Preparing for Online College
If you are considering applying directly from high school to an online college or university in the United States, your post-secondary planning process should begin early. Online colleges and universities--or particular programs within an institution--can be more competitive and rigorous than you might expect; therefore, it's important to plan your high school courses accordingly. Your area of interest will determine what you should take. If you are considering a science or technology-based program, you should load up on courses in math, chemistry, physics and computers to ensure that you are well prepared for the schools that make your list. Communication skills are always important, in virtually every field, so don't forget your English! In general, English and math are the most-often required courses for all fields of university and college study. If you are going into a more general program--or don't know yet what you plan to study--then go for breadth: take courses across the curriculum in science, social science, humanities, creative arts and technology.
Taking the required courses, though, isn't necessarily enough; you should also keep your grades up. Some online colleges and universities in the US have open admission, but the online divisions at on-campus colleges and universities sometimes have the same undergraduate admissions requirements as the whole institution. Which involves a minimum cut-off average for general admission, and possibly competitive grade point average (GPA) for more in-demand programs. The competitive GPA can change from year to year as it is based on the quality of the applicant pool and space available in the specific program.
In addition to your academics, there are several additional things you can do to prepare for success in your application, regardless of whether it is for an online university, community college or career college program:
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