Opinions On Online Universities

<p>Greetings All,</p>

<p>I went to the university of south carolina back in 2003-2004. Unfortunately due to being a stupid kid, things did not end well and during my second year, I dropped out. Did a little random work, and ended up in IT. It is certainly my calling, and now I find myself working as a sever analyst in a virtual private server/cloud server company. I am looking to go back to school before my credits expire, and to get the "paperwork" behind me. It has taken me a few years to work my way up the ladder, however I should also soon be hopefully having company funded certificate training to go along with it.</p>

<p>My question is this, I have applied to a few online universities and have found myself leaning towards University of Phoenix. Online university would be much more suited to my schedule, in since my entire position is remote so I would be able to go to school while working/after work with ease. </p>

<p>They have stated that 27 credits would transfer, leaving me needing 33. (unfortunately 9 credits will not transfer as they have no room in an associates degree program). They have quoted me 1225 for each class, which leaves me at a whopping 13,475 for 11 classes to get my associates degree. I tend to find that IT jobs, an associates degree can suffice assuming you also have experience (have been in IT now for about 6 years) and certification training. Worse case, I can also go back and get my bachelors once I get a higher paying career. </p>

<p>Is this a decent plan to achieve what I am looking to achieve? In comparison, it seems to be the best school (relatively speaking, online wise that is) for the buck. Of course local community colleges would be cheaper, almost half as cheap, however after factoring in books, gas, convenience, and other brick and mortar expenses, I still find myself leaning towards Phoenix.</p>

<p><em>edit</em>
To add, it's the cost that is the kicker for me. I was under the impression I would be eligible for something along the lines of the Pell Grant, however after filling out Fafsa apparently a single male making 28k simply is too much. I am unaware of any other scholarships/grants I am eligible for, so it would be almost 14 thousand in student loan debts. Plus already 10 thousand in car debt that I am already in, is unappealing to me, but necessary.</p>

<p>Any profession/more educated than me opinions would be appreciated!</p>

<p>Western</a> Governors' University is an on-line university that is not a for-profit university like many of the others. May be worth a look if you really cannot fit normal community college and/or university study into your schedule.</p>

<p>There is also [url=<a href="http://mitx.mit.edu/%5DMITx%5B/url"&gt;http://mitx.mit.edu/]MITx[/url&lt;/a&gt;].&lt;/p>

<p>For an associate's, I recommend you go the cheapest possible route, which is likely your local CC. </p>

<p>Another option is to look into whether your state has an online degree program. In some states, like Maryland, it's an entire university (UMUC). In some states, like Tennessee, it's a stand-alone program offered by the higher ed system (RODP). In Pennsylvania, it's a sort of branch campus (PSU World Campus). These can be great, affordable ways for an adult to earn a bachelor's degree.</p>

<p>If you do find the convenience of UoP compelling, consider something like Computer</a> Information Systems Major | Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences.</p>

<p>So the general consensus is that it's overpaying? The team there has been far more useful than any other college, but I understand I am paying for convenience. I am in south Carolina, so I will search for alternatives. I found limestone, but it is just add expensive. I intend to go back and get my bachelors once I have my promotion at work and more income, but for now I need to finish my associates before the credits expire.</p>

<p>Does your community college offer online classes? I know a lot have many classes online or in some hybrid version. The same is true for a lot state four year universities. They'll have a program so that you can do at least you're first 2 years online. You might have to check colleges individually and their class schedules to find out.</p>

<p>UMUC</a> - Homepage</p>

<p>Penn State has a similar program, so do many other public universities. Chances are that at least one in you state has online programs. Google "distance education State-Name-Here university" and see what comes up.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>Alright so it's quite a bit more expensive then community colleges, I'll give it that. So what if I decide to go for my bachelors? It seems crazy, as I had just intended for it to be associates, but I could start asap, whereas local colleges I would have to wait until later this year. I searched local distance education, and found limestone, but it costs about the same. The local community college, midlands technology is almost 50% cheaper, I just lose the convenience, and I know first hand the staff is obnoxious to deal with. is there a scenario in which an online college like Phoenix is a good choice, or is it always a waste of money?</p>

<p>There are a <em>lot</em> of people who choose Phoenix, and maybe it's right for you. I'm glad you appreciate that you're paying a premium for convenience. Convenience has a positive value insofar as it helps you complete your degree. You've got to decide whether the convenience is worth the tuition and fees you pay to Phoenix and worth the opportunity cost of not going to another institution.</p>

<p>I do think you might be better served by working towards a bachelor's instead of an Associate's. Then again, that's not exactly a black-and-white decision.</p>

<p>I completely understand the convenience factor being worth the money. My husband is doing his MBA online which he couldn't have done otherwise. Since you are looking at IT, the four year degree may be the way to go. If you decide on the four year route, take a look at the Western Governors School and is based on mastery. It may be a way for you to get your degree very quickly.</p>