It is becoming more and more common for students to take online classes for college credit at traditional universities or colleges. The reasons for this practice vary from student to student but usually involve saving money or saving time. Online university courses are even offered by some traditional learning institutions as an alternative to physical attendance. When choosing an online college course, it is important to ensure that credit for the coursework will be granted by the college or university from which the ultimate degree will be earned.

There are many reasons for taking an online college course but taking classes through the internet does not mean that that a person plans on completing the degree online. Many students like to use the summer break to take some online university courses for requirements that could be more costly and time consuming if they took them through the college in which they are enrolled. In order to make sure the time and effort are not wasted, it is strongly recommended that the student make sure that the credits for online classes for college will transfer to their current universities or colleges.

Making sure that the college or institution offering the online college course is accredited is the first thing a student should do. There are several “diploma mills” and fraudulent online university courses that operate through the internet. There are also several organizations that confer accreditation status to institutions offering courses online and elsewhere. To have accreditation, an institution must have met certain educational standards, usually as dictated by the American Council on Education (ACE). If students wish to take online classes for college credit, they should make sure that the college to which they want the credit transferred will accept the course credit as well.

It is ultimately the decision of the university or college to which the student wants the credit for the online university courses transferred whether or not the course is acceptable. There are several factors that the college or university may consider to make this determination. It may require that the online college course is similar to a course offered in its curriculum. Most colleges and universities do not allow credits for online university courses to be applied for coursework directly related to the major but only for general requirements or electives. Transferred credits for online classes for college usually cannot exceed 30 – 50 percent of the student’s total credits needed to obtain a degree. The college or university to which the credits are being transferred may also take the grade point average (GPA) of the student into consideration when determining the acceptability of the course credit as well as the length of time that has passed since the course was completed.

Before taking online classes for college credit, the student must do a little research. There are many institutions that offer degrees which have their own online university courses and these may be the best way to make sure credit will be given for completion of the course. Asking the right questions can ensure that the time, effort and money invested in an online college course will not be wasted.

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