For people looking to gain new skills, or hone their existing skills, online programs are an excellent resource. With online courses, you aren’t in the classroom with your classmates or the professor. Instead, you sit at your computer and take advantage of digital tools to facilitate learning.
The primary benefit of online courses, especially for professionals who are looking to acquire further education, is that they’re flexible enough to fit into your schedule. You don’t have to worry about taking a few months’ leave to attend programs out of town or juggle your work and school responsibilities.
With online courses, you can start to study at a pace in which you can get work done. This setup is applicable for bachelor’s degrees, MBA programs, and other kinds of certifications, so you can choose the curriculum that aligns best with your career goals.
Here are ways to find legitimate online courses for business degrees:
1. View the School’s Website
The first step you should take when evaluating the legitimacy of an online school is by visiting their website. At the very least, their domain should be official-looking, featuring the institution’s logo and other information that validates their credibility.
Take a look at their links as well. The top-level domain (TLD) must either be “.com,” “.org,” “.net,” or “.edu,” as well as country-related TLDs, such as “.us” or “.uk,” among others. Plus, their URL must no less be a premium account, if ever they’re hosted on platforms like WordPress or Wix.
2. Check Their Accreditation
Accreditation is a way of making sure that the school is valid and legitimate. In order for a program to be accredited, an accrediting body that meets federal, state, and local standards must review its curriculum, coursework, and student services. To ensure this, the accrediting agency will perform an independent evaluation to determine whether or not the school meets the criteria.
When enrolling in an online summer course or MBA program, make sure you do your research thoroughly and select a reputable online school. The quality of the curriculum, instructors, and other course information is critical to your success.
Look for an accredited institution of higher learning with strong academic standards, reliable courses and instructors, and a reliable online support system. You should also ask the school’s administrators what kind of accreditation it has received.
3. Examine the Name Thoroughly
Some unaccredited schools try to trick students into enrolling with them by making their names sound like a prestigious college or university. It could be just an intentional misspelling of the legitimate name with just a single letter or a complete parody.
These institutions try to deceive people by posing as an authentic school. Although regulations have become stricter and there are only a few fake colleges now, it still pays to be mindful of this factor and verify the school’s claims of legitimacy by doing your own research.
4. Assess the Admission Criteria
One of the ways that unaccredited schools entice students to enroll with them is by lowering the admission criteria. This way, people can still complete their further education, even without having the right credentials.
However, this poses a problem for the student since they aren’t equipped with the knowledge and skills to excel in class but have still shelled out to be a part of the program. They’ll still be on the losing end, which is why it’s always better to stick to legitimate schools and the appropriate admissions criteria.
5. Be Wary of Upfront Payments
Another tell-tale sign that a potential school may be unaccredited is that they insist that you make payments upfront even if you still aren’t sure that you’ve been admitted to the program that you want. Most of the time, legitimate online colleges only ask you for an enrollment fee, which is merely a percentage of your overall tuition fee. Plus, they should show you a breakdown of the total cost for transparency, even if you didn’t request it yet.
6. Verify the Published Contact Information
Call the phone numbers that they publish on their website and send a message to their email address. You should be able to contact them when you have an inquiry. A legitimate school would always answer your questions, which is vital since you aren’t going to a physical classroom to meet with your professors and classmates.
Enrolling in an online course is valuable, whether you plan on being a full-time student or taking on further education. You must ensure the school’s legitimacy, though, by checking its credentials and accreditation so that you don’t waste your money.
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