Online College is Legit?

Online College is Legit?

Sabrina Abesamis

Sabrina Abesamis, Opinion Editor

It’s that time of year again! Do I mean the joyful holiday season? Of course not. Obviously, I’m referring to the exciting upcoming months of stressed anticipation and hopeful dread. That’s right, colleges are beginning to send out admissions letters, meaning that the season of path-determining and life-changing decisions has begun. Only exacerbating the uncertainty are the disconcerting issues of college costs and a weak economy, leaving many American students, including the seniors of WHS, distressed and fearful.

The Blooming of Online Universities
These worrisome problems, however, may have found a promising solution: the rise of the online university. Though online colleges have always had a quiet, largely inconsequential presence on the Internet, they are beginning to rise in number and legitimacy. To be frank, the overall public perception of online colleges has typically been at the level of, if not worse than, mediocre community colleges.
But recently, with the backing of many prominent, even Ivy-league, universities, including Princeton and Stanford, online universities have steadily been gaining more esteem in the eyes of students, and perhaps, more importantly, employers.

The Advantages of Online
While I am certainly no guidance counselor, it seems as though online colleges are a worthwhile option up for consideration for certain types of students. For those of WHS that are self-motivated, but possibly can’t afford, or are too busy for a standard university, online colleges may be the right path to a degree. However, this all depends on work ethic, financial situation, and field of study.
For underclassmen, the prospects appear to be getting better and brighter, with a 2012 survey by Excelsior College and Zogby International finding that about 83% of business executives believe an online degree is just as credible as one earned on a college campus, with numbers continuing to grow. As virtual education becomes widely accepted, many brick-and-mortar universities have included hybrid programs to allow both traditional and online courses.
With a majority of WHS students already getting the experience of virtual education through FLVS and computerized tests like the EOCs, online colleges will probably continue to gain popularity.