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Online degrees are degrees that are earned entirely, or partially, online at home, rather than attending classes in a traditional university campus setting. The widespread use of the internet worldwide has led to a proliferation of online colleges and degrees, including associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, which may all be earned online. There are many fine, accredited universities that now allow students to earn their degrees either totally, or partially online.

Do not be fooled by a fake degree, however, from what is called a “diploma mill,” or non-accredited online school. There are sites that aim to take advantage of people who want to learn online - their goal is to take your money and make you a victim. The main way to spot a diploma mill is to remember that there are no “fast degrees.” Getting an education takes time - whether in the classroom or online. Be cautious and do some research on various schools. Do not give out money or your credit card number, as your credit can be ruined, or you may even become a victim of identity theft. This is not meant to discourage you from obtaining an online degree, as there are plenty of well-known, accredited universities out there. Just do your research first.

Some people wonder about the cost of obtaining an online degree. The tuition you’ll pay for an online degree may be exactly the same as what you’d pay a brick and mortar college. The savings may come from studying at home, so there will not be the cost of commuting or room and board for four years, if you’d have to move to a major city. The other option may be that online learning is often offered on a “per course” basis, so the student is able to stretch out their schedule. If you study at a school in your state, you may also benefit, as some universities charge extra for “out-of-state elearners.“ Ways to pay for an online degree are the same as for a regular degree program. If you work and are planning on going to college part-time, some large companies will fund some or all of the cost of your college classes. There are also grants from the federal government and financial aid available to online students.


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