When you think of going to school do you cry until the basement floods? Well, if that’s the case here are 5 power tips to help you successfully find an online college degree that’s bound to dry your tears.

Tip 1: Think about what it is you like to do. Most college placement or aptitude tests do just this. By asking a series of questions to determine what you’re good at and what you like to do they help you settle on a more focused list of possible careers you would enjoy and then select your classes & degree accordingly. If you haven’t already chosen the degree you’d like to get, start here. It will make it much easier in the end.

Tip 2: Talk with family and friends. Do any of them have degrees from online colleges? If so, it would be valuable to hear their experiences. Come up with a few questions that you’d like to ask and take them to lunch. Learn of the challenges they encountered, the things they loved about it and make sure to ask them if they had it all to do over again what they would do differently. You may not take all their advice, but it’s good to have on hand just in case you need it.

Tip 3: Start with a web search and be specific. Once you’ve already come to a clarity on the direction you’ll be taking and the degree you’ll be shooting for go to the web. This time however instead of searching for something generic like “online degree” or “online college classes” try it with your desired major, “online degree in accounting” or “online college for bread making”. You probably won’t have much luck just yet in searching for that last one, but perhaps if you could get a group of your friends together and find a teacher a university may take interest.

Tip 4: Consider how much time and money you have to put towards your education. Are you working full time? If you, you may have evenings to dedicate to your classes, but do you regularly hang out with friends, tend to family responsibilities or have other evening obligations? Another question you can ask is, do you have energy by the time your done with work. You may have time, but if it’s not going to be quality time you may wish to change your schedule or put off your education until you can give it some good quality time.

Tip 5: Before you make your final selection make sure that you have read some reviews of the college in question. With some bigger, already established colleges, you may not have to worry about getting taken for a ride, but there’s bound to be some lesser known “universities” that give online education a bad name. Protect yourself against this for searching for “college name reviews”.

Choosing a degree is more of an art than a science. You’ll have to dig down and look inside to determine where you want to go. Getting the advise of those you trust can help, but you’ll still need to consider the website and reviews of the college you’re thinking of attending for online coursework. By considering these 5 things you’re more likely to cut some of the tears you may have been shedding when thinking about going back to school.

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