Research Project: The Switch to Asynchronous Learning

            Recently, college students got a glimpse of online school due to the pandemic. The trend of asynchronous online school has already been growing in recent years but came to an unexpected climax throughout the 2020-2021 school year. Of course, due to the pandemic, learning online was not necessarily a choice for a lot of students. It is important to talk about this topic because going forward, more students will choose asynchronous online college considering the many benefits including reduced cost and more flexibility.  

            A major benefit of online college is the reduced total cost. Not only is tuition cheaper, but also take into account the immense cost of living, food, textbooks, transportation, etc. College is costly and not everyone can manage to pay for it. Recent statistics from the US Federal Reserve show that there are “44.7 million Americans with student loan debt” (Student Loan Hero). Online college provides students with the opportunity to receive a degree and education without having to spend a substantial amount that leads to student debt. Many students rule out online school because they suppose they won’t receive a valuable education, but in reality, according to the article Is Attending College Online Cheaper Than Traditional College written by staff members on Best Value Schools website, there’s “really no correlation between the costs of a degree and quality of education (Best Value Schools).” The quality of education depends on the student’s determination and how much work they’re willing to put in. 

            According to US News, the availability of financial aid for online college varies. This could potentially be a drawback for some, but luckily Emma Kerr, author of the article What You’ll Pay for an Online Bachelor’s Degree,” emphasizes how online colleges have been “adding institutional aid in recent years, even creating scholarships specifically for online students” (Kerr). According to U.S. News and World Report, an online bachelor’s degree from a private college costs $488 per online credit hour, while also charging $1,240 per credit for on-campus (two and a half times as much). The most inexpensive route would be to take classes at an exclusively online program. Brandon Swenson wrote the article “Online College Tuition Comparisions: Online vs. In-Person” back in November to contrast the tuition costs for different learning styles. Schools solely offering online courses have fewer expenses because, as Swenson says, they require fewer buildings to operate, and do not employ nearly as many staff members that traditional colleges rely on” (Swenson). These less expensive tuition costs result in saving thousands of dollars. Although the amount of money you save depends on what college you are enrolled in, online college is still cheaper than traditional facetoface learning. 

           A significant perk of asynchronous online college is the additional flexibility. Recent studies from the US Department of Converse show that approximately 80% of parttime college students are employed. Carrying a workload on top of classes leaves students with limited time to complete assignments and to study. The article “What the Shift to Virtual Learning Could Mean for the Future of Higher Ed” written by Vijay Govindarajan and Anup Srivatsa goes in depth about how online college could affect not only students, but colleges as well. Online college allows students to learn and work “at their own pace and place” (Govindarajan and Srivastava). Each and every student has their own unique capacities and  asynchronous online classes allow students to construct their learning around what works best for them. For example, some students work better later in the day and with an asynchronous online schoolthey can do their work when it best suits them. This flexibility ultimately leads to preserving information better and creating greater results.  


Link for the statistics of employed students: 


            Traditional faceto-face college classes often move at a fast pace, leading students to quickly shift into new topics before fully comprehending the previous ones. This adds levels of stress to students and according to U.S. News, people ages 18 through 23 reported education as their most significant source of stress” (Kerr). During the article “Stress in College Students: What to Know,” Kerr goes on to renounce the effects of stress by saying how heightened chronic stress can become unhealthy and lead to serious long-term health and social consequences” (Kerr). Online college permits students to grasp concepts at their own pace, which provides the student with a more fully comprehensive understanding of a topic. Allowing students to work at their own pace essentially leaves students with an enhanced understanding, less stress (aka healthier), and improved grades.  

            Due to the pandemic, students everywhere have received a taste of what online school, specifically college, feels likeMoving forward, the number of students enrolled in asynchronous online college will increase due to the benefits in both cost and flexibility. Online college primarily benefits students with busy schedules and students who are not willing to spend a vast amount of money. Some students prefer remote learning while others do not. It is not for everyone. Although many students are eager to return face to face after the pandemic, many students have also found a liking for remote learning. Students got a sample of what online school is like this past 2020-2021 school year. They were “forced” into an online learning style because of the pandemic, but this introduced many to a new learning style that better fits their needs and a style that they prefer.  




