The beauty of some online schools such as AMU and APU is that they offer accelerated courses year round. However, given the speed of the classes, it can be tempting to take several all at once. While a full-time student may find this load acceptable, anyone with a full-time job will quickly become overwhelmed. Consider that most undergrad history courses require an eight to 10 page research paper within the last few weeks of the course, as well as a final exam.
Any student taking advantage of federal loans must work within semesters, meaning the student must fit a set of courses within a 16-week chunk. You can fit two eight week courses in this period without any overlap. This is the safe approach, but it is not expedient if you want to graduate within a sensible time frame.
As soon as you add a third course, there will be some overlap. The thing you must avoid is starting all your courses at once. You will become inundated with hundreds of pages to read and multiple papers to write.
Instead, start one course. After four weeks, start another. After eight weeks, start another.
Now you have shoved three courses within a semester. This new approach is certainly manageable. By ensuring that none of the courses start and stop at the same time, you will never worry about spending a weekend cramming for multiple final exams or writing multiple ten page research papers.
By Scott Manning
Online Learning Tips, Student Contributor