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Supplement an On-Campus Education With Online Courses

Which on-campus student are you? Student A: The one who wants to complete college as quickly as possible to spearhead a career and save money. Student B: The student majoring in two, three or even four degree fields who is looking to add credits to his or her schooling. Student C: The student who would like to take more classes within his or her degree field to gain further specialization or skills to impress graduate schools.

No matter which type of on-campus student you are, supplementing your college classes with online courses is likely a great idea – even if that’s by adding an online course to an already full course load. In the long run, you’ll have more flexibility and the ability to accomplish your goals within a reasonable time frame with online courses.

Upon reflection, I should have done on-campus and online courses in tandem throughout my entire college career, not just because I needed to my senior year.

I was student B. My worst fear as a student was being told that I had to stay longer and complete more classes because I misunderstood the course load required. I was limited to finishing my degree within four years if my education was to be covered by my scholarship. Any longer meant I would have to scramble for financing.

[Discover scholarships for online students.]

But once I got to senior year, I found I still needed six credits to complete my double major of politics and economics and would likely have to stay another semester. Nonetheless, there was a lot on the line: the cost of tuition and housing for another semester, and a lost opportunity to start my career.

Upon investigation, I found an online class that would meet my requirements and align with my interests: Introduction to Geology. At first, I was discouraged about adding this course to my already heavy course load, but over time, I realized there are many benefits to supplementing in-person learning with online education.

Based on my experience, here are three reasons to pursue both education pathways at once.

1. You can complete required general education courses on your own time. Taking online courses can allow you to manage a challenging course load a bit better because they are often self-paced and offer flexibility. You can focus on your heavy course load and complete general course requirements while delving deeper into your chosen field in person.

[Learn four time management tips for online students.]

2. You can stay on track to graduate with a double or triple major. While it’s true that graduating with multiple majors takes discipline and may require a few more classes, it also allows you to broaden your career prospects and explore more fields. In my case, the flexibility of an online course was the saving grace to finishing my double major on time so I didn’t have to spend another semester neglecting my career.

3. By completing your degree faster, you’ll save money. Think of all that goes into paying for college: tuition, fees, housing expenses and the opportunity cost of not launching a career. That’s thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars on the line. Sure, you’ll pay slightly more upfront for the additional online courses, but in the long run – when considering housing and career opportunity loss – the faster you complete your bachelor’s, the more money you save.


U.S. News Data: Graduation From Online MBA Programs

U.S. News released its 2017 Best Online MBA Programs today, offering prospective students insight into tuition and fees, admissions, class sizes and more for 239 ranked programs.

Experts say many online students want to progress quickly toward a credential. They often juggle their education with a full-time job, and an online degree becomes a convenient path to a promotion or career change.

[Discover how online learning can help adults switch careers.]

But how quickly students progress through online MBA programs varies. U.S. News has data on the online MBA programs with the highest three-year graduation rates and where students graduate in the shortest time.

The only program with at least 25 enrolled students to report a three-year graduation rate of 100 percent was the University of Nevada—Reno. Because online programs don’t typically operate around fall and spring semesters like traditional graduate schools, the data below refer to students who started between July 2012 and June 2013 and finished within three years.

The average graduation rate among the ranked online MBA programs with at least 25 students was 63 percent.#

Among online MBA programs that ranked in the top 50, the most common duration for students to graduate was two years, followed by 2.5, U.S. News data show. No schools that ranked in that range reported graduation times of less than 1.5 years.

The Stetson School of Business and Economics at Mercer University—Atlanta was the only online MBA program ranking in the top 100 to report a most frequent duration of just one year. And Stevens Institute of Technology, which tied with Mercer at No. 78, was the lone program with a typical student graduation time of 4.5 years or more.



Interesting Things About Famous Conjoined Twins Abby And Brittany Hensel

doctors never expected that these conjoined twins would survive for so long.


Their Newborn Was Covered In Hundreds Of Birthmarks, But Look At Her 19 Years Later…

Ciera was born with birthmarks which cover about 70% of her body.


