Online colleges offer students many distinct advantages over a traditional college degree. Earning a degree online can be much faster, much cheaper, and in general, provide a more significant amount of flexibility over the education experience. While some stigmas surround the quality of online degree programs in relation to traditional programs, we have found that most of these stigmas are inaccurate. If you’re still not sold on the idea of earning your degree online, here are some of the advantages of online college that we’ve found.
Online Colleges Can Be Much Faster
For many reasons, an online college degree can be completed much more quickly than a traditional college degree program. This is highly advantageous to many students. While there are students interested in savoring the college experience and making it last as long as possible, there are also many college students trying to earn their degrees as quickly as possible so they can move on to the next phase of their lives.
Online colleges can offer degree programs with much shorter completion times than their on-campus counterparts. This is achieved through several methods. Most online colleges offer accelerated degree programs. Rather than following the traditional 16-week semester-length, online colleges are able to cut this time down to eight weeks, seven weeks, and sometimes five weeks. These faster courses allow students to move through the degree much more quickly.
Accelerated degree programs, along with the inclusion of multiple start dates throughout the year and generous transfer credit programs, are some of the other ways that online colleges can be completed much more quickly.
Online Colleges Can Be More Flexible
The rigidity of a traditional on-campus college experience is a massive downside to many students. With a traditional college degree, students are tied to the location and time of the courses in their particular degree program. Traditional college courses also tend to monopolize typical business hours Monday-Friday. While that may be okay for young people who can dedicate their entire day to college studies, that just isn’t workable for non-traditional students and working professionals.
A massive advantage of an online degree is that they are far more flexible for those who have different scheduling demands than the typical student. Many online colleges offer their degrees in an asynchronous format. That means that coursework and lectures can be viewed at the student’s convenience. This is a massive boon to those who may have to work during the day or just don’t have the time to pursue a degree full-time.
As mentioned above, online colleges can also accommodate different starting dates throughout the year and other course loads. Maybe you are someone who wants to start their college education in March. Or maybperhaps only have enough time to enroll in one course at a time. Whatever your needs are, online colleges are typically much better to work within your particular education needs.
Online Colleges Are Cheaper
Students can save greatly when choosing to enroll in an online college. Online college tuitions tend to be far cheaper than their traditional on-campus counterparts (LINK TO OTHER ARTICLE HERE).
By eliminating a lot of the overhead that comes alongside a traditional, on-campus degree, online colleges can operate at a much lower price. Not only are tuition rates lower for online colleges and universities, but these programs also have less associated additional fees.
Students also can save money by not avoiding room and board costs as well. Overall, we’ve found that online degrees can sometimes be close to a third of the cost of a traditional on-campus degree program. That is an incredible amount of savings.
Online colleges are also eligible for many of the same financial aid programs that traditional degree programs are suitable for. So not only can you save initially on the cost of tuition, but you are also eligible to use financial aid to cover the cost of even more of your education.
Online Colleges are Just as Rigorous
A common misconception regarding online colleges is that they are somehow more lax when it comes to the quality of their degree programs. By proxy, employers will not respect a degree from an online college as much as one from a traditional brick-and-mortar institution. We’ve found this not to be the case.
Online colleges are subject to accreditation from the same accreditation boards that traditional campuses are subjected to. These online colleges are also held to the same rigorous standards that traditional degree programs are held to. What determines whether or not a college is worthy of your time and effort is whether accredited by a nationally recognized accreditation board.
Students concerned about whether or not an employer will judge them for earning their degree online can take solace in a couple of factors. First, most online degrees don’t denote that they were earned online. If you’re enrolled at a public university but are attending courses online, there just isn’t a way for a prospective employer to find out that you were taking classes online.
Second, online colleges were already on track to normalization, but the coronavirus pandemic has helped speed up that trend. Most employers don’t bat an eye when they see that you attended an online school.
Are Online Colleges Better?
It depends on what you are looking for. Some people are in search of the traditional college experience. Some students want to attend courses on a typical college campus and have all the experiences that come with that. But if you’re someone who wants to earn their degree quickly and do it for cheaper, then an online college is far better than a traditional college degree.
Online colleges are also much more flexible when it comes to working professionals. And when graduation rolls around, and its time to start applying for jobs, your online degree will hold just as much weight and have just as much cache as its on-campus counterpart.