10 Misconceptions about Online Colleges
by Cesar Feliciano
May 13, 2009
Online colleges have changed a lot in the last 10 years. They offer more courses and more degrees. The education you get online with a college like Excelsior College is just as valuable as the degree you’d get from most traditional colleges. Here’s a list of 10 misconceptions that Latinos might have about online degrees. Excelsior College would like you to know the truth about online colleges.
- An online college is not a real college.
Online colleges are real colleges. They are accredited academically by the same organization that accredit traditional four-year colleges with a campus. Excelsior College, for example, receives accreditation from Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, which is the same organization that accredits four-year universities like Syracuse University, Penn State University, Georgetown University, University of Puerto Rico and colleges in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Online schools won’t accept the credits I’ve already earned at another school or in my native country.
This is incorrect. Online colleges accept credits from other accredited schools, including those in Latin America. For example, Excelsior College gives credit towards a degree for military and professional training. You can also take Excelsior College® Examinations designed to earn you credits based on what you already know without having to take a course.
- An online degree is not as valuable as a traditional college degree.
During the past decade or so, degrees from accredited online colleges have become much more competitive with the degrees offered by traditional colleges and universities. They can help qualify you for promotions just like any other degree. Accredited online degree programs are widely accepted by employers today.
- I won’t find a professional job with an online degree.
Your online degree can prepare you for a professional career in business, technology, nursing, health sciences, and many other fields where online graduates can become successful, well-paid professionals.
- Online degrees only focus on technology.
Major online colleges like Excelsior College offer degrees in many fields: General Business, Accounting, Marketing, Liberal Arts, Criminal Justice, Nursing, Health Sciences, and of course, degrees in areas like Information Technology, and Electronic Engineering Technology, among others.
- I don’t think I can enroll since I have loans with other schools.
Of course you can. Online colleges accept students who have loans with other schools. A school like Excelsior College offers grants, scholarships, student loans, and payment plans. They can also tell you about organizations that specialize in offering financial aid to Latinos.
- I can’t attend classes if there is no building to go to.
You don’t need to attend class physically. You can study the coursework on your computer, on your own schedule. In most cases, you can take your courses online or possibly use a CD-ROM with course content on it. There are also “virtual” classrooms where you can interact with classmates and with professors, ask questions and discuss the coursework live online.
- I don’t have time to go to school. I have to work and take care of my family responsibilities.
Going to college online lets you study the material when it is convenient for you. You can study late at night, early in the morning, or whenever it won’t interfere with other work and family priorities. You have the power to control your schedule.
- My English is not perfect so how can I attend a college with courses in English?
You don’t have to speak English fluently to understand online college courses. The material is offered in English, but since you study when it is convenient for you, you can take the time you need to read and understand the materials. Taking classes online is also less intimidating than in a traditional classroom, since there are no spoken language barriers to get in the way.
- I have not gone to school in years. I don’t think I will be accepted.
There are two ways to take classes online with Excelsior College—full-time or part-time. The best thing to do is contact a counselor in the admissions department. The admissions counselors in schools like Excelsior specialize in the admissions process and can talk with you about your goals, discuss the best program for you, and find out if you have credits from another college you can transfer toward your degree.
Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine ranks Excelsior College in the top 100 colleges for enrolling the most Hispanics.