Requirements for Online Schools

Online schools have become an established option for students who do not want to move away from home, do not have the time to attend a traditional college, are not able to get the course of their liking at their local college and a variety of other reasons. But online colleges aren't the only online programs becoming more popular. As online learning has gotten more attention, online high schools and online elementary schools have begun to crop up as well. But with a huge number of students going in for online postsecondary education, it is of little surprise that most traditional universities today have an online program. The best thing about an online program is that it does not have fixed class hours and can be taken along with a job or any other time-constrained obligation. You can get your degree from any college across the U.S.

Are you eligible for an Online School?
Although anyone can take admission in an online school, most postsecondary programs need students to have high GPA to qualify. With campus-based schools having their online programs, the recruiting policies need online students, also, to maintain a certain GPA. Check the online schools to which you are applying for specific prerequisites. You also need to be computer literate to perform in this virtual classroom. If that is something you lack, it is a good idea to get basic computer knowledge, before you apply.

Generally online colleges are not stringent about their admission requirements, as they admit non-traditional (read adult learners), who may not have access to various materials. It depends on the particular online school; in general the application requirements of an online school will be similar to a campus-based school. You will have to furnish a high school diploma or GED certificate, SAT or ACT test scores, recommendation letters, and an admission essay. Also read, What Do You Look for in a Good Online College? for additional information regarding distance learning and earning your degree online.

General Requirements of Online Schools
The general requirements given here are what most online schools consider as acceptable. Individual specifications may vary, so it is always advisable to check the online school website.

Ninety percent of colleges consider your grades in high school as the deciding factor. So, put in huge effort to consistently score high during your junior and senior years in high school. Since the level of study varies from one school to another, online colleges also look at your SAT and ACT scores, which are the only acceptable admission tests in the U.S. A huge number of colleges, almost 88 percent, consider these scores as important.

Another important factor, which is not directly in your hands, is the graduation rank of your school, calculated by the average of grades of your entire graduation class. Almost 30 percent of online schools give importance to this, as a measure of the general standard of your high school.

Most top tier colleges have recently started to put lot of emphasis on essay writing, which is considered to be a direct measure of your writing skills, the maturity of your thoughts, and a measure of your application. Since, writing is an essential part of all postsecondary assignments; this is an important criterion that often is the decision-clincher for the college admission board.

Some General Tips for Enrolment in an Online College
Your decision for a postsecondary education, whether, online or campus-based, has to be made well in advance, as the process needs extensive research. Given here are some common tips to make your online application process easy:

  • A common practice followed by students is to apply to a select few schools; this should comprise of a healthy mix of schools with high acceptance rates, schools that match most of your requirements, and one or two top notch ones. Do not apply to many schools; remember that there is an application fee involved for each.
  • Many schools need more than one recommendation; get your recommendations in place, before time.
  • Keep a proof of your application. If you have made an online application, do not again send a hard copy to the college. Keep a hardcopy as a proof. Take care to proof read the application. Sign wherever required. You can download the Common Application form from CommonApp.org (you need to create a free account to use this service), if the schools that you have chosen accept a common application. This will save you time.
  • Schools will have specific requirements related to transcripts, letters of recommendation and the like. So, check before you send in the application.
  • All your application documents should have your name and reference number.

For additional information on online applications, go through the following sites:


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