Enrolling in an online program can be daunting since there are so many diploma mills in cyberspace.
Will employers accept my online degree?
Money doesn’t grow on trees, and you can’t turn back time. Mistakenly attending a phony online school without knowledge can waste resources and delay employment acquisition or career growth.
It’s good that many legitimate traditional institutions are offering online degree programs.
The Indiana University system is one of those, and it offers 200+ online programs, from certificates to doctorates, through IU Online, its virtual campus.
Accredited by a Recognized Agency
Indiana University Online is far from being a diploma mill.
It has accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the same one that IU’s physical campus in Bloomington, Indiana (as well as its other campuses in the state) has.
There are three things you need to know about HLC:
- The US Department of Education recognizes it
- The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) recognizes it
- It’s one of the six regional accrediting bodies in the United States
Speaking of which, the regional accreditation of IU Online is more prestigious than national accreditation.
You can seamlessly transfer credits you earn from it to another regionally accredited college or university. It means that no money goes to waste, and you can graduate within the projected timeline.
Graduate schools will also gladly accept your IU Online bachelor’s degree.
Highly-Ranked Online Undergraduate Programs
IU Bloomington, the physical campus, has numerous decent rankings.
For instance, US News ranks it #73 in National Universities and #34 in Top Public Schools. It also ranks many of IU Online’s undergraduate programs well, the highest being Marketing (#3).
Niche, meanwhile, ranks it #35 in Top Public Universities in America and #2 in Top Public Universities in Indiana. It also ranks it #1 in Top Party Schools in Indiana.
However, that becomes useless for those who are attending its online campus.
IU Online has a couple of institutional rankings from US News:
- #21 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs
- #34 in Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans
US News also recognizes two of IU Online’s excellent undergraduate programs:
- #8 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Psychology Programs
- #20 in Best Online Bachelor’s in Business Programs
Having good college rankings is fantastic.
However, you should not pick IU Online or any other online school based on their rankings. Instead, choose one based on offered programs, cost of attendance, flexibility of classes, and accreditation.
Over 30 Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Non-traditional learners can choose from 209 programs from IU Online.
However, high school teens getting ready for college or adults seeking an undergraduate degree for the first time should note that only around 18% (37) of those are online bachelor’s degrees.
The bulk of IU Online’s offerings are certificates, making up about 47% (98) of all offerings.
Some of the most popular online majors include:
- Public Administration
- Computer and Information Sciences
- Liberal Arts and Humanities
- Public Health
Online Degrees That Don’t Look Online
What’s awesome about your undergraduate degree from IU Online is that none of your peers and prospective employers have to know that you earned it by sitting in front of your laptop at home!
Your diploma and transcript look similar to those from IU’s physical campus.
So, in other words, you won’t find the word “online” on them.
Industry-Relevant Online Programs
IU Online says that around 94% of its graduates have jobs within the first three months of graduating.
Because many of its degree programs are practical and industry-relevant, unemployment is usually the least of the worries of those with a UI Online bachelor’s degree.
Some of the well-known companies where graduates work include:
- BMW Group
- TIU Group
Online Classes Come in Various Forms
Just because IU Online University is a school operating on the internet doesn’t mean a non-traditional student like you won’t be able to experience what it’s like to be a traditional college student.
Although there are totally virtual classes, there are also hybrid classes.
100% Online Classes
Most IU Online courses take place entirely virtually.
Yes, you don’t have to step foot inside a physical classroom at any given time throughout your program.
Fully online classes are asynchronous.
Also sometimes referred to as self-paced, these classes do not require students to log in on specific times or days — you can study when it’s convenient and whenever you feel like it.
Yes, it’s perfect for adults busy with their careers or families.
But be warned: you will have to stick to predetermined due dates!
Hybrid Classes vs. Video Classes: What’s the Difference?
Many traditional institutions with online programs have a particular definition of hybrid classes.
Typically, they require online students to take virtual and physical classes — some days or sessions take place over the web, while others happen inside physical classrooms.
At IU Online, hybrid classes mean combined asynchronous and synchronous classes.
It means you can log on to read course material or accomplish your homework at certain times, while you must log on to the internet to attend a virtual class through live video at others.
Still, hybrid classes do not involve online students going to a physical classroom.
Video classes, on the other hand, are real-time classes administered through live video.
You cannot go online at a time or day you find convenient — throughout the semester, you will have to log on at specified times or days with your classmates and professor.
Cost of Attendance and Aid
How much it will cost to earn a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University Online can vary.
Some online schools charge students the same tuition no matter where they are in the United States or on the planet, although it’s not unlikely for some of their online programs to be pricier.
Cheaper for Indiana Residents
Because IU Online is the virtual campus of a public research university, things are different.
As expected, its online programs are cheaper for in-state students.
Let’s take a look at the average tuition costs according to residency:
|Cost Per Unit
However, your home address is not the only one that affects the cost of attending IU Online.
Different programs have different rates, too — generally speaking, the most in-demand and competitive online undergraduate degree programs are some of the most expensive.
For instance, in-state students enrolled in IU Online’s RN to BSN online program pay $350.00 per unit instead of $290.00, which is the usual for most other online programs.
On the other hand, out-of-state students in the same program pay higher: $455.00 per unit.
Fill Out the FAFSA to Get Aid
Like students applying to IU Bloomington’s physical campus, applicants to IU Online are also eligible to apply for financial aid. Whether or not they will qualify for it is an entirely different matter.
As with attending a traditional college, applying for scholarships entails filling out the FAFSA form.
You can complete the FAFSA before you apply to IU Online.
Once you get accepted into it as an online student, its financial aid office will review the details on your FAFSA form to determine how much financial assistance you can receive.
The same process applies to veterans, active service members, and the people they support.
Besides submitting a completed FAFSA form, they may also get in touch with IU Online’s Center for Veteran and Military Students to obtain information on financial assistance and other VA benefits such as:
- Post-9/11 GI Bill
- Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty
- Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve
- Veteran Readiness and Employment
- Survivors’ and Dependents’ Assistance
How to Get Into IU Online
IU Online offers rolling admissions.
It means there is no hard deadline to apply, making the application process less stressful than for its physical campus.
Here’s another thing that makes applying a breeze: fewer admission requirements.
You don’t have to worry about whether or not your SAT or ACT scores are high enough or whether or not your letters of recommendation highlight your personality, academic achievements, and potential enough.
IU Online’s admissions officers do not care about those.
However, the application process varies from one online undergraduate degree program to the next, meaning that some programs may require you to submit certain documents.
For instance, your intended program may ask you to submit an essay.
I can’t find any information on the acceptance rate at IU Online. What I’m sure about, though, is that around 82% of students applying to IU Bloomington end up getting in successfully.
Since IU Online has fewer admission requirements, it may be safe to assume it has a higher acceptance rate.
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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.