OPINION: Online school promotes academic, financial flexibility

OPINION: Online school promotes academic, financial flexibility

The shift of college classes from in-person to online learning over the past several months has certainly resulted in the disappointment of many students, but these online classes could also potentially provide great opportunities for students. With the option to save money, make student-friendly schedules and pursue career enhancement opportunities, students have an opportunity with online classes to excel in many different phases of their lives.

Online learning will prohibit certain academic fields, like engineering and biology, from getting the most of their education due to social distancing guidelines, like that of Kennesaw State. However, in areas of study like technology and media, online classes will allow students to flourish and apply what they have learned in a practical manner.

Many students would love the chance to graduate with a little less student debt. With remote learning, many students have had the opportunity to live at home with their families instead of renting an apartment on or off-campus. The ability to live at home gives students the chance to save on housing costs, which at many schools is upward of $8,000, according to My College Guide.

Prior to classes being online, students had to reserve time for lengthy classes and commute. With virtual classes, going to and from classes is removed entirely as one only needs to log onto a computer to attend, where they would be able to multitask in many cases.

There are many asynchronous classes involved in online learning, according to The Best Schools. These types of classes allow students to be in full control of their schedule as they are not expected to be in a class at any given time. Even classes that meet virtually still provide flexibility to a students’ busy schedule, as they no longer have to deal with commute times.

Scheduling conflicts are a huge pain for students in a typical semester who have other responsibilities such as a job, internship, childcare or being a part of a campus organization. Now with online learning, students have less strict course schedules, according to Open Education Database. With more flexible schedules, students are now able to better juggle multiple responsibilities throughout the semester.

By taking online classes, students have the option to allocate their time to personal hobbies or taking care of themselves, which traditional classes do not allow as much time for. Without having to stay on campus for hours between classes, students can use their additional free time to focus on activities they did not have the time for in the past.

Career opportunities are now more prevalent than ever, especially in the media industry, in terms of internships and networking possibilities. Many recognizable media outlets — such as CNN and The Daily Caller — are offering remote internships this semester. Remote internships are usually offered by many small companies but seeing big names offer fully remote internships is not so common.

The most sought after internships are typically in large cities like Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York City. As a result, students far from these cities miss out on tremendous opportunities for internships and networking opportunities.

With the implementation of remote internships, students in the smallest of towns will receive the same opportunities as those in the biggest of cities. Students living far from large metropolitan areas now have the ability to save money with these internships as well, as they will not have to worry about the cost of travel or lodging.

The shift to online learning was a drastic transition for everyone involved in higher education. However, it has provided great benefits for students that will allow them to enhance their knowledge and skills in their respective fields, while saving them from hassle and increased debt.

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