Earning a degree is a good way to better your prospect in life. It is, however, not easy to go back to school especially after being in employment for several years. This is because further studies call for many sacrifices including giving up on personal commitments such as family and job.But thanks to the Internet, it is now possible to reach your educational goals from the comfort of your home computer. Popularly referred to as distance learning, online education enables you to advance your education online without having to quit your full time job or abandoning your family.Before joining any online college or university, you take the following considerations:1. Accreditation – Accreditation refers to a validation process by which schools, colleges and universities are evaluated against established standards to ensure a high level of educational quality. The accreditation status of the college is very important as it determines whether or not your degree will be recognized by other future employers.Since it is very unlikely to find a college that is not accredited by a monitoring agency, it is important to check whether or not the accreditation agency is authorized by the government. You want to be certain that you will not be joining a degree or diploma mill (bogus colleges that sell printed degrees and certificates and falsified academic transcripts to their clients). You should call or physically visit any of the education regulatory bodies in your area to confirm the accreditation status of the online college of your dream.2. Cost – Online degree programs are far cheaper to obtain compared to conventional institutions, due to factors such flexibility and low overhead costs. However, you still need to consider the financial options that will enable you to earn your credentials without any financial constrains. You should also check to see if there are grants and scholarships to help you offset some of the expenses.3. Your passion – It is very important to choose a course that you have a passion for. However, you should ensure the course is marketable enough to transform your life financially. While it is advisable to allow your passion to guide you, you must remember that you need to go for a highly marketable course that will get you a well paying job in good time.4. Your financial footing – How much can you afford to spend on your education? What are the financial aid resources available to you? These are very important concerns and factors in deciding which college to attend.5. Watch out for degree mills – Diploma mills (also known as degree mills) are businesses that make profit by selling printed degrees and certificates and falsified academic transcripts to their clients. They pose as legitimate institutions of higher learning, but only offer fake paper degrees and certificates that are not recognized by employers and legitimate universities.Thousands of innocent have lost thousands of dollars and valuable time to these scams. Anyone seeking for distance education online must therefore do enough research to ensure their institution of choice is a legitimate accredited online college. This way you will not only succeed in earning your much desired degree you will also transform your life for the better.