For many people whether they are just starting a college program for the first time or are considering another career path, taking classes online is an option that many people opt for instead of attending traditional lecture classes at a university. There are many advantages for taking online college education courses including:
- Flexible Time
- Different course criteria
- Ease of transfer credits
Cost of Tuition
Each year, tuition becomes more and more expensive. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, for an academic year for undergraduate tuition including room and board, the average cost at a four-year public institution has increased from $6,381 in 1980-81 to $15,605 in 2010-2011. At a four-year private institution, average costs have increased from $13,995 in 1980-81 to $31,975 in 2010-2011.
Depending on the college, cost of online education will vary from one to the next depending on the division (1, 2, or 3), type of program, and if out-of-state cost is a factor for the tuition. According to CollegeStats.org, the net cost of education can vary extremely from costs as low as $2,000 to $40,000. In general, cost of tuition tends to be lower for online education programs because it does not cover dormitories or board costs such as eating on campus.
No Class Schedule Means Flexibility
There is no set time schedule to be online for classes, just deadlines for papers and projects. This allows for a flexible schedule to complete projects on their own time as needed. If a person works a part-time or full-time job, they do not have to worry about any time conflicts between their class and work schedule.
Not only will an online college allow for a person to have a flexible schedule for themselves, but if a person has a child, then their classes allow for them to work around their child’s schedule as well include school, sports, music lessons, or any other extracurricular activities that the child may be involved in.
A Different Class Experience
Online classes can offer a different learning experience for those not looking to sit in a lecture hall for an hour for three times a week. Depending on the program, set criteria may include a schedule of reading assignments and watching videos along with discussion and assignments that have due dates.
The professor is available to guide the students through the material and answer any questions they may have, but for some courses, the student has to learn a lot on their own. The student still can work in groups with group discussions or ask fellow students for assistance if they do not understand the material. Online courses are great for students who learn best by teaching themselves the subject.
Ease of Transfer Credits
For students who do wish to take part in on-campus courses, they may need to take prerequisite classes to get into a certain program or to transfer to another university. Online courses also offer the ability for students who wish to be a part time student but take transferable credits before becoming full time students again. Medical, law, and dental programs all may need prerequisite courses and online courses can help a student towards their desired program.
Location of a Student
Online education can be a great option for students simply because of their current location. Some students may not live in a city that offers university education or are unable to move to a city for reasons such as:
- Being currently employed and wishing to continue their current career
- Raising a family
- Unable to afford to move at the present time
However location becomes a factor in how a person chooses a program, online courses offer an option for higher education without having to move to another city.
When looking for a start for higher education, consider the advantages of an online program. It may be the best option for you whether because of cost and you are looking for a cheap online college, your current schedule, a different learning experience, ease of transfer credits, or your current location. For online courses Kate recommends www.cheaponlinecolleges.org to further your education.