What are the best accredited online universities? It depends. The smart college education shopper selects a college or university based on how well that institution will cater to specific educational goals.
Tuition cost is also a factor in determining the best accredited online college. Obviously, traditional 4-year colleges and universities have long standing prestige, or lack thereof. It should be no different with online colleges and universities. Yet, online college education is relatively new, and many people view internet based college instruction as a scam akin to doing correspondence courses by mail.
So, what factors should you take into consideration when choosing the best accredited online universities? Here are a few.
Online College Tuition
The cost of college education is rising exponentially. And, with very limited prospects for finding a good job after graduation, it seems you would like to find an online college that provides you with a great education and excellent value.
Online Course Offerings
Clearly, you would not enroll at an online university for computer science if the college does not offer an online computer science bachelor’s degree. Further, you want to make sure that the course work is rigorous enough so that you will be able to compete in the job market. Does the online university offer a respected degree in your field of study? A great way to identify the best online accredited universities is to ask prospective employers.
For example, if you are seeking an online degree in nursing, you should call the human resources department at local hospitals. Ask them if a nursing degree from XYZ Online University is adequate for employment as a nurse. Do your research so that you don’t waste your time at an online university that does not prepare you well for a career.
Online Faculty Prestige
Let’s face it. The more respected a college faculty, the more respected your online degree will be. Look at the biographical information of the faculty. Is it even available? It is a warning flag if an online college does not post its faculty information. Then, make sure the overwhelming majority of the faculty has earned a PhD or equivalent in your field of study. And, make sure at least some of the faculty has earned doctorates from respected colleges and universities. Anyone can buy a degree. Make sure the faculty at your prospective online university EARNED their degree.
Online University Alumni Associations
It is a good idea to make sure your prospective online accredited university has an alumni association that you can interact with. You should ask alumni if they were able to find a job in their field of study. If you find out that most of the alumni have not been able to find a job, then you should look for another online college.
Online Universities-Accredited or Not?
Finding the best accredited online universities is somewhat of a misnomer. Most online universities and colleges have accreditation from a variety of accrediting organizations. The real question is, are these accreditations worth anything? There is a way to find out.
The U.S. Department of Education sets guidelines and publishes a list of agencies and institutions that have the ability to reliably determine the quality of education of post-secondary institutions. Each accrediting agency must apply to the department in order to obtain recognition as a competent accrediting organization.
You can find out if your prospective online college or university is validly accredited by going to Regional and National Institutional Accrediting Agencies. Or, if you would like to search for the best online accredited universities by school, you can visit the database of accredited colleges and universities here.