Today, more than 75% of America’s colleges and universities provide their students with online degree programs that are of the same caliber as their traditional, on-campus counterparts. Not surprisingly, these programs appeal to those whose work schedule and other responsibilities prevent them from obtaining a degree in any other way.
Here are some of the benefits online students enjoy:
They can earn their degree at a pace that is affordable because they are able to pay on a per-course basis. Housing is not an issue, and all of the required reading material is available on the Internet, which makes studying online less expensive. In addition, the time and expense involved in commuting back and forth to attend classes is also eliminated.
Whether they are taking care of a family or holding down a full-time job, students can complete their courses at a pace that is comfortable for them because it complements their particular lifestyle. This means that they can participate in a class at any time, wherever they may be.
Since course material is always available, students are able to read and re-read classroom lectures, explanations, comments and discussions, which provides valuable reinforcement of the subject matter related to the course.
Because students attend class, do research and communicate with each other by using the Internet, they also develop technological skills that are essential in the 21st century’s global work environment.
With an online course, students’ attendance in class only becomes apparent when they join in a classroom discussion. This encourages their interaction and acceptance of diverse opinions, and everyone has a unique opportunity for self-expression.
The chat rooms that online schools have to offer are a means by which students can engage in informal conversation and bond with one another. Along with newsgroups, they enhance team learning as a means of conducting meetings and working on projects together.
Students also find that their instructors are approachable because they can communicate with the faculty online, rather than relying on established office hours that may conflict with their daily schedule.
Since there are no geographic barriers to the Internet, an online student has access to a vast array of content found in the school’s library. Using their home computer, for example, they can look for e-books, articles and texts without worrying that the item they need is unavailable because someone else has checked it out.
Contrary to various myths that have existed for many years, those who enroll in an accredited online degree program and begin taking courses are also eligible for scholarships, as long as they meet the requirements. With a bit of research, you may be able to find one that is appropriate for you, and some scholarship awards may even be intended for those who are taking distance-learning courses.
In many cases, students who are working full time while earning college credits are able to pay their tuition upfront, and they are spared the burden of accumulating debt and paying off loans long after they receive their degree.