Online college courses have become a popular form of education over the past few years. According to estimates by U.S. News & World Report, enrollment in online college programs has increased steadily over the past few years with at nearly six million students enrolled in at least one online college course as part of their degree program.

Additionally, 3 million students are currently enrolled in completely online degree programs. It’s safe to say that online learning is helping more people pursue higher education at an unprecedented level. Online coursework is hardly a new concept in education. In fact, “distance learning,” as a concept was developed nearly 300 years ago when the Boston Gazette advertised courses by post for people eager to learn shorthand in 1728.

In 1858 the University of London began offering degrees through mail correspondence and was later followed by the University of Wisconsin. Over time, many universities began offering distance learning courses for those wishing to continue their education. Today online education has proliferated dramatically, and people can find an online course or degree program for nearly any field. The prevalence of online education is not without its critics, however, and some still see online education has less stringent than traditional face-to-face educational opportunities.

While some may argue that online education isn’t as good as traditional education methods, all evidence leads to the contrary. In fact, online education offers many more benefits than some may realize. If you’re considering enrolling in an online degree program, but may feel skeptical about the results, think about these benefits that an online education can afford you.

Flexible Schedule

It’s a crazy, hectic world, filled with busy schedules. In fact, being an adult is the precise balance between work, school, friends, and family. Sometimes one or more of these things take a backseat to the others, for a lot of people, that’s education.

Balancing work and school doesn’t have to be a battle, with online coursework. Students, especially older adults with full-time jobs, don’t have to sacrifice career advancement while earning an education, instead, they can embark on the journey simultaneously. According to a survey conducted by The Learning House, 44 percent of online students reported improved employment standing both while in school and after graduation. Another 45 percent reported a salary increase during their education.

Comfortable Environment and Easy Commute

With online degree programs, the student decides the best learning environment. Not everyone is programmed to learn the same way, having the ability to choose the perfect environment in which to learn is important to student performance. Online degree programs allow students to decide the best learning environment for themselves. Not everyone is programmed to learn the same way, having the ability to choose the perfect environment in which to learn is important to student performance.

Students who need a quiet, calm environment to learn, might find it more enjoyable to participate in courses from their bedroom or a library. Modern technology has made it possible to learn anywhere and everywhere. Meanwhile, active students might enjoy listening to a professor’s podcast while working out on the treadmill or riding a bike. Online classes are also convenient, transportation and commuter costs are increasing, which makes an online education that much more charming. When classes can be taken online, it’s nice to be able to learn from the comfort of home on days with inclimate weather, which is why online classes wisconsin is one of the best choices for those with long commutes.

Less Expensive

College education costs continue to soar, so it’s important for prospective students with limited financial resources to seek the best way to obtain a college education. Often online degree programs offer the best alternative. Online college courses cost students less money in the long-term because they require students to only pay for what they need. For example, online college students cover the costs of tuition, textbooks, and the application fee (if there is one). Online college students forego paying housing costs which can range from an additional $10,000 to $12,000, or meal plans that can run as high as $3,000 per semester.

Variety of Topics to Choose From

College courses offered online cover just about any professional field, and probably more than most people would expect. The best part of online college courses, location is not a factor. While some students would turn down traditional college courses due to location, time or scheduling conflicts, online college students have the luxury of choosing classes regardless of where they take place. Unlike a traditional brick-and-mortar college education, online classes are offered every semester, even special topics classes that are usually only offered seasonally.

Choose Your Own Pace

Perhaps one of the most alluring advantages to online coursework, students can choose their own learning pace. No two brains are designed the same, so it’s important for students to learn at the pace that makes them comfortable. Students who tend to pick up concepts faster don’t feel held back by students who may need more time to understand course material, and vice versa.

Additionally, students can return to lecture materials and notes any time they need, ensuring that students truly are absorbing course material. Education is one of the most fundamental aspects of civilized society, online education is ensuring that everyone has an equal chance at knowledge in order to secure a bright and happy future.