In the era of digitalization, online education has emerged as a popular option for students across various age groups. However, amid the pandemic, the demand for virtual education has skyrocketed. With many colleges moving to remote learning, a new trend has emerged: the 100 percent online college. Such colleges offer degree programs that can be completed entirely through a virtual medium.
With the growing demand for online education, the number of 100 percent online colleges is on the rise. These colleges offer a diverse range of programs spanning from bachelor’s to master’s degrees in various fields. These colleges also offer a flexible schedule, allowing students to complete their studies at their own pace. This means that students can continue with their jobs or other commitments and still earn a degree. Furthermore, online colleges are often cheaper than traditional institutions, making them an ideal choice for many students.
What Are 100 Percent Online Colleges?
Online colleges that offer all course materials and instruction through a virtual platform, eliminating the need for any physical attendance or in-person interaction.
The Pros and Cons of 100 Percent Online Colleges
Pros include flexibility, cost effectiveness, and accessibility for non-traditional students, while cons include potential for isolation, lack of hands-on experience, and lower perceived value by some employers.
What are 100 Percent Online Colleges?
100 percent online colleges are institutions that offer degree programs exclusively through online education. These colleges use technology to deliver course material, host virtual classrooms and provide support services for distance learners. The programs offer flexibility and convenience for working adults, parents, and students living in remote areas or those unable to attend on-campus classes. Such colleges receive accreditation from the same organizations that accredit traditional institutions and provide the same quality of education.
Advantages of 100 Percent Online Colleges
There are several advantages to enrolling in a 100 percent online college, which include:
- Flexibility: Online programs are designed to offer more flexibility to students as they can decide when they want to attend classes based on their schedule. It is ideal for working adults and parents who have other commitments.
- Accessibility: Students can access course material and submit assignments from anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection. It eliminates the need to commute to a physical location.
- Cost savings: Online programs tend to be less expensive than traditional colleges since there are no commuting, housing, and textbook expenses. Students can save money on tuition fees, making education more affordable.
- It increases technical skills: Online learning allows students to become familiar with a host of software and hardware tools, social media, online platforms that they are likely to encounter in their future careers. It makes them more versatile and hirable in today’s technologically driven job market.
Examples of 100 Percent Online Colleges
Several colleges offer 100 percent online degree programs across the United States. Here are some of the best:
- University of Florida: The University of Florida, located in Gainesville, offers more than 20 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, which include business administration, public health, and environmental management. The university is ranked in the top 10 by US News and World Report for its online programs.
- Pennsylvania State University World Campus: Pennsylvania State University offers more than 150 degree and certificate programs in business, criminal justice, engineering, and technology. It’s accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is recognized among the top 50 online colleges for the eighth year in a row.
- Southern New Hampshire University: Southern New Hampshire University is one of the fastest-growing universities in the country and offers more than 200 degree programs. The university has been recognized by Forbes magazine as one of America’s top colleges.
- Arizona State University: Arizona State University offers over 150 fully online undergraduate and graduate degree programs across six academic colleges. Its online program ranks as the second-best in the country according to US News and World Report.
- Excelsior College: Excelsior College is one of the pioneers in online education, offering more than 30 degree programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and offers transfer credits, making it easy for students to transfer coursework and complete their degree.
Challenges of 100 Percent Online Colleges
Despite the benefits, there are several challenges that students face while studying in a 100 percent online college. Here are some of them:
- Less hands-on experience: Certain classes, like lab classes and hands-on training, are impossible in an online format, which can limit the practical experience that students get from the program
- Limited social interaction: online classes do not offer the same social interactions as on-campus classes, leaving students feeling isolated and disconnected
- It requires self-motivation: Online classes require more self-motivation than on-campus classes. Without regular class meetings, students are responsible for staying on track with their coursework and submitting assignments on time.
100 percent online colleges are an excellent option for students looking to pursue higher education while still maintaining their current lifestyle. Students should consider enrolling in accredited online colleges, ensuring the quality of their education, and be ready to create a learning schedule and keep up their self-motivation.
