Who Attends Online Schools?
Many people tend to assume that people earning an online school
degree are older than traditional college students and working a
full-time job. While it's true that accredited online schools are
a popular choice for many working adults looking to go back to school,
there may be more diversity than you think in your virtual classroom.
Traditional college students: Many recent high
school graduates who are either taking a few online courses in combination
with on-campus classes or earning their bachelor's degree entirely
online. Younger people choose to earn an online school degree for
many of the same reasons adult learners do: they save money on housing
and commuting, they're able to work full-time while attending school
and they appreciate the flexibility and variety that come from being
able to attend school from any location.
Home-schooled students: Some people who earned
their high school degree at home are already familiar with using
the Internet. People who have used online or distance learning throughout
their primary and secondary education find that attending an online
school for college education is a relatively smooth transition.
Military personnel: Some online schools are particularly
well-suited for military personnel who want to earn their degree
while they're on active duty or on reserve. This allows them to
go directly into their chosen career field when they leave the military,
rather than spend an additional four or more years in school. Online
schools allow these students to continue their studies through deployments
and to stay in the same school if they have to switch bases.
Stay-at-home parents: Attending an online school
allows stay-at-home moms and dads to earn their degree without having
to pay the additional costs of commuting and childcare. They also
have the flexibility of being able to continue to care for their
family while furthering their own education. Some parents are also
attracted to the idea of earning a degree from an online school
because attending a traditional college class filled with younger
students can be intimidating.
Seniors: Yes, some people decide to go back to
school even after retirement age. They may be looking to get started
in a new career or pursue a passion they put off when they were
raising a family. Because online schools are often accustomed to
working with non-traditional students, they can easily provide a
welcoming and accommodating environment for senior students.
Working professional: Of course, many students
who attend online schools are busy, working professionals who are
hoping to change careers or advance in their current field with
additional education. For these students, the flexibility offered
by online degree courses is vital to making sure they can juggle
the responsibilities of work, family and school.
What do students of online schools have
You may find that many of your virtual classmates come from different
backgrounds, are living in different geographical locations or have
different career goals than you do, but you're also likely to find
that you share some similarities. For example, students of online
schools tend to have basic computer skills and are motivated to
learn. Like you, these students must be organized and self-disciplined
to complete their online courses and they probably learn well through
independent study and reading.
The diversity you'll find among students at an online school can
offer you an incredible learning opportunity that goes beyond the
required coursework. You'll have the benefit of learning with people
who bring with them a variety of life experiences and perspectives,
many of which may be very different than what you're used to. But
you're also likely to find yourself working with a group of people
who, like you, are serious about finding the best ways to achieve
Questions to Ask Online Schools
• When is your application deadline?
• What is the deadline to drop a class and get a refund?
• When do all financial Aide applications need to be in?
• Are there designated times throughout the day that you will
have to be logged onto the computer?
• What is your absence policy
These are just some of the questions that you should ask when you
have picked the online program that you are going to attend.