Top Five Features to Look for in Online Universities

Posted on by Althea Earwood

choosing online universityThe Internet is revolutionizing the way people live and learn. Even though distance education has been around for many years in different formats, the web has made this non-traditional format more popular than ever.

The Distance Education and Training Council (DETC), estimates that more than two million people are studying online currently at US colleges and universities. The International Data Corporation estimates the number of students taking online courses will grow annually for the next few years. In addition, hundreds of accredited colleges and universities are now offering online programs.

If you’re thinking of pursuing a college degree through an online program in a university in Pennsylvania, here’s some features you should look for:

Accredited Programs

The most important accreditation in the US comes from six regional accrediting associations. These associations grant membership to regionally accredited educational institutions, and acknowledge one another’s accreditation.

Online Success

Most online degree programs are new and may carry major glitches in their format and technology. This can become a problem for students looking for convenience and efficiency. Look for a Pennsylvania university online program that is easy to set up and don’t need much technical support. Make sure, however, that technical support is available seven days a week.

Technical Capabilities

Most online universities are attempting to incorporate advanced technology, such as video streaming and conferencing. While this may seem like a good idea, typical Internet connection speeds can hinder these features.

Look for classes conducted using proven technologies, such as email and bulletin boards.

Online Faculty

Rather than recruiting the most qualified instructors, most online universities simply provide educators access to a computer and the Internet. Before enrolling in a Pennsylvania university online course, make sure the instructors have received appropriate training.


Earning a college degree can require a substantial amount of money. Fortunately, low-interest financing options are available to students, even for enrollees with high incomes. Most financing options are available only, however, if the university is an eligible institution that participates in the funding process.

Online education now offers outstanding flexibility and convenience, along with excellent savings for college students. Keep these features in mind as you look for the most suitable online university.

About the Author

Althea Earwood is a Clinical Instructor at a medical university in San Francisco. Prior to this, she works as a nurse at a hospital in New Jersey.