Page 23 - USA Today College Guide 2019
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A combination of factors is spurring the popularity of online graduate courses at U S universities: techno- logical advances the normalization of online interactions and an an increase in in in in demand from international students Mostly though universities are simply answering the the call from their student population which increasingly opts for the convenience and flexibility of getting a a a graduate degree online some school officials say “If you just look across the higher education landscape more more and and more more universities — even big-brand universities like Syracuse Georgia Tech Purdue and Penn State — are offering their graduate programs online ” says Jeremi Bauer the dean of Post University’s Malcolm Baldrige School of Business Increasingly universities are breaking with tradition and going virtual Founded in 1890 Post University still offers classes at at its Waterbury Connecticut campus But stepping foot onto that campus now is completely optional Educators say the online option isn’t just for those who are trying to balance their careers with a a a a degree program It
also makes sense for stu- dents who prefer the online teaching methodology which tends to focus on on practical applications that students can apply to their professional lives “Through the use of computer simulations case studies and sce- narios students can experience actual situations found in the workplace They put theory into practice ” says Carolyn Shiffman director of graduate programs at at Post And that high level of engagement means students don’t need to to sacrifice quality to to take classes online Don’t think you aren’t going to have to work as as hard as as you would in a a a a a brick-and-mortar classroom “Going this route requires significant discipline on the the part of the the student but the reward is well worth the sacrifice ” says Bauer "You may have a a a a phone an iPhone or an an an iPad and you can access our classes that way but to be effective you really should have a a a a reliable computer " says Lynne M Lander Fleisher director of Clarion Univer- sity Online You'll need a a a desktop or laptop and regular internet access to complete coursework online You also may need to download software your school requires 3 CAN I I I ADAPT TO LEARNING
ONLINE? Learning in in in in an online setting may not be be the best way for you to absorb information If you're not a a a reader then you probably won't enjoy online courses which tend to require a lot of reading You're unlikely to interact as much with your professor or or peers in in in an online course A solo learning style may not be a a fifit fi if you rely on communicating with others "Everyone learns differently so the people who can learn better
by reading or hearing have an advantage " says Megan Pederson teaching specialist and online academic adviser for the University of Minnesota Crookston "People who learn by doing tend not to enjoy the online experience " 4 IS THE SCHOOL I I I I I I AM INTERESTED IN LEGITIMATE?
An online degree program's quality will vary by institution Programs
offered by established nonprofifit public or private schools are usually safe bets You should research the credentials of schools without a a brick-and-mortar counterpart Start by fifinding top online colleges from "best of" lists by reputable publications For an extra layer of quality control ask the admissions department about accreditation both institutional and program-specifific 5 HOW WILL I I PAY?
If you you can't afford to pay for for your degree with savings and income the fifinancial aid process is the same as fi if you were attending a a a a traditional col- lege campus You'll need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA Then you'll receive a Student Aid Report detailing aid you qualify for The amount of aid you can get will depend on your enrollment status dependency status and income The rule of thumb is to accept any grants and scholarships followed by work- study before taking out a a a loan Schools that are accredited will offer fifinancial aid Be wary fi if your school does not offer federal fifinancial aid or pushes its own loan programs This article originally appeared on on the personal fifinance website NerdWallet COLLEGE GUIDE 2019 COLLEGE GUIDE 2019 23

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