More people are applying for and earning their bachelor’s degrees than ever before, but not everyone fits into the mold of a traditional, four-year college student. When following the typical educational path is not possible due to personal circumstances, an online degree program may be the best option. Ever-improving technology and an increase in online programs from accredited universities have made education available to nearly everyone with an Internet connection.
For anyone considering it, these are 5 advantages to getting a bachelor’s degree online:
1. A Flexible Course Schedule
The single largest reason that people choose an online bachelor’s degree is for the flexibility of the course work. Many nontraditional students, such as those returning to school as adults with families or those who must work full-time jobs while attending, find the online option much more conducive to their schedules. These individuals can attend classes when it is convenient for them, completing the coursework after work, from the airport or hotel during a business trip or while their children are asleep rather than being required to physically be in class at specified times each day.
2. No Commute
Along with the class time flexibility, online degrees negate the commute to a brick-and-mortar campus. Students do not have to travel to and from campus, saving time that can be used at work or in preparing for the classes. Degree coursework can be completed from any convenient location, such as from home or from a local library or coffee shop. Students do not have to worry about bad weather preventing them from traveling, especially for classes that have attendance requirements. The lack of commute also saves students money for gas and automobile care.
3. Accelerated Degree Possibilities
Depending on the class load, degree requirements and scheduling options of a specific online program, many Internet students are able to get their degree faster than those who attend a traditional brick-and-mortar university. With round-the-clock access to coursework, many students are able to complete their class requirements more quickly than those students who must attend classes on certain days each week at their colleges. For example, while a traditional student typically takes four years to complete a bachelor’s degree, an online student can sometimes finish in half that time. However, this acceleration is completely dependent on the specific online degree program and requirements.
4. Interactive Learning Environment
Although classmate interaction has been encouraged for college students for decades, online degree programs offer an enhanced opportunity for this collaboration. Because students never meet in person on campus, all discussions, work sessions and interactions must be completed entirely through the Internet. With technology such as FaceTime and Google Docs, students can now work together from locations across the country or even around the world on the same projects simultaneously. This unique opportunity allows more diverse groups with a wide variety of ideas and perspectives to create interesting projects.
The cost of tuition and associated fees varies between universities, but online programs are typically less expensive than traditional college options. Because students are not using campus resources, such as classrooms and technology, universities save on these expenses. Some universities are also hoping to increase the popularity of their online programs, offering degree options for less to attract additional students. There are financial aid packages for online-degree students, and some employers will also offer tuition help or reimbursement for continuing education in job-related degrees.
From nontraditional students looking for an opportunity to complete their educations more conveniently to typical college-age students who simply want a more convenient option to earn their degrees, Internet-only programs are an increasingly attractive option. In today’s technology-focused world, online bachelor’s degrees have many advantages and are becoming more common.
See also: Top 10 Cheap Online Bachelor’s Degrees