Most college students will get to visit a campus before they enroll. They will have the opportunity to get a real “feel” for the school, get a good idea of what their fellow students are like, and meet teachers in a one on one basis. This gives most incoming students a good idea of what their academic experience is going to be like.
For those doing an online college search there are usually no campuses to visit (though more and more traditional colleges and universities are offering online degrees), there is no library to browse, no student lounge or cafeteria to meet new friends, no face to face experience with professors. This however will not greatly affect most traditional online college students. Why? Because most of the students who enjoy an online college degree program take their courses and classes because the traditional college experience is not an option for them.
The predominant number of people who do an online college search begin their search because they need to take classes in their spare time or at their own pace, and a traditional college or university does not make that opportunity available. While there are many schools that have “twilight” and evening classes available for people working full time jobs, this too can present a problem. Many people who are trying to get an education while maintaining their full time jobs do so because they have families with children or other responsibilities and cannot sit in a classroom for two to three hours twice each week.
For many people an online college search provides a lot of answers. First they get to see how easy it will be for them to set and meet some educational and career goals. The amazing number of degree and certificate programs available can meet almost any need or interest.
Secondly, an online college search may present them with an affordable method of increasing their own earning potential or professional opportunities that they were previously unaware of. For example, some people are convinced they must commit to a full time course load for a four year education, and after performing their online college search realize that they are able to take a part time course load for a two year program or certificate. This can allow them to continue on to a four year degree if they choose, without needing to apply to a different school altogether.
Finally, many people who do an online college search find that there are courses and classes that may not pertain to their field of study, but they can take as part of their degree work. This is often a source of delight for many people who are unaware of the “general studies” requirement that is a basis for any degree program or major.