which is a great option. Other schools offer grads support for only six months after graduation, then you have to pay for career help.
On Campus Requirements
Even though you’re attending school online, you’re not completely removed from the school’s community.
There are schools that require you to be on campus for a certain amount of time. It might be a week or it might only be for new student orientation.
You’ll want to verify what the requirements are before you enroll, so there aren’t any surprises.
Choose Your School Wisely
The quality of education you receive from non-profit online schools is a big factor in determining how successful you’ll be out of school. You want to be sure that you choose a school that prepares you for your career and in a position to thrive financially. That will put you in a position to have a future that shines.
Would you like to know more about the importance of getting a good education? Check out our blog today.