Advantages of Online Colleges

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Online colleges offer students tremendous advantages, from flexibility and program choice to potentially better learning outcomes. Keep reading to find out how online programs work, and why they may work best for you.

Are online colleges right for you?

If you’re reading this, you’ve at least given online colleges some consideration while forming your higher education plans. With more choices available now to prospective college students than ever before, it’s important to take the time to explore your options.

Advantages of online colleges

Online colleges have experienced unprecedented enrollment growth in the last few years, and approximately 30 percent of college students now take at least one online course.

Clearly, online colleges offer many advantages:

  • Flexibility: The biggest difference between online and traditional face-to-face learning is that online learning doesn’t take place in a classroom. The constraints of walls, campus locations and class times are removed. Much of the course materials are accessible to you at any time of day or night. Online degrees are great for students who may need to work full-time or raise families while completing their studies, or who may live in remote areas and don’t have convenient access to classes in their subject areas.
  • Choice: Because you are no longer bound by location or time, your options for online degrees are unlimited. You can conceivably get a degree in nearly any subject, from any school in the world. And online programs don’t usually wrestle with local campus enrollment-cap problems.
  • Interactivity: Because of the variety of technological tools available, online colleges have a number of ways to deliver resources to students, besides just downloadable e-books. There are podcasts, streaming videos, video conferencing and online discussions, which engage learners of all types.
  • Cost: Many people find that online degrees are comparatively less expensive than traditional programs, because you can often complete online degrees in less time, and they simply require fewer campus resources.
  • Quality: This is, and should be, a primary factor in choosing any college. It’s crucial to select an accredited degree program from any school. Fortunately, Ph.D’s and other highly educated, experienced faculty teach online courses, too. And a 2010 Sloan Consortium report shows that more than three-quarters ofpublic higher ed leaders think that online learning is as good as or better than face-to-face instruction.
  • Improved learning outcomes: According to the U.S. Department of Education, students learning in online conditions performed modestly better than students receiving exclusively face-to-face instruction. The fact that online learners spend more time, on average, with their course materials is thought to be a primary reason for this.

Of course, online learning requires plenty of self-discipline and the ability to learn and retain material on your own. Many people simply prefer the classroom environment and face-to-face interaction. Carefully consider all the pros and cons before making your choice, and explore specific programs here on this site.

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