Even prior to COVID-19, online learning had been experiencing tremendous growth and an exponential increase in popularity. In fact, there are now over 1,000 accredited schools offering online educational courses in hundreds of programs.
That’s a lot of growth and a lot of students. And many of those students are seniors. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, college students aged 50 years and older are one of the fastest-growing segments of nontraditional students.
Here is a look at the advantages to pursuing online degrees.
The Advantages of an Online Education
- There are no geographical limitations. Online learning is a great option for people who have mobility issues or who are no longer comfortable commuting long distances or during evening hours. There is no commuting or parking problem. Plus, if you couldn’t study at your dream institution in the past because it was too far away, it’s now possible with online learning.
- Some coursework and programs are specifically designed for seniors. There are online courses designed to cater specifically to the senior population. These courses are less structured and often pair seniors with individual advisors who explain how online courses work. Some schools even offer introductory courses to bring seniors up to speed on the technology they’ll need to use in class.
- Tuition assistance or reduced tuition. Many colleges and universities offer special financial assistance or reduced tuition for seniors who wish to further their education. Some states even offer free online courses for seniors.
- Flexible. One of the many advantages of online learning is its flexibility. Not only can you learn from the comfort of your own home, but some online classes are asynchronous, which means you don’t have to attend class at the same time everyone else does; you can read and review materials according to your own schedule.
- Learn new skills. For those seniors who are not ready to retire, pursuing an online degree is an excellent way to establish a new skill set, especially if they are looking to start a second career. The reality today is that many seniors just can’t afford to retire and are keen on earning some extra income. Obtaining an online degree can give seniors a fresh start at a new career.
- Improved cognitive function. By taking online classes, seniors hone their problem solving and collaboration skills, boost their social interaction, and improve their computer and technology skills.
Are you ready to go back to college?
It’s never too late to pursue your degree. Whether you’re pursuing your dream of completing a degree or looking to learn new skills, the option to do so is available to you at less cost and greater convenience than ever before.