FAQs

We’ve got answers to all of the questions you may have…learn more about getting started with OnlineDegree.com

1. General

2. Taking Courses

3. Earning Credits

1. General

If I’ve Taken Some Units At Community College, Can I Still Enroll?

Of course! Our courses at OnlineDegree.com are free and available to everyone. Courses completed from a community college could possibly be combined with the courses you complete at OnlineDegree.com to maximize the amount of credit you receive at your eventual university. You should check with your desired university beforehand though to understand what’s possible to obtain eventual credit and any guidelines they have (e.g. how many units can be awarded, if they’ll award credit for the completed courses you desire to take, does that change based on your major, etc.) You can also see our Full Transfer Guide for more details.

Sounds Too Good To Be True, How Can OnlineDegree.com Be Free?

We love hearing that 🙂 ! Our mission is to make college more affordable and accessible for the millions of adults who want a better life. Tuition is a huge barrier for many people, and often prevents someone from taking that first step towards a degree. We’ve worked tirelessly to keep all of our courses and accompanying books free to students. That commitment has resulted in removing those common hurdles, and helping our students potentially save thousands of dollars towards their eventual degree. We are boldly exploring other means of keeping the lights on outside of the traditional tuition model, and OnlineDegree.com will always be 100% tuition-free to our students. Period.

Are There Prerequisities or Things I Need To Learn Before Enrolling?

No! All of our college-level courses are introductory and meant for beginners without backgrounds in the particular subjects. You don’t need to prepare, or take anything before.  As long as you have your GED/High School Diploma, you can just register, choose the courses you want, and begin learning.

How Long Does it Take to Enroll?

Less than a minute. No essays, no entrance exams, no interviews, and no tracking down high school transcripts from 20 years ago. Just register and start taking courses. It’s that easy.

Do I Need to Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident to Enroll?

Yes. Currently, OnlineDegree.com is only available to U.S. citizens (living in or outside of the U.S.), or international students living within the United States as a permanent resident.

We’re working on expanding that, and we’ll update the site soon when things have changed.

What If I’m an International Student Outside of the United States?

Sorry, we’re not yet able to accept international students living outside of the United States.  Currently, OnlineDegree.com is available to U.S. citizens (living in or outside of the U.S.), or international students living within the United States.

We’re working on it, and we’ll update the site soon when things have changed.

Does This Guarantee Ill Be Accepted at an Eventual University?

No, no one can guarantee your acceptance other than the actual university where you’re applying. They always have the final decision. Each university has different guidelines and requirements on how they admit students into their school. This can include GPA, SAT/ACT scores, extracurricular activities you’ve participated in, etc. At many universities, transfer students have higher rates of acceptance vs freshman enrolling out of high school. That means earning units at a community college or through OnlineDegree.com can potentially increase your odds of getting into the school you want. Ask the eventual university where you’re applying to find out what things they take into consideration.

What if I’m Already Enrolled at a University?

You should first contact your university and see what their policy is for obtaining credits while you’re enrolled.   If so, direct them to the NCCRS website to inquire if they’ll accept the course(s) you’d like to take towards your current major.

What if I’m Currently in High School and Haven’t Finished My Diploma/GED?

OnlineDegree.com is only available to adults age 18 and over who’ve completed their high school diploma or GED equivalent.  Our courses are designed to be college-level, and universities will require you to have completed your diploma or GED equivalent before you can enroll to their schools.  It’s fantastic that you’re thinking about college, and we’ll be here when you’re finished with high school.

Do I Have to Pay for Textbooks?

Nope! At OnlineDegree.com we firmly believe in the Open Educational Resourse (OER) movement that strives to provide free collaborative and peer-reviewed textbooks to alleviate student costs. All of our reading material to accompany each course has purposely been chosen to be OER. It is thus free and there is no cost to the student in it’s digital format.

What If I’m Under 18 Years Old?

It’s awesome that you’re already thinking about college, but unfortunately, OnlineDegree.com is only for adults age 18 and up who’ve completed high school or a GED equivalent. We’ll be here though when you’re old enough!

Is There a Cost to Taking the Courses at OnlineDegree.com?

