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Going To College: Is Online College Right For Me?

Updated on September 17, 2014
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Rebecca has been a freelancer online for 6+ years. She enjoys writing, editing and being a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful little girls.

Students from all over the world maybe in your virtual classroom.
Students from all over the world maybe in your virtual classroom. | Source

Distance Learning Benefits

Choosing to attend an institute of higher learning is a major decision. A major decision that requires time, effort, financial responsibility, and dedication on a student's part. Whether your a junior in high school planning your college career or someone who has been out of the high school scene for quite some time choosing to embark on higher learning is definitely an awe-inspiring, life changing goal.

Are you Cut Out for Online College Courses?

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First Things First - Survey Your Life

With so many options on where to go to obtain your degree it's important to take into account your personal situation. A junior in high school may find that going away to a brick-and mortar school fits their life plan best. While the single mother, working full time, with a family at home, may find that online college courses at a local community college or distance learning through a private university suits her lifestyle best.

If you've decided to choose an online school to facilitate your distance learning, for whatever reason, the next questions should be are you cut out to be an online student? Do you have the self discipline to complete projects regardless of anything life may throw your way?

Online College Courses

College courses online are technology based. They revolve around discussion groups, group projects, email, Skype, or a combination of any of the above.

Online college courses also have online materials, books, syllabus, libraries, help center's etc. You won't lack in the tools provided by your online university of choice but you need to know your way around a computer pretty well to succeed.

When choosing an online college environment it's imperative that you know your way around a computer, are familiar with some computer programs, and have the motivation to succeed. If you posses all three of the qualities above your well on your way to success.

Online Colleges

Many colleges offer online classes or complete programs online. While other's offer degrees that allow some classes to be taken online and other classes require face to face attendance.

It's very important to find out everything about the colleges requirements, degree requirements, class requirements, financial aid, or lack there of, and any thing else you may be held responsible for before enrolling The last thing you want is to find out your degree isn't accepted in your home state because you took all your classes online with no hands on experience. For instance, medical programs often require a residency or clinical hours to complete your degree.

Ask as many questions as possible. Then ask friends and family if they think there is anything else you should ask. Once you feel like online classes are a good fit and you know everything your personally responsible for, start your journey of becoming a college graduate.

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Online College Degrees

A degree from an online college is no different then a degree from a brick and mortar school. As long as you do your due diligence and insure that your desired degree is from an accredited school and has reciprocity in your state.

In fact some employers see it as an added bonus that a student has the ability to navigate their way around a computer. While other employers may question the amount of learning facilitated through an online degree as time goes on more and more employers are accepting online degrees as the way of the future.

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Some things to keep in mind....

The college atmosphere is much different then the high school atmosphere. College professors expect you to be in complete control of your grades, school work, responsibilities, and how your accumulated credits are adding up towards your degree.

Remember that college is a large investment, not just financially, it requires a great deal of time and studying to obtain a college degree but the pay off is worth the effort ten-fold.

According to U.S. News & World Report "online college enrollment is steadily on the rise with 62.4 percent of the colleges surveyed in 2012 offer fully online degree programs, compared with just 32.5 percent in 2002.

The time to enroll in college is now. Make it happen. Stand out from the crowd. Good luck.

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