You've done all the prep work -- you've gotten good grades in high school, scored well in the world of standardized testing, and been accepted into the college you want to attend -- so enjoy all your hard work while laying the groundwork for a successful college career. Don't be a statistic; be determined to make it through your freshman year -- and beyond. Take advantage of your network of new friends and professors, have fun while learning as much as you can, and get the most out of your college experience.
The University of Alabama is committed to delivering higher education in innovative and flexible formats—Bama by Distance is fulfilling that mission through diverse and accessible programs. As a distance learning student, you will interact with the same college professors and meet the same learning standards as an on-campus student and have access to the same UA resources. Top online degrees include:
Full-time students can typically earn an associate degree in two years. An online associate degree is ideal for those who have a high school diploma and who want to quickly gain practical career skills. Associate degrees are less expensive than a bachelor's degree, and many online community colleges offer programs that open the door to vocational and administrative support positions such as legal assistant, medical assistant, and medical biller and coder. An online associate degree program is also a cost-effective way to complete general education requirements before transferring to a four-year program.
Tuition rates vary by degree subject, but most courses cost the same per credit regardless of the student's state residency status. Military servicemembers and veterans qualify for discounted tuition rates and fee waivers. Additionally, prospective students with a military background seeking a non-nursing degree do not need to submit an application in order to earn admission.
Liberty University is one of many online colleges that offers flat-rate tuition for all online undergraduates regardless of their state residency status, and some RN-to-BSN students qualify for lower tuition rates. Additionally, police officers, EMS personnel, and other first responders receive a 25% tuition discount. Liberty University receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
With a focus on flexibility and accessibility,  CityU’s online classes are designed for working adults and students who need an education that will fit into their busy lives. CityU offers their online programs through a virtual classroom where students can log-in to check assignments, video, and discussions. Online students collaborate and discuss topics with one another and faculty on a portal within this virtual classroom and through the Blackboard system.
Located in Orlando, Florida, the University of Central Florida  (UCF) is an emerging preeminent research university and home to one of the top online programs in the country. UCF has been offering online programs for over 20 years and now serves over 8000 students online. Over 80 accredited online degree programs are now available at the undergraduate through postgraduate level.
CSU Global features a total of 26 online bachelor's and master's degrees, most of which concentrate in business-related fields. Undergraduate students choose from degrees in foundational fields such as accounting, business management, marketing, and project management. Opportunities for graduate students include degrees in advanced subjects such as healthcare administration, IT management, data analytics, and an organizational leadership executive track.
The University of Illinois Springfield takes accessibility seriously—and works to make transferring into programs as simple as possible. UIS has established relationships with many accredited institutions across the state of Illinois, making the transfer process seamless for students. And Joint Agreements mean that student in approved community colleges can be assigned a UIS advisor that help plan a course of study before they even begin studying at UIS.
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Texas-based Southwestern Assemblies of God University offers many different pathways for students seeking a religious degree. These include online undergraduate programs in fields such as Bible and theology, church ministries, and theological studies. Secular options include online bachelor's degrees in counseling, criminal justice, elementary education, and TESOL. Additionally, the university offers multi-concentration online bachelor's degrees in business administration and human services and 19 online master's and doctoral degrees.
All active-duty personnel and spouses qualify for in-state tuition. Many online bachelor's degrees at ECU are cohort-based, allowing students to take courses with the same group for the duration of their program. The university also offers a handful of video tutorials to help online students get started. East Carolina University receives regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
At Central Michigan University, undergraduate students can choose from 12 online bachelor's programs. These include degrees in specialized fields such as fashion merchandising and design, international relations, public and nonprofit administration, and a BS in community development track with three specialization options. The university also offers 13 online master's degrees and three online doctorates, most of which focus on business administration or education. Online students represent roughly 25% of CMU's total student population.
Kansas State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education and an online Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. Admission for both freshmen and transfer students requires a 2.0 GPA, and up to 60 credits may be transferred. The 56 credit Elementary Education program focuses on teaching K-6 in school settings. Graduates become eligible for a Kansas Initial Teaching License. Students must declare a 15 credit minor in a subject such as English or math. The 61 credit Early Childhood program centers on teaching birth to K, and working with families, daycare and related agencies. Courses in the programs include Classroom Assessment, Emerging Literacy and Behavioral Management. Online tuition through K-State Global is $436.40 per credit.
The University of Florida is one of many online colleges that offers a comprehensive selection of online degrees at the bachelor's level, master's level, and doctoral level. Opportunities for undergraduates include bachelor's degrees in popular fields such as business administration, computer science, nursing, and psychology. Students also enjoy online options in specialized fields such as fire and emergency services, microbiology and cell science, and sport management. Graduate students can choose from a total of 77 online master's degrees, most of which focus on STEM fields and specializations, and nine online doctorate programs.

Most online programs at the university follow a fast-track schedule consisting of eight-week terms in the fall and spring and four-week or eight-week sessions during the summer semester. This timetable enables students to focus on 1-2 courses at a time and potentially graduate at a faster pace. Most online bachelor's pathways are asynchronous and do not require any campus visits, but some may include mandatory on-campus exams or presentations.


A big problem for a lot of new students is a combination of homesickness and a feeling of not quite belonging. A solution? Consider joining a select group (and be careful not to go overboard) -- student organizations, clubs, sororities or fraternities, or sports teams. You'll make new friends, learn new skills, and feel more connected to your school.
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