Nope! It’s totally free to take as many courses as you want. We wanted to make sure it’s accessible to everyone regardless of their financial situation.  Enroll in as many as you’d like.

Are There Any 3rd-Party Fees?

It’s completely free to take all of the courses, the textbooks, and generate a transcript. However, when you take a final exam, a 3rd-party online proctoring service, RPNow, needs to monitor you to make sure there’s no cheating. It’s standard practice for all online testing at the college-level. We’ve negotiated the fee on your behalf, and they will only charge you a small fee of $9. OnlineDegree.com though doesnt charge you anything for taking as many courses as you’d like…no fees or tuition, ever, period.

Is OnlineDegree.com a University?

Nope! OnlineDegree.com doesn’t offer degrees like a university. We help people get started with their education by offering free college-level courses and potentially obtaining units towards their degree at a university. You can take courses on our site without the lengthy enrollment, applications or interviews that are required at universities.  It’s simple and takes less than 60 seconds to get started.  You’ll learn about a variety of cutting edge topics and courses, be better prepared to enroll at a university, and can potentially obtain units towards your degree (saving a ton of time and money!).

Is OnlineDegree.com Really Free?

Yep! It’s free to take as many courses as you want. Our goal is to make college more affordable and approachable for the millions of people that want to go to school. We’ve made sure it’s accessible to everyone regardless of their financial situation. Enroll in as many as you’d like.

2. Taking Courses

Are There Schedules or Set Class Times for OnlineDegree.com Courses?

Nope! No class schedules, and no fixed times. Our courses are available anytime, and completely self-paced. We understand how busy adults are, and we’ve created our system to accomodate anyone’s schedule. Our system always keeps track of your progress…grab a sandwich, go see a movie, etc. When you come back online, you’ll pick up right where you left off.

How is My Grade Calculated?

Your grade takes three things into consideration: Attendance/Participation, Quizzes, and the Final Exam. When you complete the course and then finish your Final Exam, your grade will be automatically calculated so you know whether you received a passing grade of 70% or more.

What Does it Mean to Successfully Complete a Course?

You must earn a passing grade of at least 70% (C-) to complete the course. We calculate your final grade by combining your attendance (going through each lesson and topic), your grade from each quiz, and your final test.

What Happens If I’m Caught Cheating?

OnlineDegree.com takes cheating very seriously as it ultimately ruins the educational experience for everyone. We have a zero-tolerance policy for cheating or plagiarism. In our commitment to academic integrity, any students caught or suspected to have cheated or plagiarized work will immediately receive a failing grade, be removed from any enrolled courses, any completed courses will be revoked, and will be kept on record to prevent enrollment in the future.

3. Earning Credits

If I Choose the Excelsior College Transcript Does That Mean I’ve Taken Courses From Excelsior?

No. We have a partnership with Excelsior College where they will produce your OnlineDegree.com Transcript on their official university letterhead. That means when you take this to a university it will be a document from Excelsior College, but will indicate the courses were taken at OnlineDegree.com. This is a better option than our printed transcript since it’s from an accredited university, and we highly recommend them.

Could I Receive Credit Towards a Community College or Associate’s Degree?

Yes! Our courses have earned a recommendation for credit from NCCRS (the National College Credit Recommendation Service) whose recommendations are considered by over 1400 accredited colleges and universities in the United States…many of which are community colleges that offer an Associates Degree, and many 4-year Universities that offer Associate Degrees. We’ve also organized direct relationships with universities like Ashworth College and Southern New Hampshire University that offer online Associate Degree programs and have agreed to accept our courses for college credit. This provides our students with many options around the country, and we’re working to add more universities all the time.

Is There a Limit to How Many Credits I Can Potentially Receive?

According to the NCCRS, it varies depending on your eventual university. For example, some colleges and universities do not have official policies limiting the number of credits which can be received through transfer. Many colleges do report a maximum amount, and is usually 15 to 30 credits for a four-year degree program (30 units is usually equivalent to the freshman year) Institutions may also limit the amount of credit granted toward any given subject area or degree. We suggest you review your university’s policy beforehand to plan your optimal path for earning the maximum amount of credit.

Do the 1400+ Schools Through the NCCRS Guarantee Credit?

