Not that everyone trying to make a buck will scam you for it, but it’s been known to happen. And while  teaching is a noble profession, it’s still a business like most others. So in your journey to find the right college education for you, consider these five questions with each possible choice you will make.

First: What is the reputation of the college? Colleges over time have carved out names for themselves. Many times this is justly done through rigorous teaching standards and a high quality of education. Other times it may be the prestige you’re buying into. Online colleges may have taken their reputation from their brick & steel buildings, but they may not have. Sometimes the quality of education doesn’t transfer and you’re going to have to make sure that it’s reputable

Second, Is the schoolwork accredited? While this may not matter to you if you’re just in it for the experience and learning (which you should be), there are places that won’t hire you if your work wasn’t done at an accredited college. Look into some possible jobs for the type of career you are pursuing. If they require accreditation, then you’re going to have to establish that the school is accredited

Third, How much time am I going to have to spend on my homework each day? This is a crucial question as adding another thing to your plate in these busy times may just break you, especially if you didn’t consider how much time it’s going to take to complete your coursework successfully. Try to get an idea from the syllabi or other information on the website how much work is required for the classes you wish to take.

Fourth, Will I be able to make up work? While it’s pretty standard to assume that when deadlines are set they need to be met, especially in upper education, there are always unforeseen circumstances that happen in every life that can cause schoolwork to drop in priority on the importance meter. Understand beforehand if you’ll be able to get a refund or postpone your work if something comes up. If not, you can look elsewhere, plenty of places are flexible enough to work with life events such as death in the family, illness or loss of work.

Fifth, Can I see who will be teaching me? Many colleges now days offer you to select the teachers you’ll get to learn from. This is important as some students learn different, just like some teachers teach differently. While YOUR responsibility rests on your shoulders for your education, part of that should including picking a teacher that’s going to help you learn to the best your ability.

By asking these and other questions you can be sure to avoid some of the pitfalls that commonly trap students into frustrating circumstances. Consider your own experience and think ahead to what you’d like your ideal experience to look like. Generate your own list of questions in addition and use them in your looking process. This is how to preclude the greater possibility of future frustration in your online educational experience.

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