The 16 Rules of Modern Etiquette

1. Never come to visit without a call.

If you’ve ever gotten a surprise visit, you might have been caught off-guard wearing a robe and slippers. One British lady liked to say that when she saw an unexpected guest, she would put shoes on, take a hat, and grab an umbrella. If the person was pleasant, she exclaimed: “Ah well, I just came!”. If not, she said: ’Ah, what a pity I should go!’


Consider Employer Partnerships in Online Degree Programs

When Matt Tharp researched online MBA programs, employment prospects were a priority.

He eventually selected the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University—Bloomington – not just because of its robust career services, he says, but also for its strong reputation with employers.

“Employers already showed up routinely to recruit full-time students, and the ability to leverage that was one place that was of value,” says the 28-year-old Illinois resident, who recently accepted a consulting job offer and expects to graduate this year.

Whether prospective students seek a career change or plan to stay in their current field, experts say assessing an online degree program’s employer partnerships can be beneficial – especially as career aspirations remain the primary reason students pursue a degree online, according to a 2016 survey from the Learning House and Aslanian Market Research.

Through partnerships, a company might, for example, host virtual networking and recruiting events for online students. In turn, the university might offer discounted tuition, job-focused course material and a simplified application process to the company’s employees.

Sometimes, experts say, employers even provide input on the curriculum to ensure the program meets career needs – especially in online, competency-based programs, which focus on developing concrete job-specific skills.


Today’s employers more frequently partner with online degree programs than in the past as respectable schools launch online options, says Ramesh Venkataraman, chairman of the online MBA and business master’s programs at Kelley.

“More and more of the companies are realizing that there’s a talent pool that they have not always tapped,” Venkataraman says. “Since competition for talent is always so tough, especially top talent, some more forward-looking companies are actually realizing that this is actually a competitive advantage for them.”

“When we get to start working with an employer, we’ll find out what their core needs are,” says Jennifer Lasater, vice president of employer and career services at the for-profit Kaplan University, which delivers many degrees online. “Obviously when they’re coming to us, a lot of times they’re looking to hire, but there could be additional benefits, like posting jobs for students, having online information sessions with us.”

These partnerships are common at the for-profit Strayer University, which grants online degrees and where several thousand students enroll with reduced or covered tuition from employers across multiple industries, says Karl McDonnell, chief executive officer at Strayer Education, Inc.


Assessing a program’s employer partnerships not only benefits online students planning to switch careers entirely, but also those want to stay where they are for the time being, experts say.

“You may be very happy with your employer right now,” says Corinne Snell, assistant dean for student professional development at the Temple University Fox School of Business, which has an online MBA program. “But perhaps down the road you might want to consider different growth opportunities.”

Laurie Ryan, a bachelor’s student at Drexel University Online, received a substantial tuition discount when she enrolled – both for herself and her daughter, who’s also a student. That’s because Beebe Healthcare, where she works as an employee health and benefits assistant, has a partnership with Drexel.

“As you can imagine, working full time, trying to pay your bills, trying to put your kid through school – 40 percent knocked off of your tuition right off the top is just huge for us,” Ryan says.

There are a few ways prospective online students can research employer partnerships. Those who are already working can consult human resources at their company to find out about employer relationships, says Susan Aldridge, president of Drexel University Online, which partners with about 1,000 employers.

Those aiming to switch career fields or companies can also reach out to potential online programs and ask about the school’s relationships with different types of organizations and where alumni work, Aldridge says. Experts say many programs will list their employer partnerships online, and many companies list academic partnerships.

Beyond that, prospective online students should research the online faculty to understand possible networking connections, says Glenn Williamson, faculty director of the master’s in real estate program, which is offered online, at the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies.


“That gives them a sense of what kind of insight they might be able to pick up through the program,” he says, “and how the insights could help them through their future networking as well.”

But Shannon Gallo, manager of career services at the CUNY School for Professional Studies, which offers online degrees, says evaluating a program’s career and professional development services in general and their availability to online students is more essential than researching specific relationships.

“I think it’s more important for a student to look at how they would be supported in their own job search efforts, whatever they may be,” she says.


Ask 3 Career Questions When Choosing an Online Program

Pursuing a degree online can be a great solution for those who cannot attend an on-campus program. I decided to pursue my MBA while living abroad in Saudi Arabia as a way to advance my career – and because class sessions for the U.S. program were held late at night for me, minimizing the effect on my family.

