A college education is necessary to enter most industries, but a major problem is that most people feel they cannot afford such an education. One solution to the problem is that 17 universities are offering free online classes in the United States and abroad to assist with students obtaining college educations within a budget.

According to the Associated Press, 200 online courses will be offered to anyone with Internet access. The classes come from such established universities as Brown, Columbia, Emory, Vanderbilt and Wesleyan as well as smaller colleges and universities around the globe. The article states that 1.3 million students are taking advantage of the programs, even using it as a way to take a handful of free classes to simply complete necessary credits.

Though online classes are common, the concept can be intimidating. Online classes are offered through most colleges and universities as an alternative to attending class in a classroom. It is offered as a class or supplement to assist students with completing class on their own schedule. These classes are ideal for those who work or have an internship on top of attending college. Those who commute can also benefit from online classes because they do not have to drive to school to attend class, but can access the content anywhere with Internet access.

Classes are taught over the Internet using a variety of tools.

  • A textbook is required for assigned reading and assignments, though this information may also be downloaded through the website.
  • A laptop is best for online classes to assure that assignments are turned in on time and that a student can always work in a quiet area. Podcasts or streaming videos are available through websites from professors as study tools as well. These contain lectures that the students also download for free.
  • Professors also may use webcams to hold live video chats for question and answer portions of the class as well.
  • Telephones and email addresses are also needed to stay in contact with professors throughout the semester.
  • Scheduled one-on-one meetings are also used on occasion to keep in touch with professors.

These tools should all be established before class so the professor can call at any time necessary. A quiet place to work as well as a schedule is necessary for online success. These classes are more flexible, but without setting time aside each day or a few times a week for the class, the work load will pile up. It is important to keep tract of assignment dates as well using a planner. Set enough time aside to slowly complete projects to avoid stressful situations.

Those who thrive at time management will find that the incorporation of a few online classes may make a semester easier to handle, especially when taking 16-18 credits.

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