Top 8 Benefits of Online Learning for College Students

Online learning has taken the world of higher education by storm over the last decade. Gone are the days when the only way you could earn a degree is by physically being on a college or university campus. Whether you’re a student returning to finish your bachelor’s or you want to earn your master’s degree without disrupting your career, there are undeniable benefits to online learning.

If you have a family, a job, a routine, or are just pressed for time and not interested in commuting to campus every day, taking online college courses can be a great way for you to find time for your education. While it’s true online courses might not be the right choice for everyone, there are some pretty convincing benefits to online learning for busy adults who are considering returning to school.

If you’re thinking about earning your next degree online, here are 8 tangible benefits to to doing so that might convince you:

  1. Lower cost for the same degree
  2. Flexible scheduling
  3. No geographical limitations
  4. More free time
  5. Better time management skills
  6. Improved quality of learning
  7. Chance to broaden your network
  8. Opportunity for career advancement or change

1. Lower Cost for the Same Degree

Online learning can save students a surprising amount of money. At many schools, the cost of tuition for an online program is often slightly less than the cost of the on-campus version of the same program.

Even in instances where this isn’t the case, online learning can save you money in other ways. You won’t have to pay for housing or a meal plan, your fees will probably be lower, and you won’t have the added cost of commuting. Even books are sometimes less expensive if they are offered in a digital format.

Whichever way you look at it, taking college courses online is undeniably more affordable.

2. Flexible Scheduling

This is easily our favorite benefit of online learning. When you sign up for a college course online, you get to fit your studies around your life, not the other way around.

With a traditional on-campus program, classes are at the same time every week. But when you take a class online in an asynchronous format, you can watch the lectures whenever is most convenient for you. If you’re a morning person, you can wake up early and study before work. If you’re a night owl, you can take your classes once everyone else has gone to bed. Too busy on Tuesday to get to class? You can watch the lecture on Wednesday.

This control over your schedule helps you balance school, life, and work. Online study works with your schedule, not against it.

3. Not Bound by Geography

Studying when you want is great. What’s even better is being able to choose a respected university that may be outside your hometown. For instance, while UC Online welcomes many students from the Cincinnati metro and throughout Ohio, other students enroll from all across the U.S. We also accept international students in our online degree programs.

Knowing you can travel or even make a move to another city (for example, with a job change) and still attend UC Online allows you to continue your education without missing a beat. You log in to class from wherever you are in the world, and your instructors and classmates can do the same. It makes for a rich and diverse learning experience when you get to know people from other locations and backgrounds.

4. More Free Time

When you’re not commuting to and from campus for classes, you’re going to have more free time in your schedule. Online classes—just like in-person classes—require a lot of studying, so you can use that free time to keep up with your coursework or use it to pencil in some time for relaxation.

You’ve still got to take care of yourself to be successful.

5. Develop Good Time Management Skills

A lesser celebrated benefit of online learning is that it forces you to develop great time management skills.

When you don’t need to go to campus to attend class, it can be easy to let procrastination get in the way. Truly successful online students force themselves to develop good time management skills. You need to consciously set aside time to study at regular intervals during the week. It’ll be hard at first, but once you get in the habit, you’ll realize you’ve developed a skill that will help you not only in your studies but also in your future career.

Online learning teaches you how to make a schedule and stick to it.

Benefits of online education for college learning infographic

6. Improved Quality of Learning

You know that moment when you’re sitting in class and your mind drifts, just for a second? Your professor said something important but you didn’t catch it. Don’t you ever wish you could just press rewind and watch the lecture again?

That’s how online learning works. Many students actually report they have an easier time learning complex material, because they can rewatch lectures and review materials at their own pace.

On top of this, online courses often include supplemental reading materials and extra study guides to help keep students engaged in the material. In fact, UC Online makes an intentional effort to offer classes that are certified by Quality Matters—the gold standard for quality assurance in online education. The end result? A better learning environment.

7. Expand Your Network

Online education gives you the opportunity to network with peers across nations or even different continents. This could lead to professional opportunities you might not be exposed to in a traditional classroom setting. Take advantage of your networking opportunities on day one of classes by actively participating in class discussions, and when the timing is right, introduce yourself to your classmates.

8. Career Advancement or Career Change

One of the best benefits of online learning is the opportunity it gives you to advance your career. You don’t even need to quit your current job while you earn your degree.

Earning a degree online can show your current employer that you are dedicated to your field. It can set you up with the credentials you need to make a big career change. Earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree online can increase your salary, help you get a promotion, or secure your dream job.

Use online college courses to prove to yourself and your employer that you are worth more.

The Benefits of Online Learning Keep On Giving

The truth is, online learning can have different benefits for each and every student. As long as you commit to the coursework, stick to a schedule, and keep your eyes on your goal, you’ll find a wealth of benefits from taking online college courses.

If you’re considering an online degree, many of the University of Cincinnati’s most popular degree programs are offered completely online. Find your next degree now or send a message to an enrollment advisor today to learn more.

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