The emergence of the pandemic was an unexpected disaster that made people restrict human contact and encourage physical and social distancing. But the world didn’t stop turning because of an ongoing global health crisis. People found alternative methods to conduct their daily schedules. Educational institutes widely adopted distance learning, and Zoom lectures became prevalent. That’s why we have more students pursuing online degree programs than ever before. Since these digital studies are still a fresh experience for some, youngsters find the application procedure complicated. So, here we’ll guide you on how to apply for digital learning courses effectively. These techniques will remain important for students in 2021 and beyond.
Request for information
You’re encouraged to contact the college/university to request further information regarding the online program they offer. What’s in this distance learning course for you? How does it help you reach your career goals? Asking the right questions allows you to make a well-informed decision regarding your educational passageway. Inquire them about what’s expected of you during your tenure as a distant student. You wouldn’t wish to invest in the wrong program and delay meeting your academic objectives. The quality of the answers you receive will help you understand whether you’re making a smart investment or not. So, remember to ask honest and concrete questions.
Compare different programs
Different distance learning programs offer various incentives to students. That’s why you should consider the cost, duration, and coursework involved before reaching a decision. For instance, many colleges offer social work online masters in 2021 to prospective students. But the well-established institutes enable you to choose between traditional (32 months) and advanced (16 months) tracks. That’s why it’s essential to compare the features of different programs and choose a suitable one.
Find the right college
An unfortunate reality about distance learning programs involves scammers prepared to rip you off with false academic premises. That’s why it’s indispensable to practice caution while searching for the right college online. Don’t let your mind be seduced by every platform advertising “online degree” or website offering “online education.” Find institutes affiliated with national associations with a reputable background. For instance, students willing to pursue social work should look for CSWE accreditation before applying. Furthermore, it’s recommended not to put all your eggs in a single basket. Thus, do find your dream school while applying to different institutes just in case.
Check the deadline
Conventional educational programs involve one/two semesters every year. But distance learning programs often accommodate three/four (even five sometimes) semesters annually. Students get a flexible timeline throughout the year. But it would be best if you watched out for the forthcoming deadline. So, courses that begin in August/September have deadlines that end in June/July usually. Just don’t wait until the last moment to apply since you’ll have to arrange travel, funding, and residence as well.
Meet entry requirements
The next step entails you submitting the required documents online. You may have to upload them to a website/admission portal or send them via email. These requirements differ with the college you’re applying to, but they include – generally speaking – the following documents:
A curriculum vitae (CV)
Your passport (not original, of course)
GRE/GMAT (though some colleges have waived this one)
A bachelor’s degree (if you’re applying for the advanced track)
A personal statement (if the institute requires you attach one)
A motivational letter (in which you explain why you’re applying)
Reference letters (to make yourself more presentable during interviews)
Evidence of your competence in English comprehension (explained below)
Hone your linguistic skills
If English isn’t your first language, then you must polish your linguistic capabilities. Online recourses are available for attaining mastery in spoken English. But academic institutes will require you to take an accredited test as evidence of your language proficiency. Most colleges accept tests such as IELTS and TOEFL as a minimum requirement for international/distance students. This language aptitude helps you understand the program’s courses and makes learning a better experience for you.
Upload the application
After finishing all inquiries and collecting the required documents, it’s time to submit the application and wait for a response. Since you’ve applied to many colleges/universities, there’s no need to panic or become pessimistic. Students are realistic and realize that their dream institute won’t necessarily accept them. That’s why they apply to five to seven academic institutions to improve their chances of acceptance. Once again, it’s necessary to apply before the deadline expires.
Prepare for adventure
The waiting game concludes when you receive a response from the chosen college. Your selected institute will have three different answers to your application. In the most advantageous scenario, they’ll make you an offer – conditional or unconditional – and you’re in! In the second scenario, they’ll call you for an interview before confirming a place on the source. And lastly, the third scenario involves failure to be accepted. You must be prepared to encounter all the likelihoods. If you fail, it means you can apply again next year. So, it would be best if you spent your time finding internship/employment opportunities meanwhile. If accepted, then you must acquire the coursework outline and begin preparing.
Distance learning empowers students and allows them to control the direction in which their education goes. You can decide which subjects to learn or courses to choose. And you learn them without ever needing to leave the confines and comforts of home. Digital/distance education also requires around 40-60% less time than traditional education. Moreover, e-learning boosts students’ retention rate to 25-60%, making companies invest more in these programs. The digitization of education has enhanced the quality of erudition and enabled students to learn more effectively than in conventional settings. That’s why the younger generation will concentrate more on distance learning in the post-COVID world.