Choosing the right college or university is an important decision that potentially impacts the direction of the rest of your life. Stated plainly, it’s understandable why people become overwhelmed by the choices and the information available for so many schools. Having so many factors to consider can lead to indecision rather than decisiveness.
It’s helpful to focus on critical considerations rather than getting sidetracked by relatively unimportant ones. Let’s look at ways to determine if a university offers what you need.
General Considerations for All Schools
There are essential items of consideration for both online and on-campus colleges and universities. The first is determining your major – or paring it down to a few choices – so you can pick a school that provides the program you require. The next step is a practical one: make sure the school falls within your budget and provides support with financial aid information.
From there, several core issues are worth exploring. Thought Co. notes that aspiring students must go beyond national rankings and delve deeper into aspects that can impact their college experience.
- Graduation rates. A low graduation rate is not a good sign.
- Student-to-faculty ratio. The lower the number, the better for students.
- Internship and research opportunities. Part of college is working with professionals in your field of study.
- Travel opportunities. Can you study abroad? Travel can enhance any education.
- Engaging curriculum. Read through the curriculum and ensure that it has the courses you want to take.
- Clubs and activities. Does the university offer clubs or activities that interest you? These can be both online and in-person.
- Health and wellness facilities. Students living on campus increasingly understand the need to stay fit while living away from home for the first time.
Find the Best Online College for You
Certain decisions apply specifically to choosing an online degree program. While technological innovations have increased the sophistication of remote learning, it’s also led to students having more options than ever.
Keep the following in mind when choosing an online school:
Online academic support
Successful schools work with students throughout their entire academic journey. From the moment a prospective student first shows interest in a degree program right through to graduation. Many schools assign success coaches who guide the application process and, once they’ve entered a degree program, stay on track as they work toward their degree.
Enrolling in online programs eliminates the housing costs that can make college much more expensive. However, schools also must remain competitive with how they price tuition. As more colleges and universities move into online education, competition for students will increase, and offering affordable tuition is a key attraction. The best schools also have a generous credit transfer policy that can significantly reduce the cost of earning a degree.
Online College Resources
The best online colleges offer students access to resources they need to excel. Being online provides the opportunity to use a wide variety of academic resources, a situation the best schools use to their advantage, giving access to online libraries and other resource materials. This also extends to online career development resources that support students in their job search.
All these factors fall under one broad category: student engagement. Successful student engagement involves student-focused attention to every aspect of the online experience that leads to positive student outcomes. The best online colleges assign each student a success coach who supports them as they move through their program.
Remote learning depends on a solid, reliable online connection to the school’s online learning system. The best universities offer 24/7 technical support that gives students the peace of mind of knowing help is available if needed.
Touro University Worldwide’s Online Programs
Touro University Worldwide, a pioneer in education, has a history of expanding education to as many people as possible, especially working adults. The university’s mission is to provide online degree programs that serve the needs of adult learners, professionals, and the underserved.
TUW provides extensive online student support services, including academic advisors, technical support, and financial aid assistance. The university also offers a generous transfer credit policy so that working adults, veterans, and those with some college experience can get credit for what they have learned.
The TUW faculty are experienced professionals who combine academic theory with the knowledge of what hiring managers look for in job candidates.
In the end, choosing the best online school is an individual decision. However, schools with more experience and commitment to online learning offer more than others. That’s an essential consideration as you prepare to make your choice.