Develop Your Own Online College Ratings

It's easy to let some service tell you what online schools are the best. However, many of these services are simply calling the schools they list the "best" because that school is paying them for referrals. This is especially the case for online schools. In addition, what one person considers a valuable trait in an online college may not be valuable at all to someone else. For these reasons, it is often best to develop your own online college ratings. The process is really not all that difficult.

First, you'll want to decide what you're looking for in an online college. Some of the top things may be college accreditation, program availability, experienced instructors, and flexible class requirements. However, there are other things that you may desire individually in your perfect school. This may include things like the availability of an online library, the ability to transfer credits from a previous school, or the ability to earn higher degrees at the same online campus. It may take a while, but the first step is to decide exactly what you would want from an online school.

Once you've completed your list, you'll want to rank the items on in terms of importance -- from most important to least important. You're then going to create a chart in which you'll list these "wants" in the top horizontal row with the most important items on the left and the least important on the right. In the far-left box of this row, type in "online colleges." In the columns below this, you'll list all of the schools that you're considering. If you aren't sure what schools to consider, try to find a comprehensive website that lists all of the online colleges available.

Once your chart is complete, you'll be ready to investigate the colleges you've chosen. Go to the websites of these colleges, or simply request an information packet from the school. While you're investigating the schools, put a check mark in the row next to the school you're looking at for any of the "wants" you listed in the top row. When you're finished looking at all of the schools, you'll have your own rating system. The schools with the most check marks will be the highest rated to your personal needs, and the schools with the least check marks will be the least suited to your personal needs.

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