FAQ on 100 Percent Online Colleges
Question 1: Are 100 percent online colleges legitimate?
Yes, 100 percent online colleges are legitimate. These institutions are accredited by recognized accrediting agencies and follow the same academic standards as traditional college programs. Accreditation ensures that the institution meets certain educational standards and provides quality education to students. However, it is important to research the school before enrolling to make sure it is accredited and meets your academic goals.
Question 2: Can I earn a degree online from a 100 percent online college?
Yes, you can earn a degree from a 100 percent online college. These institutions offer various programs from associate, bachelor’s, master’s and even doctorate degrees in different fields. You can complete these programs entirely online, without ever having to attend a physical class. The coursework and assignments are delivered through an online learning management system (LMS) and students interact with professors and classmates via email, discussion boards, and web conferencing platforms.
Question 3: How long does it take to earn a degree online from a 100 percent online college?
The time it takes to earn a degree online from a 100 percent online college differs from program to program and depends on the student’s pace. Some programs can take as little as 12 months for a diploma or certificate to 6 years for a doctorate degree. The programs are designed to be flexible, allowing students to complete their coursework at their own pace while working or attending to other responsibilities.
Question 4: What are the admission requirements for online colleges?
The admission requirements for online colleges vary, but most require a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Some colleges may also require a minimum GPA, entrance exam scores such as SAT or ACT, and proof of language proficiency for international students. Some programs also require work experience or prerequisite coursework, while others accept students without any prior college experience. Check with the specific institution for their admission requirements.
Question 5: How do online colleges handle exams?
Online colleges use different methods to administer exams, depending on the program and the instructor. Some programs use proctored exams, where students must take exams under the supervision of a proctor, usually at a local testing center. Other programs may use virtual proctoring software that monitors students’ computer activity during the exam to ensure academic integrity. Some instructors may use alternative methods besides traditional tests, such as essays, research papers, or group projects.
Question 6: How much do online colleges cost?
The cost of online colleges varies, depending on the program and the institution. Some programs may cost less than traditional colleges, while others may cost more. The tuition and fees for online programs depend on different factors such as residency status and whether the institution is public or private. However, online students do save on costs such as transportation, accommodation, textbooks, and other expenses associated with attending campus. It is best to research different schools and their tuition and fees structure and compare them before selecting a program.
Question 7: What are the benefits of earning a degree from an online college?
Earning a degree from an online college comes with various benefits. Online programs offer flexibility, allowing students to complete their coursework at their own pace while meeting other responsibilities such as work, family, or other activities. Online classes also offer a diverse student population, with students from different backgrounds and locations. Students can also save on costs associated with attending campus such as accommodation and transportation. Online colleges also offer a variety of accredited programs from associate to doctorate degrees.
Question 8: Can I transfer my credits from an online college to a traditional college?
Yes, credits earned from online colleges are transferable to traditional colleges, or vice versa, as long as they are from accredited institutions. Some colleges have articulation agreements that make credit transfers more seamless between certain programs. However, the specific transfer policies vary by institution, and it is essential to research the transfer policies of the college you plan to transfer to before starting the transfer process.
Question 9: Are online colleges right for me?
Online colleges are suitable for students who need flexibility, have busy schedules, or prefer non-traditional forms of learning. Online programs are great for self-motivated students who can manage their time and stay organized. Online college is also an excellent option for students who may struggle to afford traditional colleges, need to work, or have family responsibilities. The best way to determine if online colleges are right for you is to research and weigh the pros and cons of different programs and pick the ones that fit your situation.
Question 10: How do I select the right online college?
Selecting the right online college depends on your academic goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. Start by researching different institutions and their accreditation status, program offerings, tuition and fees, and admission requirements. It is essential to select a program that meets your academic and career goals. Look for institutions with a good reputation and a history of strong academic outcomes. You should also consider the level of academic support and the resources available to students such as tutoring, advising, and career services. Take your time to compare different programs and select the one that is best suited for your needs.