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How to Choose an Online College

| 2 minute read

Have you thought about earning your degree online but don’t know where to start? We understand that not everyone can earn their degree on campus. You have a family, a full-time job, or an obligation that keeps you busy for most of the day. Finding out how to choose an online college can be hard. Here are 8 tips to make it easier.

Selecting a college or university to complete your online degree can be overwhelming. You have so many things to consider when trying to choose what is the best fit. To help you out, we have created a list of 8 simple tips for choosing an online university that meets your educational goals! 

Tips for Choosing an Online College

  1. Research accredited colleges and universities, as not all institutions are created equal. Learn more about accreditation on the U.S. Department of Education website https://www.ed.gov/accreditation.
  2. Decide on and find your major. Be aware that not every university offers all majors and not all are available online.
  3. Verify the program and classes are offered fully online. Some degree programs are hybrid, a combination of online and on campus classwork. If you can’t travel, make sure the program offers the entire degree completely online.
  4. Check admission requirements and application fees. Also check to see if previous college credits will transfer.
  5. Compare tuition, fees, and financial aid. Investing in an education is like investing in your future. Ask the right questions. What does tuition cost? Do I have to pay out of state tuition? What financial aid is available?
  6. Keep an eye out for fees above tuition costs. These can include course fees, textbooks, course materials, labs, examination proctoring and online delivery fees.
  7. Ask about the faculty credentials. Who is teaching the online courses? Are the same faculty who teach on campus teaching online?
  8. Find online student services. Online students can’t walk into a campus office and ask for help. Make sure the institution has services and resources available specifically for online students.

Top Ranked Online College

Our university has been consistently ranked top in the nation for affordability and academic excellence in online learning. Southern Miss offers 50+ undergraduate and graduate degrees fully online and our Office of Online Learning provides support to online students, to faculty teaching online courses, and to units seeking to develop, grow, or improve online programs.

Online Student Support

We offer 24/7 student support and offer a wide range of services for our online students, including access to our Writing Center, Speaking Center, online textbook ordering, and even a student success website.

High Quality Online College

Overall, when deciding to get a degree, look for the best value with the highest quality of education. But don’t forget to keep an eye out for hidden values! At Southern Miss, as an undergraduate student, once you reach full-time status of 12 hours, you can take up to 19 hours with no additional tuition cost!

Ready to get started? Look at all the degrees we offer at online.usm.edu.


Office of Online Learning

All blog posts are written and maintained by the Office of Online Learning at The University of Southern Mississippi. We provide support to online students, to faculty teaching online courses, and to units seeking to develop, grow, or improve online programs at the University.

For more information, email us at online@usm.edu.