Prospective Students FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective Students
- How do I register for an online course?
- Are there prerequisites for online courses?
- What skills do I need to succeed in an online course?
- How much do online courses cost?
- Does financial aid pay for online courses?
- How much time do I need to invest in an online course?
- What is expected of me?
- What are online courses like?
- What will help me succeed in an online course?
- Where do I buy the textbooks and materials for the course?
For information on registering for an online course, check the Getting Started web page.
Some courses have prerequisite requirements. You will need to check the course description. For any course related questions, contact the advising center or the registrar’s office. New students need to contact the assessment center, since basic skills tests are REQUIRED for purposes of appropriate course placement in credit courses.
There are two categories of skills that you should possess: technical skills and study skills. For technical skills, you should know basic word processing, how to send and receive emails, how to send and receive attachments, navigate the Web, and basic knowledge of Windows or Macintosh operating systems. For study skills, you should be self-motivated, manage your time well, have good communication skills and be diligent. Patience and a sense of humor are also helpful.
Regular tuition and fees apply. In addition, you will need to pay for an Internet Service Provider to access the Internet. For up-to-date tuition costs, contact the Register’s office at 978-556-3700, TTY 978-556-3708.
Yes, financial aid will cover credit online courses. You will need to contact the financial aid office at 978-556-3650 to see if you qualify for aid.
Students taking online courses should expect to spend 12-15 hours per week studying for each course. Online courses do not take fewer hours but you have the option to pick the hours that are best for you to do your work. You should plan to do course work 5 days of the week.
Students are expected to complete the course assignments, projects, exams and postings by the dates assigned by the instructor. Each course has a unique set of guidelines and expectations. Check the course’s syllabus for specific information.
Online courses are similar to traditional face-to-face as in they both cover the same course content. Online courses are only taught through the Internet with interactive chats, frequent bulletin board postings and emails. You will be in contact on a regular basis with the instructor and your classmates. All course work is emailed or posted to the course web site and testing is also done online.
Determination, motivation and commitment are key elements to succeed in any course, but this is especially true for online learning.