Although in-person learning has been curtailed as of late, the suggestion of online college classes is not new. Having the opportunity to complete some of your coursework online can have a plethora of advantages. Taking your own personal learning style into consideration, think about how online classes and their associated advantages can help elevate your overall college experience. While earning a college degree is still considered a traditional path towards starting a career, thanks to online learning, there are now nontraditional options available to walk that path for both traditional and nontraditional student to take advantage of.
From a Counselors Perspective
If you are counsel to a current or perspective college student either in their school system, or as a trusted adult in their life, there are advantages to online learning that you can present to your student. Letting kids know that they have options can make the process in general less intimidating and by going through it with them, you are creating an alliance that they will be able to count on as their college education moves forward. Funding for college whether in person or online is a huge part of the preparation process and you can help a student get approved with a private student loan and inform them that students are more likely to get approved with a cosigner for paying for college. Bringing facts like this up will encourage them to have conversations inside their homes regarding the expectations surrounding paying for college as well as enable them to create a realistic plan for themselves.
Typically, students can expect to pay the same per credit price for an online class as they would an in-person one. The cost differences appear in the affiliated expenses that come with on-campus learning. Financial obligations to consider would be housing, meals, and transportation costs which all impact the overall cost of college. Eliminating a commute also saves time, which we all know, time is money. Being able to dedicate more time in your schedule towards your actual coursework and not spending it driving to and from campus means that you can learn positive schedule management habits.
Being able to play to your study strengths is a huge advantage of taking college classes online. There is considerably more flexibility regarding assignment submissions and the syllabus with online learning verses in-person. For example, some schools give online students the option to complete their course work on a traditional timeline or an accelerated one. This puts the power in the hands of the student and allows them to identify whether it’s in their best interest to complete this class in a traditional or nontraditional manner. Open entry, open exit classes are rarer but are another example of schedule flexibility. These classes do have entry and exit dates same as a traditional course would, however they are significantly more liberal and provide the student with the entire syllabus up front which means that you can really take advantage of the ability to work at your own pace.
Removes Geographic Limitations
Enrolling in online classes means that you are not limited to locations central to where you live and allows you to attend an out of state college without having to move out of state. Many of the top colleges and universities have opened themselves up to online learning to increase accessibility for student who meet their acceptance criteria but are not interested in relocating. Moving expenses can be costly especially if you are moving across many miles, not to mention to cost to travel back and forth to your hometown if you wish. Attending school entirely online basically eliminates all these variables from your list of student related expenses.
Improves Technology Skills
Making the decision to take one, or all, of your college courses online means that even if you were not technically savvy when you started, there is no doubting that you will be once you finish. Online forums, interactive classrooms, video conferences, these are all skills that will undeniably be a part of your post-grad life so being able to educate yourself on how to utilize them gives you a technological advantage you may not have received through in-person classes. Tech skills are quickly becoming job requirements as opposed to in the past where they acted as simply a feather in your cap. Being able to speak with confidence on your skills in a technological capacity to future employers allows them to view you as someone with a future-focused mindset as well as someone who is able to transition with the trends of corporate America.