Find out the requirements for admission into the program. Each university has its own set of regulations. All schools will want to see your transcripts from high school or college. Some will ask for test scores as well. Make sure you can meet the minimum requirements for admission before you apply. Gathering the necessary documentation before beginning the application process will save time later.
Distance education programs have different on campus requirements. Some require that you come to campus a few times each semester, while others allow you to complete the entire program at home. Programs offered completely online are more difficult to find, depending on the degree you are seeking. Make sure you can commit to the schedule required by the university. A program that requires you to travel to campus one or more times should be within driving distance of your home.
Find out if the school you will be attending is regionally accredited. Accreditation only matters when you need financial aid or plan to transfer the credits you receive to another university. Some accept credits from schools that are regionally accredited, but others do not. Check with the college you plan on attending later to make sure the credits will transfer. If you are getting your complete degree from the same school, accreditation may not be important.
Another time accreditation may matter is if you are completing a degree that will require a state license. Degrees in nursing, social work and education require licensing. Check with your state to make sure they will accept your degree for licensing. Some states won’t accept degrees from schools not recognized by the US Department of Education. Check with your school, state or Department of education to find out if the college is recognized.
If you have credits you want to transfer from another school, make sure the online university you are considering will accept your credits. Have your official transcripts sent to the school for an admissions counselor to review. Ask about any restrictions the school has for transferring credits. Most colleges won’t accept more than fifty percent of the degree requirements in transfer credits. Some have a limit on the time you can transfer credits, usually ten years.