What is the total cost and what does it cover?
The main advantage of distance learning over campus-based learning is that it is less expensive, but still earns you skills or even a degree you can actually put into use. However, you also have to realize that while it can significantly reduce education cost, it is still subject to tuition and other miscellaneous fees.
With that in mind, you should check the total cost first prior to registering. Know if the price already includes the materials and equipment, exam fees, and travel and accommodation should there be a need for face-to-face meeting. Also, would there be additional fees in case you need to retake exams?
Is there a refund policy in place?
Apart from looking at the overall cost, you should also consider the refund policy of the provider. Unavoidable circumstances may come up while you are in the middle of a course. You may switch jobs, fall ill, fail exams or just lose interest in the program. In any case, having an idea about the provider’s refund policy will give you some form of protection and will help you recover a portion of the cost.
There is no universal refund policy for distance learning programs. However, most accredited organizations have their own policies, which should be clearly indicated on their websites or promotional materials. The point here is that before you as much as register for a particular course, you should have a clear understanding of the provider’s refund policy.
Does the provider offer financial assistance?
One more thing you should check is if your desired course is eligible for a tuition loan that may cover full or part of the cost. The government offers grants and loans to different organizations to support learning, and there is a possibility that the provider you are considering offers such financial support on their courses. If that is the case, you can take advantage of the grant or loan to lessen the costs you will shoulder. However, take note that while a provider is able to offer financial support because it has access to a government fund does not mean it is reputable.