Tag Archive | "online education"

Financial Benefits of Online Education

learning-onlineOnline education can be a convenient and affordable alternative to traditional campus-based education. If you are a working adult, a member of the United States Armed Forces, or just not in the financial position to attend a campus-based university but wish to pursue a degree, online schools are a great option. Not only are they more conducive to success for people with time constraints, but they are usually more affordable for a variety of reasons.

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Tips for Lowering Your College Expenses

cost-higher-edAll college students know that tuition is far from the only expense they are going to incur while they pursue their education. College comes with many additional expenses, and figuring out how to pay for them can be stressful. There are ways, however, to reduce those additional costs.

While tuition may be the main expense you incur, there are various others, including, but not limited to:

  • Books and supplies
  • Fees (technology fees, loan fees, etc.)
  • Dependent care
  • Food and other personal items

Here are some tips for reducing the overall costs of some of the expenses listed above.

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Making Connections in an Online Classroom

connecting-online-studentsBy Michelle Watts
Faculty Director at American Military University

The experience that you have as an online student depends on your own learning style and preferences. You can choose to limit your interactions with other students or you can become very connected to both classmates and the instructor. While neither approach is wrong, as an online instructor I have found that students who choose to interact have a richer education experience. Think contact, interaction and collaboration.

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Consolidating Student Loans: Is This the Right Choice for You?

consolidating-student-loansMaintaining multiple student loan payments can be quite difficult and frustrating. When it comes to making payment on multiple federal student loans, it may be easier to consolidate them. A direct consolidation loan allows you to combine multiple federal student loans into one loan. This can simplify your multiple monthly payments into one.

Consolidating student loans has some pros and cons. Studentaid.gov mentions a few benefits such as loan consolidation having the ability to greatly simplify loan repayment by centralizing your loans to one bill and it can lower monthly payments by giving you up to 30 years to repay your loans. There may also be new opportunities that become available with the consolidation, such as alternative repayment plans and switching the variable interest rate loans to a fixed interest rate. The cons of consolidating your student loans consist of losing borrower benefits and paying more in interest by extending the repayment period.

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Monetizing MOOCs – When Is it Right to Switch to Self-Serving Classes?

MOOC-monetizingBy Dr. Patricia Campbell
Dean, Graduate Studies at American Public University

Over the past few years, there has been a great deal of discussion around whether MOOCs can become sustainable or even profitable. This post doesn’t set out to answer that specific question, but rather it explores why someone might want to pay for a MOOC. What can a student expect of a MOOC and is it really worth the time and/or money?

For starters, we know there are many free MOOCs out there. They constitute a risk free environment where people can explore a plethora of topics. One thing we know about MOOCs is that they tend to have very high dropout rates. This is probably to be expected. Someone can sign up for a MOOC with the best intention of completing it—especially if the topic is compelling. However with no monetary “skin in the game,” there is very little downside of not completing the course.

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The Value (and Fun) of General Education Requirements

gen-ed-online-requirementsBy Angela Matthews
COLL100 Faculty at American Public University

As an undergraduate student, I virtually ignored the university’s general education requirements and just signed up for classes that sounded fun. My options were wide open since I hadn’t declared a major, and I wanted to make the most of the freedom. My general education could become whatever I felt like making it.

The elective options in my pre-college days had been remarkably limited by the size and budget of the small town school system I grew up in. My graduating class included only 30 students. Other students in bigger school systems had a much wider variety of electives; we didn’t even have an orchestra or theatre. There was no choir, no student newspaper, and no art beyond grade school.

Once I got to college, I felt like I needed to make up for lost time, so my freshmen and sophomore years included all of those subjects I had wanted to learn when I was young but didn’t. As soon as new course schedules were posted each semester, I would scroll through the entire list and pick out everything that sounded good.

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Simulation Use in the Online Classroom Today

Interview with Jim Werbaneth
Assistant Professor, Political Science at American Public University

Simulation use in the classroom has gone through an evolutionary process, and it will continue to do so. The innovation not only lies in the technology of the program, but the educational components that are being applied to the students’ learning track. In the course POLS211 at American Public University there are a number of innovative approaches to educating the student on political science and its construction. For example, students get to simulate being a senator, and they get to craft a bill and usher it through Congress to be passed. This not only engages the student, but it puts them in the seat of a lawmaker. Instead of analyzing on a one dimensional level they are pushed toward a more tangible approach to tackling the subject matter.

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Paying Extra on Loan Payments – What You Should Know

financial-literacyIf your federal student loans are currently in repayment, then you have a monthly payment plan. The benefits of paying off your loans fast are obvious – you accrue less interest, your debt comes off your credit report, and so on. Many students pay the minimum monthly payment and do not realize that students can actually pay more than is owed to pay off their loans quicker. It is a smart practice, and if you feel that you can allocate more of your income toward your monthly payments, you should contact your loan servicer to talk about your options.

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