Reviewed by Julie Vandekreke The idea of going to college can be daunting and can raise a million and one questions. We’ve compiled these handy FAQs about college to help you understand some basic information about college admission scores, why starting out in a community college is a good thing and what to know about online college degrees.
How can I make sure my credits will transfer if I start my degree program at a community college?
One of the best ways to feel certain your credits will transfer from a community college is to ask if they use articulation agreements. Simply put, these agreements guarantee which classes will transfer to what colleges. Community colleges will often have agreements with colleges in their immediate area (or even the state) in order to ensure their students can move easily into a bachelor’s degree after graduation. An informative article on Great Value Colleges contains a good reminder to check all the boxes of the agreement, as there are often standards students need to meet. For example, a certain grade (typically C or above) or CGPA are required, and often there are different outcomes for transferring the entire associate’s degree as opposed to transferring coursework without having earned the degree. With StraighterLine’s Credit Transfer Guarantee, you never have to wonder who will accept the credits you’ve earned. With our list of over 150 partner colleges, and courses that have been accepted by more than 2,000 other colleges and universities.
How can I tell if an online degree program is the real thing, and isn’t fake?
The best way to tell if an online degree program is “real” is to look for accreditation, and even then, you should “make sure that the program is accredited by an organization that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).” A legitimate program will point you to this information.
Are there online internships you can apply for and complete, since you’re already doing an online degree?
The answer might surprise you! An internship is often required in a number of degrees. Great Value Colleges offers several great tips including how to find out whether your internship can be competed online, when to start looking for an internship, and how to locate an internship that can work for both your degree program and your schedule.
More FAQs About College to Help You Understand How to Earn a Degree
Here are few more very common questions you may be asking yourself about investing in the time, money and energy to earn a college degree.
How do prospective employers view online college degrees?
A recent CNN article says employers are “getting there” when understanding online degrees. Great Value Colleges agrees, stating that, “These days, recruitment and hiring officers have few qualms when it comes to applicants with online degrees,” citing the rise of open learning platforms, thorough accreditation, and the investment traditional colleges and universities have made in making their online degrees just as valuable as those earned traditionally. StraighterLine dovetails their online courses into working student’s schedules and notes that many employers offer tuition assistance programs.
How can I save money on college textbooks?
Great Value Colleges offers sensible advice about saving money on textbooks. They list the usual suspects: buying used textbooks or renting and using digital textbooks instead. They also remind students that “another excellent option to save money on textbooks is to split the costs with peers taking the same class and share the same book.” This strategy works well if you can manage schedules well and if use of the text is moderate. Find out early if your professor relies on the text or if they use it to supplement their lessons. StraighterLine is committed to college affordability, and this is one reason we offer eTextbooks for free. That’s right, at no additional cost. We realize that attending college is expensive and textbooks add to the cost and confusion.
Can I start online with courses then switch to a four-year university to finish a degree?
Yes, it makes great sense to do so! According to the following statistics related to community colleges: enrollment in online classes increased by 9%, 68% of colleges surveyed stated the couldn’t meet the student demand for online classes, and 94% of community colleges surveyed report plan to train additional faculty to teach in either an online environment or “blended” environment (part traditional, part online).
Is getting a bachelor’s degree online is common?
It is and is becoming a more popular choice every day. First, online programs can move more quickly than traditional programs. Use of self-paced courses and creative scheduling can accelerate degree completion. Great Value Colleges says the most recent statistics agree: 11.3% of undergraduate students take exclusively online courses, and 15.1% of undergrads have taken “some but not all” online courses. We hope these FAQ prospective students ask about getting a college degree, especially an online degree, have helped as you make the decision to sign up for college courses. If you still have questions, StraighterLine offers a “try before you buy” solution. Take two free lessons from one of our most popular online classes, for FREE. Learn more today!