The option to study for a college degree online has benefitted a wide range of students, including graduates who are considering going back to school to improve their education and boost their resume. Whether you’ve recently graduated and think a master’s or doctorate will help your job seeking efforts or have been working for a while since completing your degree, there are plenty of great reasons to consider enrolling in online graduate school. But, with online learning so popular today, the range of choice that you’ll be met with is immense. So, how do you know that you’re choosing the right school to improve your academic record? We’ve listed some of the main things to look out for.

#1. Student Support

Whilst you’ll probably be already used to college study and have an idea of what to expect after completing your undergraduate degree, there are also many differences that you’ll need to be ready for. Graduate programs such as an MSN to DNP online or different doctor of nurse practitioner programs, for example, will often require a lot more work and you’ll need to be prepared to study your chosen subject in much more depth than you’ve been used to. Because of this, when you’re studying online, it’s best to pick a college that offers a lot of student support, such as a personal mentor or out-of-hours chat service where you can get answers to questions and speak to a professor who can help.

#2. Tuition Fees

One of the best things about choosing to study for a college degree online is that it’s often cheaper; since online colleges don’t have to pay bills for heating and cooling buildings, keeping lights on, and powering computers, for example, they can afford to let their students pay a lot less for their education. However, not all online tuition fees are equal, so before you enroll in a program, you’ll want to make sure that you are getting the best deal. To get an idea of how much you can expect to pay, the average online program is usually priced at around one-third cheaper than their campus-based counterparts. Of course, you can find programs that cost less and some that are even free of charge! Be sure to do plenty of research beforehand so that you know you’re investing your money wisely.

#3. Reputation

Lastly, if you’re going to be committing to studying online for another one or two years of your life, then you’ll need to be sure that the college you choose has a good reputation. Thankfully, online colleges have come on in leaps and bounds in recent times; whilst in the past, students had a small selection of lesser-known, online-only schools to choose from, today’s graduates can take their pick from several reputable institutions, many of which are popular for their campus-based programs as well. Read online reviews and search student forums for more information about the colleges you’re considering applying to.

Would you like to add some tips of your own? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.