Applying to an Online Program
Once you’ve decided on your top online degree programs, the next step is the application process. This can seem daunting, and requires just as much time and effort as applying to a traditional school. We’ve put together some tips to help get you started on the process of applying to an online degree program.
When to Apply
Program application deadlines will vary from one institution to the next, however, the programs you’ve chosen will list the application deadline on their website. You’ll want to make a note of these deadlines, and plan your timeline accordingly. Applications that show that the student has put a good deal of time and effort in are the applications that will really shine. It may be helpful to write down your various deadlines on a calendar, and set specific goals for yourself for each step of the application process.
Along with writing deadlines in your calendar, create an alert on your phone to keep you on schedule
You may consider setting aside a specific block of time every day to work on your applications. This will have the added benefit of preparing you for the type of schedule you will have as an online student, juggling school along with other obligations like work and family.
How to Apply
The application process for an online degree program is much the same as for a traditional program. You will need to complete the application along with any supplemental test scores, essays, transcripts and letters of recommendation. Check the application process for each of the programs you are applying to and make careful note of each of the requirements.
In order to set yourself apart from the other applicants, you will want to highlight your work experience. Explain what you will bring to the program, and how the program will allow you to continue your career success. Admission boards want to know that you are prepared to apply what you learn in the classroom to your work life.
Some of the programs you’re applying to may require an interview, which will likely take place via an online video chat service. This is an opportunity to show your interviewer who you really are, and what you will bring to their program. They may ask you why you are interested in studying online, and how you plan to balance your schoolwork with your daily responsibilities.
Stay organized by creating a document that includes each program you’re applying to. Include application requirements and deadlines.
Common Requirements and Fees
In addition to transcripts, essays, letters of recommendation, and test scores, most degree programs, both online and off, require an application fee to cover the cost of postage, processing, and the review of admissions forms. These fees are non-refundable, and will generally vary between programs. Make sure you are aware of the application cost before you begin the process.
Application fees may range from $30 to $60, while selective schools may charge as much as $90.
Applying to degree programs can be overwhelming, but with careful planning and time management, you’ll get through it… and you’ll practice the skills you’ll need as an online student along the way!