Finding Online Courses
Most states in the United States have created Web sites that list all of the online courses that colleges and universities are offering in their states. You can find these links on ITC's Web site, under Statewide Networks.
Additionally, most universities in the United States offer courses at a distance. You might contact a college that offers a program you are interested in and ask about the courses they offer online.
It is important that you check to make sure the college from which you are interested in taking courses is accredited by the United States Department of Education, so you know future employers and other educational institutions recognize the academic integrity of the courses or degree program you choose.
Unfortunately, plenty of people are happy to take your money and offer nothing in return, or provide an educational degree or certificate that nobody will recognize. This is particularly true for online courses, since it doesn't cost much to put up a Web site and ask people to send money. Law enforcement officials have a difficult time locating the origin of these Web sites to prosecute them. Many of these fraudulent colleges and universities target international students because they know they are not as familiar with colleges and universities in the United States. For example, they might change their name slightly, so it sounds like a famous college.
The United States Department has an online search engine to check a college or university's accreditation status. Make sure you have the correct spelling of the institution's full name when you conduct your search.
Student Financial Aid
Applying to take an online course is usually exactly the same as registering to take any course from any college or university in the United States. Most colleges and universities have a student financial aid office that can help you pay for courses, and you should check there for more information. The Department of Education also provides two Web sites to help students secure financial aid:
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
FastWeb Scholarship Search Engine
Information for International Students
The following organizations might be helpful if you are not located in the United States, and are searching for grants or educational opportunities within your region:
Academy for Education Development
Institute of International Education
US Agency for International Development
The World Bank