It's Never too Late with Online Colleges

No matter how long it's been since you graduated high school, it's never too late to go back and get your degree. Whether you've been out of school a few years or a few decades, you can still attain the education you missed out on when you were younger.
More Adult Students
While it used to be odd to see an adult on a college campus carrying a load of books, that sight is very common today. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of adults over the age of 25 who went back to school increased by 42 percent. This is a higher rate than for those under 25 years, which increased only 34 percent.
Not everyone enrolling is in their 20s and 30s either. Many of them are in their 40s and on up into their 60s. You might even find a few students who are older than that, and are perhaps in their retirement and want to do something they missed out on when they were young.
You'll find these adult students in both online colleges and in the traditional classroom setting. Some of them are enrolled part-time while others carry a full class load. They may have a full-time job or they may have quit work to focus on studying full-time.
Everyone's Reasons are Different
The reasons that adults choose to go back to school are as varied as their ages.
  • You'll find some who wanted to go to college but didn't have that option when they were young. For them, this is the realization of a dream. They may be the first person in their family to graduate college.
  • Other adult students have lost their jobs and need to find a new skill set for today's work force.
  • Others are stuck in dead-end jobs with no hope of advancement or salary increases. Still others choose a college degree that was practical instead of what they really wanted to do.
  • There are also many students who want to advance in their current field or company and see an education as the way to do that.
The growth of online colleges has helped make a college degree a reality for many adults. You'll also see many college campuses changing to cater to the growing adult student population. It proves that it's never too late to go back to school and get the degree you've always wanted. Make your first step to making a college degree with this helpful recourse.

The Challenge of Going Back to School

Many adults dream of going to college and getting that degree they didn't get when they were younger. They may have skipped college in favor of getting a job right out of high school or dropped out of college before graduating. They may even have gotten a degree but not the one they wanted. Whatever the reason, they still dream of going back to school to obtain their goal.

Challenge #1: A Busy Schedule

For many, their lives are much more hectic today than they were when they graduated high school.
  • They have full-time jobs, sometimes more than one.
  • They often have families, including kids who need their attention.
  • It can be difficult to think about fitting homework and classes into that tight schedule.
This is why online classes become such a valuable resource. Many times, you can study when it fits into your schedule, even if that is in the middle of the night. Often, you can take longer than a traditional semester to complete a class or you can take one class at a time. You also don't have to worry about commuting, which is time that can be spent on other responsibilities.

Challenge #2: Paying for School

Another issue that faces adults who want to go back to school is the ability to pay for it.
  • They often don't qualify for the scholarships they would have right out of high school.
  • They also may not know about other scholarships and grants and often don't have the time to spend researching.
By choosing from the many online colleges available, they can usually find a program that is affordable and fits in their budget.
Studying online also reduces some of the other expenses associated with attending college. For instance, the cost of driving to class and parking fees can add up very quickly. With online classes, there isn't any room or board to pay since you'll be living at home and telecommuting. These are expenses that can add up over time. You are also not limited to attending a college in your area, but can shop around for one that fits in your price range.
Going back to school as an adult can be a challenge, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges for many. Looking at online colleges gives you more options to choose from and allows you to continue living the rest of your life while getting that important degree. So always check your possibilities with your education pal,

Studying on Colleges Online and the Question of Professors

The changing approach to education resulting in the continuing growth of online colleges. Although largely driven by financial considerations as tuition costs continue to rise dramatically, shutting many poor and even middle-class students out of the traditional college experience, the college online experience is growing in reputation and desirability as new software innovations combined with growing support within colleges and universities themselves creates a workable environment for earning an accredited degree without ever physically attending a single class.
Colleges promote online courses because that they are cheap to produce and conduct giving thenm an easy revenue source. Simultaneously, the process has its downside, making academics worried that the 'college online' movement will result in the unexpected extinction of a fixture of the academic world: The tenured professor - or perhaps all professors, entirely.

Less Important in Online Colleges

Whereas when physically attending courses students often place a great deal of importance on the professor conducting classes based on their reputations, experience, and real-world achievements, there is much less focus on this when it comes to online classes. And where it does exist it tends to focus on the 'rock star' status of some professors conducting 'MOOCs' - massive online open courses. For everyday courses taken in pursuit of a degree, there is much less focus on who is planning and teaching the course.
And colleges like it that way, because it cuts costs and gives them leverage:
  • In 1969, 78% of courses were taught by tenure-track professors. In 2013 that number has dropped to 33%.
  • The bulk of courses are today taught by Adjuncts, who are basically freelancers and earn about $3000 per class.
The move to adjunct professors is exacerbated by the move to online courses, which can be taught by any qualified individual.

Virtual Educators and College Online

Another concern is that even the 'rock star' professors that people will pay extra to learn from may find themselves teaching from beyond the grave. As online colleges are already reliant upon pre-recorded materials and lectures, the expectation is that someday a famed professor with excellent course materials may simply be continuously sold to new students, with no need to find a replacement professor unless significant changes and breakthroughs in the field make the existing course material useless or deprecated.
While the end of professors may be considered to be a melodramatic concept or perhaps even nothing of much concern, it does herald an upheaval in how we educate and learn - and therefore cannot be ignored.