Online college can be a life-changing choice. But, it’s certainly not for every student. Take a look at these ten reasons not to earn a degree online before deciding that virtual learning is right for you.
1. Online classes lack the same structure as traditional courses. Many students thrive with a flexible schedule. But, these courses can be difficult for students that prefer a set meeting time and strictly enforced deadlines. Some online learners feel overwhelmed when they realize that they haven’t properly paced themselves.
2. Online students don’t talk to their instructors face-to-face. Online students can often get in touch with their instructors through course websites, email, phone calls, and video chat. But, for some, nothing can beat a face-to-face meeting.
3. Online colleges (usually) don’t have a graduation ceremony. If throwing that cap and gown is particularly important to you, you may want to stick to a physical campus. While some traditional universities with online programs invite their virtual students to graduation, many virtual colleges don’t offer this option.
4.Online students don’t have an academic environment to escape to. Can you learn just as well in a messy house full of kids, an excitable dog, and constant phone calls? Some students find that they just can’t stay focused without escaping to a calm, on-campus library or student center.
5. Virtual programs don’t offer the full college living experience. Younger students, in particular, may feel like they’re missing out on the full cultural college experience when they enroll online. It’s true that virtual programs don’t have house parties, fraternities, football games, and excessive amounts of underage drinking.
6. Online colleges require students to be technologically capable. As online learning curriculum evolves, it tends to require that students develop more technological capabilities. Today’s students are often expected to be able to use chat rooms, participate in video conferencing, upload in multiple file formats, and more. If you find new technology frustrating and would rather not figure out new multimedia formats every year you’re enrolled, you’d probably prefer a traditional program.
7. Online students have a harder time making friends with their peers. While traditional courses are filled with students from nearby cities, online courses are filled with peers from around the world. It’s not so easy to ask an online peer to grab a cup of coffee or meet you before class for a study session.
8. Online colleges don’t offer the same hands-on experiences. While many subjects don’t require hands-on experiences, some suffer without them. Many of the sciences, for example, require extensive labs. Some subjects are simply not taught through online colleges. Others may require students to do labs on their own, which may be frustrating for some learners.
9. Virtual schools don’t offer the same extra-curricular activities. Want to join the choir or get involved in intramural sports? You may be out of luck if you’re an online student. Virtual programs simply can’t keep up with the numerous active clubs and extra-curriculars you’ll find on a traditional campus.
10. Online colleges lack work-study programs. Some college students afford their tuition by earning money through their college’s work-study program. Since most online colleges don’t have physical campuses, job opportunities simply aren’t available.
Finished the list and still convinced that online college fits your needs? You’re already ahead of most students. By being fully informed of the potential disadvantages, you’ll be ready to make the most of the many advantages and opportunities that are available to online learners.