During the terrible COVID situation and the pandemic, Open University free courses are no more just a choice for many students. Instead, they are now almost like the only option or requirement. Several graduate and undergraduate programs are becoming partially or fully online.
As a result, students do not have to miss their semesters and still prevent the communication of COVID 19. Before, Open University free courses were choices for everyone who could not afford to attend full-time colleges and universities. However, it is now the best option for faculty, staff, and students too.
While open learning is the best option for all safety and health concerns, this education format is also quite challenging for students. Primarily if someone is used to being on a physical campus and face-to-face learning, it isn’t comfortable to sit in front of the computer. Besides, students who have to manage additional work must have an intense schedule to overcome all the challenges.
It is suitable for all current and future students pursuing online Open University free courses to be aware of the student support facilities. It is generally available at all accredited institutions for distance education. All of this is to help needy students to adjust to their academics and plan their future well.
Open University free courses: Online Bachelor’s Programs
Obtaining a proper bachelor’s degree, either from free government courses or regular ones, opens up many doors for you. It means that you will become more eligible to apply for several jobs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics reports, USA, Bachelor’s employment rate is more than others.
Quoting the 2018 statistics, candidates with a Bachelor’s degree are 86% more likely to secure a job. However, the ones with merely a school diploma are only 72% likely to get a US job.
Apart from the opportunities, candidates who come with a bachelor’s are also entitled to a higher salary. As per the statistics of 2019, a person with a bachelor’s degree may earn up to $1,200 per week. However, the others who do not have a bachelor’s degree may only make something around $850. Specifically, the ones with a school diploma only were earning $730/week on average.
Open university online courses for Bachelor’s degree
In this section, we will look at the pros and cons of Open University free courses for the ones who are pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
- Students can attend classes from anywhere via smartphones or computers
- Planning lessons despite busy schedules is not a problem
- Students can choose programs and courses as per their wishes irrespective of staying in remote places.
- There is a more significant requirement of self-motivation, discipline, and time management
- It isn’t easy to interact with classmates
- There is hardly any proper interaction with the teacher
Online Open University free courses are excellent options for those who prefer continuing their education with no desire for postsecondary degrees. It can also be when a person is trying to continue his/her education to obtain an associate bachelor’s degree. Moreover, open learning is a good option if you want to advance in your current career or want to change the course. The online procedure often sounds more preferable for the ones who require flexibility to complete assignments and schedules.
Undergraduate students who choose Open University free courses can easily keep working full time while also continuing their education. Moreover, for those who find money the biggest problem, a distance/open/online university means that you will save so much money on traveling. However, to complete free online courses with certificates, you must have good time management skills. Apart from that, of course, you will need self-discipline and dedication.
Will you find a job with an open university degree?
It was now a matter of the past when employers did not value degrees from open universities. Yes, there was a time when Open University free courses were considered illegitimate in industry norms.
According to employers, candidates who got online/distance learning degrees do not possess enough vital skills. However, the students who attend regular universities pick up the necessary skill from the traditional environment. During the past few years, concepts are gradually changing.
Nowadays, open universities are known for launching good quality courses. As a result, students who obtain degrees from an open university get an equal value in job opportunities. Although there are still employers who are hesitant to appoint such candidates, most don’t mind such concerns.
In fact, according to US statistics, almost one-third of the total open university students in an organization get a reimbursement of all their educational expenses. This is, of course, the case if you enter an organization as an undergraduate and keep studying from an open university.
It seems that it is only the degree and not the way you obtain it, which employers mostly care about. Experts even suggest that there is no mandatory requirement of mentioning on your CV your online degree.
It means that you can write graduate and not say the mode of education. However, there is no reason why you should be shy or hesitant to discuss your open university experience with your interviewer or employer.
How will you apply to online colleges?
Here is a step-by-step guide of how you will apply for open learning in an online college.
Noting essential deadlines and conducting thorough research.
When you plan to apply for an online college, there are so many deadlines that candidates must keep in mind. The most critical deadlines, in this case, are for the application submission, test score reports, financial support application, and more.
Besides, students can quickly get all the information from the official website of any university that they choose. It would be best if you generally kept in mind that online courses’ academic calendar is different from the on-campus ones. Therefore, keeping track of all the important dates is a must.
