prereqIn today’s fast paced world, online learning has come to the forefront of the educational charge. A big part of being successful in online classes is understanding the associated prerequisites.

This article will help you analyze the academic, financial, mental, and emotional prerequisites that are often associated with online classes.

1. Academic Prerequisites

The academic prerequisites associated with online learning vary from school to school depending on the degree. The bachelor’s degree, for example, may require a copy of high school transcripts, any college courses already taken, entrance exam scores, and things of that nature. The prerequisites for a master’s degree often include a copy of the bachelor’s diploma, certified official copies of transcripts, and any other information required by the school’s admissions office. For a complete list of academic prerequisites, you should speak to an enrollment counselor.

2. Fully Investigate All Financial Prerequisites

Attending college is expensive, and you will have to be ready to show a financial plan of how you intend to pay for the desired degree. Schools will want to see loan applications, scholarship applications, statements of financial need, and, for those who are attending school through the military or their employer, financial assistance packets and statements of financial aid.

3. Mental Prerequisites: Being Mentally Prepared for Classes

One pitfall that many online students fall into is failure to calculate the immense mental requirements of online courses. Online classes require an every day commitment, and students should expect to spend at least 2 hours every day devoted to each class.

Additionally, for many universities, online classes require more written work than an on-campus class. Students should be prepared for daily reading and discussions, term papers, essay exams, homework, and written analysis of example cases in the book. This is especially true for those who are attempting to get a master’s degree online. It would be wise to investigate online course syllabi, samples of which are often available upon request or on the university website, to help detail out what kind of work can be expected from an online class to determine if online classes are right for you.

4. Emotional Prerequisites: Use Planning and Online Resources To Manage Stress

Online classes can be emotionally taxing for you and your family. Perhaps the biggest way to help with the emotional toll of online classes is to maintain a schedule. The goal is to have a set schedule that you and your family follow on a daily basis. Having things such as dinner times and meals, family events, work projects, and homework time will go a long way toward reducing your stress level. Also, review websites such as ULifeline to find ways to help maintain your mental and emotional health during your course work.

Online classes are not for everyone and sometimes students choose to take rotating on campus weekend classes (8am to 5pm every other Saturday). If you’re curious about the prerequisites for your online class, remember to speak with enrollment counselors, review syllabi, and do general online research for tips on what to expect.