No, they don’t guarantee that participating universities and colleges will accept the courses for credit. The option to grant credit always belongs to the college or university and will further depend on whether a course fits into your degree program. However, we work with a number of participating accredited universities who’ve agreed to recognize our courses for credit, and participate with the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) where our courses have earned a recommendation for credit with over 1400 universities and colleges cooperating in their network nationwide. These colleges and universities who do participate have indicated their willingness to consider the NCCRS credit recommendations when you complete the courses. To learn more about how you could earn college credit, read our full guide here.

When I Complete Courses at OnlineDegree.com, Can They Transfer to Any University in the Country?

No, our courses have earned a recommendation for credit from NCCRS (the National College Credit Recommendation Service) whose recommendations are considered by over 1400 accredited colleges and universities in the United States. You can see the full list of participating colleges from the NCCRS, but includes schools in the California State University system, SUNY, Ohio State, Texas A&M, and many many more…over 1400 in total. We’ve also organized direct relationships with universities around the country like Ashworth College or Southern New Hampshire University that will accept our courses for college credit making your transfer more simple and easy. This provides our students with many options around the country, and we’re working tirelessly to add more universities all the time.

How Could I Obtain Enough Credits to Satisfy My Freshman Year?

At OnlineDegree.com, we work with a number of participating accredited universities who’ve agreed to recognize our courses for credit.   To give you an example, with Ashworth College, you can complete the equivalent of your freshman year by completing these 10 courses when you enroll towards their Bachelor’s degree in General Studies (see the specific course mapping here).  Referencing the same provided course mapping, it’s also possible to complete the equivalent of your freshman year with their Associate’s Degree in General Studies.  Our courses have also earned a recommendation for credit from the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) who’s recommendations are considered by over 1400 universities and colleges in the United States. Our 15 courses have earned a total of 44 college credit recommendations based on the NCCRS evaluation (see here).  When you enroll at a university, a freshman year of college usually requires 24-30 completed units.  When you contact a cooperating NCCRS university, you should inquire about potentially receiving credit, and which combination of our 15 courses could satisfy the most credits based on your major.  Remember that every school has different requirements and guidelines, and no one can guarantee accepting credits other than the university itself.   Many schools limit the amount of units that can be awarded when you transfer in.  Given the major or degree you choose, you could receive a considerable amount of credits, but maybe not the entire equivalent of your freshman year.  See our recommended to-do list in the Full Transfer Guide to take prudent steps in ensuring you can obtain college credit at the university you plan on attending.

What is a “Transcript”?

A transcript is an official document that states what courses you’ve successfully completed. This document is utilized by universities and colleges as detail and proof of what courses you’ve completed, and where you completed them. When you’re finished taking courses at OnlineDegree.com, you can easily request your official transcript when you’re logged in to your account. In addition to our free transcript option, we do recommend that you pay a one-time fee of $40 with our partner Excelsior College so they will produce your transcript on their official letterhead. Through our partnership with them and the NCCRS, this is a great option since many universities you’re applying to may insist the transcript comes from another university. This is optional, but well worth the money!

If I Just Complete One or Two Courses, Could I Still Obtain Credit?

Yes! Each course has it’s own credit recommendation value. You don’t have to take all of them, just the ones you’d like.

Does OnlineDegree.com “grant credit”?

Remember that OnlineDegree.com is not a university and does not and cannot “grant credit” – the option to grant credit always belongs to the college or university and will further depend on whether a course fits into your degree program. Our goal at OnlineDegree.com is to help you receive credit at a university by taking our free college-level courses. We want to save students time and money to get their degree. To do that, we work with a number of participating accredited universities who’ve agreed to recognize our courses directly, and our courses have also earned a recommendation for credit from the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) who’s recommendations are considered by over 1400 universities and colleges nationwide in their network.

What If I’m Not Interested in Potentially Receiving Credits?

No problem! Our courses at OnlineDegree.com are free for everyone solely for educational and self-betterment purposes. If you’d like to take the course to just learn more about the respective subject or topic, that’s great! You can take as many as you’d like.

Can I See the Documentation for Credit Recommendations?

Absolutely. You can click here to see our organization page on the NCCRS website along with the specific details and recommended credit for each of our courses.