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What are the Benefits of Correspondence Courses?

C. Mitchell
C. Mitchell

One of the biggest benefits of enrolling in correspondence courses is flexibility. Correspondence courses are classes that are taken from home rather than in a classroom. They enable students to study and learn a wide variety of subjects at an individualized pace. In most cases, correspondence courses are less expensive than traditional classroom education, particularly at the college level. Students can also often complete courses and degrees through correspondence programs in less time than traditional semesters or academic years.

Correspondence courses are almost all designed to fit in with a busy schedule. Administrators usually tailor the programs to students who work full-time, which allows those students to get an education without sacrificing their routine or cutting back on hours at work. Most correspondence courses have some fixed deadlines, but largely allow students to work at their own pace, on their own time.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

The availability and breadth of correspondence education has greatly expanded as the Internet has become more popular and widely available. Once, correspondence courses were truly based on correspondence: students would mail away for course materials, complete the reading and written assignments, and then mail everything back for a grade. Today, almost all of any correspondence course’s materials are available online. Some programs even allow students to virtually participate in classroom discussions through web video feeds, and others have chat rooms and interactive message boards for students to communicate with each other and with instructors in real time.

Many colleges and universities offer certain courses, and sometimes even full degree programs, on a correspondence basis. Professionals who want to brush up on certain skills or enhance their knowledge of a specific area will often enroll in these types of courses as a flexible way to stay current. First-time college students or graduate scholars who are unable to travel to campus for whatever reason may also enroll in correspondence courses.

Most of the time, students who enroll in correspondence courses, whether as online college, technical training, or high school, are able to complete the required coursework faster than they could in person. The ability to learn from home and to learn at a personal pace often means that students can set their own schedules. If only one or two courses are needed to complete a degree, for instance, a student may be able to complete the work in a number of weeks, rather than over the course of a full quarter or semester.

Depending on the institution, correspondence courses are usually a lot less expensive than their classroom equivalents. Tuition costs at most colleges and universities can be quite high. Brick-and-mortar schools that offer an online option usually charge a reduced rate for enrollment. Schools that exist entirely online are often even less expensive, as they have few overhead costs.

There are pros and cons of correspondence education, of course. Still, it is difficult to overlook many of the benefits. Flexibility of schedule, the chance to learn online and complete coursework at an individualized pace, and reasonable tuition costs make the choice a simple one for many working adults.

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