I have some college credit earned. Do I have to start from the beginning to earn a bachelor's degree?
Usually not! Most schools offer transfer credit for work completed at accredited schools. Generally, you need to have earned a C or higher in the course and it should serve as a reasonable substitution for a course the school offers. Many schools offer credit for life and work experience, as well. Often times, schools feature accelerated programs designed precisely for students with previously-earned college credit.
If I do an online degree program, will I learn as much as I would in the classroom?
Online classes are generally extremely comparable with traditional on-campus programs. Many online students say they actually learn more and work harder in an online course because of the way a course is structured. Online discussion boards and other online learning formats engage all students in class participation, eliminating the physical barriers an on-campus class often presents. Online students also tend to have increased levels of personal communication with professors through email.
I'm a registered nurse. Can I apply that toward a bachelor's degree in nursing?
Absolutely! Many colleges offer RN-to-BSN programs, and many of them are even offered online. Registered nurses can apply the hands-on experience they received in their initial nursing training toward the practical requirements of the BSN program, and complete the remaining course requirements online or in an on-campus classroom. For more information about nursing schools, please visit our partner site, NursingSchools.com, and for more information about nursing programs online, please read "Introduction to an Online Education in Nursing".
How will I get course materials if I am an online student?
Most college bookstores have online shopping options. Students are able to order books, software, and other materials over the Internet that will then be shipped to their homes. Most courses provide a syllabus online prior to the start of the course, which should list all required materials. Be sure to order items well ahead of time!
Will I need to have my own personal computer to earn an online bachelor's degree?
Most online students do have their own computer to fully take advantage of the freedom an online program offers. Studying at home allows you to complete lessons at all hours of the day, in your pajamas, during a meal, etc., and allows you to maintain a library of software programs used in your classes. However, having a personal computer is not a requirement for one to participate in an online degree program. The only requirement generally is that you have Internet access.
Many online students use free computers in their local libraries or Internet cafes. As more and more cities go wireless, students can do their school work in parks, airports, grocery stores, hotels, and more. For more information about alternatives to studying from a home computer, check out "Alternatives to Studying for an Online Degree at Home" from our partner site, OnlineSchools.net.
How long does it normally take to earn a bachelor's degree?
The average bachelor's degree program takes about four years of full-time study. However, many colleges offer accelerated programs for students with associate degrees or prior credit. Many accelerated programs exist, as well, for students who can work at a faster pace and are willing to put in the time to complete an accelerated schedule. Online degree programs are great options for students who can work quickly; since they are designed for students to work at their own pace, degrees can be earned faster than through traditional colleges.