Online college degree programs have grown at a rapid pace in recent years, and not only at community colleges and for-profit schools. If you’ve always dreamed of getting an Ivy League education, don’t rule out the possibility of studying online. Distance learning programs at these prestigious schools now allow established professionals to further their education without displacing their families or to bring lectures by respected experts and educators right to their computer screens.

Benefits of Earning an Ivy League Degree Online

In the past, Ivy League schools – institutions that belong to a select group of prestigious universities that have existed for a long time – have been less than enthusiastic hesitant to embrace online education. However, in the last ten years, some Ivy League colleges have changed their stances, including Brown University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, and the University of California at Berkley. These schools now offer select programs – in specific majors at specific levels of study – online, according to The Wall Street Journal.

There are plenty of advantages to earning an Ivy League degree online. The prospective students interested in these online programs at Ivy League schools are among the promising and dedicated mid-career professionals looking to improve their opportunities for advancement, The Wall Street Journal reported. They have experience – and the work, family and financial obligations that come with gaining professional and life experience. Online education options mean these students don’t have to leave their jobs and move their family, possibly across the country, just to get the education they need to get ahead in their careers.

MOOCs Allow Everyone to Access Ivy League Lectures

Ivy League schools have a reputation for being pricy, and that quality doesn’t necessarily change just because students are studying online. Harvard anticipates charging about as much for its online master of public health degree program as it would for the same program on campus, or about $26,300. The Wall Street Journal reported. Earning Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree online from Duke University will set you back $100,500 as compared to $62,700 on campus. Both programs require some in-person involvement at certain points of the program as well as online study, according to The Wall Street Journal. Even if the price tag of an Ivy League degree still makes such an education unaffordable for you, you can gain knowledge – if not degree credits – from a Massive Open Online Course, or MOOC. These free online classes are often taught by respected professors with experience teaching at Ivy League universities, so students know that the information being taught is credible.

Studying online doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice attending the school of your choice. If you have your heart set on an Ivy League education, you can still look into the institution’s online course offerings. You may not have to choose between earning a degree from a prestigious Ivy League school and enjoying the flexibility to study when and where you want.