5 Huge Benefits of Taking Your Gen Eds Online

Posted on April 06, 2023

Posted on April 06, 2023

If you’re working full time, have a family, or juggling other responsibilities that may get in the way of pursuing your degree, you don’t have to put your education on hold.

All institutions have general classes for college – gen ed courses – that you will need for your degree, no matter the program. If you complete your general education courses online, you can work toward your degree without committing to a college program.

Find out the benefits of getting your gen eds online to stay on track toward completing your degree.

What Are Gen Ed Classes?

General education classes for college include courses in a broad range of disciplines, such as arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, foreign language, and more.

Following in the concept of learning as a formative and transformative experience, general education curriculum is designed to provide a foundation for future learning. Though the topics may not seem relevant to a degree program, students learn vital skills in research, communication, critical thinking, academic style and formatting, collaboration, and working independently.

Different universities have different policies to complete general education requirements for college credit, but they’re usually between 42 credits and 60 credits of the typical 120 credits needed to earn a bachelor’s degree.

While students may take gen ed courses later in their college career, most are taken during the first and second years. Earning general education credits online to fulfill your gen ed requirements is a great way to get those courses out of the way and decide if pursuing a degree is the right choice for you.

Can I Take General Education Courses Online?

Yes! Several institutions offer general education courses online. You can take the courses, often without committing to a full program, and transfer the credits to your chosen institution.

You’ll still complete your program and earn a degree that reflects your institution and program, regardless of whether your core gen ed courses were taken there or elsewhere. The courses that are required for your degree program will still be provided by your institution.

Of course, it’s best to check with your advisor or preferred institution on the credit transfer policy. Though gen ed courses are generally transferable, some institutions may not accept elective credits toward a specific degree program. Invest in the courses you’re certain will transfer. If you haven’t selected a college or university yet, look for one that allows flexible credit transfer policies.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of taking general education courses online:

1. Convenience and Flexibility

In online courses, you’re in the driver’s seat. You’ll have your assigned deadlines, then you complete your reading and assignments at your own pace. This gives you an opportunity to balance your coursework with other responsibilities, such as work or family obligations.

While different courses offer different degrees of flexibility, they’re generally more flexible than on-campus learning.

2. Experience a Trial Before Committing

Whether you’re a high school student considering college or an adult looking to finish your degree, one major benefit of completing your gen ed courses online is that you can see if college is the right choice for you.

When you apply for a degree program at a university or college, you’re making a commitment to finish it. If you’re apprehensive about whether college is your path, taking gen ed courses online can help you get a feel for what it would be like to be a full-time student, online or on campus.

Also, you can see if your self-discipline and study habits are at the level necessary for college. For some students, the adjustment from high school to college is jarring, especially if they’re returning to school after a break. “Dipping your toes in” with some gen ed courses will show you if you’re motivated and ready to put the work in.

3. Financial Savings

In some cases, taking your gen ed courses and fulfilling the general education requirements for college saves you money on your tuition without compromising your degree. Though these programs can range in price, they’re usually more cost-effective than their traditional, on-campus counterparts.

Along with saving directly on tuition, you’ll also save on a lot of the costs associated with college. On-campus students have to pay for student housing and meals. Even students who commute have to pay for parking, gas, tolls, and other transportation expenses. When you take classes from home, you’re only paying for the expenses you’d have regardless.

4. Time to Choose a Major

Making a decision about what you want to do for the rest of your life can be daunting. If you’re undecided on your major, gen ed courses give you time to explore your interests and make a decision without a gap year or losing progress toward your degree.

Gen ed courses are broad but still on a college level. As you take these courses and develop critical soft skills, you may find a passion for writing or communication, psychology, mathematics, or other fields that can guide you in your decision-making process.

5. More Transferability

Gen ed courses are similar across institutions, so these transfer credits can be simpler to transfer than specialized, upper-level courses. For basic courses like these, direct course equivalency is more common.

For example, English 101 is basically English 101, whether it’s taken online, at a community college, or at a major university. As a result, colleges and universities are often more willing to accept that course in lieu of its own.

Conversely, if you were trying to transfer an advanced math course in place of Harvard’s notorious Math 55, that’s not likely to be accepted as it has no equivalent.

In some cases, you may be able to transfer upper-level courses as electives, but it depends on the institution. Always check with admissions or your advisor about the policy for transfer credits.

Fast-Track Your Degree Program

Whether you’re unsure about college, returning to school to finish your degree, or a new student looking for ways to save money and time on your education, completing gen ed credits online offers many advantages. Learn more about gen ed courses that are designed to transfer at Sophia Learning or start your free trial to get started!

Category: Higher Education

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