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Distance Learning 101

What is distance learning? How do I know if a school is legitimate? Can I take all of my classes online? How long will it take to earn a degree? How can I pay for it? Get the answers to these and all of your distance learning concerns at our Distance Learning 101 page.
  1. Book Reviews (3)
  2. Distance Learning FAQ (12)
  3. Glossary (30)

Readers Respond: How Has Online Learning Changed Your Life?
Online learning helps many graduates prepare for a new career, meet like-minded colleagues, and change their lives. See what other virtual students have to say and share your own story.

How to Prepare for Starting a New Semester of Online Classes
The best way to start off a new semester is to be prepared. This article will walk you through the steps of gathering needed supplies and making sure that everything is in order before the semester begins.

Readers Respond: What is the Biggest Challenge Online Students Face?
Online students share unique struggles. What do you see as the biggest challenge online students face?

Readers Respond: Why Are You a Distance Learner?
There many smart reasons to choose distance learning over traditional schooling. What's yours?

What Makes a Good Online Course?
Exceptional online classes tend to share some common traits. See what makes these courses so special.

10 Reasons Not to Earn a Degree Online
Online college isn't for everyone. Before enrolling, take a look at these ten reasons not to choose online learning. Knowing the potential disadvantages will help you better decide whether or not it's the right choice for you.

10+ Things to Do Before Applying to an Online College
If you’re considering enrolling in an online college, take the time to prepare. These 10 tasks can help you choose the right program, balance school with your other responsibilities, and have a successful experience.

6 Reasons Schools Are Requiring Students to Take Online Classes
Why are high schools and colleges now requiring students to complete some of their course requirements online? Find out how online classes benefit both schools and students.

Online Education Provides Solutions to Many Hardships
If you're struggling to enroll or make a traditional college work for you, see how online college may be able to help solve your problems.

How to Spot a Bad Online College: 10 Warning Signs
How do you recognize a struggling online college? Stay on the lookout for these 10 warning signs.

Free About Distance Learning Newsletter
If you’re looking for ways to succeed in your virtual classes, need to find a distance learning program that fits your needs, or simply want to keep informed about the ever-changing world of online education, please subscribe to the free About Distance Learning Newsletter.

You Know You're an Online Student When
Do you wear your pajamas to the midterm? Buy eye drops in bulk to sooth your tired eyes? Let the world know what serious or silly traits online learners have in common.

10 Pros and Cons of Earning an Online Bachelor’s Degree
Having a realistic understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of earning an online bachelor's degree can help you make the right decision when it comes to your future.

10 Reasons to Choose Online Education
Top 10 reasons why online education continues to grow in popularity.

How to Quit College
There are two ways to quit college: One way lets you leave with a clean transcript and the possibility of returning to school in the future. The other doesn't.

What to Do If You’ve Been Tricked by a Diploma Mill
If you forked over your tuition funds to a diploma mill without recognizing the difference between a reputable school and a shady business practice, you may still be able to recoup some of your money. From asking for a refund to filing a Better Business Bureau complaint, this article will show you what steps to take next.

What Does Research Say About Online Learning?
Online learning has made a major impact in the world of education. Recent studies show that online learning is an effective and reputable way to earn a college degree.

Cheating in Online College Classes: A Virtual Epidemic
Online colleges are experiencing a major problem: cheaters. Here's why online college students are choosing to cheat online and what schools are doing about it.

Online College Pet Peeves - Students Share Their Least Favorite Parts About...
Not every online college class goes smoothly. Just like traditional students, online college students have pet peeves about their courses, curriculum, tuition payments, and professors. What is your online college pet peeve? Share your answer and see what other online students have to say.

How Does an Online University Work?
If you’re new to the world of elearning, this article will walk you through the basics of online university programs.

5 Online College Recruiter Tricks
Quality online colleges don’t have to rely on gimmicks to get new enrollees. However, subpar online colleges often use recruitment tricks such as big promises or incentives to convince potential students to enroll. When you’re researching online colleges, be on the lookout for these 5 shady recruitment strategies.

Online Education 101
Online education is often preferred by professionals, parents, and students who need a flexible school schedule. This article will help you understand the basics of online education, recognize its benefits and drawbacks, and choose an online education program that fits your needs.

Distance Education Essentials
Distance education programs are more popular than ever. College and high school students now have hundreds of legitimate distance education schools to choose from. If you’re new to the idea of learning through distance education, here’s what you’ll need to know.

