After months of applying, drafting entrance essays, and staring outside waiting for the postman, the time has come: you’ve been accepted to college. Rather, you’ve been accepted to several colleges and now find yourself facing an important choice. Deciding where to go for college is a daunting decision that could greatly impact your future. As such, you need to weigh a handful of factors to determine what the best fit might be.
As is true of many major decisions, you need to evaluate the costs. It might be easy enough to assume that tuition is roughly the same no matter where you go but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Costs can vary from state to state, by city, by the pedigree of the school, and by how exclusive a given program is. In-person schooling costs more, naturally, as you have to factor in the use of campus facilities as well as housing.
Online programs, like those offered by Excelsior College, are typically far more affordable. Usually, you’re only paying the fee for the course (which is often reduced when viewed against in-person learning) as well as textbook expenses. Occasionally, you’ll need to invest in additional software or computer programs but this will vary from class to class.
This doesn’t mean you should choose the cheapest and go for it. Instead, consider options like scholarships and grants before making a decision. Cheaper also doesn’t mean an inferior education so don’t let that cloud your judgement either.
Online or in-person?
Another reason many prospective students choose Excelsior College is because of the flexibility that online learning offers. You don’t have to show up to in-person courses. Learning is often far more self-paced, which means you’re in greater control of your education. Plus, if you so desire, you could easily do all of your coursework in your PJs while an episode of “This Is Us” plays in the background. Excelsior College’s online degree paths cater to a wide array of varied interests as well so there’s no need to worry about whether or not you’ll be able to study the topics that fascinate you most.
This isn’t to say that there’s no value in an in-person education, however. For many learners, this is the preferred environment. You get face-to-face interaction with your professors, which is greatly beneficial to some. Other students crave the structure and routine offered by more traditional education. You know where you need to be and when and that never changes. Also, you get access to facilities which often include libraries, media centers, gymnasiums, and student unions. There’s also the social aspect to consider. If you’re someone who craves physical interaction and socialization, online learning might not be the best fit for you. Though online programs do offer some degree of socialization, you likely won’t be directly interacting with your peers all that often.
Trust your instincts
Whether an online program like Excelsior College or a more traditional, on-campus education, the decision ultimately rests with you. Oftentimes, when it comes to education, you should listen to your heart as much as you listen to your head. If you feel a particularly strong pull to a specific institution, it could be your subconscious telling you where you’re supposed to be. As long as you’ve done an adequate amount of research, carefully considered your finances, and are certain that you’re making the best possible decision for your education, you’re on the right path to continued learning. All that’s left is to sign up for some courses, purchase your textbooks, and get ready to embark on an exciting educational journey.