Picture this scenario: you just got off from working an 8- or 10-hour day. You jump in the car and start racing to campus for your 6:30 class. You cram down a sandwich (that’s warm) and a soda (also warm) and then BAM! You’re stuck in rush hour. Now, you inch along, drumming your fingers on the steering wheel and hyper-actively checking the clock. After a 20-minute slowdown you finally pull into the university.

Only it’s not over because you got stuck in rush hour and can’t find a parking space that’s within a ½ mile of campus. So you waste another 20 minutes driving around to find a spot.  By the time you get to your class you’re sweaty, cranky, and stressed out. And not only that, but you spent an extra $7 in gas, and you’re 25 minutes late. Sounds like fun, right?

There are countless benefits to getting your associate’s degree online. Perhaps the most important is that it saves you time. When you attend class online you can do it on your schedule. You don’t have to waste time sitting in traffic, finding parking, or schlepping back and forth to your car.

You attend class when you want. Plus, you do it in the comfort of your own home. If you have kids you can leisurely drive home from work, eat dinner with them, and when they’re all tucked in you can log on to your school’s website and sit in class for an hour. The next night, you can do the same thing.

If you think that you’d be missing out on the interaction between your peers, going to class online doesn’t mean you’re cut off from your classmates. Thanks to text messaging, email, and online chatting, there are plenty of ways you can reach out to other students for class discussions or homework questions.

There’s no doubt that distance learning makes going back to school much easier. And with gas prices rising, more and more people are opting for the convenience of distance learning. The key is to make sure you choose a school that offers plenty of support and feels like a good fit.