From an education standpoint distance learning can be a substitute for college, with more and more colleges offering distance learning courses a student can gain the same degree that he/she would by attending college full time in a manner that is more suited for their lifestyle. As distance learning means that a student does not have to actually attend classes, a student does however miss out on the whole college experience.
Distance learning can be more difficult than a regular college education, as the learner is not attending regular classes the onus is on them to complete their work on time. To manage this the student must be incredibly self disciplined and many learners find this difficult. If a student has regular classes to attend then they are getting work done in class at scheduled times ensuring that the course is completed on time.
Many people choose distance learning because it is easier on them financially as they are still able to work full time while studying, however it is worth checking out the options as distance learning is not always cheaper in the long run.
Another reason that many people choose distance learning is because they feel they need to be home as much as possible for their family. Perhaps the student has a young family or cares for an elderly relative, in this case learning from home would allow them to continue looking after their family and get their qualification at the same time.
It is always best to look at all the options available to you when deciding to begin a course, you may find that attending college part time could be just the answer you are looking for. Only attending courses part time may allow you to work part time to fund your studies, or allow you to share caring for a relative with another family member for example.
There is however more to college than the qualification a person is studying for, the experience as a whole is almost as important. Sometimes a person can read something a hundred times and still not understand it, whereas a classmate may understand first time and be able to explain it in minutes. Many people in later life still have friends that they went to college with, this is another thing that distance learners miss out on. The social aspects of college are often a students favorite part of the experience and the ability to meet people who are going to be in the same field of work as you can also be a great help for networking later in your career.
While a distance learning student will achieve the same qualification as someone who studies for it at a regular college, the distance learner misses out on some of the experience of going to college. From an education standpoint alone, yes distance learning can be a substitute for college however for some students it’s the experience of college that really matters.