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Students can Trial Distance Learning Degree Programs before Buying

Some online degree programs have increasingly been the target of criticism by education leaders who charge that they are enrolling students who aren’t ready for the challenges of distance learning.  Many students who enroll in online degree programs are unfamiliar with computer technology, email, and network security. As a result, they quickly drop out of college.

Students loans don’t disappear when the students leave college, however. Many students find themselves strapped with debts they cannot pay, and end up defaulting on these loans. In the past, since online universities got to keep the tuition fees, university authorities had little reason to keep students motivated or enrolled in their degree programs.

In response to this, as well as to allegations of fraud in federal loan applications, the U.S. Department of Education has announced new regulations that will deny federal aid to future students if the graduates or former students of those online universities default on loans or don’t earn enough money after they earn a college degree.

As a result, many online degree programs are beginning to offer students an academic trial period. Students can sign up for classes and participate in a three-week trial to decide whether or not they are ready for the rigors of a distance learning degree program before they pay tuition or take out student loans.While this will negatively impact enrollment numbers and the profit margin for some online universities, this should also help to decrease the number of students who start a degree program they can’t finish – and get stuck with repaying the tuition for years or decades to come.

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