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Many people are heading back to school, whether to make themselves more competitive in the job market or to continue up the corporate ladder at their current companies. Although brick and mortar schools are still popular options for the returning student, online colleges are growing in popularity. Online schools offer more flexibility with class schedules, accelerated programs and the ability to complete schoolwork when it is convenient for the student.Another added perk -- since classes are taken from the comfort of home, the student saves on transportation costs such as gas since the student does not have to travel to a college campus to take classes.
When choosing an online degree, prospective students should be careful to pick a school that is regionally accredited, such as the top online colleges. Some online schools will tout national accreditation, which sounds like a good thing; however, regional accreditation is more desirable. Only regionally accredited online degrees and schools are recognized by the Department of Education and the Council on High Education Accreditation (CHEA). There are six regional accreditation agencies that grant accreditation for both online and brick and mortar schools. To find out if the school you plan to attend is accredited by one of these agencies, determine the state in which the school operates, and find which agency grants accreditation in that state.