College Admissions: Here are 6 important things to know before choosing distance education programs


India’s premier varsity, Delhi University recently completed the admission process for its undergraduate merit based courses. As many as 67,000 students had applied for and taken admission in the varsity against its 62,000 seats. Similar is the case for other top universities in the country like Jadavpur University and Mumbai University. However, not all students are able to make the cut-off, leaving them undecided between a private university or distance education. But what is better?

The fact of the matter is that most of the students are forced to choose between a private university or another course and many even take up distance education from a top university. But what is better? Taking up a course in a private university or picking up a distance education course. Here are 5 important things to keep in mind while choosing a distance education program.

6 important things to know before choosing distance education programs

There is no cut-off for admission/ limited seats to a distance education program

While most of the universities would require a candidate to have qualified the basic educational qualification, there is no cut off as such for admission to distance education programs. The university would require a candidate to have qualified in the requisite examination. Also, there are no limited number of seats. 

Not all distance education degrees are acceptable/ recognized

The most important thing to know and keep in mind is that not all distance education degrees are recognized by the University Grants Commission or UGC. The list of courses that are recognized is available on the official website of UGC. Candidates are advised to check the status of the course they wish to opt for before taking it up.

Distance education degrees are accepted for government jobs/ exams

As a rule, almost all central and state government jobs recognize distance education degrees which are recognized. Candidates are also eligible for appearing for entrance examinations like CAT. UPSC, SSC, etc. 

However, in certain (especially technical courses), distance education degrees are not accepted. This is mostly true for diploma and or degree courses for specialized technical jobs that require hands-on experience. Candidates who are hence planning to appear for a government examination are advised to first check the validity of a distance education degree before taking the decision.

Distance education degrees are not accepted by most of the universities abroad

If you aspire to study abroad at any point of time in your life, please note that most of the universities abroad do not accept a distance or correspondence or even part time degree course. This is applicable for both bachelor’s as well as masters’ degrees for some universities abroad.

Shifting from Distance Education to Regular courses is possible

Another important aspect of distance education is that students can consider taking lateral admissions to regular courses if they were to perform and get the requisite score. Also, after doing your bachelors through distance, students can still go for regular master’s degree. Most of the universities and top institutes in the country accept the distance education degree from recognised universities.

Pursuing two degrees – one through distance and other through regular or otherwise is not allowed

Finally, irrespective of what someone might tell you, pursuing two degrees at the same time is not acceptable. While there are talks about UGC considering allowing the same, under the present system, a person cannot pursue two degrees at the same time. This rule is applicable for distance education as well. However, if a person is pursuing a diploma full time course, he/she can undertake a distance education degree course or vice versa. But two degree courses (distance or otherwise) are not valid still.

Admissions to most of the distance education programs (including Delhi University IGNOU, etc). are either still open or would commence soon. Students are advised to check the respective universities before deciding.