Many veterans automatically turn to online programs assuming it will be the only avenue possible to them. The reality is that completing a degree online can be extremely challenging and not all students are well-suited to it.
It's not that you can't be successful with an online program, but many approach it the wrong way thinking it will be easier or more convenient than traditional classes. This is far from the truth.
Consider the following challenges:
- If you find a good online program this means that it will be just as rigorous and challenging as a traditional class. You must leave yourself enough time to go through the online material, study and complete assignments. Squeezing this in at the end of the day when you are exhausted often leads to failure
- Not having the physical presence of a teacher and classmates means you are the only one holding yourself accountable. Other responsibilities can often interfere with prioritizing your schoolwork.
- If you are a social person, studying alone at home can be extremely draining. Some methods to counter-act this would be participating in video or group chats, meeting up with friends to study, or even taking your work to the coffee house or library so you can have some person-to-person interaction while working.
- Reports have shown that online programs have higher dropout rates and those who do complete the program often need several extra years. The reasons for this are myriad: students lose interest, part-time or full-time work interferes with studying, or accountability slips and students simply aren't able to keep their grades up.
While taking classes online is convenient, it is 100% up to you to stay focused on your school work. If you feel that you are not a good candidate for online work, don't worry! There are other options, including other types of distance and online learning that may work better for you.