Preparing yourself for college success it does not matter whether you are in an online degree program or if you traditional on-campus classes. If you are a traditional age student recently out of high school or a working adult. It is not even important whether you seek a two-year, four-year, or graduate degree. There are some basic things you can do to raise your GPA and keep it there.
As obvious as this is, it needs to be said. It is critical to take the time and the care to choose the right college or university. Some students select a college only because they are somewhat familiar with it or they have a vague impression that it’s a “good school”. Sometimes people are influenced by the massive advertisements they encounter. It is almost impossible to go through a single day without seeing ads for online colleges, as well as traditional programs on TV or online.
A much better way to choose a college or university. which start with a list of institutions that appear to meet your needs. And find out the following via a little Internet research or reaching out to an admissions and/or financial aid officer.
Which courses are required to complete a program?. How many and what electives are available?. What is the persistence rate of students?. What percentage of students receive financial?. What percentage of the average aid package is gift aid?
As you find answers and narrow your search, move on to the following questions. Can you select your course load and make changes as you progress toward a degree? Is there a learning center (actual or virtual) where academic assistance is available? Is there access to counselors who can help you with adjustment issues and/or stress? Will they accept previously earned credits or offer life experience credits which can shorten your time to degree?
If it is at all possible, visit the traditional colleges you are considering and sit in on a few classes offered by the online schools on your list.
The bottom line here is to reserve making a final college decision until you have checked out at least four or five options and you feel certain you know which is your best fit. Choosing the right college is the first decision you want to get right. If you want to get a quick start on identifying possibilities, try the free online degree match tool at the top of this page.
Next, you need to choose the right program. The choice may seem obvious if you are preparing yourself for a specialty area. But you might want to decide on a program that allows you more flexibility. For instance, a management degree may offer you more options than a degree in hospitality management or tax accounting. Or with a bit more time and effort, you can earn both a JD and MBA degree at the same time or a degree that leads to licensure as both a school counselor and a licensed professional counselor.
Before you begin your program, recognize your challenges. Know what your degree program will cost and how you will meet those costs (savings, scholarships, financial aid or future income). Also, be sure you understand how many hours a week your coursework will require and build a study schedule that will consistently fit with your other responsibilities.
Once you have completed the steps above you will be well set up for academic success.