School Online: is it Better?

School Online
There have never been more opportunities for students to complete school online. As MOOCs (massive open online courses) began to gain recognition and grow in popularity over the last decade, colleges and universities of all kinds — from local community colleges to Ivy League universities like Harvard — now offer a number of online courses for both personal enjoyment and course credits. Like the school experience itself, the school online environment has a number of benefits and disadvantages that vary from school to school and student to student.

Advantages and Drawbacks of School Online

According to statistics, enrollment in online classes has been growing every year for over a decade, mostly at the undergraduate level. As of 2016, more than six million students were taking at least one online course, mostly at public colleges and universities. Despite the fact that online learning makes certain programs available to students around the world, studies have found that more than half of students enrolled in online coursework do so at institutions located in their state of residence, or within 50 miles of their chosen institution.

Benefits of Online Learning

The ability to combine on-campus and online learning has a number of benefits, especially for adult students balancing career and family obligations with education. Younger students can also benefit from the flexibility offered by online classes in a number of ways.

Learn at Your Own Pace

Despite the one-size-fits-all of most schools, every student learns differently. A more introverted student may find that it is easier to do well in an environment with less direct competition and the public speaking element that comes with sitting in a classroom face to face with other students. For working adults and parents, the option to complete coursework in the quiet early morning or late evening hours (or even during a lunch break) may determine whether or not to take and complete a course.

Less Pressure

Every class and institution has a different courses and set of requirements that often include exams, papers and deadlines, just like their in-person counterparts. But online classes are generally structured to allow students to work their way through the course at their own pace. If you find that you do not perform well under pressure, or prefer to take your time with the material in more small intervals than what is possible in a regular, in-person class, online classes may be a good option.


If it seems like every Starbucks and coffee shop is filled with people very focuses on their laptops or tablets.It is likely that many of them are either working or studying remotely. Whether you prefer to work in the comfort of your own bedroom or living room, or like the buzz and activity found in a coffee shop, there are no rules on your location when it comes to school online.

Save Time, and Money

In addition to the convenience factor, studying online can be a budget-friendly option in terms of time and money saved commuting, eating on campus and paying for additional facility fees and services.
Other potential benefits of taking classes online include:
  • Complete required classes/transfer credits for degree program
  • Save on tuition
  • Study at different schools
  • Variety of topics and courses

Improve Job Opportunities or Change Careers

Maybe you’ve already completed your undergraduate or master’s degree, but need to refresh your technical skills or complete a set of certifications to stay competitive or advance further in your current career. Or perhaps you’re looking to switch careers to take advantage of better job prospects and opportunities in a different field. Online learning is not limited to degree seekers. Many colleges and universities also offer continuing education, professional and certificate courses designed to teach new skills without necessarily committing to a new degree.

Factors to Consider for School Online

In order to be successful and get the most out of online learning platforms, there are a few factors to keep in mind.

Time Management Skills

The casual nature of online classes can be difficult for students who struggle to self-motivate or are lacking in time management skills. Without a professor and other students to enforce a timeline and deadlines, you will have to make an additional effort to focus and stay motivated.

Social Isolation

Working from home and on your own time has many benefits, but it can also be lonely and isolating. Not being on campus also lowers opportunities to create both personal and professional connections that can enhance the academic experience.

Limited Access to Faculty and Staff

Many online schools include virtual office hours and community forums for students to discuss class material and exchange feedback. But if you have questions or need support, it is usually more limited than in an on-campus class.

How Colleges and Universities Are Making It Easier for Students to Go to School Online

The rise of personal technology and communications has made online education and learning easier. Although many programs offer the opportunity to complete all course work online, most universities and colleges offer some form of hybrid programs that allow students to benefit from the online and on-campus experience. Video conferencing and online productivity tools like Skype, FaceTime, Google Chat and Slack are making it easier for schools to create more comprehensive and accessible learning environments for online students.
Creating a Link Between Campus and Computer
Universities and employers are working to design programs that offer the best of both worlds for online students, combining the ease of flexible online coursework with physical meeting spaces closer to home, as well as on campus. Some examples include:
  • Partnering with co-working spaces to offer online school students in-person meeting space and amenities.
  • Reworking course requirements for some programs to offer more flexibility to the traditional four year timeline for example, and allowing students to complete or switch coursework in a longer and more flexible window to help with work schedules, or career changes for older students.
  • “Micro Masters” programs that allow students to complete graduate courses online in a more condensed format, which can then be transferred to complete a traditional graduate degree program on campus.

Choosing the Right School Online Program

Doing research and speaking to admissions staff is as important for online learning as on-campus learning in order to find the best fit for your needs. For more information, visit

Three predictions about the future of hi

Three predictions about the future of higher education – The Washington Post

“2. The strongest universities are those that depend on more than just students for their revenue. Moody’s gave Northeastern University a “positive outlook” based in part on its “revenue diversification” attributed to the university’s expansion in research buildings and faculty.

There is much discussion these days about whether colleges and universities need to “unbundle” their operations to lower their prices instead of being all things to all people. One argument in favor of unbundling is whether universities should be in the business of teaching undergraduates and conducting research.

But if schools are only in the business of teaching students — which is the case at most small private colleges — they are heavily dependent on student tuition dollars to sustain their operations. Elite liberal-arts colleges, like Williams and Amherst, have big endowments to help their bottom lines, but most institutions are not so lucky. As student and families struggle to pay tuition bills, schools will need other revenue streams beyond undergraduates.

That’s one reason why instead of unbundling research from teaching, many schools might move in the opposite direction, like Northeastern, and double down on their research efforts to attract new dollars.

3. States might be getting out of the business of higher education, but most public institutions still depend on taxpayer dollars. The third ratings action was for the University of Illinois, which received a “negative outlook” for some of its bonds.

While Moody’s noted that the university itself is in strong financial shape and continues to be popular among students, it remains dependent on the state for one-third of its operating budget. And in case you haven’t heard, Illinois still doesn’t have a state budget, dating back to the beginning of its fiscal year in July.

There’s been much debate in recent years about the role of public colleges in an era when students pay for more than half their education in most states. Sure, state funds might make up less than 10 percent of the budget at the University of Virginia, the University of Michigan, and Berkeley, but the fact of the matter is that most public colleges couldn’t survive if not for their states.

You only need to look through these few ratings actions by Moody’s to get a sense of the enormous challenges facing higher education. In this election year, one of the things about which candidates on both sides agree is that higher education is in need of change. Now the question is whether their solutions will be tackling the right problems.”