Distance Learning Online
An important informational step
When looking at the official websites of online colleges and universities, you'll probably notice that you're frequently asked if you want to "request information." If you click on one of these links, you'll end up at a blank form that asks for things like your name, address, phone number and prior education. Don't be alarmed, these pages are credible. Here, we'll give you the information you need to fully understand them.
What are "Request Information" Forms?
Information request forms are the only way for online colleges and universities to determine if they have a program that meets your needs. Schools simply want to know who you are and where your interests lie.
Request information forms should only gather details that allow the school to contact you with more information about the programs and courses they offer, and how they might suit your unique situation. If you find you're being asked for confidential financial information such as your credit card number, you've stumbled upon an illegitimate school (probably a degree mill) and should immediately leave the site. Be sure to look closely at check boxes in the form so that you don't sign up for newsletters or any other extraneous services you don't wish to receive. Unwanted mail, while generally harmless, can be annoying.
When Should You Request Information?
You should be genuinely interested in getting an online degree before you fill in an online request form. Otherwise, you'll be wasting your time as well as the college's time. However, it's important to remember that you're not making any commitment to a school by simply filling out the form. All you're consenting to is to have the school contact you with specific details about their programs and other services. Upon receiving information about the school, you're free to decide if it's right for you.
It's certainly acceptable to request information from any school that interests you - you don't have to limit yourself to just one or two. In fact, it's better to gather as much information as you can so you're able to compare and contrast to make the best decision possible. Just keep in mind that you should gather information about a school from independent sources as well as directly from the school itself.