What Are the Advantages of Distance Learning Degrees?

A distance learning degree generally carries the same weight as a degree earned on campus. The advantages of distance learning are numerous, with an increasing number of schools offering distance learning degrees and programs.

Advantages of Distance Learning Degrees

The advantages of earning a distance learning degree are often associated with personal lifestyle factors. People who work full-time, have family responsibilities or are physically disabled are among those who benefit from the opportunity to earn a degree through a distance learning program. Other advantages include:

  • No commuting time or expense
  • Self-paced learning
  • Convenience of 'anytime, anyplace' learning
  • Wider range of courses than may be available at local colleges

Important Information About Distance Learning Degrees

Common Courses General education courses in math, science, history, and humanities; core classes in chosen major or concentration
Degree Levels Certificate and diploma programs; associate's and bachelor's programs; master's and doctorate's degree programs
Prerequisites Beyond basic requirements some special programs may require personal essays, letters of recommendation or work experience
Concentrations Depends on chosen degree program; usually related to field of major

Schools Offering Distance Learning Programs

According to a study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 4,200 (65 percent) of 2-year and 4-year Title IV credit-granting colleges offered some form of distance education courses during the 2006-2007 academic year. This included online courses; hybrid/blended courses; and other distance education courses, such as written correspondence programs.

Collectively, these schools offered an estimated 11,200 college-level programs designed to be completed entirely via distance education; roughly two-thirds of these were degree programs, whereas the remaining 34 percent were certificate programs. During the same year, enrollment in distance learning courses reached roughly 12.2 million.

The same survey indicated that colleges offer distance learning programs in order to:

  • Meet student demand for flexible schedules
  • Provide an education for students who wouldn't otherwise have access
  • Offer a broader selection of courses
  • Increase student enrollment

Accreditation of Distance Learning Degree Programs

The advantages of a distance learning degree depend on the accreditation of the school offering the program. Accreditation ensures that the school meets certain educational quality standards. A distance learning degree from an unaccredited school may prevent you from getting a certain job or enrolling in a graduate school. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) maintains a database of legitimate accrediting agencies; in some cases, schools may claim accreditation, but the accrediting agency is not recognized by the CHEA (www.chea.org).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Maryville University

    Maryville University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Maryville University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Walden University

    Walden University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Walden University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Trident University

    Trident University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Trident University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Herzing University

    Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Herzing University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
      • Master of Science in Psychology
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs
      • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
    • Certificates
      • Certificate: Medical Assisting

    Online Programs Available

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