What Are Correspondence Colleges?

Students who are unable to attend an on-campus college program may be interested in correspondence colleges. Read below to find out more about these educational opportunities.

Correspondence Colleges - The Basics

Correspondence colleges make it possible for students to complete courses and degree programs from the comfort of home. Due to a variety of reasons, students may be unable to attend classes on a traditional college campus. Using a number of methods, correspondence colleges help students complete coursework without being physically present on campus. Although most correspondence colleges use an online format, some courses may be administered using postal mail.

Important Facts About Correspondence Colleges

Programs Professional development, personal enrichment
Possible Courses Accounting, astronomy, introduction to mass media, U.S. History, general psychology
Levels of Study Undergraduate and graduate
Key Skills Time-management skills, focus, and self-motivation are important for correspondence study

Online Courses

Online courses are delivered and completed using a personal computer that has access to the Internet. These courses allow students to work at their own pace and save work as they go. Some programs may also administer students' exams online using special software that allows the exams to be timed. One benefit of an online course is that students can access their coursework from any computer connected to the Internet. This format is often more efficient than other correspondence methods because of the immediacy of electronic communication. Most online programs do not require students to be present at a scheduled time.

Mail-Based Correspondence Courses

Traditional correspondence courses are generally delivered through the mail system. Some programs may also be equipped to fax course materials or e-mail them as an attachment. Students then complete their coursework manually and send it back to be evaluated. Because of the emergence of online courses, correspondence courses have become less common. Some students prefer this format because they believe that it offers an educational experience that is the most similar to an on-campus program.

Correspondence College Options

Most correspondence colleges also offer traditional, on-campus programs, which means that the school has students who attend classes on campus. While there are schools that offer online programs exclusively, it is important to verify that these programs are properly accredited. Many online schools purportedly offer quality academic degree programs but are nothing more than diploma mills. You can check a school's accreditation by looking it up on the website of the National Center for Educational Statistics (www.nces.ed.gov).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

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    • Master

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    • Maryland: Columbia
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  • South College

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    Popular programs at South College:

    • Bachelor Degrees
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  • Louisiana State University Shreveport

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    Popular programs at Louisiana State University Shreveport:

    • Master

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