When you begin considering all of your options for earning a bachelor’s degree in business online, you can easily get overwhelmed. When you’re not limited by geography, the possibilities seem endless – and that’s not always a good thing when you’re trying to make a decision.
Check Out College Rankings
When there are so many options that you’re not sure where to start your college search, looking at published rankings can help you begin the process of figuring out which schools and programs interest you. Naturally, you want to go to a great school, and finding out what business schools have earned high ratings is an important step.
A few of the most authoritative publications that produce rankings of business schools include:
- S. News & World Report
- The Sloan Consortium
- The Times of London
- The Princeton Review
- The Wall Street Journal
A college ranking list doesn’t have to be printed by a major publication to be valuable. Some of the best college rankings available online incorporate data from a variety of authoritative sources to provide a more complete picture of the school than a single publication’s ratings would. Just make sure any rankings you consult are credible and rely on data, and not simply opinions.
Once you have an idea of which schools you’re interested in attending, you can begin the process of narrowing down your options. One action you must take is to make sure any schools you’re considering have accreditation from the appropriate agencies.
Ideally, any college you choose will have institutional accreditation – that is, accreditation that applies to the school as a whole – from one of the six regional accrediting agencies recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The business program, in particular, should have earned programmatic or specialized accreditation from a recognized accrediting agency like the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
It’s essential that your school has the right kinds of accreditation. Otherwise, you may find that you’ve wasted all of your hard work earning a degree that potential employers won’t acknowledge or respect.
Narrow Down Your Choices
Once you’re sure every school on your list has appropriate accreditation, you can research each school further to narrow down your list of schools to a manageable number. Some factors you should consider include:
- Tuition rate. Cost of attendance isn’t the most important factor in college selection, but it can play a big role in making smart and realistic choices.
- Reputation. How do your potential employers view the schools you’re considering?
- Quality of online studies. Do you know what to expect from the online courses at the schools you’re comparing? Different schools approach online learning differently, so find out as much as you can before enrolling.
Of course, you don’t have to narrow down your list of colleges too much. There’s no reason prospective online students can’t apply to any number of schools that interest them.