Online program applicants should understand their various degree options and financial aid opportunities.
Applicants should take advantage of the admissions staff and resources available to them.
First, prospective students should be aware of their degree program options, spend time researching programs and decide which program will best suit their needs and benefit their careers. Many prospective online students know they want to finish their degree to either fulfill personal goals orearn a promotion at work; however, they may not be sure exactly which degree program is right for them.
At ASU Online, for example, enrollment counselors work with students who have submitted a request for information to try to match them with the best program for their careers and interests. Counselors stay involved with students through their first day of classes, answering any questions and ensuring they are on track throughout the admissions process.
Aside from knowing which degree program they want to pursue, students should keep a number of other factors in mind during the admission process. First, students should have their academic records and transcripts ready to go. Many institutions require a student’s former academic institution to mail transcripts directly to their admissions office. Having their academic records at hand also easily allows students to work with enrollment counselors to see how many of their credits will transfer and how many credits they need to complete to graduate.
Knowing how many credits they need to complete will also give students an idea of the financial commitment they are looking at. When applying to a degree program, it’s important for students to not only be aware of the financial commitment they are making but also note that there are several ways they can get financial help.
In addition to financial aid, students can look at available scholarships or see if they are eligible foremployer tuition assistance through their job. For example, ASU and Starbucks have a partnership in which Starbucks provides eligible full- and part-time employees with full tuition reimbursement for any of ASU’s online degree programs.
It’s also essential that students are aware of any out-of-pocket costs associated with the admissions process. Depending on the program, students may need to cover application fees and program fees.
The takeaway: If students do their research ahead of time, come prepared with which degree program they are interested in pursuing, have their academic records in order and have a plan for managing their finances, then the online admissions process itself should be simple to navigate. And remember, admissions or enrollment staff at any academic institution are always available to help you.