Online College Admission Process
METHODS OF CONTACT
While each school’s admissions department has a different practice for contacting potential students, here are some common methods you can expect:
- Phone Call: When the schools call, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone! Typically, you will be contacted by a College Admissions Advisor and not a sales representative. The advisors are there to answer your questions, schedule future appointments with you, help you make informed decisions about going back to school, and ultimately, help make the admissions process as easy as possible.
- E-mail: Many schools will send out an e-mail to make contact with potential students. Keep an eye out for incoming mail, and be sure to check your SPAM folder periodically to be sure you receive these e-mails (or turn off your SPAM blocks if you prefer).
- Mail: You may also receive a catalogue and paper application via US Mail from the schools.
STEP 1: THE FIRST PHONE CALL
During the first phone call, the Admissions/Enrollment Advisor/Counselor may want to schedule an interview time to speak with you. Otherwise, they may want to discuss the following during the first call and then schedule an interview at a later time:
- Selecting the right program for your career and life goals. Are you looking for a school that accepts low GPAs or does not require entrance exams. All things to consider.
- Your schedule and any time or life constraints for going back to school
FEATURED ONLINE COLLEGES & THEIR REQUIREMENTS
|Online College||GPA Requirement||Other Requirements|
|GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY||3.0|
|AMERICAN INTERCONTINENTAL UNIVERSITY||No GPA Listed|
|COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY GLOBAL CAMPUS||2.0|
|PURDUE UNIVERSITY GLOBAL||No Minimum Listed|
When you speak with the Admissions Advisor from each school, they should provide you with specific information regarding their school and its offerings. It’s a good idea to ask the same questions so you can make accurate comparisons.
The following list of questions will be helpful to you — you can print these out and write down the answers as you speak to each school.
QUESTIONS TO ASK ADMISSIONS OFFICERS
- What type of accreditation do you hold?
- Do you offer any scholarships?
- Do you offer Title Four funding (government financial aid)?
- If I do not qualify for financial aid, do you offer help with Private Loans?
- Do you accept transfer credits from _______ school? (if you have any to transfer)
- Do you offer any credit for life experience?
- Do you accept CLEP transfer credits?
- How long will it take to complete your program?
- What are your technology requirements?
- Do you have a career services department?
- Do you have academic advisors?
- Do you offer technical support?
- Are books included in my tuition?
- Will I have access to a library?
- How does your program work?
- What is the time investment associated with this program on a weekly basis?
Note: Be sure to let the Advisor know if you are Active Military or a Veteran.
STEP 2: APPLICATIONS AND FORMS
After you have spoken with the schools, there are several ways you can begin the Admissions/Enrollment process:
- It is not uncommon to receive an e-mail with the link to a school’s application site. Many schools have strictly enforced deadlines; however, do not be intimidated by this. These deadlines are established to separate serious students from non-serious students. Since the application should take only 10 minutes or so, take this opportunity to display your seriousness to the advisor.
- You may be asked to pay an application fee, depending upon the school’s requirements. Make sure you ask your representative if there are any fees associated with filling out the application.
- You may be asked to fill out financial aid paperwork. Some schools will complete your financial aid package prior to your acceptance, while other schools may wait until you are accepted.
- Always feel free to contact your Admissions/Enrollment Advisor/Counselor with any questions. Most will follow up with you to see what questions or concerns you may have.
- You may be asked to speak with a financial aid representative or a student accounts officer to set up a payment plan.
- Some schools may require you to take a short exam or write an essay.
STEP 3: ENROLLMENT PAPERWORK
When you have chosen and been accepted by the school you wish to attend, you will be asked to sign an enrollment agreement. This may be e-mailed or mailed to you, or you may be directed to complete it online at the school’s website.
This is typically a three to seven page document that contains your personal information, your program of interest, what the institution is promising you, and what your obligations to the institution are.
Once you sign the document (you may e-sign, or sign manually and fax or mail back), you are enrolled!
STEP 4: COURSE REGISTRATION
Most institutions will recommend which classes you should register for first. Others may let you select from the course catalog. Keep in mind that if your school recommends that you register for certain classes, it is best to do so according to their guidelines.
In most cases, you can register online or on the phone. Once your registration is complete, many schools offer an orientation course to familiarize you with their format. It is recommended that you complete this course, as it will serve to benefit you.
You might become anxious as your start date draws near. Just remember that this is normal, and that the first week of school might feel like culture shock. After a couple of weeks, you’ll assimilate school into your daily schedule and everything will begin to feel normal.
Simply keep reminding yourself:
- “My education will enable me to make more money over my lifetime.”
- “My education will enable me to move up the ladder in my company or get a better job.”
- “My education can empower me to provide autonomy.”
- “My accomplishment will inspire my children.”
You may even want to post it next to your computer or on your desk. Remember, in the words of Woody Allen, “80% of SUCCESS is showing up.”