Going Back To School Without Leaving Home

If you want to go to college but your life is already packed with responsibilities distance college courses might be for you.

If you've ever thought of continuing your education but just couldn't think of how to overcome the obstacles of time away from your family and job you might benefit from distance learning. You can get a college degree without ever leaving the comfort of your own home and work on it at your own pace. Many community colleges have been offering video courses for years but it is now possible to go to college completely from home using a computer and an Internet connection. Online universities were once thought of as "not real colleges" but great colleges like Montana State, Marist, Boston University, Penn State, Stanford, Duke, and many others are now offering online programs.

When you are enrolled in an online distance program at a university you can enjoy the same benefits as if you were to attend the old fashioned way. Distance learning can even save you a lot of money since won't have to spend money on commuting or living quarters. If you are disabled you won't have to worry about access to buildings. You can apply for financial aid and use scholarships to obtain an accredited degree. All of your courses are chosen from a course catalog on the university's web site and you decide how many courses you want to take at any given time. Online universities have bookstores on their web sites where you can obtain your texts and course materials without going out to shop. The degrees you can earn online are as diverse as degrees obtained the traditional way. You can earn certifications or work towards your degree in such fields as nursing, law, humanities, education, engineering and many more.

Once you have signed up for your courses and classes have begun you will find that there are many ways distance learning can work. Some assignments may be sent to you by e-mail and you will return your work to the instructor the same way. Some colleges will have message boards set up for giving assignments and discussing topics. At times the entire class might be asked to be online at a certain time to participate in discussions. Some courses may even have videotaped lessons that you can watch online or at home. Though there are deadlines for projects and assignments you will be able to work on them on your own time. Tests are taken by Internet, mail, or by going to an assigned testing center.



Distance learning is not easier than regular college and in fact it can be more difficult. You will still need to apply to online college programs and be accepted to them. There might be certain tests you will need to take before you can sign up for courses such as basic math and English. You are responsible for your own work and managing your time to get assignments done. You will have to read a great deal since lectures will come in the form of e-mails. You will be doing a tremendous amount of writing. You will not have the benefit of classroom discussion most of the time or be able to readily ask questions. You need to be highly motivated and responsible to succeed at distance learning. If you have children at home you might need to spend a lot of time at the library to get the peace and quiet you need to study.

If going to college from home seems like a good option for you a bit of research will go a long way towards choosing the right school. Be sure you choose a school with a good reputation that offers accredited degrees. Check to see if your credits can be transferred to other colleges if you want to switch schools or continue your degree in another program. Always check to see what kind of computer requirements your school has before you sign up or you may need to upgrade your equipment before you get started. You don't need to let the constraints of your life stand in the way of your education any longer!

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