Tag Archives: online schools

Choose a School That Offers Your Degree Program

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Once you’ve made the decision to go back to school as a single mom, you then get to tackle the challenge of selecting a college or university. This may seem to be a simple choice because there are only certain schools nearby. But in reality, there are a few other things you have to consider when planning your education. Take the time to do research and plan ahead, and choose a school that meets your needs for what you want to study.

Accreditation

You’ve probably seen commercials on television and flyers that advertise great education opportunities. Many of these are from online schools. The accreditation status of the school is important to you in several ways. Your financial aid, scholarships and grants could hinge on whether your school of choice is accredited. You will also find out that when you select an educational program that may lead to an advanced degree in the future, you’ll probably need to transfer those credits, and if the school is not accredited, you may find yourself back at square one.

What is your goal?

You need to decide whether your goal is a certification or a degree, because different colleges and universities offer different degree programs. This also helps you narrow down your requirements and classes needed. For example, if you know you want to work with computers and you begin looking at different programs in the computer field, you may find that you will need a degree for some fields, while others will only require a certification. If your local community college doesn’t have the degree program that you need, you’ll need to expand your search to other colleges and universities that do offer the education you need to achieve your goal.

Trade Schools

Some specific fields require a specific degree program, such as nursing or cosmetology. For these programs, you’ll need to attend a beauty, business, vocational, trade or nursing school. Whether you are looking to become a paralegal or a mechanic, trade schools may be the key to unlocking your future.

Before you settle on a college or university, you have to first determine what your needs are and how to accomplish your goal. Then you can begin narrowing down your school searches to those that provide what you are looking for.

Online Education: The Pros

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While there are some definite drawbacks to an online education, I’m going to focus on the pros, or the benefits. There are a number of reasons why an online education might be the best option for you so let’s explore them.

Geography

Nothing is more disappointing than trying to pursue a degree and not being able to find a school locally that offers the classes you need. With an online education, you are not limited by the constraints of where you live. If you find a nursing program online at a college three states away, you are able to enroll in it, as long as you meet their enrollment qualifications.

Time Savings

Attending school online eliminates the commute to and from class. Many classes meet two to three times a week in a traditional setting. If you are taking more than one class, you might be driving back and forth to school every day of the week or multiple times a day. With online classes, you can use that saved time for other activities.

Time Management

Brick and mortar classes require you to attend classes on their schedule. Miss more than one or two, for any reason – even sick kids – and your grades are in jeopardy. With an online class, you are free to log in on your own time table, providing you meet any scheduled deadlines for assignments, tests and projects. If you are a morning person or a night owl, you can choose the time that suits your lifestyle. And you don’t have to choose the same time, all the time. Have an emergency or an appointment? Log in later in the day or even the next day. Just don’t miss your due dates.

Juggle Work and School

If you are a working mom, finding classes available after work can be challenging. Online classes allow you to keep working, even if you have a schedule that varies from week to week. You can still support your family while taking the classes you need.

Student Interactions

Many online courses have forums where the class, materials and even the assignments are shared and discussed with one another. You can meet others interested in the same field you are studying. This can even lead to some initial networking opportunities. All students are required to interact, often to comment on one another’s work. Outgoing students do not get to monopolize discussions outside of a classroom setting.

Extra Benefits

Just from participating in the online classes, you will gain better computer skills. You will be required to utilize the college’s software and system to submit assignments and correspond with the instructor and others in the class. For those with physical disabilities that make getting to a local school challenging, online school provides the comfort and convenience of learning in your own environment.

The Best Online Grants for Single Moms

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Just a few years ago, going to school online seemed like little more than a gimmick. You would pay an outrageous fee, get a certificate that meant nothing, and have nothing but a pile of expensive books to show for the “education” you paid to get. For a while, online education had earned a terrible reputation.

But today, the situation is very different and can be very beneficial for single moms. Online education has opened up a whole new world of learning opportunities for those who might not be able to attend a traditional college setting. Colleges have taken to the internet to offer their classes, and they aren’t fly-by-night universities that promise a great job in only six months. Places like University of Kentucky, Notre Dame, and University of Illinois are just a few examples of reputable schools that offer their courses online.

Traditional college grants are available for online courses. There are a few caveats to obtaining them, however:

Accreditation. The school you choose to attend online must be accredited before you can receive grants or loans of any kind. To find out more about accreditation, visit the website of the school you want to attend, give the admissions counselors a call, or visit the Department of Education website for more information on which schools are accredited, and what it means.

Credits. Do you have credits from another school that will transfer to your new one? Have you gone to college in the past but for whatever reason, you didn’t graduate? The more schooling you have already had, the lower your chances of getting a grant. Why? Grants are money give to those who need it for education, and if you have already used up several years of grants, it is unlikely you will be eligible for much more. Check with the admissions office of the school you want to attend to find out what their policies are.

Finances. Some grants are based on income. To know if you qualify, get together all your financial information, including your tax returns and paycheck stubs. When it’s time to fill out the applications for Federal Student Aid, you will be ready.

Special Grants. Many schools will offer special incentives for those who need to go back to school but might not have the finances to make it happen. These special grants are awarded by colleges and universities based on financial need, community service, intentions after graduation, and many other factors. Check into the school of your choice and ask about special grants or scholarships that are tailored for busy single moms.

As single moms it’s important to help get the financing you need in order to get your education. With these opportunities for online grants you can get the education you deserve.