What Are the Benefits of Going to College Online?
Enrolling in online college offers significant advantages over attending traditional campuses. The convenience of learning at home has been a major selling point for studying online. You can roll out of bed and go to class in your pajamas without any funny looks. You can attend class anywhere a computer can go—at home, a library or while traveling internationally. Online college classes are designed to fit your needs, while allowing you to continue working and tending to your other obligations. The idea is to easily blend education into your life, no matter your circumstances. In fact, the majority of students at online colleges are working professionals, young and old, looking for a way to switch fields, advance their careers or broaden their education. Online schools also give you the option of part-time or full-time learning, as well as a flexible schedule and reasonable demands. Although there are still deadlines and you must submit work online, you can attend class and do your schoolwork anytime, anywhere.
The quality of education at online colleges has continued to improve, and they have become an increasingly popular option. In the current economic recession, an increasing number of students are turning to online education. Higher fuel costs and rising unemployment have spurred more people to seek online education. Stronger demand for online education has resulted in better quality offerings. In a 2008 study by the National Survey of Student Engagement, freshmen and senior online students were more likely than classroom-based students to:
- Participate in course activities that challenged them intellectually
- Participate in discussions about different cultures
- Discuss important topics within their major
- Have deeper approaches to learning in their course work
Another benefit of online education is affordability. In some cases, you can get the same quality education for a lot less money. Online students save thousands of dollars every semester in housing fees, commuting costs and other campus expenses that people enrolled in traditional colleges have to pay. Online courses have competitive tuition rates, and numerous scholarships, grants and student loans are available to help meet the cost. According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, increased competition among online colleges has prompted a rise in the quality of programs offered and a drop in tuition prices.