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Friday, March 23, 2012

Associate Yourself Online With A Degree

Those words might initially invoke thoughts of your favorite social network. However, in this case, we’re talking about a growing number of students that have empowered themselves with an Associates Degree that they obtained through online courses.

In fact, there has been a 13% growth rate in students registering for online classes over the traditional classroom setting. With almost 4 million students gaining their degrees through distance education, you might be wondering if you can join their ranks and get your Associates Degree, too.

Generally speaking, an Associates Degree is the first step toward the goal of educational degrees that many wish to reach. It is considered an undergraduate degree and requires 60 semester credit hours to obtain. If you were to attend a community or technical college full time, it would probably take you 4 semesters or two years to complete the Associates Degree program.

The program of study for this degree will consist of general education requirements which is The Liberal Arts and Sciences, Communication, Natural Sciences/Mathematics, Humanities, and Social Science. Also included in the program is your major requirements which is the specific area that you wish to study, like the Arts, Science or Applied Science and then your electives.

The same is true if you wish to obtain an online degree and in many cases, because you study at your own pace, degrees can be gained in as little as 18 months.

Here is a list of some of the different types of Associate Degrees:

·        Associate of/in Arts
·        Associate of Arts and Sciences
·        Associate of/in Applied Arts
·        Associate of/in Applied Science
·        Associate in General Education
·        Associate of/in General Studies
·        Associate of Individualized Study
·        Associate in Nursing
·        Associate of/in Occupational Studies
·        Associate in Physical Therapy
·        Associate in Industrial Technology
·        Associate of/in Science
·        Associate of Science in Nursing
·        Associate in Specialized Business
·        Associate in Specialized Technology
·        Associate in Technical Arts
·        Associate of/in Technical Studies
·        Associate of/in Technology

On the average, the cost of getting one of these degree under your belt through a community college is about $8000 including the cost of books. The same course through an online provider such as The University of Phoenix would average about $4875.

Of course, there are many grants and student loans available to assist with financing your education. One of these is the Federal Pell Grant for those who qualify and never has to be paid back. A very valuable resource for information on student financial aid is students.gov.

There are many advantages to earning your Associates Degree online including the freedom to choose when you will study. And study time can easily be worked around your present employment schedule. It is much easier to balance the demands of a job and schooling if you can study at your own pace. Consider the advantage too, of learning online when the drive to night classes might present a danger from threatening weather.

It is also important to make sure that the school you have chosen is accredited with the US Department of Education. It’s a waste of your valuable time and money to attend any school, online or otherwise if your degree means nothing when you receive it. Before purchasing any educational program, check out your school of choice to see if the courses and degrees offered are accredited.

So, as you can see, there is really nothing to hold you back from taking the first step towards your goal of a higher education. The old adage, “When times get tough, the tough get going,” applies here. Times are tough right now and it may take a higher, stronger, “tougher” education to survive. But it doesn’t have to be tough to get.

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