You Are Likely to Save Lots of Money by Taking Online Courses!

An online college education can lead to a bachelor's or master's degree.  Distance learning, as it is often called, can lead to long-term success in the job market.

Education should prepare a student for the highly competitive job market.  Career opportunities are often linked to education levels.  Many of America's best colleges and their top professors have online degree programs.

More important than deciding what courses to take, selecting the right college is very important.  Both, of course, are big decisions.  The courses available range from Accounting to Criminal Justice to Elementary Education to Nursing to Political Science and everything in between.

You will have no trouble finding a course to fit your needs or goals.  Some colleges are known to excel in certain areas, however.  It is extremely important to call counselors and discuss your plans with former and current students.

Online students often perform better, on average, than those taking the same course in the classroom.  That doesn't mean that online courses are easier.

Pros and Cons Regarding an Online College Education!

Pros:

  • More students are pursuing online studies every year.
  • Approximately one-third of college students take, at least one course, online.
  • Flexibility allows course work to be done when time is available.  
  • There can be considerable cost savings when compared to campus living, gasoline to commute and parking expenses.
  • Many courses have Skype or similar linking so that it mimicks a classroom setting allowing the professor and students to be involved in "real-time" discussions.
  • Often courses will allow flexible pacing, that is, proceeding at a quicker or slower pace than other students.
  • 24/7 accessibility to course material can be extremely important.

Cons:

  • Limited instructor interaction.  You will not be able to raise your hand in a classroom or drop in to see your professor.
  • There is limited social interaction, as there is no classroom.  Online forums or discussions replace the classroom.
  • There is no campus experience.
  • There may be a wait time to get answers to questions via e-mail.
  • The technology-challenged may find a computer and the internet frustrating.
  • Students must have a level of self-discipline to avoid falling behind on course work.  Good time management skills are also necessary.

Things to Consider When Selecting an Online College Education!

Know how you learn.  Are you a visual or auditory learner?  Do you learn better early morning or late at night?  One of my daughters liked to study in a coffee shop with other people around.  The noise and conversations didn't seem to bother her.

Accreditation is important for any course or college.  You may need to transfer credits.  Accreditation means that courses are endorsed by the U. S. Department of Education.

If you are seeking a degree, know what courses you will need to take to get it.  Check the internet for schools with online learning excellence.  

Some courses could require an on-site laboratory course.  Be prepared and know  that in advance to scheduling and paying for the course.

Create your "short list" of colleges based on all of the above items that fit your needs.

Most colleges will not require standardized test scores and high school transcripts to enroll. 

A university or college that trains their faculty to teach online is a major consideration.  The professor must be able to engage a virtual audience - some are not able to do so.

Check each college for graduation rates, the required time to graduate and student retention rates.

Expenses will vary greatly.  There may be many fees that you don't expect.  So, expect the unexpected.  There are often in-state and out-of-state rates.  Books can also be a major expense.

Some colleges will require an on-campus visit for several days such as Gonzaga University.

There are student loans and scholarships available.  Explore them.


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