Complete the FAFSA correctly
FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is an essential document for several students. Moreover, it is a mandatory ID proof for the payment of course fees, whether in person or online. If you are a prospective candidate, filling up the FAFSA is a must for all federal loans, work-study jobs, and grants.
The majority of the students applying for financial student support get at least a part of it, if not the total amount. However, the whole process of FAFSA can be complicated at times. As a result, several institutions have trained staff who assist prospective students with their FAFSA queries.
Fill the application
If you are at the Bachelor’s level, then there is a common application form accepted by over 900 colleges. This also includes a few institutions located outside the US borders. It is evident that if you seek admission to an open university, filling out this application form is mandatory.
As the name suggests, this common application includes questions such as your name, contact information, address, and more. Besides, there may also be a few school-specific questions. On the other hand, if you are searching for Master Degree courses, they will be stream specific. In that case, the application form will be different and more precise too.
Often, being able to write a good essay is also a requirement to fill out an application. It is because you may have to submit an essay of any kind as part of the admission application. Since online courses are mostly for the students who already have some professional experience, experts suggest that they highlight the same.
It is because mentioning professional skills and their journey is often a way to express how they have prepared them for online courses. Since these courses require so much dedication, discipline, and time-management, people who are exposed to different jobs can better handle the challenges.
Requesting for letters of recommendation
While filling out the admission form, there is a list of requirements regarding documents and ID proofs. One of such documents is a recommendation letter. This can be a standard requirement irrespective of whether you are pursuing a Bachelor’s or a Master’s Degree. If you are wondering where to obtain such a document, it is easy.
You can request your school counselor, teacher, previous or current employers for the same. All of such people will be able to give a testimonial of your attitude and work ethics. If you are pursuing graduation, then the recommendation letter should preferably come from your employer.
Submission of test scores and transcripts
At both the graduate and undergraduate levels, several programs allow students to waive off all test requirements. This is, of course, possible only if you have a certain level of work experience in specific sectors. Now, the level of competitiveness in receiving a waiver is, of course, variable from one situation to the other.
In the case of master’s degree candidates opting for online courses, it is essential to submit a proper college transcript. Whether the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) or GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) is required depends on the area and school.
Moreover, some students may also have to submit their ACT and SAT scores along with their high school transcript. All of these requirements are based on the program requirements mainly. Apart from that, the factors are also a student’s previous credit hours and work experience.
The entire admission procedure of online courses or open universities is very similar to that of on-campus ones. Several undergraduate candidates possess previous college credits. Therefore, they may qualify to skip the standardized testing, for example, ACT or SAT. The only condition here is that the credit transfer must be enough for that.
After the graduation level, the entire admission requirement varies based on the school and discipline. For example, an online MBA program may not even ask a student to produce their GRE or GMAT scores at the time of admission.
It is because all of this information is already available on a program website. You can go ahead and take some advice from an admission officer to understand the requirements properly. Besides, you must know that just because it is an open university, getting admission will not be easy.
How will you get financial support for an open/online university?
As mentioned in the previous section, the essential document for receiving financial aid is the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You can get the FAFSA form online on October 1st every year. If you are looking for the maximum financial support, then you must be aware. In this case, submitting applications within the state and school grant deadlines is mandatory.
In a FAFSA application form, you must fill in pertinent information such as the SSN (social security number) and contact information. Sometimes, you may also have to fill in the details of your bank statement and federal IT returns.
In case you are an undergraduate below the age of 24, you have to file as a dependent. In this case, you must also not be married, an active military person, or a veteran. Besides, you will have to produce the same financial documents as your parents.
You must go through further steps to complete the entire procedure of obtaining financial student support. Here is a brief list:
- You must apply for other financial supports and scholarships in the meantime.
- Once you are done with the FAFSA application, checking it twice and rectifying mistakes is a must. You must remember that you will only get financial aid if you produce 100% authentic details.
- A comparison of awards is essential.
- It would be best if you reapplied for financial support every year.
Open university free courses or online degrees are no more a thing of embarrassment. These are opportunities using which you can complete your education despite other challenges. Nowadays, when money is a constraint, and all of us are working hard to earn a good living, education may take a back seat. This is when open universities and online degrees come to the rescue.