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How to further education or gain a higher degree while you have no time to attend a traditional university? In the past, many people could not get the balance between the two. Well, things have changed a lot today since online education has brought life into our dream – making it possible to receive education without leaving our home, just with a computer with internet access!

With the advancement of technology and the wide usage of internet, online education enjoys the popularity all over the globe. Students don’t have to attend traditional schools every day since the university/college degrees can be earned via internet. The one could gain his associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, doctor’s degree or master’s degree on a wealth range of majors through accredited online universities.

Why does online education get so popular? First, we should admit that full-time education today is no longer an option for everyone, particularly to those who need to balance their times among a multitude of jobs or have a lot of personal activities. Then an accredited online university offers them a simpler access to higher and further education at no cost of much time. Students attending online university or college can make the decision on their level and major of education, as well as when to take exams.

Apart from the freedom to handle “campus” life based on personal schedule, an accredited online university also gives all the benefits of traditional education. The certifications you finally receive are the same with those of full-time education.

Moreover, online university education is comparatively less expensive than the traditional one. Full-time university life usually costs a large sum of money and may get you financially stranded with the fees for tuitions, texts, books and other school expenses. However, in online universities, book cost is less expensive as you might not need paper books and texts, and the school fees are usually lower than full-time school education.

In spite of all the advantages of online education, your online university degree may be worthless if the university is not an accredited one! Accreditation, as the CHEA (the Council for Higher Education Accreditation) puts it, is “a review of the quality of higher education institutions and programs.” In the US, it is a major way that students and their parents judge whether a university or college provides quality education. The same holds true for online universities. Being accredited indicates that a specific online university meets the standards set by state approval agency for online education.

While attending online education from the accredited university often ensures you a good future in the career, a degree from an unaccredited online university means nothing. So students should look for some solid proof or evidence to make sure an online university is accredited. Then how to tell if an online university is accredited or not? Here is a step-by-step guide:

1. Visit the homepage of US Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions (ope.ed.gov/accreditation).

2. Click the option button on the right corner – “Get Data for One Accredited Institution/Campus/Site.”

3. Enter the name, address, city and state of the online university you are considering into the blank fields, and click Search then.

4. If this online university is accredited, you will see its accreditation date and other general info.

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