ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Online College Education

Updated on October 26, 2009

Going back to college online

Going back to college has never been an easy thing to do. Trying to juggle a full or part time job, family duties, and children has always made it hard to make the time and travel to campus to complete a college education. This is not the case anymore! With new advances in technology, mainly the internet, it is now possible to obtain a college degree from the comfort of your own home. One still has to schedule online college with existing responsibilities and obligations, but not having to drive to campus to attend class is a huge benefit to many of us. It is even possible to attend an out of state school if you so desire.  All of the same financial aid benefits are available to online college students and if you already have some courses under your belt, you could probably transfer them to your new online school.

How to Find an Online College

It is extremely easy to find an online college these days. The first television ad I remember seeing was for University of Phoenix. Then recently I started seeing ads for Kaplan University and now a day doesn't go by where I don't see that gal singing the catchy jingle. I am sure those are all great programs, but if you really want to go to college online, I would suggest looking in your own back yard. Not literally of course, but do some research on state colleges. The reason being is you are most likely to get cheaper tuition from a state school than you would for an out of state college. When I started going back to college online, I first enrolled at Kaplan University. After a couple of semesters I looked into a state school here in Florida and was amazed at the savings in tuition! Needless to say I ended up transferring.

You more than likely will not see a commercial for your state colleges on television, but all you have to do is call them up and ask if they offer distance learning.  Make sure you research the information on what programs they offer online.  Even though they offer distance learning, there are some programs that might be "on campus" only.  The other thing you need to check on is their policy on testing.  When I attended Kaplan University, the whole class was done online, even the tests.  The state school I am at now though I have to travel to campus to take my mid terms and finals.  Just make sure you are able to travel to campus if it is required of you.  If the campus is too far away, you can check to see if you can take your tests at a location closer to you.  Some colleges will let you take the test at a Prometric testing center.

Guides to Distance Learning from Amazon.com!

Self Discipline is Required

One of the biggest obstacles to obtaining an online college education is self discipline.  A lot of the classes are self paced and one can easily fall behind if they procrastinate.  Since most communication with the professor is done via email, it is easy to ignore them when they start asking about late work, if they even email you at all.  If you are the "i'll get to it tomorrow" type of person, you really need to spend some serious time thinking if going to college online is the right thing for you.  There is a flip side to this also.  All of your course work is given to you in a schedule at the beginning of the semester and there is nothing stopping you from completing the course work ahead of schedule.  There may even be bonus points awarded for turning in early projects or tests.  So depending on your personality and work ethics, going to college online can be a great experience or a waste of your time and money.

How Does Online College Work?

Depending on the University, there are different things you need to accomplish on a schedule. For instance, one class I attended required us to attend a weekly chat session, participate on a discussion board on a weekly basis, and turn in a written project each week. However, another class I am enrolled in requires us to take a weekly quiz, turn in a weekly chapter summary of our reading, and email our professor once a week with what we did that week. Depending on your online college, each course may follow the same structure or you may have different requirements based on the individual professor and course.

Most online colleges have a site for you to log into, sometimes called a "portal" where you get access to your course work. You probably also have an email account assigned to you from the school to communicate with professors and other students. The online chat sessions, if required, are just a big chat room where the students listen to the professor lecture. This is done via typing or some professors choose to use audio. For submitting your assignments, rather then email them as attachments, you will more than likely have a section in your portal for dropping off work, typically called a "drop box". This makes it easier for the professor as they can collect the whole classes' assignments at once rather than download separate attachments from their email.

The Benefits of Going to College Online

The learning curve on going to college online can be steep, but once you get the hang of it, it really is an efficient way to gain an education.  Here are some of the benefits of distance learning:

  • No driving to class.  This not only saves you time, but also money in gas!
  • No need for a baby sitter.  As long as your kids aren't a huge distraction, you can go to class while they watch TV.
  • You can do other things while in class.  Eat your dinner, fold laundry, or even just relax outside with your laptop.
  • If you ever miss a class, there is usually a transcript of the lecture available to download.  No need to get class notes from a friend anymore.

So far going back to college online has been a good experience for me.  I am not the most motivated person in the world but so far I find it rather engaging.  At thirty five years old, working full time, with 2 kids and a wife that works nights (and also goes to school), if I can do it then so can you.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • ecamper23 profile image

      ecamper23 

      7 years ago

      There's so many advantages to going to school online like lower costs and more flexibility.

    • 1974 profile imageAUTHOR

      1974 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Well, you could always turn your home work into a Hub, or series of Hubs if it's lengthy enough.

    • SimeyC profile image

      Simon Cook 

      8 years ago from NJ, USA

      Nice hub - for me this probably wouldn't work - I'd get an email about an assignment and then think - OK one more hub before homework!!! too many distractions on the web for me!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)