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What Are Your Standards for Higher Education?

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In March 2011, Vice President, Joe Biden made a call to action to improve college graduation rates nationwide. The Vice President, who is making affordability and accessibility in education a top priority, emphasized the importance of ongoing student support in order to boost graduation rates. Prospective students can improve their own odds by setting standards now, so that the colleges they choose, meet their expectations.

Do you know what your standards are? If not, consider putting together a checklist based on the following criteria:

1. Affordability–Knowing how much tuition you can afford is important, but also, dig a little deeper and look for colleges committed to keeping the cost of course materials low. Look for flexible credit transfer programs, which can also reduce the number of credits (and associated costs) needed to graduate.

2. Accessibility–Decide if your schedule works best in a flexible online environment or a bricks-and-mortar institution. Be sure to anticipate what your schedule will look like, so you don’t create the potential of overwhelming yourself with an excessive course load. Quality over quantity is the most effective way to learn.

[Interested in teaching? This is a great resource for developing educators.]

3. Student Services–Find colleges known for providing superior student services, which begin at the time of enrollment and extend beyond graduation. This will come in handy if you have an unexpected life change or need a little extra guidance to complete your degree.

[If you’re looking for an online university that provides comprehensive student services, check out APU]

4. Accreditation–Know what accreditation means, particularly the difference between regional and national accreditation.

By setting your own standards for higher education now, you will be helping yourself get one step closer to crossing the graduation stage down the road.

By J. Thompson
Online Learning Tips Staff

J. Thompson is the Vice President of the Content team at American Public University. He earned an M.F.A in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in Los Angeles and performed his undergraduate studies in English literature, political science and business management between the University of New Mexico and East Carolina University. His career insights draw upon experience as a communications vice president supporting learning management, applicant tracking, and talent and leadership development for Bank of America and other Fortune 500 firms.

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