Pop quiz time. Below you’ll find a list of common concerns about pursuing your college education through online degree programs. Can you sort fact from fiction?

1.)    By pursuing your education through online degree programs I’ll be doing everything on my own.  Fact or Fiction?

Fiction! Not only have online degree programs become more interactive by implementing videos and Webinars into the learning environment, but discussion boards and Skype sessions with your fellow students (and the instructor) are commonplace now. At a lot of institutions you’ll even have one-on-one access to a student advisor to help you as you earn your degree.

2.)    Online degrees are nothing but diploma mills, and my degree will be worthless. Fact or Fiction?

Fiction! Just like with a traditional brick and mortar school, online universities have rules and regulations they must satisfy in order to be accredited. One such accrediting organization is the Distance Education and Training Council. Like with any educational institution, you should research the online school’s credentials before enrolling. If you have any questions about an institution, visit the Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. If the institution is not listed in this database, then they more than likely are not accredited. (Here, you can view Grantham University’s DOE profile.)

3.)    In order to go to class, I’ll have to login on a certain day and time. Fact or Fiction?

Fiction! While you will have a particular day and time a homework assignment or test needs to be accomplished by, you can login anytime that’s convenient for you to actually take class. As an added bonus, you will be able to learn the subject matter at your pace rather than being spoon fed the material within an allotted amount of time.

4.)    Online students have to have more discipline than traditional students. Fact or Fiction?

Fact! Unlike students who sit in a classroom (unless they’re skipping) everyday, online students do have to have more discipline. Why? Because online students don’t have an instructor to constantly pester them about assignments not being done on time. On the plus side, though, an online student’s determination and self-discipline pays off in the long run because he/she is able to learn things at their own pace.

5.)    If I earn my degree online, I won’t be able to transfer my credits to a traditional school. Fact or Fiction?

Fiction! We mentioned accreditation earlier. There are several different accrediting bodies that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Within the accreditation groups each school has its own standards as to what transfer credits it will or will not accept. The best way to figure out the mystery of transfer credits is to speak to the school you’re considering transferring to so you can see what their standards are.

So how’d you do? Were you able to successfully sort fact from fiction? What are some myths you’ve heard about pursuing online degree programs? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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