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How to Get Your Bachelor Degree Online

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Here are some do’s and don’ts for how to get your bachelor degree online. First, remember that online learning isn’t necessarily an all or nothing proposition. You can enroll in college and university programs while simultaneously pursuing some courses vis-a-vis an online education. Moreover, you can stagger your college and university schedule to coincide with your online learning needs — most admissions advisors can spell out the ground rules for you.

There are literally dozens of top-tier online bachelor degree programs out there. Many of these are linked to traditional residential colleges and universities. Others service students exclusively online. Some bachelors programs prep students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Others focus narrowly on one or two disciplines or fields.

Look out for so-called diploma mills. These are online institutions that aren’t blessed by the Counsel in Higher Education Accreditation (also known as CHEA). If an online school does not boast an affiliation with CHEA, look elsewhere. Other warning signs include: the school allows you to purchase a diploma outright without paying for courses individually; the school doesn’t ask for high school recommendations, college board scores, or GPA; the school is situated remotely overseas.

In addition, you can check with your local Better Business Bureau to see whether potential online bachelor degree programs have good marks with independent consumer organizations. If complaints against a so-called accredited bachelors program have been filed with the BBB, investigate seriously. Not only can applying for and receiving a bogus online bachelor’s degree drain money needlessly from your pocketbook, but it can also potentially cause career hurdles down the line.

In some cases, you may be able to leverage your career, military, or alternative educational experience to acquire an accredited bachelor’s degree online quickly. You simply send in your resume and pass a battery of tests in your field. That said, past experience in all likelihood won’t lead you to a full bachelor’s degree — in the best case scenario, you might be able to ?trade? your experience for a few dozen credits towards graduation.

Talk to alumni, guidance counselors, and current students to understand the time frames, financial aid requirements, and accreditations associated with your online program. Most importantly, once you’ve matriculated, develop a schedule to complete all of your in-class and out-of-class assignments to complement your general life schedule.

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