Get An Associates Degree Online
Ready to take your employment to the next level? Find out how to do that quickly and easily with an online associate degree.
Now is the perfect time to take advantage of online educational offerings. More than ever reputable educational establishments are expanding their distance and online learning platforms. Maybe you have been putting off that certification or degree because you thought it would be too expensive or it would not fit into your schedule. Think again.
Learning online affords you the opportunity to learn at your own pace at a time that works for you and your lifestyle. Maybe you plan to go to college but are not able to attend full time, or at all, this year. Consider getting your associate degree online and then transferring the credits when you decide to continue your four year degree. Getting started on an associate degree is not that hard. Find out how online learning works, where to get money for college, types of associate degrees you might be interested in and where to locate reputable schools.
How Online Degree Programs Work
Online degree programs work almost like in-person learning but with a few differences. Obviously one difference is that you do most of your work in a completely virtual world. There are hybrid classes out there, but most of the classes offered currently allow you to do all of your work online. Just as in a traditional classroom you have assignments and due dates. How you choose to manage your time is up to you. Some online degree programs require you to attend videoconferencing lectures, usually via Zoom, but do record those in case you cannot make the lecture. The argument against online degrees used to be that the rigor of online courses did not match in-class subjects. However, as online education has advanced it is just as rigorous as the traditional classroom.
If you are not a person who has good self-discipline or time management skills then online classrooms may not be the best choice for you. Online degree programs require you to commit to doing the work, often in isolation, and to meet deadlines. Some students just do better with face to face interaction. If that sounds like you, there are still online degree programs you can pursue. You would want to opt for those courses that offered tele-classroom options. With these types of online education, you stream the professor’s lectures as if you were really in the classroom. You can ask questions via a chat window.
Types of Associate Degrees Available
Several types of associate degrees exist. There are at least four different types from which you can choose. They include the following:
- Associate of Arts (AA)
- Associate of Science (AS)
- Associate of Applied Arts (AAA)
- Associate of Applied Science (AAS)
The difference between a regular associate degree and an applied associate degree is that the applied degree usually is focused on preparing you for a particular career field. The regular associate degree is preparing you to go on for further studies, perhaps to finish up a bachelor’s degree at a later date.
How to Pay for School, Get Scholarships and Grants
Times have changed where funding for school is concerned. It used to be that you had to be enrolled in a traditional classroom situation before you were considered eligible for funding. That is no longer the case. Because online programs are as rigorous as in-class programs you are as eligible for scholarships as anyone else. A student is a student, regardless of learning environment.
Numerous scholarships are available for those willing to take the time to apply for them. Some scholarships are need-based and will require you to show proof of income. Others are talent or merit based scholarships. There are even scholarships for those affiliated with certain religious or ethnicities, or for those who plan to work toward a degree in a certain field. Scholarships, like grants, never need to be repaid. However, if you wish to go the student loan route you would also be able to qualify for the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) money. Student loans must be repaid, though some workplaces now reimburse workers for money used toward tuition.
How to Enroll
Once you select the program you are interested in you must register and apply. Most applications ask some of the same sorts of questions. They want to know your legal name, social security number, and other personal identification information. Many applications will require your high school transcripts or any other schooling you have completed, to be sent to them. Scan it and send it electronically, or you can take a really good picture of it with your phone and upload it. Check with your particular institution because each one is a little different. Most applications ask if you have completed the FAFSA form. Schools want to know if you have applied because you may be eligible for funding from the school that you did not know about.
Once you have all of the information to them and have completed and submitted the application you must wait to receive your acceptance letter. Once you have this you will be given student ID numbers and sent a welcome packet that has all the information you need in order to register and pay for your classes. Some schools have deadlines for applying an registering, so be aware of those. If you are not sure when you can start but want to get the application going, look for a school that offers a “rolling enrollment” program. This means they allow students to enroll and take classes at any point throughout the year.
Use these resources to start your search for a good school. Many of them you may have heard of before. This is because most brick-n-mortar universities now offer a full range of online classes. Other resources can help you obtain financial aid for your associate degree, even if you want to take it all online. Additionally, if you are not sure which associate degree or career field you want to pursue with your new degree, you can find a resource listing top associate degree jobs that earn $50k or more.
Top Online Universities