But before you embark on this journey, you need to determine what your career objectives are and if the online programs you are considering will fulfill those needs. Here are three career-related questions to ask before pursuing an online education.

1. What field do you want to pursue, and what credentials do you need? It’s important to determine your main objectives for pursuing an online degree and your career expectations for once you graduate. Consider whether potential programs meet both of these criteria.

On that note, you should determine the academic credentials necessary to either advance your position at your current company or change careers. Though you might need an online degree to truly expand your network and career trajectory, you may be able to accomplish your needed training through a lower-cost certification program or another credential.

[Discover 10 types of credentials you can earn online.]

I chose to pursue my degree through the MBA@UNC program because of the strength of the alumni network, its high ranking and the job placement numbers. Those figures – which you can get from career services – will give you an idea of a program’s ability to help you find employment, or to improve your negotiation skills and resume if you are looking to advance in your current role.

2. How much does it cost, and how much would you make? You should research and weigh the expected salary increase you anticipate receiving after completing the online program versus the overall program cost. Are the long-term career salary benefits great enough to justify the cost of the online program you are interested in?

Approach this as you would being asked in a job interview about expected salary. Be conservative with your anticipated expected salary increase so that you do not overinflate your expected returns and make a poor long-term decision.

3. Can you balance your current career with your online education? Online programs require many hours of work a week during the semester. So, when evaluating your level of interest and availability – especially if you have a job – take that into account.

[Explore the weekly number of hours online students study.]

Succeeding in an online program requires more self-discipline than a traditional program requires. In my experience, you need to be adept at time management and work delegation. If you live outside of the time zone of the program you are pursuing, as I do, you may need to even be able to manage long-term sleep deprivation – my program took 27 months to complete – and ensure you are equipped to handle the course load without it hurting your performance at work.

The takeaway: Online programs can be very rewarding in advancing your career and providing you the flexibility to pursue a degree. However, you need to carefully consider your motivations and expectations for the degree as well as your true level of commitment to complete the program.


Map: 25 Universities Where Grads Have the Least Debt

Student debt continues to rise alongside the cost of tuition – an unsettling picture for many prospective students.

According to a recent report by Institute for College Access and Success, known as TICAS, seven in 10 seniors graduate with student loans. The report found that the average debt for the class of 2015 was $30,100 – up 4 percent from the previous year.

The average debt burden among the 25 National Universities where students who borrowed graduated in 2015 owing the least was $18,587, U.S. News data show. That’s almost 40 percent less than the student debt average reported by TICAS.

New Jersey’s Princeton University had the fewest students graduating with debt in 2015, according to the 263 National Universities that submitted these data to U.S. News in an annual survey. Only 16 percent of Princeton students graduated last year with any type of loan. Of those grads who borrowed, the average total indebtedness was $8,577.


Nearly two-thirds of these 25 schools are four-year public institutions. On average, tuition and fees as an in-state student at a public institution in 2016-2017 cost $9,130 – far less than the average private institutions charged: $33,635.

Even though the University of Texas—Arlington comes in second in terms of graduates with the least amount of debt in 2015 – $14,743 – 84 percent of its graduates completed their degree with student loans.

While private colleges often charge more in tuition and fees, sometimes these schools are better at assisting students with financial need, experts say.


In fact, more than half of Ivy League students in 2015 graduated without any type of loan. Around 40 percent or less of 2015 grads at these schools took on any federal student loan.

Experts say elite schools – such as Harvard University or Princeton, to name a couple – have larger endowments to assist students from lower and middle-income backgrounds with financial support.

Prospective students and their families interested in learning more, can use the map below to explore schools that graduate students with lower student debt burdens.

Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report. RNP denotes an institution that is ranked in the bottom one-fourth of its ranking category. U.S. News calculates a rank for the school but has decided not to publish it.


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The Military Diet That Will Make You Lose 10 Pounds In 3 Days.

#1 Breakfast- DAY 1

1/2 grapefruit
1 slice toast
2 tablespoons peanut butter
coffee or tea (any brew, as long as it’s caffeinated)

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