How to get admission in Online Courses?

A huge shift from conventional classes to online education can be seen among students worldwide. The reasons for the growing trend of online education include flexibility in the schedule of online programs, easy admission criteria, faster completion, availability of online study material and support, lower cost of education, pursuing recognized foreign qualification from home country and so on. Due to the growing demands of online degrees, highly reputable foreign universities have also started to offer a wide range of online degrees which are valued by employers worldwide.

Nowadays, many students across the globe prefer the online mode of getting formal education. However, some students make some serious mistakes while planning about their online education. Therefore, the students, planning to get enrolled in an online course, must know certain basic things in order to avoid facing problems as well as to achieve their academic and professional aims in the best way. Here, we will discuss some basic considerations for planning about online courses, which students should take into account while thinking about admission in online courses.

   Choosing the right program and subject

Nowadays, colleges and universities offer most of their on-campus programs also as online programs. This makes it easier to choose from a wide list of available programs. However, the selection of the right subject and program is extremely important for both academic and professional careers. The common considerations for selection of subject and programs are 1) student’s personal choice, 2) student’s previous academic qualifications, 3) the professional scope of a program, 4) structure and duration of the program, 5) format of assessment and exams, and 6) total fee of the program.

A student should think about these areas while choosing the best program for them. For instance, it better if a subject is chosen according to one personal interest and previous academic qualifications. Similarly, the duration and structure of the program are also important considerations to see if the student will be able to follow it. Moreover, fee consideration is the most important, however, some universities do provide some financial assistance in terms of waiving off the total or some part of the fee. Therefore, students can see if they can avail some kind of such financial assistance.

   Choosing the right college or university

There is a huge number of educational institutions in different countries which provide online courses. They have their websites to provide details of their online courses. It should be ensured that whether the desired course is offered by the selected university because not all universities offer all courses. Similarly, the considerations for subject selection can also be taken into account while choosing the right college or university because each institution may have different structures and formats for the courses.

The most important consideration for choosing online college or university is to ensure whether the college or university is recognized and approved by the department of education in the country where it is located. This can be easily done by searching the name of the selected institution in the list of approved institutions provided by the education department of the country on their website. Another way to ensure this is to see the ranking of the selected institution in the international publication of ranking of universities such as the QS ranking. These publications of ranking can easily be accessed online.

   Submitting an online application for admission

Colleges and universities, offering online education, have their online application portals on their official websites. This makes it quite easier for any student to submit an online application for an academic program. The online application generally involves the following:

  1. Make an online account on the website of the educational institution to apply for a program.
  2. Add your personal details to the online application such as name, gender, age, email, etc.
  3. Upload your photograph and scanned copy of your (national) ID card. Sometimes, you may need to upload a scanned copy of your passport instead of the ID card or rather both.
  4. Give details of your previous academic qualifications along with the scores attained in them.
  5. Upload the scanned copies of your educational transcripts, degrees and certificates.
  6. Sometimes, you may also be required to upload a pre-written ‘statement of purpose’. The statement of purpose is a document that reflects why you want to get admission in this specific subject and college or university.
  7. If you are applying from a non-English speaking country for a university in an English-speaking country, you are sometimes also required to upload proof of English proficiency such as an IELTS report card. However, not all universities or colleges require it. Therefore, it is better to read the admission criteria of the program.
  8. For admission in research programs such as PhD, you may also be required to upload a pre-prepared short research proposal that is generally your intended research for the program.

The above requirements are the most common requirements, some educational institutions may not require all of them but some of them. It is advisable to read the admission criteria given by the educational institution.

   Waiting for acceptance of your application

After submitting the application, you have to wait for some days to receive a decision on your application. Application processing time varies from program to program. For Bachelor and Master programs, the applications are generally processed within one or two weeks and the student is informed about the decision through an email. However, the application for PhD program generally takes longer (up to two or three months). Sometimes, you may also be asked (through an email) to provide some necessary document which you may have skipped while submitting the online application.

   Registering for classes

If you are selected for a program, you will be emailed an offer letter for admission. Students have to accept this offer letter to confirm their admission in the online program. Sometimes, the confirmation of admission also requires submitting a part of the fee to the college. When your admission is confirmed, you will be given an online account with a username and password, which means you are now enrolled in the program. The online students are registered students of the college or university, exactly like their on-campus students, but the difference is that they have to take their classes and exams online.

   Carrying on your Online coursework

As noted earlier, the registered students get a username and password to access their online account on the website of the educational institution. This account reflects all the details of the program such as subjects of the program, structure of the program, duration of the program, assignments required for the program and format of assessment. The online account also provides study resources for the subjects of the program which include online books, audio and video lectures, study-notes, and other online resources. Students are also given access to the digital library of the institution which has a good number of books. Online programs are a bit flexible and allow the students to study the subject at dates and times convenient to them. Students can generally select any number of subjects for a specific academic period and opt for any number of papers in an exam.

   Doing your assignments

Like on-campus programs, most online programs also include writing and submitting assignments. Students have to write and submit their assignments on specified dates. These assignments include writing descriptions or essays. Students have to submit their assignments online using their online accounts so they can be assessed and scored by their online tutors. Assignments are sometimes part of the student’s assessment and their scores get added to the final score of the student.

   Attempting online Exams

Students’ assessment in some online programs is only based on the scores of their assignments. However, some online programs also include specific exams for the assessment of students. Students have to attempt theses exams online on their computer at their home. For these exams, students are generally emailed a link to open and attempt their exams. These exams, like other exams, includes MCQs or essay questions or both.

   Earning the Degree

When the students successfully complete their academic session, they get their final scores through an email. The degrees of the successful students are sent to them using a special post so that they can get their degrees at their home in their respective countries. This is a paper-based degree duly signed by the concerned officials of the university such as the controller of examinations, registry, and vice-chancellor of the institution.