How Competitive is it to Enroll in an Online Degree Program?

Last updated on November 15, 2017

With just a computer and an Internet connection, students can now get a degree right from the comfort of their own home. Online degree programs are becoming increasing popular as more people look for ways to advance their education in the midst of their already busy schedules. Particularly ideal for people who work or who have kids, online classes offer a flexibility and convenience that is impossible to find at traditional brick-and-mortar schools — students can work at their own pace, access materials at any time of day, and complete assignments wherever want. It is not surprising that one in six students in higher education is currently getting their degree online. Because of this increase, online degree programs are becoming more competitive. However, the competitiveness will vary from school to school, depending on what you plan to major in and what degree you are seeking.

Students seeking an online education should take the time to find out if it is the best learning environment for them. The good news is that as more students decide to take their classes online, more degree options are becoming available from various online colleges and universities. So, if students do decide to pursue their education online, chances are there is program out there to meet all of their personal and professional needs.

The application process for online schools is similar to that of traditional colleges. Most online schools will want to look at your grades from high school and your ACT and SAT scores as part of your application. Depending on the program, you may also need to submit letters of recommendation and essays with your transcripts. Students considering an online degree program should begin thinking about teachers or employers that they could ask for recommendations, and they should have these letters ready before they apply. Essays are an important part of the application process as well because they showcase a student’s writing abilities — skills that will play a major role in their success at any level of higher education.

Any student pursuing a degree beyond a bachelor’s degree will need to show proof of their previous educational experience. If a student has already taken college courses, he or she may be able to transfer these credits toward an online degree if the program is accredited. Many online degrees in the medical field require that students have internships, so these programs are best for students who already work in the profession.

While many students now take online classes as part of their education, online degree programs were originally aimed at nontraditional students (or adult learners). In general, the requirements for online education programs tend to be less strict for students returning to school who are already in the workforce. A simple online application is all that is needed in some cases. However, individual schools have different requirements, so students should always check the program’s website for specific guidelines.

An online degree program can be a great way to continue your education. Faced with a need to advance their skills, more and more people are turning to online degree programs as the convenient way to get the education and training they need. Students have the freedom to complete a degree right from the comfort of their own home, without sacrificing time for work or to spend with their kids. Of course, online degree programs are not for everyone. The lack of face-to-face contact with classmates and professors can be a challenge, and students should make sure that online classes are right for them. There are many degrees available for the online learner, and there are a variety of programs in existence to meet all of your educational needs. As with any college search, students need to take the time to research different online degree programs and to find the program that is best for them. In general, the application process for an online school is not much different from that of a traditional college or university, and in some cases, it is much easier. Students should check with individual schools for specific guidelines.