The scope of online education has expanded greatly over the last decade, and many high school students are beginning to consider online college as an option for post-secondary education. If you require flexibility and affordability, it may be an excellent option.
Thanks to the internet, courses offered across the world can be taken from the comfort of your home. There are a wide variety of specialized subjects available online, such as mythology or forensic psychology, which will allow you to pursue your own unique interests.
The Benefits Of Online Education
Perhaps the greatest advantage of attending online college is the convenience. Because physical presence in a classroom isn’t required, you are able to work from home and there is greater flexibility in your schedule.
You will also have the opportunity to choose your online school without having to worry about location. By attending online, you could potentially study at a California-based college even if you live in Maine!
Cost Of Online Classes and Financial Aid
The flexibility in scheduling can also allow you to work while you study, which can help finance your education. If you’re concerned about money, online colleges are generally a more reasonably priced than four-year colleges.
If you apply to a state university’s online program, you may qualify for financial aid. On top of that, you save the cost of transportation, campus housing, meal plans and other on-campus supplies.
Are Online Colleges as Good as The Rest?
Many people worry that the benefits of online colleges may be at the cost of educational quality. It’s easy to assume that an in-person education is more effective than a digital one. However, evidence shows that the quality of education is not necessarily sacrificed in online study.
In fact, a study released by the US Department of Education in 2009 found that online students actually performed better than students who took on-campus courses. Some students find online courses more intimate and rewarding, and feel they are more interactive than a large classroom.
What Do I Need To Be Prepared For My Online Course?
If you are considering an online degree, be sure that you have a reliable internet connection, and you feel comfortable operating a computer.
Some online programs require you to attend online lectures or chat rooms, in which case you will need to reserve times to be at your computer. Other courses will have no specific time obligations, and these will offer the most flexibility for a difficult schedule.
In either case, online courses will still take time and effort just like any other classes. If you are planning on working, particularly a full-time job, be very cautious not to overload you yourself.
Perhaps even more so than an on-campus education, studying at an online college requires a strong sense of self-motivation, since you won’t have a professor or peers physically present to encourage you.
Your Online Degree and Your Future
Keep in mind that although many employers are beginning to consider online degrees to be equal to traditional degrees, there is still a professional bias against them in many white-collar fields.
If you are concerned about the prestige of a degree, you may consider studying online for two years and then transferring to a four-year college. This will likely save money and offer a couple years of flexibility, while still resulting in a degree from an on-campus institution.
If you are considering an online degree, the most important thing is to research the programs that interest you. Look into a degree’s viability in the workforce, and if you are considering transferring, make sure that you will get credit for your courses at a four-year college. If you are properly prepared and motivated, an online degree can be an excellent choice.
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