About this time every semester, many online students start to struggle. Class assignments are easy to put aside when other priorities - work responsibilities and family needs - are pressing. But, allowing yourself to get even a week behind can make catching up seem insurmountable. Even if your teacher is willing to give you some leeway, it can be a challenge to double up on assignments.
Don't let yourself fall behind this semester. See how these online students stay motivated and share your own tips.
Has it been a while since you were a student? If 5, 10, or 20+ years have passed, chances are that it may be a struggle to return to finish your degree. Many traditional programs will make you complete new requirements, consider some of your credits to be "expired," or force you to choose an entirely new degree program.
You can ease the transition and make your experience as a returning online student much easier by choosing the right kind of program. Take a look at these accredited online colleges that are designed specifically for returning adult students.
Want to learn Spanish, French, or Italian? How about a lesser-known language such as Mongolian, Nepali, or Fijian? You can now study over a hundred languages using online training material developed for Peace Corps volunteers.
You may not have the opportunity to live with a Colombian family while teaching English at a local school this year. But, that doesn't mean you can't work on your own language skills by spending a few minutes a day listening to podcasts or reviewing Peace Corps textbooks. Take a look.
You might know you're an online student when...you can never escape from school, your laptop is covered in crumbs, or you are increasingly developing poor posture.
Do you share traits in common with other online students? See how your fellow online students are responding and fill in the blank with your own response.
If you're attending an accredited online college, you may be able to qualify for a federal grant. Unlike student loans, most grants don't need to be repaid. It's basically free money for tuition, books, and other college-related expenses.
Grants are available for online students coming from low-income families, demonstrating academic excellence in certain fields, planning to fill the need for specific public service careers, and other qualifiers. Find out which federal grant options might be available to you.
Most major online colleges now have Twitter accounts where they share information about their programs for potential and current students. Twitter makes it easy to connect with colleges in a less formal atmosphere (colleges often share quick tips and insights they wouldn't necessarily publish on their websites). If you want to get up-to-the-minute updates about virtual education check out the twitter accounts from these top online colleges.
Also, don't forget to follow my Twitter account @OnlineLearn for distance learning news, issues, and discussion.
Several big name online colleges are money-making corporations. They charge tuition and a make significant profit from their students / customers. Can online programs like DeVry, Kaplan, and the University of Phoenix be reasonable alternatives for savvy students or are they a rip-off? Find out here.
I asked for your stories about bad online classes and received quite the outpouring of responses. From disrespect for differing opinions to absent professors, see what struggles fellow online students have shared.
Have a story of your own to share? It's not too late.
When it comes to determining whether or not an online college is reputable, the first think you want to find out is how that school is accredited. Through the U.S. Department of Education website, you can check any online college's accreditation status in about a minute.
If the school is accredited through the proper regional agency or the DETC, it is likely to be considered reputable and able to offer students financial aid through federal programs. If it doesn't show up, you might want to reconsider your options.
They have poor job prospects but a lot of hope for the future. They tend to be open-minded and are more likely than previous generations to still be living with their parents. If you're taking online classes, chances are that you're a millennial (18-30ish) or are surrounded by them. And, they're changing the course of online education in a big way.
Take a look at this new article to see 10 things that millennials are teaching us about the future of online learning.
Image Credit: Creative Commons Attribution - Chad Magiera