Works Cited 

Govindarajan, V., & Srivastava, A. (2021, February 01). What the shift to virtual learning could mean for the future of higher ed. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from 

Is attending college online cheaper than traditional college? (2021, April 09). Retrieved April 27, 2021, from 

Kerr, E. (2020, January 14). What you’ll pay for an online bachelor’s degree. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from 

Kerr, E. (2020, October 26). Stress in college students: What to know. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from 

Swenson, B. (2020, November 19). Online college tuition comparison: Online vs. in-person. Retrieved April 27, 2021, from 

U.S. student loan debt statistics for 2021. (2021, January 27). Retrieved April 27, 2021, from,delinquent%20or%20are%20in%20default. 






Jaclyn: Academic Profile



        Jaclyn and I had an email interview where we learned about each other’s lives and academic goals. Jaclyn is 33 and grew up in Fayette County, but graduated from Roswell High School in 2006. She is a single mother working a full-time job as well as juggling college classes. College was never her passion, but her mother raised her to think she would be a “nobody loser” if she did not receive a college education. Her mother initially enrolled her in Perimeter College following high school. After being thrown out of the house, Jaclyn no longer felt a need to pursue living her life the way her mother wanted her toIt is now Jaclyn’s second semester at GSU, and she is majoring in Health Science. She currently works as the lead esthetician at a medical spa but hopes to become a nurse practitioner.  

        Jaclyn expresses her academic self as being both determined and persistent. Raising a child alone is significant duty, but on top of that, add a full-time job AND college. Only someone with much grit and determination would be able to juggle such a hefty schedule. She states, “I MAKE time,” because although she does not have much free timeshe is determined to make time when there is none and is assiduous towards her academic goals. Determination goes along with persistence, and when she doesn’t immediately grasp the understanding of something, she works hard until she does. Jaclyn also described herself as obsessive with her work. Being a perfectionist may seem to be helpful academically because perfectionists strive for good quality work but being obsessive about grades can become very stressful. 

        Throughout our time conversing, we discussed some challenges we faced when beginning to use iCollege. Jaclyn mentioned that she didn’t understand how all professors used iCollege because “each instructor has a different method.” She found herself logging in several times a day to ensure she did not miss anything. I can 100% relate to this, and I bet many of you can as well. We agreed that our favorite video watched in class so far would be the video on organizational strategies. The video discusses how to utilize the calendar provided in iCollege to help students keep track of upcoming assignments and stay organized. I found it intriguing how although Jaclyn and I are at different points in our lives and are busy in different ways, we still struggled with similar things and found the same video helpful. 

        Jaclyn shifted from never having a desire for college to now on the path to becoming a nurse practitionerShe is taking her classes now, rather than right after high school, because she had a baby and needed to take care of her. “My biggest motivator is my daughter,” says Jaclyn. She says that her daughter, Scarletthas saved her life and encourages her to do better. Jaclyn described herself as having a “fixed mindset” on her academic abilities and what she could accomplish. Recently she habeen receiving superior grades, adding that she has never made “…those kinds of grades,” in her life. “I grew up from a closed mindset to an open mindset…” voices Jaclyn. She never believed herself to be smart enough to go to school, but she is finally recognizing her academic skills. 

        After learning about Jaclyn’s life, I have learned that diligence and determination are vital when aiming to reach your goals. Even with a busy schedule, Jaclyn puts in the hard work and is successful. Due to her troubled past, she didn’t finish her first semester of college because it wasn’t her choice or her passion at the time. Now that she is at a different point in her life, she is working towards new goals, with her daughter being her prime motivation. She is now thriving in her classes and continues to shock herself by how smart she truly is. In the early stages of this project, I never anticipated learning any “lessons” … I just assumed I’d learn a little bit about my partner’s life. My perspective has changed, and because of Jaclyn’s profile, I was able to learn a valuable life lesson. I learned that if you put your mind to something, you might just be surprised by what you can truly accomplish.