Get the Quick and Dirty Facts about Online Education with Your Online Degree FAQs

Do you have a question about starting an online degree? Are you wondering if there are tips to help you succeed? This FAQ section will answer all your questions.

With Your Online Degree we have tried to read your mind, answering every conceivable question that you might have. Of course, as mighty as our brains are you have still managed to ask some questions that we have yet to cover on this site. Also, some of your questions are fast and easy, and it is more convenient for you if we answer them briefly here in n Frequently Asked Questions section.

So, here you go. For your convenience and information, below is a list of FAQs with brief, yet informative answers. Check back often, as we will be building this section in an ongoing effort to serve you better!

Question: What is an online degree?

An online degree is a college degree that is earned by attending school entirely through the Internet. Also called online distance learning, e-learning, or virtual learning, an online degree is usually asynchronous, meaning that the teacher and students do not have to be online at the same time. Instead, teacher and student can post their work or questions in class at whatever time is convenient for them, and then reply to other's postings when it is convenient as well. But don't be fooled; online learning usually requires completing a certain amount of work within the week. So there are schedules to be maintained.

Is online learning well respected?

When considering an online education you are probably concerned about how your online degree will be perceived after you are done; perhaps you have heard that online degrees are a joke. We have good news and bad news. The bad news is that no research has been published to unequivocally demonstrate that employees view an online degree the same as a traditional degree. Simply, no researcher has really addressed this problem thus there is no firm answer. The good news is that in our extensive experience we have spoken with dozens of educators and business people, most of who do feel that online learning is just as rigorous and respectable as traditional learning. Choosing a school that is fully accredited can help, as you can assure anyone who questions the validity of your degree that the online degree program you have chosen is fully approved by the U.S. Department of Education.

For more information about how online degrees are viewed in the business world, read our article, "Online degrees are gaining respect in the workplace."

Is online learning easier than traditional learning?

Getting an online degree is more convenient than traditional learning, but that does not mean it is easier. You will use the same text books, learn the same information and do the same types of assignments that you would have in a traditional degree program. As with any type of education you get what you put into it. Of course, there are always ways to do the minimum and just squeak by the easy way or to go above and beyond and truly excel. How well you do and how much you learn is up to you.

For more information about how online schools compare to traditional schools, read our article, "Online schools can be Superior to Traditional Schools."

Is online learning harder than traditional learning?

If you have spent much time researching online learning you may have read that getting an online degree is sometimes more rigorous than traditional learning, leading you to wonder if that means that online learning is harder than traditional learning. Online learning is not "harder" it is just "different." Online learning does require you to be more responsible, tracking your course requirements, doing the work on your own and asking questions when you have them. But the overall content of your courses will be the same as any traditional course, so the classes themselves are not harder.

For more information about the challenges of online learning, read our article, "Earning a degree online requires commitment, discipline, focus and time."

How is online learning different than traditional learning?

Many people wonder whether, "is online learning good or bad?" The biggest difference between online learning and traditional learning is in how your progress is assessed by your instructor. In traditional learning courses much of your grades come from examinations and quizzes. In most online courses the bulk of your work will be writing essays and other papers.  You really do need to be able to write relatively well, or at least be willing to learn to write better, to be successful in online learning.

For more information on how online learning is different than traditional learning and how you can be successful in your education, read our article, "You are the Key to Success in Online Education."

Can I get financial aid for online education?

Getting a degree is expensive, but there are ways to pay for it. You can get the exact same scholarships, grants and loans for online education as you can for traditional education, as long as you attend a school that is accredited. If you choose a school that is not accredited they may have some financial aid options available, but they will be limited.

For more information about financing your online education, read our article, "Financial aid 101: Learn how to get financial aid for online education."

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