What You Need to Know About Online Degree Programs
Online degree programs have grown in number and reputation. Today, you can choose from thousands of accredited online degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

e-Learning Basics
e-Learning, or electronic learning, is any type of educational instruction that occurs through the internet.

Should Athletes be Banned from Online Classes
After being accused of offering excessively easy coursework to college-level athletes, Brigham Young University closed their independent study program to these sports stars altogether.

10 Ways to be a Successful Online Student
Successful online students have a few things in common. If you want to ace your assignments, thrive in classroom discussions, and overcome the challenges of virtual learning, give these ten tips a try.

Should Athletes be Banned from Online Classes?
Brigham Young University’s popular independent study courses are offered to everyone – except for college athletes. Critics argue that excluding one group is unfair and that the practice of exclusion will spread to other online programs.

Is Distance Learning Right for You?
Before you sign up to take online classes, check to see if you have the habits of highly successful distance learners.

Top 5 Distance Learning Myths
See the top 5 misconceptions about online learning dispelled.

10 Ways Earning an Online Degree Can Enrich Your Life
If you’re ever feeling discouraged with your distance learning courses, just consider the many ways earning an online degree can enrich your life.

10 Reasons to Earn an Online Degree in a Troubled Economy
When the economy is in trouble, many professionals turn to online learning. Here are ten reasons why earning an online degree is a smart way to deal with a recession.

How the College Opportunity and Affordability Act Affects You
The College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2008 renews the Higher Education Act originally passed in 1965. It also includes several pieces of legislation that will affect online students.

10 Most Important Things You Can Do During Your First Week in an Online Class
The first week in an online class can be a little disorienting. New students must learn to navigate a virtual "classroom," interact with their peers and professors without actually seeing them face-to-face, and balance their assignments with their everyday lives. These ten tips can help you succeed in your online class from the moment you begin.

Online College Admissions – How to Be the Ideal Applicant
Applying to an online college can be particularly nerve-wracking. It can be difficult to know what your chosen program expects, especially if you don’t know anyone who has “attended” the virtual school. Here’s what many online colleges are looking for in their ideal applicant.

How to Request an Online College Recommendation Letter
Since most online schools do not require in-person interviews, admissions officials pay particular attention to the college recommendation letter. Your college recommendation letter will be used to evaluate your strengths and determine whether or not you’re a good fit for the school. This article will show you how to choose an effective writer and submit a persuasive college recommendation letter.

How to Write an Online College Admissions Essay
Since most online colleges do not require face-to-face interviews, the admissions essay is the primary way administrators get to know applicants. Heres how to write an online college admissions essay that wows your audience.

How to Succeed as an Online Student
Stephen Gatlin, president of Gatlin Education Services, shares his tips for student success.

10 Pros and Cons of Earning an Online PhD
An online PhD might be the right choice for you - or it might not. Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of earning your advanced degree online.

The most important step in choosing a school is making sure it has the right accreditation.

The 7 Mistakes Distance Learners Make
Navigating the distance learning world can be tricky. Online students must learn to dodge the shallow promises of disreputable schools, manage their work, and use their diplomas to their advantage. As you continue your journey through the maze of virtual learning, avoid these seven common mistakes of distance learners and save yourself some hassle.

Undergraduate Admissions Tests
Before you start your distance learning program, you’ll probably need to turn in an application, complete with transcripts and test scores. The most common admissions tests are the SAT and the ACT. The scores for these tests are used to determine whether or not a student will be a good fit for a particular college.

You Know You're an Online Student When...
Do you have the silly traits of many distance learners? You know you’re an online student when…

Distance Learning FAQs Index
Have questions? We have answers. Find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about distance learning.

How to Fail Your Online Class
If you want to fail your online class, give some of these unfortunately common mistakes a try.

7 Horrible, Awful, No-Good Reasons to Enroll in an Online College
If you're interested in attending an online college, make sure that your motives are right.

Top 10 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Enrolling in an Online College
Not sure if online college is right for you? Ask yourself these top 10 questions before making the big decision.

Top 10 Tips for Quitting an Online College
If you're thinking about quitting, don't jump the gun. These 10 tips will help you drop out of your online college without harming your future options.

20 Things Every Online Learner Needs to Know
20 direct, actionable things you need to know about online learning that they don't tell you in your college orientation.

What Your Online Professors Will Never Tell You (But I Will)
What makes online professors tick? Take a look at some of the things most professors know but don't usually talk about.

How to Get Started on Your Online College Degree
How do you earn an online degree? Here's what you need to know to get started.

Find Your Online College Personality Match
This handy tool provides online college recommendations based on your personality and educational goals.

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