Can anyone offer me advise on choosing an online school?

By | September 3, 2015

As an enlisted sailor, my career aspirations are driving me toward obtaining a commission (direct accession) in the Navy’s Medical Service Corp. I am a few credits shy of finishing my undergrad degree, and have looked at several different online programs… everything from accelerated “finish in 10 months” programs to schools that could take 24 – 36 months to complete.

With all the programs out there I am just really confused and need some advise.

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2 thoughts on “Can anyone offer me advise on choosing an online school?

  1. Brn_Eye_Grl

    My first question to you is where did you receive all of your current credits from? The Navy? A public or private university?

    I have been a college advisor for years, and I know different schools are different, but I’ll tell you the way it is here in Texas with colleges.

    First off, assuming you got most of your credits from the military – unfortunately most of those will not transfer as equivalents to a university. They would still count for credits, but not towards something needed for the degree.

    As an example, say you took a course through the navy about gun assembly and mechanics. Pretty much most colleges out there do not have a course like that. So what would happen is, they may give you the credits, but the course would just count as an elective.

    Most of your navy credits will come across that way. They may count for some sort of P.E. or wellness, but unless they specifically contained more generic educational material (ie: history, English, biology, accounting, management, etc.) they will count as elective credits.

    In this case you could already have 110 credits from the Navy, and most colleges you need around 120-140 credits for an undergrad degree, but those degrees are comprised of specific curriculum. Most of those 110 credits would be electives, causing you to have to go through a regular college to obtain the majority of your degree.

    Now…

    Assuming your credits were from a regular public or private college, but you just never got to finish….

    Most colleges have a max amount of time a course is good for. Not for all courses, but for some. For example, business courses. Business changes all the time. If you took a business computer class 10 years ago, programming and software has changed since then, so the class would be no good. Same potentially with most computer and science courses. Things like foreign language, English, philosophy, etc. – that should last decades.

    So it’s possible some of your credits may have to be taken again.

    Not only that, but many colleges also only accept a maximum amount of transfer hours… and/or require a certain minimum number of hours be taken at that college to receive a degree from that college.

    So once again, even if you had 110 hours, and in theory needed just 10 hrs left… but that college you want to finish at requires you complete 30 hours to get a degree from that school… you’d have to do the 30 hrs.

    What you need to do is figure out what schools offer online degrees in the major that your degree (hours you already have) was in. Then contact those schools to figure out which one will take the majority of your credits, have the least amount of hours for you to complete, and will cost the least.

    Try to avoid online schools such as University of Phoenix. Stick with reputable schools such as UCLA, U of Florida, NYU, etc. Schools that are known, but happen to have online programs.

    http://www.worldwidelearn.com
    This helps you find schools offering online degrees in your field.

    In case you want to go to grad school ever,
    http://www.gradschools.com
    Same thing.

    Best of luck!

  2. jgruban

    If you are merely ‘a few credits shy’ of completing an undergraduate degree, that would typically be a semester or less of courses. If so, you could enroll in an accelerated program. I’d recommend this, as being a sailor, time is of the essence. I’ve found a site that offers many programs from a variety of schools. You should check out their options before choosing a longer program (which has a less intense course load) or an accelerated program that will take significantly less time, but will require heavy studying.

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