Being a college dropout is basically a cliche. Kanye West’s album ‘The College Dropout’ resonated with so many Americans for a reason—it’s a classic story. How much is dropping out part of the American experience? Well, one in three college students will drop out. Let that sink in for a moment. It’s a pretty big percentage. Considering the advantages that finishing your bachelor’s degree can bring you like lower unemployment and higher salary it’s no wonder that many who drop out later reconsider.
Looking at the statistics, it may seem like there’s a basic structural problem in higher education if so many people drop out. And there may be something to that, which may explain why so many colleges are working hard to tailor programs to help students who are in danger of dropping out. After all, degree completion and career placement statistics are important recruiting tools for most colleges and universities—they quite literally look bad if too many of their students dropout.
Beyond preventing dropouts, many schools are trying to work with those who have already quit school. Degree finishing programs seem to be popping up everywhere. Unsurprisingly, most try to take into account the reasons people drop out in the first place. In degree completion programs, heavy focus is placed on flexible schedules and supporting students with work and family commitments. One of the primary ways to make class schedules flexible is to offer degree completion programs online.
Online bachelor’s degree programs are offered in a wide range of disciplines from the arts to the sciences. They’re also increasingly available from some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country. There are many reasons for this including expanding focus on reaching more students, and increased access to high-speed internet. Many schools are also finding that by increasing their online offerings they can streamline experiences for their traditional on-campus students by offering them online options as well as in-person classes without needing to expand their campus.
While online degrees become more common, some students may worry that they aren’t as valuable as traditional degrees, or that online degrees may carry a stigma, that simply is not the case. Generally, online bachelor’s degrees are indistinguishable from bachelor’s degrees earned on campus. And the academic rigor required to earn a degree online is often considered more difficult as students are required to learn new material largely on their own through reading and study.
Debunking the myth that online degrees are somehow lesser than degrees earned in person has become a mission of many online degree program directors. Most accredited college and university programs offer the same services that traditional students can expect. Online students may enjoy everything from student government experiences to custom library services to tutoring services and academic advisors or counselors.
As online four-year degree offerings expand, more career fields become open to online students each year. So if you thought finishing your degree online wasn’t an option, it may be time to look into online bachelor’s degree completion programs again. You won’t be disappointed!