Audience: High school students, adult learners, guidance counselors
Focus: Online college degree programs
Big Picture: While the site’s vast resources cover all aspects of traditional higher-education prep (college searches, financial aid, advice, and tips), it’s all filtered through the lens of getting an online degree. The site does a fine job of isolating some of the best programs and most sought-after degrees in the virtual college space. Its prep tools are geared toward young and adult learners alike, and the site provides further help for those looking for Christian or Catholic universities, schools that are traditionally African-American or all women, and programs for those with learning disabilities. A calculator section for figuring out required GPA or expected monthly student loan payments rounds out the site’s offerings.
Big Challenge Solved: Most colleges these days have online degree programs—they’re just not always that well advertised. This site has done the heavy work of collecting them all in one place, and provides solid advice for how to apply and get financial aid.
Must-Use: The most well-organized section of the site is the listing of schools with online programs by state—each state gets a brief write-up on all aspects of its collegiate offerings, followed by a comprehensive list of schools and their contact info.
Most Unique Tool: The Free Scholarship Searches section provides links to more than 70 scholarship-finder websites (listed alphabetically), each with a brief summary to help users pick and choose what makes the most sense.
Best Middle-School Student Tool: Click on Articles for Students and you’ll find a really great list of helpful columns to get kids thinking ahead, with such entries as “What Careers to Consider” and “Why Online Degree Programs Make Sense.”
Best High-School Student Tool: On the right side of almost every page you’ll see the Quick Degree Finder—enter some basic search criteria, then get kicked out to e-learners.com, where a list of colleges matching your interests awaits, with links to easily request more info.
Protip: Organizationally, the site is a bit muddled, so the best approach is to scroll down to the list of the top 10 most popular pages, and simply use those as springboards into further viewing—they cover everything that’s relevant anyway.