You’re wondering where to start? How can you earn your online degree and balance work and life successfully? The decision to further your education, either attending college for the first time, or returning to attain a higher degree, is one that will change the rest of your life for the better.

Online College DegreeI’m sure you’ve researched online and now your head is spinning with possibilities. The first thing you need to do to is really understand what you are looking for – get crystal clear with what you want for your life.

Think about what goals you are trying to accomplish by earning your college degree online? Are you looking to stay in the same career and make advancement? Are you looking to start a new career?

Of course getting a degree online raises questions, and you need to know how you can leverage the convenience of attending school anytime and anyplace with receiving the highest quality education. An education that will be respected by an employer and peers in your chosen field.

Here Are Five Tips for Success:

1) Know Your Degree
Find an online degree program that matches your interests. Do you have credits you can transfer? Will your degree program be completed in two years or four years? Is the school accredited? What is the time and money commitment of the degree program? Speak to the college academic counselors and take advantage of their insights.

2) Count the Costs
Your education is an investment. Find out if your employer offers tuition assistance programs (TAP), learn about the types of scholarships, grants, and loans you can qualify for to cover the costs. Most importantly complete your FAFSA, this opens the door for all types of federal financial aid.

There are numerous government and private scholarship and loan programs, make sure you take full advantage of the money allocated for education.

3) Keep Your Day Job
In this economy a job is a blessing, even if your boss is less than ideal to deal with. By choosing an online education you can balance work and study time, which increases your chances of completing your degree and graduating.

4) Get and Stay Motivated
Envision yourself in you desired profession, think about how great your sense of accomplishment will be once you complete your degree. Research the salary and career opportunities, and think about the fact that you will work hard, but that work will pay for a lifetime.

Talk to others who are already in the career field and find out what benefits they are experiencing and think about how you will feel once you get where they are. Make a plan and have the courage everyday to make it happen.

5) Manage Your Time
Don’t try to be superman or superwoman, create a schedule that works for YOU and place it in visible areas around your home and work. Make sure you have time allocated for all areas of your life including recreation and exercise.

Do this simple exercise to figure out how you spend your time. During the week write down daily in a journal how you spend your time and then at the end of the week, you’ll have an accurate record of your days. With this information you will be able to know how you can adjust your schedule to fit school into your life.

So do your homework and find an online degree program, that fits your lifestyle and needs. Get started today on your college degree. It will allow you to pursue your dreams and more importantly give you the sense of accomplishment and pride that comes with achieving your goals.