How to Succeed in Online College Courses

As of July 29, 2020, the Chronicle of Higher Education indicated that only 23.5% of schools plan to offer wholly or primarily in-person classes this fall, meaning many college students will need to adjust to taking courses from home. College can be challenging enough when you're immersed in campus life; shifting to virtual learning may seem even more intimidating. Below we share some tips to set yourself up for success in online classes.

Prepare for Possible Technology Issues

  • Make sure your internet bandwidth can handle the programs you’ll be using for coursework or live meetings. Not sure what your current speed is or what you might need? Here’s a quick guide. You can also add a mobile hotspot for backup if needed.
  • Some internet service providers and cell phone companies have offered deals (including free internet service) to new customers for education or work from home purposes, so be sure to check with your local providers for possible savings.
  • If other family members or roommates will be utilizing the same connection, share a schedule of critical times for everyone’s workloads or streaming preferences, and work around each other when possible.
  • If your college factors technology into their cost of attendance, you may be able to utilize private student loans for equipment like laptops or printers.

Communication and Motivation

  • Stick to a schedule just like you would on campus. Even if your instructors aren’t requiring you to log in at certain times, following a schedule will help you focus.
  • Create a dedicated and organized study space free from distractions. Keep all necessary materials at a desk or table space similar to what you would set up in a dorm room.
  • Stay in contact with your professors. Many are holding virtual office hours, and should also provide information on how to communicate any questions or issues. Don’t wait until you’re falling behind – voice your concerns or ask for help!
  • Connect with other students in your courses. Take the initiative to set up video chats among your classmates for discussion and personal interaction. You can also create a shared Google Doc to post questions or issues and allow others to respond.

Whether you'll be learning at home or on campus this fall, your credit union can help cover your costs. Apply online today!