Online College Reviews FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions about Online College Reviews
- What is online college?
- Why should I consider an online college degree?
- I haven't heard of some of the colleges on this website. Are they reputable?
- How do employers view an online college degree?
- How do I apply?
- How much does it cost? Is financing available?
- I have some previous college experience. Can I transfer the credits I earned from that coursework to an online college program?
- How will I know what classes to take?
- What type of computer will I need to complete my online college degree?
- What time are classes held?
- How much time will I spend on my online college degree each week?
- How long will my online college degree take to complete?
- How did NextAdvisor review these online colleges?
Nursing Program Questions
- Why become a Registered Nurse?
- Can I become a Registered Nurse (RN) online?
- What's the difference between a Licensed Practical Nurse and a Registered Nurse?
- What is a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)?
- Can I get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree online?
- How long does it take to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)?
- If I'm already a Registered Nurse (RN), why should I get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)?
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Online college, sometimes called distance learning or e-learning, is a method of completing college level or advanced degree courses over the Internet. There are hundreds of educational institutions that offer online college programs. Some of these schools only offer online learning while others offer a mixture of online and classroom learning.
The main appeal for most people who explore online learning as an option is flexibility. An online degree course is completed in the comfort of your own home (or anywhere you have an Internet connection) and at your own pace while still getting all the benefits of traditional classroom learning, such as interaction with teachers and peers. Online education is a particularly good option for working adults who are looking to earn an advanced degree while keeping a full or part time job.
Although you may not immediately recognize the names of some of the online colleges we have reviewed, you can rest assured that they offer high quality educational programs. All of the schools on NextAdvisor.com have been accredited by third party organizations that certify their curriculum and teaching methods.
As online degrees continue to become more commonplace, employers are recognizing them as an extremely valuable addition to any resume. In fact, a recent survey by the Distance Education and Training Council found more than 70% of corporate supervisors rate online degrees as "just as valuable" or "more valuable" than traditional degrees in the same field.
Like many other aspects of the online learning process, applying for a particular degree program is relatively simple. All of the schools that we have reviewed allow students to begin the application process online by completing a web based form. You can access this form by clicking the "Go to Site" link for any of the schools listed on our comparison chart. Once you have submitted the online form, you will be contacted by an admissions representative from the school you selected. Typically, the admissions representative will set up a time to speak with you over the phone to discuss your goals and interests as well as answer any questions you have about their college or university. It is a good idea to have a family member or trusted friend join you on this phone call to help you retain all the information that will be discussed.
The overall costs associated with online education vary greatly from school to school and depend on many factors, such as the type of degree you are working towards and whether or not you have any previous course credits from another educational institution. The vast majority of students working towards online degrees have some form of financial aid that helps them pay for all or part of their educational expenses. Each of the schools we have reviewed has financial advisors to help students determine their best options for financing and assist in each step of the process. Additionally, many companies offer educational credits and scholarships to employees. Check with the human resources department at your company to determine if your employer offers these types of benefits. If you are active duty military or a veteran, there are many financing options available to you, such as the Montgomery GI Bill, which will help you pay for some or all of your educational expenses. Check with a financial advisor at one of our recommended schools for more information on financial options.
Typically, yes. Each school has different policies regarding transfer credit but, as a general rule, credits earned for course work at a qualifying, accredited college or university (including community colleges) are eligible for transfer. This means that your new school will give you credit towards your new degree for college classes you have previously completed. Check our comparison chart for information about each school's credit transfer policy.
Each of the schools we reviewed provides academic counseling services to help you determine the best classes for you to take, based on your interest and goals.
Because your primary interaction with teachers and other students will occur online, it is important that your computer meets some minimum standards. To begin, you should have a high speed Internet connection through cable or DSL. A dial up connection is adequate but will be much slower.
Next, you will need an email account that can receive HTML formatted messages, with a minimum of 5MB of storage. If you don't have an email account that meets these requirements there are several free alternatives. We suggest Gmail. You can sign up for a free account at https://www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount.
You will also need to have a current version of Microsoft Office (2008 or newer for Macs and 2007 or newer for PC) and a monitor that is capable of displaying resolution of 1024x768 or greater.
