There are a lot of things to do when preparing to enroll in and attend an online college, from scoping out scholarships to making sure you know what you’ll study. But an important part of the planning process is reading reviews for online universities, which will familiarize you with the schools and help you make the most informed decision possible.
Reading reviews of online universities helps you get a sense of the school from third-party organizations. For instance, U.S. News & World Report regularly ranks its best colleges and also maintains a section devoted solely to online education. These are invaluable resources because they’ll let you know how various schools measured up against a wide array of criteria, including cost, time to degree completion, and reputation. Every school wants to sell itself as the ultimate educational experience, but the truth is that every student is different, and not everyone will fit perfectly with every university. Independent reviews give you an objective perspective on schools and help you get a real feel for what they offer and how you might do there.
Reviews are also a great way to get information about the school from actual students. These testimonials have the potential to be more honest and straightforward than publicity efforts done by most colleges; in other words, a student will actually be able to tell you what he or she liked, and why. By placing yourself in their shoes and learning from someone with firsthand experience of the online university you’re looking at, you’ll be able to learn more about what it feels to actually do the work, download the tests, and get your degree online.
It also can’t be stressed enough that earning your degree — whether it’s an associate’s degree, bachelor’s, master’s, or beyond — is one of the best investments you can make for your future. Your earning potential rises with your education, and one of the best ways to ensure that education is a worthy one is to see what other people have to say about it. It always pays to do your homework, and choosing a school is a lot like studying for class: the more information you gather, the better able you’ll be to make an informed decision and put your learning to use. If you want to know what a school is really like, whether, from a researcher’s point of view or an actual student’s, the best way is just to ask. Reading a review for an online university is the first step to discovering if the school is right for you.