Successfully attaining a degree online is all about flexibility
**The Edvocate is pleased to publish guest posts as way to fuel important conversations surrounding P-20 education in America. The opinions contained within guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of The Edvocate or Dr. Matthew Lynch.**
A guest column by Jason Henry
Higher education is supposed to serve as a way out of poverty. From the school house to the White House, education is used as nomenclature for economic prosperity.
It’s how President Barack Obama ascended to leader of the free world and how so many Americans are able to attain the American dream.
It’s also why many low-income individuals enroll in schools that advertise the ability to graduate from college by way of the internet. A promise from many for-profit institutions, as well as non-profit ones, that a work around to an individual’s already hectic life was possible.
This, coupled with the wide variety of courses and degrees being offered online, has made it possible for students to earn their degree and further their education without the need to step into a physical classroom. One can earn their Graduate Certificate in HR online, for example, right in the comfort of their home.
But with higher education often comes higher debt because so many low-income individuals need financial aid to attend. For-profit colleges and universities are often classified as private and have astronomical tuition prices.
Even with high numbers and scrutiny from the United States Department of Education, gaining a college degree is still likely the best way to climb out of poverty.
By way Medium.com, the author of an op-ed shows just how well online education is doing and how many students are at least participating in acquiring an education digitally.
It’s all due to flexibility and what students actually need versus what higher education facilities believe they need.
“When students taking the ACT college readiness exam were allowed to send four free copies of their results to colleges instead of three, poorer students used the extra test to apply to schools where admittance wasn’t a sure thing, and often got in to these ‘stretch’ schools.”
Students of the past who were considered successful likely had the ability to be flexible, e.g. going to class without having to work or worry about paying the next bill. While some students were able to pull through college by working and paying bills, many weren’t so lucky.
Affording flexibility to today’s students by working with them and around varying work schedules is not just a win for the student because that person is more likely to graduate, but it shows growth in how we view online education and what it’s doing for our students.
Jason Henry is a burgeoning writer and locally recognized political analyst in Orlando and Birmingham. You can read his blog The Jason Henry Project on the hypeorlando network.