How to Get Your Associate Degree Online

Five Methods:List of CollegesFinding a Suitable Associate Degree OnlineChoosing a Degree Suited to Your NeedsFinalizing Your School ChoiceSelecting Classes

If you are ready to earn your degree, but do not have time for traditional classes, you may want to consider earning your degree online. Many colleges and universities in the United States offer online associate degrees that you can earn in two years or less. To earn your associate degree online, follow the steps below.

List of Colleges

List of Online Universities

Method 1
Finding a Suitable Associate Degree Online

  1. Image titled Get Your Associate Degree Online Step 1
    Determine which local colleges offer online associate degree programs. Use your favorite search engine to find the websites of all local colleges. Most colleges and universities will list all of the available degree programs on their website. Check the program and degree listings to determine if the college offers online associate degrees.
  2. Image titled Get Your Associate Degree Online Step 2
    Find other colleges offering online associate degree programs in your area. Many institutions offer online degree programs to residents of any state. You can find these institutions using an online directory, such as:
    • Online Degree[2]
    • Your Degree[3]
    • Get Degrees[4]
  3. Image titled Get Your Associate Degree Online Step 3
    Check to ensure that each college is accredited. Accredited means that one of a few nationally recognized accrediting agencies has reviewed the school and determined that it meets or exceeds certain standards. It is important that you choose an accredited college, as many employers do not recognize degrees from non-accredited schools.
    • You can check to see if a college is accredited by searching for it in the United States (“U.S.”) Department of Education’s (“DOE”) Accredited Institution Search.

Method 2
Choosing a Degree Suited to Your Needs

  1. Image titled Get Your Associate Degree Online Step 4
    Decide what degree to get. Review the various degree programs you have located and choose the one that will best help you in the career of your choice. When choosing your degree/career:
    • Consider your natural talents and abilities. Are there things that you instinctively understand, such as poetry or medical terminology? Do you have any skills or natural abilities that would help you in a certain field?
    • Think about the type of work that you would enjoy. For example, if you don't like being outdoors much, a career studying plants or animals may not be the best choice for you. On the other hand, laboratory work might be just the thing you'd love.
    • Identify degree programs that will help you get the type of work you can be passionate about. If you love to read and value books, for example, a degree in the library field may be the best choice for you.

Method 3
Finalizing Your School Choice

  1. Image titled Get Your Associate Degree Online Step 5
    Choose your school. Once you have decided on a degree, it is time to choose the school where you get it. When comparing schools, you may want to consider:
    • The cost of tuition. Most schools will provide this information on their website. If you cannot locate it on the website, call the financial aid department and ask.
    • Available resources. Think about the resources available at each school. Is the school nearby, so that you can visit the campus if you need assistance with anything? Does the school offer job placement services upon graduation?
    • What current and former students say. You can find reviews written by students who have experience with the colleges you are considering at websites such as Student Review[5] and College Prowler[6].
    • What independent reviewers say. Several websites offer school rankings and detailed information about each college ranked. Try U.S. News Best Colleges[7], Forbes Best Colleges List[8], and Open Education Database[9].
  2. Image titled Get Your Associate Degree Online Step 6
    Apply to your chosen school. Most colleges now accept online applications, which you can find by visiting the school’s website. Locate your school’s online application and print a hard copy. Complete the application and, if applicable, submit your application fee.
  3. Image titled Get Your Associate Degree Online Step 7
    Fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”). All U.S. college or university students must fill out a FAFSA each year. You can complete the FAFSA online[10] or download a printable version[11]. After completing the FAFSA, you will receive a report describing each type of Federal financial aid available to you. You may then accept or reject each loan or grant offer.
  4. Image titled Get Your Associate Degree Online Step 8
    Wait for your acceptance letter. Once you are accepted at a school, you will receive an acceptance letter in the mail, and possibly via e-mail. Follow any instructions included in the letter or any informational packet mailed with it.

Method 4
Selecting Classes

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    Choose your classes. When choosing classes, be sure to consult with your guidance counselor, or adviser, and check your degree program’s listing of required classes to ensure that you take all of the classes you need to obtain the degree you want.
  2. Image titled Get Your Associate Degree Online Step 10
    Complete all required coursework and apply for graduation. Your courses will be available through your college’s software system, where you will be able to view assignments, take non-proctored quizzes and tests, email your professors, and communicate with other class members. Once you have successfully completed all of the required courses, contact the student affairs office or your adviser for instructions on applying to graduate.

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Categories: Distance Learning