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When you initially visit Classes USA, you see tabs showing t hat they offer information on the following:
- Associate Degree
- Bachelor's Degree
- Master's Degree
- Doctoral Degree
When you click on one of these programs, you will be taken to a listing of schools and the specific degrees offered. For example, clicking on the "Master's" tab brings you to a page with all of the schools offering online Master's degrees and in what field they are offered. Under American Continental University, there is listed a Master of Education: Educational Assessment and Evaluation. Clicking on that link takes you to the school's page where you can register for information. Each school listing also includes a link that says "Request Info" that also takes you to the school's informational page.
Going back to the home page, you can also search based on the type of program offered. Some of the listings on the main page include:
- Criminal Justice & Legal
- IT, Science & Engineering
- Web & Graphic Design
- A last option says "All Online Degrees", and here you will see an alphabetical listing of schools and a drop down list of the program topics offered.
Most of what you can access through this site only brings you to the school's page, where you fill out your contact information to request information. You can not directly access any specific information on costs, classes offered, or application information. This is just a starting point to see which schools offer specific programs.
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NexTag is actually a site set up as a comparison shopping site. One of the offerings at the top of their homepage, however, is "Degrees". Once you click on the "Degrees" link, you will come to their page for comparing online degree programs. There is a drop down menu where you choose your specialty (business, health & human services, education, etc) and if you fill out a form. Then they will send you free information from matching schools. On this same page, you will see a listing of programs offered and the schools participating with the site. Once you click on a program of interest, say education, you then can choose the degree level you are interested in. By clicking on the particular program/school, you are taken to an informational page about the program and school. This does offer a little more information than you can access with Classes USA, because you also see:
- contact information for the school
- number of credits needed for graduation
- average cost per credit hour
- accrediting agency for the school
- enrollment calendar, with general information on start dates
- type of school (private, public)
There is also a link to the school's site to request additional information. With the information provided about the individual school and programs, NexTag offers a bit more information to the student, making it easier to make an informed decision. As someone who is considering an online degree, I especially like the information on the number of credits required to graduate and the average cost per credit hour. This makes it easier to decide on the financial impact of an online education.
For some tips on learning what to watch out for when looking for an online degree program, read "How to Avoid Unaccredited Degrees".
Online College Information: Review of Classes USA and NexTag
Many factors come in to play when trying to decide on the right online college degree for you. Here is a list of references to assist you in your decisions.