While many college students still complete their degrees on campus, today more and more students are completing their degrees online. According to Inside Higher Ed, more than 3 million students were enrolled in online programs in 2017. Even so, some students are still wary of online degree programs. Many worry that they won’t receive the same education or experience as their peers on campus, but online learning technology has made great strides over the years, opening up all sorts of opportunities to interact and learn in meaningful ways online. In fact, online learning can even offer some benefits simply not available with more traditional campus-based programs. Below, we’ve broken down some of the biggest benefits of online learning.
Online degree programs can reduce your expenses
Over time, the cost of campus housing, meal plans, and commuting can get expensive. Online degree programs and distance learning can reduce or eliminate these costs, decreasing your total college expenses and the total amount of loans and financial aid needed to attend school. In some instances, online programs are even available with lower tuition rates than comparable campus-based programs, as institutions may be able to reduce costs by investing in fewer physical buildings and properties.
You can work while you earn a degree
This is an especially big perk for older or non-traditional students, although almost everyone can benefit from working a few hours here and there to bring in extra income. Because online degree programs are designed to accommodate busy schedules, whether you work full-time or part-time, you can continue working and earning a paycheck during your program (possibly without even needing to ask your boss to adjust your work schedule).
You can complete your coursework on your own time
One of the great benefits of distance learning is that you can complete your coursework on your own time and on your own schedule. More of a morning person? Log in to your courses while you sip your morning coffee. Are you a night owl? That’s no problem either. Distance learning is flexible enough to fit any schedule.
You can set your own pace
With in-person lectures and classes, the instructors normally set the pace. Online, you’ll be able to complete course content at the pace that’s right for you. If you need to rewatch a video, reread a passage, or do more research before joining a discussion, you can make the time. Likewise, there’s no need to dwell on concepts you already understand. Online learning increases your control.
You can create your own learning environment
Some students prefer the peace and quiet of home over the hustle and bustle of a college campus or crowded lecture hall. Whether you prefer your home office, the local library, or places like Starbucks or Panera, you truly can complete your coursework anywhere.
A wide variety of programs are offered online
If you want to stay in the area where you already live, finding the program you want at a nearby campus might be difficult. Luckily, almost every type of program can be found with at least some online component. Many programs are available fully online, but, if your specific program can’t be completed 100% virtually, hybrid options are also available. Often, hybrid degrees will combine online classes with clinical experience, internships, rotations, or labs held in-person.
You can meet students and professionals from all over
Even though you may not meet your classmates or instructors in person, you still have plenty of opportunities to get to know and network with a variety of students and professionals all over your state, country, and even the world! Online learning can involve phone calls, video calls, interactive discussion boards, online student organizations, virtual events, and more, so that you’re interacting with others regularly and being exposed to all sorts of different ideas and perspectives.
Are you wondering if online learning is right for you? South College has more than 50 online programs/concentrations to choose from in disciplines that include business, health science, information technology, and more. To learn more about our online student experience or how one of our programs could help put you on the road to success, contact our Admissions team today.