A lot of people still believe that the digital college experience is nothing more than a charade. A lot of people are also old and uneducated! There are plenty of pros behind opting to take college classes online instead of attending a college in person, and some of them even make the online college experience better than the one where you’re hungover or stoned, surrounded by people you don’t really care about. The possibilities of online college are not quite endless, but they’re pretty vast. If you’re thinking of learning steel-working or naval engineering using online classes, quit while you’re ahead. Those topics are better left for those who want to be immersed in a world of hands-on projects. If you’re antisocial, have grown into your couch cushions, have a real disability, or prefer not to travel/sell your soul to the devil for the next thirty years of your life (see: college loans), then online classes may be for you. Here are some reasons why online college classes sometimes trump attending an actual college.
That’s right. Cheetos. You can eat as many sloppy, nasty snacks in your underwear whilst getting your learn on. You can be the laziest, most slovenly person in your entire state and still get a great education. No need to dress up, worry about impressing the girl/boy sitting across from you, or even merely keep your hygiene at a barely acceptable level of healthiness. Fill your room with the carcasses of dead animals, paint your face in clown makeup, fail to shower for a month and then go get that degree, smarty-pants! No one’s watching, unless that’s what you’re into.
Do you have three kids or just one really crappy boyfriend? If so, you probably work long hours trying to support them. It’s often said that college is a job in itself, and with good reason; full time college students spend most of their time in class or studying (see: playing beer pong with a physics textbook beneath the uneven table leg). Attending school three to five days a week, cramming for tests, and traveling back and forth between classes (for those who don’t dorm) is incredibly time consuming. Jobs can be flexible, but only so much — they’ve got to perform as well, and it could be more convenient for the position to be filled by someone who is readily available rather than someone who needs to be worked around. Online college classes bend to fit the student’s needs; scheduling becomes way easier, because courses can be completed within a certain time frame instead of at a certain hour. While it’s definitely possible (and a good idea) to keep at least a part-time job while attending college, the extra responsibility of working can burn a student out. Sure, there are on-campus jobs in the video room, front desk, and library, but once those are taken up it’s time to go searching in town. Many college towns don’t have the greatest options, either — working in a pizza place might be fun, but unless you’re going to culinary school it probably won’t help you as much as a job or internship related to your major. Online college classes give the student so much freedom to budget their time in a way that makes sense for each person individually; a job, an internship, and time with the kids can fit in without stressing out the student.
The average cost of public college is 20k for the academic year, while private colleges run 40k for the academic year. If you’re the average person, you probably don’t know many people with hundreds of thousands lying around, waiting to be spent. That’s where student loans come in. Wow, aren’t they great? A company will just give you the money you need to attend school and promise not to collect any interest on it for a set number of years. That sounds amazing! Except for one thing: it’s terrible. Nationally, billions upon billions of dollars are owned in student loans. If the average loan payment is $300, it will take years for one person to pay off a loan of just 20k while paying the minimum payment. Most people have credit cards, rent, phone bills, internet bills, and utilities to pay as well. If the loan is defaulted (not paid for a certain number of days), the government sends a collection agency to rape you by adding an additional 25% interest to the average 9% you’re already paying. As the government hands out more loan money, colleges chuckle and raise their already-sky-high prices. Statistically, student loans postpone people’s plans of buying a house and even raising a family. Online college courses are typically somewhat cheaper. Even the ones that are just as pricey as attending college can help save money based on a few simple things. The flexible schedule allows the student to work and make money while attending college. Online college courses also require no transportation, so money spent traveling (or buying food while at school, or even dorming) are eliminated.
4. Minimum Traveling
Not all colleges provide the classes and courses one may desire. If a person is unwilling to travel but still wants to take a class they can’t find in a nearby college, online college classes may be the best option. Taking classes online can prevent a person from settling for a second-choice major, which is pretty important considering that the degree received in the end will ultimately dictate a huge portion of that person’s life. If traveling is not an option due to health issues, family issues, children, or other constraints, taking the desired classes online might be the answer.
5. Freedom to be Kinda Late
Typically, online classes have deadlines that are slightly different from in-person college in the way that assignments can be completed within the semester instead of on a particular date. A good way to prevent all-night Adderall benders is to take online college classes, because time can be budgeted in a flexible manner. This is not to say that completing the assignment will be any easier; the student still needs to be diligent and work hard when it comes to their assignments, but their schedule lends more flexibility to how and when it gets done.
6. Cheating (is Bad)
If you’re considering taking online college courses, you have probably already realized (or at least wondered about) the ease of cheating during online testing. Who’s checking? Unless your mom is standing over your shoulder like the wrinkled old hawk she is, it’s possible to pass your online exams with flying colors by being a total cheater. There’s really nothing stopping you. Oh, except one thing: the knowledge that after your digital graduation, you’ll probably need all the information in your head instead of copied from one page to another. Cheating may help you pass, but real life is not nearly as easy to fool as a silly old computer (until the evil computer overlords take over, at least). It’s important to keep in mind that the skills learned during online college courses will need to be applied in order for you to obtain a job in your desired field of occupation…Unless you plan to be a thief or a con-artist.