8 Things Every High School Student Should Know About Online Learning

1. It’s flexible.
Already have a part or full-time job you love at home? Not looking forward to the campus experience? Don’t short-change yourself by delaying your college education. Online learning allows you to access your courses at anytime, anywhere through the Internet.

2. It’s cheaper.
Most four-year institutions require that freshman (and sometimes sophomores) live in on-campus housing. Why not cut out the cost of room & board? If home will have you, why not start with online courses? In addition to saving on housing fees, you’ll save on gas, parking fees, and time spent traveling to & from school.

3. It’s challenging.
Thinking online courses are easier than traditional on-campus courses? Think again. Online courses are taught by real instructors who apply the same rigid standards for success in an online class as they would in a traditional classroom. You’ll still need to devote a sufficient number of hours each week toward each online course in order to be successful.

4. It’s diverse.
Online learning is no longer limited in the programs and courses offered to students. Minnesota State Colleges & Universities (MnSCU) currently boasts more than 300 online programs (in addition to the thousands of annual course offerings) ranging from business to health services to technology to energy. Check out Minnesota Online for a complete listing.  Not only are online program offerings varied, but your virtual classroom will be diverse as well. Fellow classmates will vary in age, ethnicity, and economic status. Think of the networking!

5. It’s hot.
ISEEK.org says that growing careers in Minnesota include retail, internet publishing, individual & family services, network administrators, registered nurses, and accountants. And don’t forget about the huge growth in the green/energy industry! Minnesota Online offers certificates, diplomas, and degrees in all of these areas.

6. It’s technical.
Beef up your basic computer skills because online learning will put them to use. You will need your own computer and access to the Internet. Online courses will routinely require you to navigate the web, participate in online discussion boards, read and send emails, and use general computer software like Microsoft Word, Excel & Powerpoint.

7. It’s eligible for aid.
Programs and courses listed at Minnesota Online are offered by accredited colleges and universities within Minnesota State Colleges & Universities (MnSCU). If you plan to apply for financial aid, any grants or loans you qualify for can be applied to your online courses. Details will be worked out with the college you choose to enroll in. Feel free to ask an Online Advisor at Minnesota Online for help.

8. It’s transferable.

MnSCU’s four-year universities, the University of Minnesota, some private colleges, and even a few out-state colleges will accept a 2-year degree that meets the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum. Why not complete your first 2 years of general education courses online from the comfort of your home, at a cheaper tuition rate? Your transfer opportunities are numerous to move on to a Bachelors and maybe even Masters degree!

Contributor: Nicole Seifert, Online Student Advisor

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