With the costs of traditional education rising over 35% within the last 10 years, the idea of taking college online courses has gone from being humorous to a serious consideration for those wishing to further their education. The decision to complete a degree online or fulfill degree requirements by utilizing college online classes has become a much more practical one than in years past. In addition to the substantial savings in education costs over traditional college courses, online college courses offer a unique and individually tailored lifestyle that college campuses will never be able to accommodate.

Although the value of a college education surely merits the commitment and focus that the traditional manner of attaining a degree requires, most people who have come to see the need for it cannot afford to surrender their entire lifestyle to the pursuit. Income that needs to be maintained and family obligations often rule out the full-time student experience. Even part-time or night class programs can place too much of a burden on the aspiring student. Enrolling in online college courses offer the student the flexibility to work education into the daily and weekly schedule in a way that will not require the sacrifice of employment or caring for loved ones. Since the majority of people spend a number of hours in front of the computer every day, the time commitment required to participate in college online courses is an easier adjustment than sitting in a classroom. The student does not have to factor in travel time when scheduling college online classes, either.

Time management is important for any student, especially one who is juggling work, home and education. Online college courses are not conducted on a strict schedule. There are no set class meeting times and assignments are usually only required to be completed and turned in before the end of the term or semester in college online courses. Attendance is not an issue when taking college online classes so there is a great deal of stress removed for the student and they are free to concentrate on the content of the online college courses with less interference. Tests and quizzes administered as a part of most college online courses are given a certain number of days (usually a week) in which they can be completed which gives the student ample time to prepare. The students can determine for themselves when they are ready to be tested and this also removes a great deal of anxiety typically associated with continuing education.

In addition to being able to schedule the time necessary for completing college online classes, the student also has more options in choosing coursework and degree paths. Although a student may be enrolled in online college courses from one institution, there is nothing prohibiting taking college online courses from another institution simultaneously. Being a “student” of one institution and the ownership that has traditionally been bestowed on it does not apply to the relationship that is forged through online education. The online college student has more control and autonomy than the traditional student and can therefore determine the educational path individually.

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