Why are online classes gaining popularity among adult students? Should you consider taking online classes?

There is a 150 percent increase in the number of students choosing distance learning courses as part of their regular college curriculum between 1998 and 2008. At the same time, 89 percent of four-year public colleges and universities offer online classes, compared to 60 percent of four-year private schools.* There is no doubt that online education is on the rise, and there are many valid reasons for its popularity.


It’s more affordable

Price is foremost on everybody’s mind when it comes to higher education. These days, most American families will find it difficult, if not impossible, to afford to pay for the cost of a traditional postsecondary education. However, there is simply no getting around the fact that completing college education is necessary in order to get decent jobs. Not only are tuition fees more affordable with online education, but students do not have to spend for transportation, housing and other expenses related with traditional face-to-face learning. Additionally, students can take advantage of free online courses offered by many colleges and universities.

It offers flexibility

Here’s another statistic: 27 percent of distance learners are employed full-time. Another important feature that entices students to take online classes is that they can schedule their classes around their responsibilities, such as their jobs and families. Online learning gives working students a chance to improve their knowledge and skills during their free time. Stay-at-home parents can now also go back to college and finish what they started or learn something entirely different to prepare them for a new career down the road.

It provides access to great education

You’ve probably heard or read about it in the news – Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, MIT, and other Ivy League schools and top-ranking universities across the United States now also generously offer online classes, some of them for free, allowing the general public access to their knowledge and expertise. These schools are getting increasingly involved in online education and you can benefit from it!

It teaches time management skills

In order to succeed in an online learning environment, you will need to develop time management and organization skills. While most online certificate, associate or degree programs allow you to schedule your classes according to your most convenient time, you will still need to meet deadlines for homework, projects, papers or tests. Procrastinating will most assuredly lead to failure of your online classes, so if you want to make sure you complete your requirements and earn your certificate or degree, you must learn how to manage your time wisely.

You can find a variety of online classes that interest you

Students are not limited to a handful of choices. These days, you can find online classes on just about anything that you may be interested in. Those interested in a career as a nursing aide can find CNA classes online; aspiring photographers can look for online photography classes; prospective teachers have access to online education programs; and so on.

Whether or not virtual education will become the norm in the near future is up in the air. However, online education is undoubtedly a practical, affordable, accessible and convenient solution to the education needs of the growing number American families who cannot afford traditional college education.

* http://www.edtechmagazine.com/higher/article/2012/07/50-striking-statistics-about-distance-learning-higher-education