Community College Online Classes: Wickedly Tempting In Today’s World

by Chad Agrawal

When the economy first started to collapse a few years ago following the housing market crash, pundits warned that a trickle-down effect was coming. Over time, this scenario presented itself in the form of massive layoffs and home foreclosures. This led to a decrease in spending on a global level, and a national call for government programs to bolster the economy in general, as well as provide relief for individuals unable to find work. Eventually, a recession was declared and spending cuts at the federal and state level began, in many cases with an "across the board" approach.

For the educational system, this mean that either students would have to pay more in tuition (not always an option thanks to state laws prohibiting annual hikes beyond a certain percentage) or spending would have to be scaled back, generally resulting in fewer teachers and classes offered. In most cases, both policies were implemented. And the end result at the community college level has been a marked uptick in students seeking affordable options for continuing education.

Online Courses Help Community Colleges And Students

So what does this mean for the average community college student? In addition to rising tuition costs, larger class sizes, and few courses being offered, many students will face serious difficulties gaining entry into classes they need to complete their general education and move on to the university level. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it seems to be growing. More and more community colleges are turning to online courses as a way to cut costs and accommodate students at the same time. And aside from increasing a student's chances of enrolling in a class in the first place, there are many benefits to be gained from electing to telecommute to college.

For one thing, this option allows students to cut costs, as well. Although you'll still have to shell out the same amount of money for tuition and books, you can save in the area of transportation. Since community colleges don't offer student housing, per se, many students choose to continue living with their parents. This means that they have to drive to school or pay for public transportation. Both cost money (although the latter clearly costs less). But the student that chooses online courses can instead sock these funds away for tuition the following semester.

In addition, it can save time. Not only do students that telecommute avoid the daily drive to and from school; they also avoid time spent in class. Although some teachers provide recorded lectures or instructional videos as part of the course, students don't necessarily have to spend time watching them (especially if homework and exams are based primarily on reading materials). And many teachers don't even offer such materials, instead providing written accounts of what they would have covered via an in-class lecture. For many students this aspect of online coursework is a godsend since it allows them to devote more time to other pursuits, namely a job.

The Downside of Online Community College Classes

Although there are definitely some downsides to taking online courses, such as a lack of interaction with professors and other students, many such classes offer forums and other discussion groups as a way to encourage the conversations that would normally occur in a classroom setting. And in most cases the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. So for students that are interested in attending community college online before they shoot for a bachelor's degree or even an online MBA, it pays to consider just what may be gained from such an undertaking. The only real caveat is that you must verify that these virtual courses are eligible for transfer just like their real-world counterparts. Once you have confirmed this there's nothing standing in the way of an online college curriculum, except maybe the number of courses offered.

Do you have any other concerns or questions about taking community college online classes? Leave us a comment below about what you're thinking...

This post was written by Chad Agrawal

Chad Agrawal is the founder of CCTS, helping students transfer from community college to Ivy League, tier 1 or anywhere else by following this community college guide.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Online Student October 18, 2012 at 11:53 am

I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your web site?


Chad Agrawal October 18, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Hey there, I update the site everyday 🙂


mind matter February 14, 2013 at 5:03 pm

Outstanding post, I think people should acquire a lot from this blog its really user friendly. So much fantastic info on here :D.


Leroy Clewes August 14, 2013 at 5:34 pm

I’d move to Hawaii after which travel the globe.


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