Online Academics

Is online education right for you?

By Fort Hays State University on October, 28 2022

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Determining If You're a Good Fit for Online Education

If you've considered applying to an online university, you might have questions about whether or not you're suited for online and distance education. You might partake in an admissions screening for an online university contingent upon demonstrating your ability to learn on the web. The information you provide during this screening will help your admissions advisor determine if your learning style is compatible with online education.

For some prospective students, this portion of the admissions process may seem tedious. However, these screenings serve as a tool to measure your potential for success. Before applying, we encourage you to review these factors to see if you are ready to consider online learning.


Ask Yourself "What College Major Is Right for Me?"

Many degree programs are not available online or are only available partially online. Your college major impacts the classes you can take, the information you learn, and the degree you receive. You'll want to search through available online course catalogs to determine which universities offer your ideal major. A simple internet search for "online classes offered at colleges near me" will also help you get started.

If you are interested in a degree that requires face-to-face learning methods, you will likely not be able to complete your coursework at an online university. You may be able to find community college classes online that allow you to complete core credits, electives, and lower-level courses toward your degree, however.


Consider Your Learning Style

As previously mentioned, each individual learns differently. Depending on your university's platform, you may be responsible for reading the textbook and teaching yourself the material. If you struggle to understand concepts on your own with limited guidance from instructors or peers, an online university may not be the best solution for you. Check with an admissions counselor to get information on the learning platform the university uses.

If you prefer independent learning and are capable of holding yourself accountable with meeting deadlines, studying and reviewing material, and potentially researching topics on your own, you can thrive in an online setting.

Fun Fact: If you don't know what your learning style is, a university representative will be able to give you resources and free quizzes to help determine it.

Ultimately, how you learn will be a major deciding factor in your suitability for online courses.


Evaluate Your Schedule

Online students are often responsible for scheduling their own time to study, do homework, and review course material. If you have a busy schedule and aren't able to commit a few hours a day to schoolwork, you can fall behind. Consider how many hours you could reasonably commit to schoolwork. For full-time students, studying for approximately 15 hours a week is the average.

If you need a visual representation of how many hours you could logically allot to schoolwork, try downloading an online timesheet. Block out your daily routine and schedule time for meals, travel, and other activities. If you're unable to find at least a few hours several days a week to dedicate to school, you may need to ask yourself, "Is college right for me?"

At the end of the day, your online university experience relies on your ability to learn independently. This means finding the time to invest in your schoolwork regularly and holding yourself accountable with deadlines. Additionally, your field of interest will impact your ability to study online. Take this into account and consider reaching out to admissions teams if you have questions or concerns about your overall chances for success.

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