Online college is a convenient and affordable option for many working professionals and others who are looking to pursue their higher education goals.  According to Best Colleges, about 8.9 million students take college classes exclusively online. While online learning is becoming more popular with students, it is important that you do your own homework first to determine which online learning method is best for you.

Learning how to choose the best online college can help shape your academic journey and future career. With many options available, it’s crucial to embark on this path armed with knowledge. To help you make the best choice, take a look at our guide to effectively navigate this process. 

Pros and Cons of Online Degrees


  • Earn the same degree as on-campus students
  • Pursue the best program for your field of study, even if it may be far away 
  • Balance work and classes while you learn on your own time

  • Less face-to-face instruction
  • Limited access to on-campus resources if you live far away
  • Requires more self motivation and time management skills

A few things to consider when you start your search for an online college program are the program’s accreditation, the tuition costs, and the amount of flexibility available to you. Each online program is different in terms of the resources it offers and the recognition it garners. 

Find an Accredited Program

Accreditation is a vital indicator of an online college’s legitimacy and educational quality. It helps ensure that the institution meets certain educational standards and that employers and other academic institutions will recognize your degree.

Enrolling in an accredited online college program ensures that you receive a high-quality education that can provide you with the best opportunities for your future success. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation are excellent resources for verifying an institution’s accreditation status.

It is important to note that some programs you may be interested in, such as nursing or engineering, may require specialized accreditation so make sure to double-check the accreditation status of your program of interest. This information is typically available on the college’s website.

At SDSU Global Campus, our online programs are run by industry experts and use the same rigorous course material as the on-campus programs. When you enroll with us, you can have confidence knowing that you will earn your degree from an accredited and reputable university.

Pick Your Major

Your choice of a college major may significantly influence your decision on which online college to attend. Consider choosing a major that interests you and aligns with your career goals. When you decide to pursue a subject you’re passionate about, you can start looking for the right program in your field of interest.

When you pick your major, you may want to research the demand for jobs in your chosen field and the earning potential it offers. Some majors lead to higher-paying jobs than others and it is important to consider this factor when you are planning out your academic journey and future career.  

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the six most common bachelor’s degrees earned in 2020-21 were:

  1. Business
  2. Health
  3. Social Sciences
  4. Biological Sciences
  5. Psychology
  6. Engineering

Make sure to research the degree programs offered by the online colleges you’re considering to ensure they offer a program that aligns with your ambitions. Take your time to explore different options and speak to academic advisors if needed.

Find the Right Online Program for You

Each online college has a unique structure, and it’s essential to find a program that aligns with your needs and preferences. To narrow down your choices, you may want to consider:

  • Class Format
  • Support Services
  • Tuition and Financial Aid
  • Student Success Stories
  • Technology Requirements
  • Career Services

Once you’ve assessed these factors, create a shortlist of online colleges that align with your goals and preferences. Then, reach out to their admissions offices for further information and guidance on application deadlines, requirements, and other details. 

Choosing the best online college for you requires careful consideration and research. Take your time in this decision-making process to ensure that you find an online college that not only fits your educational needs but also sets you on a path toward success.