While earning a degree online originally had a negative connotation, the tide has begun to turn and many reputable online colleges are offering first-rate education to students who may may only be on campus for graduation. Not only has public opinion shifted with respect to online education, but more importantly, so has the perception among educators making decisions about providing online education. A 2006 study by the Sloan Consortium indicates that 62% of chief academic officers at schools already engaged in online education believe that "the quality of online instruction is no more difficult than for face-to-face, and an increasing majority view the quality of online education as the same or better than face-to-face instruction." Additionally, a report issued by the National Center for Education Statistics indicates that in 2006-07, 32% of all 2-year and 4-year institutions had degree or certificate programs that were intended to be completed solely through distance learning.

The advantages of going to college online are many. Online schools provide flexible scheduling and, frequently, accelerated programs that allow students to do more studying in a shorter time frame, thereby allowing students to complete their studies more quickly. While some say that online programs rob students of the opportunity to participate in face-to-face discussions, the reality is that online classes do not allow students to sit quietly without participating as actually happens quite often in traditional classrooms. Not having to drive to and from a campus, working in the comfort of your own home, and the reduced cost of book expenses that may be eliminated due to online access to these same materials are other important benefits to attending an online college.

Of course, there are a few opportunities available with traditional colleges that online colleges do not have. Some people find that keeping motivated and on-task is difficult when they do not have the structure of a specific class time. Getting to know the faculty in person can sometimes produce a more intimate connection that some feel will add to the learning experience. Additionally, sometimes people enjoy the camaraderie that occurs when living on campus together when friendships can develop in class as well as outside of class.

When thinking about attending an online college, it is important to take all of these factors into consideration. Many of the old reasons for not getting a degree online have been eliminated and the decision about going to an online college should be about what works best for you and your situation. Going to college online is a practical and obtainable endeavor that works well for many students with more potential being created every year.

Featured Online Colleges

Kaplan University - Associate's, Bachelor's, & Master's Degrees. Kaplan University offers college degrees in many of the fastest growing industries in the United States today. With accredited degrees at affordable prices, Kaplan makes it easy to get a college degree in just over two years.
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University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix - Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's & Doctorate Degrees. University of Phoenix is one of the world's most respected online universities with a large number of upper level degree plans to choose from. University of Phoenix has classroom classes available as well as being able to take classes from the comfort of your home.

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