Online Classes – An Introduction

The chance to go to college without leaving home is becoming more and more possible, with the increase in available online classes. You may need more education than you have to get that job you really want, or perhaps you’d like to go down a different career path. It’s very marketable to have more than one area of expertise, as well, regardless of the economic times you live in.

Online ClassesIf you’ve ever spent hours commuting to work and then school, you’ll know that it takes many hours, and you’re not always as ready for tests as you used to be, when school was the only thing on your agenda. High-school seniors graduating now can also choose to go to college online, rather than to leave home and have the whole “college campus” experience.

Many Americans who are tired of the commute, and the extra miles it puts on their cars, choose online education for their advanced training. Over four million people enrolled in online schools in one recent fall. That number was not even two million, back in 2003.

Schools that have always had online classes are seeing an uptick in enrollment, too. New enrollments were up by roughly 20% since 2008 at one major online college. Coursework right now is mainly designed for adults who also have jobs, but younger students are finding that it’s less of a drain mentally and financially to go to college online.

When colleges first went online, there wasn’t much regulation, and that resulted in poor quality and high prices for an education online. But many schools now are accredited, and if you don’t need the actual credits, but just the information, some classes are even free of charge.

There have been many recent advancements in software and hardware that help schools online to create more engaging, less expensive schooling. Online classes are even becoming more popular at long-established colleges, which didn’t offer online courses at all, in the recent past.

For those with an interest in learning, the improvements and increased competition are a good thing, making it more convenient and less expensive to attend college online. Classes offered online now even rival traditional classes, and they offer lower prices than the campus experience. There is a graduate program in Texas that only costs $413 per course, so you could get a master’s degree for less than $5000 and in only 18 months.

Many online colleges offer the same rate for in-state and out-of-state students, especially since no one will be using a classroom on campus. Watch for classes that are “too” cheap, though, since they may not be accredited as of yet.

If you select one new college this year, you can conceivably get courses and textbooks as well for free, if you’re studying for computer technology or business degrees. Colleges can accept students from around the world now, and they are ever-expanding. As more schools are accredited, prices may fall even lower, and many people will be able to expand their horizons at a much lower cost, using online classes as the basis for their degree choice.