Online degrees could complicate grad school prospects
- Competitive schools of law, medicine and business may be slower to admit students for graduate study, who have earned undergraduate degrees exclusively through distance learning, even if awarded by accredited, well-known institutions.
- In most cases, graduate admissions officers will consider the ranking of an institution and the rigor of coursework, in addition to the applicant's context for choosing online learning, in consideration of admission.
- Johns Hopkins School of Medicine does not accept online classes for prerequisite requirements, a sign that some experts say speaks to the value of students' ability to engage in classroom and laboratory settings.
Graduate school enrollment, for many institutions, is the financial and research foundation for an institution. Many schools rely upon professional school enrollment to boost national rankings, strengthen opportunities to earn designations from the Carnegie Foundation, and to help in increasing campus diversity ratios among students and instructors.
These areas bolster the prestige and external funding opportunities for institutions, and while there may conflict with the growing culture of online degree access and cost management, universities will have to rethink their approach to a growing new faction of higher education. And, as 2U has shown in its online grad program partnerships with elite institutions, post-graduate studies aren't exempt from the growth in high-quality online learning options.
- U.S. News & World Report What grad schools think of your online bachelor's degree