Online college degree programs have a reputation for being an especially good choice for non-traditional students. Their convenience and flexibility make them an option for busy part-time or full-time students. Yet for another group of students, the possibility of earning a degree online may often go unmentioned. International students, or students from other countries around the world who are seeking an education from a college in the United States, stand to benefit from the convenience of online learning as much as non-traditional or part-time students within the U.S.

How International Students Earn Online Degrees from U.S. Colleges

Like the Internet, education should never be limited by borders. Online college degree programs allow international students to earn a degree from a college in the United States without traveling and often without paying additional fees or an increase in tuition. Just as most online college degree programs don’t charge a price difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition, they often don’t charge higher tuition rates to international students, according to U.S. News & World Report. These schools usually won’t charge international students the additional fees, like an international student fee or special orientation fee for international students, either. While not all traditional college degree programs charge international students higher tuition or extra fees, a number of them do.

The Benefits of Online Learning for International Students

The opportunity to pay the same tuition and fees as local students within the United States is just one advantage international students have when they choose to pursue their education online. A number of other benefits exist, too. When international students study online at United States colleges, they don’t have to make the difficult geographical move to America, leaving behind friends, family, and the culture with which they are already familiar. For nontraditional international students, this factor is more than a mere convenience. It allows them to further their career prospects without leaving the jobs they need to support their families, and it means they won’t have to force their families to move hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

International students who study online at United States colleges also don’t have to worry about the hassle of immigration laws. Getting a student visa can be a difficult task. The process is made more difficult by application fees, interview requirements, wait times and paperwork to be processed. Attending school online can save an international student a significant amount of time, money, and hassle because it removes the need for attaining a student visa.

Not all schools have the same policies when it comes to tuition and fees for international students, but choosing an online program that charges students a flat rate per course or credit hour regardless of where they live can make earning a degree more affordable. If you are an international student, make sure you include the possibility of earning your degree online in your considerations when choosing the college degree program that’s right for you.