Reasons why moms should consider online degrees and how to succeed in an online college
Online degrees are a good option or compromise for moms who want to continue their education but can’t attend an on-campus program.
For one reason or the other, many moms are not able to enroll in on-campus programs or degrees, so they put their dream on hold. However, you don’t have to do that since it’s possible to earn a degree online.
There are lots of accredited and reputable online colleges, and a degree earned from one of them is as good as earning a degree from a traditional program. So, if you are a mom considering earning your degree online, let me allay your fears about online degrees or colleges.
Here are some reasons why you should consider an online degree as a busy mom.
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1. ONLINE DEGREES FOR MOMS: YOU HAVE MORE OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM
One of the main benefits of online degrees is that you have access to a wider selection of programs or colleges. That means you don’t have to stick with your local community college or university if you don’t want to.
With an online degree, you are no longer limited to the colleges around you. You have a lot more options since you can enroll in a degree program in another city or state, without having to relocate.
The reason why this is such a great idea is that you can enroll in a reputable college or program, or one that is popular with potential employers.
So, if you have been thinking about going back to school but don’t like the idea of attending your local college, an online degree is a great alternative for you, as long as you find an accredited program or college that offers your chosen major.
2. YOU CAN COMBINE WORK AND PARENTING RESPONSIBILITIES WITH YOUR STUDIES
For moms who want to earn a degree while keeping up with work and family responsibilities, an online college is a convenient way to earn a degree.
Now, this doesn’t mean that online classes are easier than on-campus ones. They are an alternative for moms who can’t attend on-campus degree programs for one reason or the other.
With an online degree, you can fit your studies around your life, which makes it a little bit less disruptive and stressful as a mom. If you work a flexible schedule or you think you will struggle to maintain a fixed study routine, studying a degree online will eliminate that challenge, and make it easier for your to fit your studies around your life.
Online degrees for moms can take away some of the stress of having to keep up a regular or fixed schedule. So, if you are concerned about keeping up a regular school or study routine, consider earning your degree online since they are more flexible and can be tailored to meet your needs.
3. SAVE ON COSTS INCLUDING CHILD CARE
You can save a bit (or a lot) of money by earning your degree online. Though you may pay the same tuition as on-campus students, you can save some money in other areas like child care.
For example, when I was in college, one of my biggest expenses was child care. Paying for child care for two kids was very expensive. My first child was two when I went back to college, then my second child joined him at six-weeks-old.
I was fortunate the childcare provider was willing to accept the same rate for both kids because it could have been worse. Child care for younger kids is more expensive in our area.
I would have saved a lot of money on child care if my classes where online or mostly online. Online degrees are perfect for single moms who lack support or struggle with childcare costs.
You can also save some transportation costs by eliminating your commute. There are also other costs associated with an on-campus degree. For example, buying lunches and drinks at school.
Another area you could save money is on textbooks and other resources. If you can purchase the digital versions of textbooks, you can save a bit of money. All these savings can add up to a lot of money that you can use for something else.
So, online learning is definitely a great way for moms to save money while earning a degree.
Now, let’s look at some things you can do to help you earn your online degree.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS IN ONLINE CLASSES
While online learning has a lot of benefits, it still requires a lot of time and effort to succeed and earn an online degree. Just like attending a traditional college, there’s a right way and a wrong way to approach your studies.
The tips below will help you succeed in college.
1. GET A PLANNER AND PLAN EVERYTHING OUT
Between college, motherhood, and maybe work, you have a lot going on, and you need a way to stay on top of everything.
Yes, it’s true online classes are more flexible and a convenient way to earn a degree, but you still need a plan for studying, “attending classes,” completing assignments, and staying on top of your schoolwork.
One of the best ways to organize and manage it all is to use a planner.
Write down everything you need to keep your life running smoothly. Make a note of important dates. Plan out your study times, time for work, and family time. Yes, you can plan everything including when to spend time with your kids or husband.
A planner is a great tool for staying organized and in control of your life. There are lots of planners out there, and you may need to try out a few until you find the perfect one for you, but it’s a worthwhile investment.
2. ONLINE COLLEGE FOR MOMS MEANS GETTING USED TO MORE WORK AND LONGER HOURS
In some ways, online classes are more difficult than traditional ones. Since a lot of classes are self-paced and don’t have a live component to them, you are responsible for teaching yourself and doing a lot of work.
Many moms struggle with online classes because of the amount of extra work they have to do. Getting a degree online is going to require a lot of work and long hours. For example, staying up late at night to study or complete an assignment (sometimes after long hours at work).
As a mom and student, your free time is going to be almost non-existent, so that’s something you have to get used to. Unfortunately, lots of moms get overwhelmed and end up dropping out of college. As sad as it is, this is the reality.
So, if you are considering an online degree program, you have to be prepared for more work and longer hours. There’s really no way around it.
3. YOU NEED DISCIPLINE AND ACCOUNTABILITY
An online course or degree requires the same level of attention as traditional courses, so the first thing you have to do is treat your classes as real classes. You also need self-discipline and accountability to succeed.
