College Students Turn to Online Schools to Earn a Diploma and Paycheck

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Bargain shoppers are out en masse and are the rule, not the exception. Thankfully, wise retailers have adjusted prices to reflect a lean economy. Yet higher education administrators continue to raise college tuition and fees, expecting that students will pay without question. But many students are bucking the system by flocking to online schools in order to earn both a college degree and a paycheck -- at the same time.

Bargain shoppers affected by hard knocks to the nation's economy are trimming the fat from more than just their holiday meats. Their yuletide purchases are carefully measured by a narrow standard of "high quality for low prices". Thankfully, wise retailers have benefited by taking note.

But in the world of higher education, administrators offer no 'one day sales' or '4-hour specials'. The law of supply and demand does not appear to rule the roost here. In fact, tuition and fees continue to jump without rhyme or reason; and students simply fall into line and pay the piper - or do they?

Some indicators say no - the tide is changing. Students are exercising their right to enroll in colleges and universities that meet their unique needs - particularly if they are juggling school, work and family responsibilities. As a result, accredited online schools are thriving.

According to the recent study, "Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them", by Johnson, Rochkind, Ott and DuPont, only 25% of college students "attend the sort of residential college we often envision". The same study shows that 45% of 4-year and 60% of 2-year college students work at least half-time. This situation has increased the need for greater understanding and support from higher education providers for motivated, but struggling, students who must work.

Online degree programs are well-suited to these "adult learners" because they allow students the flexibility to hold down full-time or part-time jobs while earning their college diplomas. Classes are taken online, with assignments generally completed at home or at another location chosen by the student. Students generally view course requirements, lectures and demonstrations on their computers when it is convenient, utilizing high-speed Internet access. In addition, 24-hour online bookstores and libraries are helpful resources designed to support online degree students; and teachers or fellow students are easily contacted by e-mail or online bulletin boards.

According to the 2008 Sloan Consortium report, "Staying the Course", over 3.9 million college students chose to study online in the fall of 2007, a 12% rise from the previous year. During that time, traditional on-campus enrollment grew by only 1.2%. These statistics show the powerful draw of distance learning, especially as new technology and student needs continue to fuel its growth. Millions of potential college students turn to reputable online education clearinghouses, like Directory of Schools, to streamline their search for the right online school and career path. Once students choose an online degree program, they may enroll in just one or two classes at a time to lighten the academic load and reduce tuition costs.

Shopping during lean economic times is all about finding bargains; and online schools fit the bill as they bend to fit each student's unique education and financial needs. Potential students owe themselves the favor of exploring this convenient and flexible education opportunity.

Since 1999, has connected over 23 million potential students to accredited online schools. is committed to excellence in providing up-to-date distance learning and career information through partnerships with online colleges, universities and trade schools that offer accredited online degree programs and professional certificates. An in-house verification process reviews accreditation and/or relevant vocational industry standards for each school, insuring that partner schools are reputable. In addition, a comprehensive national Directory of U. S. High Schools is available on the DOS website, along with directories of U.S. Colleges, U.S. Universities, an informative Education Blog, and additional education resources. Career-minded individuals can make just one cyber-stop for all of their e-learning needs.


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