Online Education and the Gas Cost Crunch

By Melanie Reichwald

Whether gas prices are down around $2 a gallon or climb higher, it's always expensive to drive, with the cost of gas, insurance, car maintenance, and general wear and tear on your car. 

It's no wonder people are looking to cut down on driving when they can. In order to save money and protect the environment, many employees have negotiated with their companies to work from home one day a week or have moved within walking distance to their workplace. Every little bit helps when your commute and parking can cost as much as $70 a week.

For people attending college, negotiating with a professor to miss class once a week may not be an option. But there is a great way for students of all ages to pursue an education while protecting both their wallet and the environment: get an online education.

A Rise in Popularity

While online degree programs have been popular for years, enrollment in accredited online college courses has recently multiplied at an unprecedented level. Surveys have indicated that the overall number of students taking online courses has nearly doubled in the last six years.

Besides rising gas prices, some students have noted their desire to protect the environment as a reason to pursue an online education, since cars emit dangerous emissions. Studying online conserves the fossil fuels which are used to create gasoline. Reducing the amount of time on the road greatly diminishes a person's carbon footprint, or impact on the environment.

Saving with Online Education

Whether you are pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree, are interested in receiving a flexible online career education, or just want to take a few college courses, there are countless choices for your online education needs. People enrolled in accredited online college courses are often able to decide between online training in which they interact with other students in the classroom and view lectures via webcam, or courses in which they review the material and complete assignments at their own pace and schedule.

More students are deciding that the financial and environmental toll of driving to and from class is not worth it, but online education programs are proving that access to an amazing career education is only a click away.

Other Benefits of an Online Education

One of the greatest benefits of receiving an online degree or online career education is that it keeps the money students spend on gas in their pockets. Additionally, there are other benefits to enrolling in accredited online college courses and pursuing a degree online:

  • Convenience – Because of online education's unique format, students can attend class at their convenience. A student can easily fit coursework into a schedule that includes full-time work or caring for children. Many employees are able to improve their work skills and resume with online career education courses while still working.
  • Pacing – Students enrolled in accredited online college courses complete work at their own pace. While most regular college courses take anywhere from nine to fifteen weeks, students in online courses can complete their work in a shorter period or take more time if needed.
  • Increased Participation – Many students feel apprehensive about participating in discussions in a regular classroom setting, perhaps because they are intimidated by the other students' personal backgrounds—age, race or gender. But in online courses these dividing factors are erased because of the student's anonymity, which makes it much easier for everyone to participate.

These are only a few of the benefits of receiving online career education training or enrolling in accredited online college courses. Combined with the financial savings from eliminating commuting, it's clear that an online education is an excellent option for students.