What Are the Benefits of Online College?

by Neil Kokemuller, Demand Media Google

Whether you want a single class or an entire degree, online college courses offer several advantages over the traditional classroom counterpart. Higher student demand has contributed to 77 percent of institutions offering at least some online college courses. Web-based colleges, such as Phoenix University, offer entire degree programs online.

Distance Learning

Historically, distance learning meant going to a classroom and experiencing a class taught by an instructor in a different location via a television connection. Since the early 21st century, online colleges have helped broaden the notion of distance learning. Online classes allow you to attend school essentially anywhere where you can connect to the Web. Thus you can take a two-week trip to Florida mid-semester and still keep up with daily course requirements. This benefit also minimizes commuting for local students and cuts down on related travel costs.


When you attend college online, you can create your own classroom environment. Instead of sitting at a desk in a row and watching an instructor lecturing with PowerPoint and a white board, you can set up your own desk or study spot and attend school in your pajamas. You can also plan your class time around your work schedule and other personal activities to make it fit your schedule.

Technology Skill Development

Typically, a basic understanding of a computer and the Web are necessary to get started with an online course. However, your technology skills will likely grow exponentially in two to four years if you dedicate yourself to the learning process. Online students get to experience virtual discussion forums, use email for regular communication, conduct research on the Web, complete tests using software tools and often engage with other students through social media and video watching.


You can save a lot of money with an online college as well. Online universities often have lower tuition and fees than traditional colleges because of their more efficient cost structure and fewer physical buildings. You might pay slightly higher per class tuition rates for online courses at traditional colleges. However, you also save money on gas and transportation, and your schedule is more flexible, which allows you to work more regularly. This is especially important to adult learners returning to school who need to maintain full-time employment.

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About the Author

Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.

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