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Ask Sid

Is It Worth It to Get an Online Degree?

They're winning new respect, but make sure the school's accredited

Some tips when considering online degree programs

  • Be wary of websites that promise to match you with the best college. They're often operated by companies whose business is to generate leads about applicants for admissions offices. They'll ask you a few questions — and for your contact info — and then may bombard you with emails and phone calls about programs from sponsoring schools.
  • Search locally first. In-state tuition at a public university or college may be the best deal, generally lower than at religious schools or for-profit schools. "Institutions that are locally based often have a greater commitment to serving students locally," says Poulin.
  • Check with employers and professional groups. Ask their opinions on how online programs — and which schools — favorably impact employment and promotion opportunities. Some companies have relationships with certain schools. Also, check websites such as and

You may also like: Find a community college near you. >>

Sid Kirchheimer is the author of Scam-Proof Your Life, published by AARP Books/Sterling.

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