While online classes are flexible, you still need some kind of structure or schedule to ensure things get done. You need the self-discipline to check in to your classes regularly, complete and submit assignments before their due dates, and schedule regular study times.
Accountability is a must when you are enrolled in online classes. It’s your duty to set reminders for upcoming due dates, participate in group discussions, and do everything that is required to pass your classes.
Don’t expect anyone to hold your hand. You have to be proactive and show up for yourself. If you struggle with discipline, find an accountability partner. Someone who can regularly check up on you to ensure you are keeping up with your schoolwork.
It’s hard being a mom and student, but you can make things a little bit easier by being more responsible and consistent.
Related: How to Create an Effective Student Mom Schedule
4. MANAGE YOUR TIME WELL AND STAY ORGANIZED
I said at the beginning of this post that time management is the biggest challenge for moms in school. So, it makes sense that if you are going to succeed in college, you have to practice good time management.
This is one of those things that is not optional unless you enjoy being in a perpetual state of stress and frustration.
While it’s good to be able to create a flexible schedule with online classes, this flexibility can also be detrimental if you abuse it. There’s a tendency to procrastinate with a flexible schedule, and you can quickly find yourself falling behind in college, and getting into a lot of academic trouble.
So, instead of thinking you have all the time in the world to focus on your studies, or that you can get to it whenever you want, a better approach is to plan for it, and have scheduled times you devote to your schoolwork.
Assess everything that’s going on in your life, then allocate times for working on the different areas of your life. Create a schedule that works for you and use that to plan your time.
Poor time management can torpedo your dreams, so you have to be vigilant if you want to end up with a degree. An easy way to practice good time management is to stay organized.
Life is so much easier and less chaotic when you are organized. Organize your home, time, finances, schoolwork, assignments, notes, shopping, meals, everything! Organize every area of your life to boost your productivity and increase your chances of success.
Finally, an organized study space can make a world of difference to your life and studies. Create a learning environment that boosts your productivity. That means a study space with little or no distractions and a space that has everything you need for school.
Find or create a learning environment that’s conducive to studying and keeping on top of your schoolwork.
Now, let’s look at how to choose the best online degrees for moms.
Related: How to be an Organized Mom in College
Related: Time Management for Moms in College: How to Balance it All
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST ONLINE DEGREES FOR MOMS
So, you have decided you want to earn your degree online, the next question is how to find the best online degrees for moms. The tips below can help.
1. CHOOSE A DEGREE THAT ALIGNS WITH YOUR CAREER ASPIRATIONS
A good starting point when you are trying to choose an online degree is to consider your career path. If you have been dreaming of a particular career, an online degree that allows you to fulfill your career aspirations is the best one for you.
So, think of what you’d like to do, or where you’d like to work, then find an online degree that aligns with your goal.
2. THE BEST ONLINE DEGREES FOR MOMS ARE ACCREDITED
Before you apply for any program or college, the first thing you should do is check that the course or college is accredited. You don’t want to waste time or money on a degree that won’t be accepted or recognized by potential employers.
If you have concerns about accreditation, contact the college for clarification or proof before you proceed.
3. CONSIDER YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
While I believe you can learn anything if you really put your mind to it, I also believe we should play to our strengths and not weaknesses.
For example, if you are bad at math or struggle with it, an online degree that requires a lot of math classes probably isn’t a good fit for you. Same with enrolling in a program that requires a lot of science classes or psychology classes.
If you don’t like writing lots of papers or doing a lot of research, it’s probably best to stay away from those degrees that require a lot of writing or research. Of course, you can always learn to like some of these things if you have a strong interest in a particular major.
But, my point is, you should consider your strengths and weaknesses before you choose an online degree. A lot of college students (including moms) end up dropping out of college or changing their majors because they got to a point where they could no longer cope, or they realized too late, they had made a mistake.
So, think about this and proceed with caution.
4. THINK ABOUT EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS
There are a few reasons why lots of moms decide to go back to school. Some want to get back into the workforce after many years, while lots of them would like to move away from low-paying jobs.
Whatever your reason is for pursuing an online degree, I assume you’d like a job after graduation. So, before you sign up for an online degree program, make sure you research the availability of jobs and also potential salary.
Don’t wait until you are deep into the program or after graduation to start researching your job prospects. It’s something you should do ahead of time so you can save yourself some grief.
5. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE AND CAN YOU AFFORD IT?
Something else to think about when you are looking for the best online degrees for moms is the duration of the course. How long will it take?
Are you willing to spend many years in school for a particular degree or should you consider something else? Don’t forget to think about affordability. Can you afford the program? How will you pay for college?
These are very important factors you need to consider before you settle for a particular course or program.
Final thoughts on 3 benefits of online degrees for moms (and how to succeed)
Online degrees are a great option to help you go back to college and pursue your dream. While it is not a walk in the park, it has a lot of benefits, and it can take away some of the stress of attending a traditional degree program.
The tips in this post willhelp you succeed as long as you actually use them.
Are you looking for the best online degrees for moms?
Related mom and student articles
How to Create an Effective Student Mom Schedule
How to Focus on Online School (For Busy Moms)
Simple Mistakes to Avoid as a Stay at Home Mom Going to School Online