Tell if an Online Program Has a Good Reputation

Great online programs offer the flexibility and affordability that students need. Schools ranging from local community colleges to elite universities like Stanford University and the Georgia Institute of Technology offer individual classes and entire degrees.
Sometimes, though, it’s not immediately obvious whether a program is a valuable educational experience or an offering aimed at grabbing tuition money.​ Before sending out any applications, potential online students should understand how to distinguish between a great opportunity and a terrible mistake. They can do so by following these three tips.
1. Look at accreditation: This means that some outside organization has vouched for the quality of the education offered by a particular school.
If an institution can’t point to some accrediting body that stands behind it, it’s definitely not a good place to be. Even if they can, make sure that it’s a legitimate accreditor. 
[Learn how to tell if an online program is accredited.]
2. Explore rankings: U.S. News has been maintaining rankings of colleges​ since 1983. They are a very popular resource for traditional students looking to apply to a university campus, but they also have sets of rankings specifically devoted to the best online programs out there.
U.S. News even breaks down the regionally accredited programs they rank into bachelor’s degree programs, MBA programs and graduate school programs in various disciplines,​ to make it easy to find schools that excel within the right niche.
3. Ask around: Before investing in an education, students should already have an idea …