Long gone are the days when you had to take night classes at your local community college to earn credits towards your degree. These days, all you need to earn college credits – while in high school or as part of a continuing education career path – is access to a computer with internet access. Online learning is one of the fastest, easiest, and most affordable ways to learn new skills, earn credits for general education requirements and prerequisites, or try out a new field of study.
1. A Large Variety of Classes to Choose From
One of the biggest benefits of online learning is you can complete many, if not all, of your college general education requirements quickly and affordably. StraighterLine offers many of the most common college and university gen eds, all fully transferable to over 150 of our partner schools. Two subjects you’ll likely have to take are English and math.
English classes are more than reading books. In college, your English gen ed requirements help with reading comprehension, as well as improve your writing, which is a marketable skill highly valued by prospective employers. StraighterLine even has an English class for Business majors!
- ENG101: English Composition I: This course provides an excellent in-depth approach to various writing genres and enables students to write a selection of essays, including a comprehensive research paper.
- BUS105: Business Communication: One of our most popular courses, Business Communication helps students learn how to write in a professional tone for a variety of business-style documents.
Even if you major in 18th Century British Literature, you’ll probably need at least one math class to meet graduation requirements. StraighterLine offers several classes to help you take advantage of the benefits of online education, including:
- MAT101: College Algebra: A required course or prerequisite for most majors, our College Algebra class is perfect for those who need help overcoming their fear of math.
- MAT201: Precalculus: Our popular Precalculus class provides thorough instruction and review of common concepts covered in college-level math and helps you prepare for success in General Calculus I.
Electives Relevant to Your Interests & Career
Not only can you fulfill several common gen ed requirements through StraighterLine, you can also start taking classes relevant to your major! These are just a few of the many classes we offer across a wide range of topics.
- ANTH101: Cultural Anthropology: Not just for anthropology majors, this course is commonly taken to fulfill a humanities and/or social science general education requirement.
- USHIST101: United States History I: This course focuses on the US before 1861. Students learn about European exploration and colonization of the New World and examine the impact on Europe, Africa, and the young United States.
- MEDTERM101: Medical Terminology: A popular course for students planning to pursue a nursing, medical assistant, or other health science degree, this course introduces elements of medical terminology you’ll need to know in your career.
- REL101: Intro to Religion: This is a popular course for the fulfillment of a humanities requirement. Students gain a comprehensive overview of cultural and religious phenomena around the world, including commonalities and differences among religious traditions and contexts.
- PHIL101: Intro to Philosophy: This course is a critical introduction to the field of philosophical inquiry. It examines the history of Western thought, from the famous Greek philosophers up to the cutting-edge intellectuals of today.
- IT101: Information Technology Fundamentals: For those considering a career in IT or other computer science, this course offers an overview of fundamental IT topics, including software, hardware, and networks.
2. Multiple Ways to Receive Support
In a classroom setting, you’re one of many, which limits your ability to communicate one-on-one with your instructor. Even if your professor has office hours, they may not be convenient for you. One of the benefits of online learning is the ability to receive on-demand tutoring and writing lab help at any time to get personal feedback. StraighterLine has three ways you can reach student support services: live chat, email, or by phone.
3. It Doesn't Cost as Much
College is expensive. The average cost for a credit hour as an in-state student at a public university is $448. StraighterLine offers our courses starting at just $79, plus $99 for our monthly membership.
4. You Can Customize Your Learning Environment
Online learners benefit from being able to customize their study area. Go wherever you feel the most comfortable and can concentrate on your assignments. Work on an essay for English Comp I at your favorite coffee shop, learn a College Algebra unit in your living room, or take a US History I quiz at your dining table.
5. You Can Enjoy a Flexible Schedule
One of the great benefits of online learning is you can earn a degree while working part- or full-time. Online education has the benefit of letting you take classes on a schedule that works for you, day or night, any day of the week. Since you don’t have to commute to a campus, it might be easier to fit classes into your schedule. And if the online classes you choose are asynchronous, like the ones StraighterLine offers, you can take them any time you want!
6. Boost Your Career Advancement Opportunities
If you’re working on your degree already, online classes can help you finish college faster and more affordably with courses that meet your school’s gen ed requirements. You’ll get a great education and be ready sooner to apply your new knowledge in the workforce. But online learning isn’t only for college students. Adults looking for a new career, a lateral move within their company, or a promotion or raise should consider online learning as a way to develop the skills they need to get ahead. With online learning, you can complete the continuing education you need to advance to the next level — without spending years at a traditional college.
7. It's Eco-Friendly
Zero commute means zero emissions. You’ll also save money on gas or public transportation. And online-only learning can help you stay eco-friendly by cutting down on the number of school supplies you’ll need to buy, like books, paper, and plastic notebooks.
8. Your Online College Credits Can Transfer
A huge benefit of online education is that you can transfer your credits to the college or university of your choice. StraighterLine has partnered with over 150 schools that are guaranteed to accept your StraighterLine credits. And the American Council on Education will help you transfer your credits to thousands of additional colleges, as well.
9. Increased Free Time
Because you aren’t necessarily tied to a class schedule — or because you’ve built your own schedule that works the best for you — you might find that one of the benefits of online learning is that you have more free time. You might choose to use that free time to see your family or friends, work on a hobby you have, or anything else you want. It’s your time to use!
10. Reduce Stress
There are a lot of stressors in our lives, and taking classes online can help us reduce or eliminate some of them. Students taking online classes don’t have to worry about commuting, rushing to campus or from classroom to classroom, being late to a lecture or office hours, or strict course deadlines. With online coursework, you can work through the material at your own pace and schedule exams when they work for you.
11. You Can Learn at Your Own Pace
Take as much time as you need to understand your assignment. Or, speed through the parts you’ve already mastered. With online learning, you go at the pace you need to succeed. When you have the opportunity to learn at your own pace, you can review course materials repeatedly — even if it's 3AM. You have 24/7 access to online course materials to reinforce course concepts and theory you might be stuck on. The average course completion time for a StraighterLine class is 45 days, and many students are able to decrease their time to graduation.
12. Immediately Get Scores From Quizzes & Exams
Online learning means online testing, which means instantly getting your scores after you complete your exams.
13. Develop Self-Discipline & Healthy Habits
Time management is a life skill, and a benefit of online learning is the self-discipline it’ll take to complete — and pass — your courses. Because you’ll take classes, study, and learn at your own pace, you’ll need to adapt to holding yourself accountable. Apps such as Todoist and MyHomework can be useful in helping you learn how to stay on track. And focus tools like Freedom help minimize distractions while you study. In addition, learning online can help you develop other healthy habits because you can strike a better balance between your school commitments and personal life. You might find you have more time to exercise, cook healthy and satisfying meals, and get a good night’s sleep, all because you aren’t necessarily tied to a class schedule.
Get Started Online with StraighterLine
StraighterLine offers a variety of online courses across multiple subjects to help you earn college credits & make the most of your online education. We guarantee your credits will transfer to over 150 of our partner schools so you can save time and money while earning your degree.