If you have any questions about the specific technology requirements for a particular school, an admissions advisor will be able to answer them for you during the application process.
Because classes are held online, you can participate in courses at any time, day or night, wherever you have an Internet connection. Typically, there is no set class schedule so you can "attend class" at any time of day.
Students typically spend anywhere from 5 to 20 hours per course depending on such factors as number of course credit hours, degree program, pace of reading and typing, and prior knowledge of the subject.
The time it will take to complete your degree depends on many factors, including the school, degree level and specific program you select, as well as the number of eligible transfer credits you have available, if any. The pace at which you complete the required course work is also a key factor. For example, those that take a full class load will complete their degree more quickly than those that only take a few classes per term.
We thoroughly researched all the online colleges in this category, comparing degrees offered, available programs and their transfer credit policy. We also looked at third-party measurements and ratings for education quality, job placement assistance and alumni statistics. After the initial review period, we constantly monitor the online college sites for any program changes.
We only include online colleges on our site that we believe offer a good value proposition. If there is a provider you know of that is not on our site, you can be fairly certain we did not rate that provider highly enough to include in our comparison. If you think we are missing a quality online college or have any other suggestions or comments, please visit our contact us page.
The healthcare industry is continuing to grow, and will generate 3 million new jobs between 2006 and 2016. Registered Nurses are in high demand and this demand is expected to increase over the next several years, due to an expanding elderly profession and increasing emphasis on preventative care. With this increase in demand, the mean annual salary for RNs nationwide is rising, and in 2008 it was $65,130/year. Becoming a RN and obtaining your BSN will help to position you for a successful nursing career in this burgeoning industry.
You can study to become an RN online by obtaining your Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After graduating from an online BSN program you will need to pass the national licensing exam in order to obtain your nursing license. You will also need to continue to take a certain number of hours of study every few years to keep your license current.
Becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse requires a 1 year course of study from a vocational school or junior college. A LPN works under the supervision of a physician or RN but can perform fewer tasks than a registered nurse. Most people who become a LPN are gaining the experience and knowledge that is necessary to become a Registered Nurse. LPNs are generally paid less than RNs.There are three different educational paths to becoming a Registered Nurse - a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing (BSN), an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), or a hospital-based diploma. Students must graduate from one of these 3 programs and pass a national licensing examination, known as the NCLEX-RN, in order to obtain a nursing license and achieve their RN qualifications. RN's have a significantly expanded scope of practice, education and clinical training compared to that of LPNs and generally earn more than LPNs.
A BSN, or Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing, is a college level course of study designed to further the education of registered nurses. To be accepted into a BSN program nurses usually need to meet admissions criteria. This criterion includes an existing nursing license (RN) and some previous education credentials such as an Associate Degree. The exact requirements may vary depending on the individual college.
Yes, all of the colleges we reviewed offer an online RN to BSN degree for existing RNs. A typical online classroom experience features a complete multimedia environment with streaming video lectures, web-based tutorials, chat rooms, and easy online access to faculty. With an online degree you can attend classes and study from convenience of home at days and times that appeal to you.
The amount of time it takes to complete your BSN depends upon on the total number of courses you need to meet the program requirements and on how many courses you take each semester. All of the online colleges we reviewed have RN-to-BSN programs targeted towards transfer students who already have a two-year nursing degree. It's common for existing RNs to take 1-2 years to get a BSN. However transfer policies vary by college, so make sure to check with the individual school.
Most RNs achieve a BSN degree to further their career, increase their existing skill set and earn a higher salary. Nurses with a BSN usually find it easier to achieve professional teaching positions, higher level administrative roles in hospitals, and government nursing jobs. With an accredited online degree program, you can earn your BSN from the comfort of home on days and times that are convenient. There are even universities that offer a RN to Masters in Science, Nursing (MSN) degree if you would like to add an advanced degree to your career.
Disclosure: NextAdvisor.com is a consumer information site that offers free, independent reviews and ratings of online services. We receive advertising revenue from most of the services we review. Our editors thoroughly research and whenever possible test each service we review and offer their honest opinions about each one. We are independently owned and operated and all opinions expressed on this site are our own.