Congratulations on your decision to further your education! Whether you are trying to get more training for your current job, or obtain a degree to get an even better position, distance learning is a great and increasingly popular way to take the classes you need. Here are some tips on how to enroll in distance learning programs.
- Decide which program is best for your needs. There is a plethora of online schools and classes, not to mention campus-based schools, that now offer distance learning programs. How do you decide? Sit down and make a list of what kinds of classes or degree programs you want to take, figure out your financial situation, and then do some research. The sidebar of this article includes websites that will help you compare schools and programs.
- Visit the websites of your top choices. The best way to find out about a school and what it offers is to go directly to the source-their website. Most websites will show you prices, course offerings, and answer many other questions you have.
- Read the fine print. You need to remember that some of the online programs are run as businesses. You should be sure to read all of the requirements and financial information you can find before enrolling. Don't be surprised with hidden fees or costs after you enroll.
- Call or email the school. If you cannot find the information you are looking for on the website, go ahead and either email or call the school with your specific questions. Do not, however, get pushed into signing up until you are ready. Some of the "enrollment counselors" who answer the phone at several online programs are actually salespeople who may be pushier than you expect. Make your first phone call be an informational phone call. You can always call back at a later date to enroll if it's the right one for you.
- Do the paperwork and get started! After you are comfortable with the decision, go ahead and enroll. Each school will have a different procedure, but all of them will require you to fill out some sort of paperwork on your financial situation and which classes you would like to take. Again, read the fine print in the contract before signing it. Look for early withdrawal fees, transfer credit policies, and additional taxes and fees.
Good luck with pursuing your education in a distance learning program.