Time – On-line education affords all students the ability to study at their own pace, when their schedule allows it. But lets be honest, sometimes there is never enough time. Life issues happen, stress happens, work happens. Time is a precious commodity, and there is never enough of it. Even the make-your-own-schedule of on-line education will occasionally not be helpful enough. But unlike the lower levels of education, one can actually stop and start at their convenience. No, not in the middle of a semester, but there’s no reason one cannot take a semester off to get their life together. Or to only take one class at a time until things settle down. Of course, when one stops their education mid-way, it can be quite hard to get the motivation to go back. But this is a valid, and sometimes mandatory, option. The important thing to remember is that you and you alone control your education, and can do it (or stop doing it) when you decide.
Psychological reasons, or the Why Bother effect
This is as much a problem as anything logistical. Perhaps the coursework is too hard, or maybe real-life events have you so swamped you start to feel school just isn’t as important. There are many, many mental blocks and psychological reasons that can get in the way of a person finishing their college education. One can be simply overworked, overtired, or overstressed.
But then there’s what I call the Why Bother Effect. More than ever before there are scores of college graduates who can’t find work. A college degree used to open a lot of doors, but these days that is not necessarily the case. The more the economy sinks, the more the job market dries up or goes overseas, the easier it is to think “why bother? What’s the point of getting a degree if I can’t do anything with it?”
When confronted with this problem, just think back to when you were a teenager. Chances are you probably said something similar about high school. But in retrospect, it was a very good thing you stayed in school, wasn’t it? Even if the education you got didn’t push you into a fantastic job, it gave you tools you needed to survive and thrive in society.
The same is true of a college education – maybe it won’t guarantee that a good job is waiting for you, and maybe the degree isn’t as valuable as it once was. But education has value. No matter if we’re talking barber college, clown college, or regular college, a serious approach to learning will give you new skills and knowledge you can apply to your life.
Money – For a lot of people, this is the biggest stumbling block. Education is an investment of time and money, but for a lot of people money is the harder of the two to come by. Many schools, even on-line schools, offer some degree of financial aid, as do state and federal government agencies.