What Do You Need to Know Before You Apply to an Online Degree Program?

Technology has created a new educational option for students, particularly working professionals who want to start or complete a degree program.

That’s because a degree program offered online may provide a flexible and convenient method to earn a college degree.

For some, it’s a perfect fit. Anyone with an internet connection can take the classes. Scheduling when to view lectures and do assignments is largely left up to the student.

Here are some of things to consider before applying to one.

Discipline and Your Learning Style

Entering an online degree program means that, unlike traditional campus classes, you have more control over you schedule. For example, you can watch or download lectures, and you can communicate with your professor through email or discussion boards.

Students must have the discipline to manage their time wisely while earning a degree online. Otherwise, they may end up falling behind on their assignments. 

It’s also important to know if online classes fit your learning style. For some people, doing everything with a computer or a mobile device does not work. For others, it’s liberating. Determine what works best for you.

Support and Services

Before getting too deep into the prospect of earning a degree online, make sure you have the technology that meets the requirements of the program. You also want to make sure the school offers tech support and services for when things aren’t working properly on your end. For example, New England College offers tech support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Admission Requirements

What are the requirements to be admitted? Will the school accept college credit from other institutions? Admission policies may vary from school to school, so you will need to check each school’s information, typically available on its website. New England College has an entire page dedicated to admission information.

Essay Writing

Whether you are a traditional or non-traditional student, you may have to write an essay to start a degree program. If you feel fear and anxiety tugging at you from the inside just reading those words, don’t worry. You are not alone.

Even writers don’t care for prompted essay questions, and those who are uncomfortable with writing dislike them even more. The smart move is to find out the application essay questions in advance, if possible, and get to writing. The sooner you knock it out, the sooner it is over.


Students may save money in different ways. For example, there’s no cost for transportation to and from the campus, nor a need to pay for parking (or, as is more often the case, campus parking tickets). The cost savings can add up over the years spent in a degree program. 

Time Spent

Some degree programs offer online have an accelerated pace structure that allows students to take fewer courses to graduate. New England College students are able to finish their degree sooner by earning 4 credit hours in 7-week sessions, instead of 3 credit hours (per semester) at other schools.

Colleges also may offer college credit for work or life experiences, which may save time toward completing a degree. Military veterans may also earn course credit for experience received in the armed forces.

These are some of the issues to go over while considering enrolling in an online degree program. It’s not for everyone, but millions have already discovered it’s right for them. Take the time to find out if it could also work for you.

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