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Online Colleges vs Traditional Colleges

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Submitted By sandy1942
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Online Colleges vs Traditional Colleges
Are online colleges academically comparative to traditional colleges? While many still question the legitimacy of online colleges, more than two out of every three colleges and universities offer credit courses or degrees online. With enrollment in online colleges increasing 38 percent from 1999 – 2009 to 20.4 million, it shows that online colleges are the way of the future. Adult students have to work full time to support families and need competitive priced colleges and scheduling. Online colleges offer the same academic rewards as traditional schools and remain competitively priced.
Online and traditional colleges both seek accreditations and maintain them. The two types of accreditation that colleges and universities seek are institutional and specialized that is from nongovernmental agencies. Regional and national institutions provide institutional accreditation for colleges and universities. Six regional associations operate independently but cooperate fully with each other and acknowledge one another’s accreditations. Extensive criteria needs met to hold accreditations including a strong commitment to high academic standards that uphold and advance excellence in higher learning. In addition, when assessments are received, colleges and universities use the results to update curriculum, pedagogy, instructional resources, and student services. These accreditations make the quality of learning equal in online and traditional colleges. Learning environments are unique in both online and traditional colleges. Both learning environments have classrooms, libraries, course books, strict policies, assignments, and the chance for discussions. Both online and traditional colleges promote interaction between students and instructors for collaboration and active discussion.
Academic criteria for both online and traditional colleges are held to high standards. The curriculum for both types of colleges has to meet certain criteria to maintain their accreditation. This means both online and traditional colleges offer the same curriculum and by doing so offer the same high academic standards. Online and traditional college’s assignments have to meet style guidelines such as APA, MLA, CMS, and CSE, and students have to learn these styles to finish assignments correctly. Online colleges have assignments similar to traditional college’s with late policies in place like traditional colleges. As part of the accreditation process, grading criteria was established in both online colleges and traditional colleges. By establishing grading criteria both online and traditional colleges maintain high academic standards. Employers are viewing online colleges with a new awareness as well. With the workforce changing and the necessity to accommodate working adults and their families, they are opening their minds to the idea of online colleges. An online institution, Excelsior College and Zogby International, did an online survey of CEOs and business owners nationwide that were familiar with online distance learning. In the survey they found that 83 percent of the executives said that an online degree was as credible as one earned through a traditional college.
Online colleges and traditional colleges remain competitively priced. How much college costs a student depends on several factors. Some colleges are higher priced than other colleges no matter where they are located. Whether a student goes full or part time will factor into the cost. When a student goes full time to a traditional college the tuition and fees will vary just like an online college. At CollegeBoard.com, they break down the bill with expenses to consider. The student going to the traditional college will then have to consider room and board if they decide to live on or close by the campus. These charges will vary depending on the room and meal plan that is chosen. The cost of books and supplies is another cost traditional college students have. The National Average for books and supplies for 2011-12 is $1,168. The costs of travel adds to the costs of traditional schools. Whether the student is traveling home for a visit or back and forth to a local campus, the gas adds up. The national average for public college students who lived on campus for 2011-12 is $1,082. For students driving back and forth, that number would be much higher. In addition, with the prices of gas sky rocketing to $4.00 a gallon and more, that cost could become much higher. The continuing cost of car maintenance and repairs adds to the financial costs of the traditional college student. In many instances, full time traditional students find it hard to work a full time job around their classes where online students have the flexibility of scheduling and are able to work full time if needed.
With so many people losing their jobs without the prospect of one anytime soon, many are returning to college to further their education. There are thousands of accredited online colleges and traditional colleges for a student to make a wise choice. While making the decision to go to college online or to a traditional college is a personal choice, a student will receive the same educational rewards, with the cost varying, depend on the college they choose.

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