How to Apply to Online Colleges
Applying to an online college is comparable to arranging travel plans: You still go through the same process as you would with a brick-and-mortar agent, but with the added flexibility that the Internet brings. Online colleges bring the admissions department to your doorstep, letting you get your paperwork arranged without setting food on campus. Here’s what you need to do to get into one of these colleges:
1. Make a to-do list
Check the college’s admissions page and see what paperwork you will need to submit and when. In most cases this will be straight forward, but some degrees may require letters of recommendation or physicals.
2. Send in an application
This will require some common personal information on hand like your address and date of birth as well as your academic history and planned course of study. If you need to include an essay, write it beforehand and paste it from your word processor.
3. Start the scholarship and loan process
Begin by filling out the FAFSA form, the U.S. government’s universal form for financial aid. Make sure to include the school code for the college you want to attend; if you have already filled out the FAFSA, you can go back onto your account and add a school code. It takes about two weeks for the school to receive your financial information once you’ve made this change.
4. Request transcripts and test scores
For previously credits to be applied to your current degree you will need to have official transcripts sent from the institutions you attended. This will almost always require that a written request be mailed to the college. Often getting proof of high school graduation will only require a phone call. If you earned concurrent credit by taking a college course through the high school you will still need a transcript sent from the participating college.
Many colleges will also require ACT or SAT scores. Like transcripts, these will need to be sent by the testing companies. If you have not taken one of these tests, you can sign up for a local test from their websites.
5. Talk to your advisors
Once the college has your financial and scholastic information you can start working out what you will need to take and how you will need to pay for it. They will help you arrange your education to meet your specific needs.