2018 Short Essay Scholarship Comp

posted in: Education, Scholarships | 32

What is your reason for choosing online study? Answer this question well and you could win a $2,000 scholarship. Essay competition closes 1 Sep 2018.

Studying online is obviously very different from attending classes on campus.

  • You choose when and where, instead of knowing that you have to be at a certain place by a certain time.
  • The energy of the class is all generated online. You don't get a group vibe in the traditional way – from being present, together.

There's advantages and disadvantages to online learning. But we're just interested in advantages. Why online study?

Enter the $2k for 200 Words Competition

Join the discussion below – Leave a Reply – for the chance to win $2,000 (Australian). The competition closes on 1 September 2018.
Tell us about your motivation for choosing to study online. Here are the basic rules for this round:

  • Discuss just 1 reason, and 1 reason only, for studying online. Don't provide a list. Elaborate on that reason.
  • The first line of your comment is the title you've chosen for your essay.
  • Tell everyone an interesting story. This is an essay comp, not an assignment. Be imaginative and creative.

Writing tips

  • Your essay should be interesting, informative and/or entertaining.
  • Don't write until you've thought of something good.
  • As well as good content, it helps to write well. While your entry doesn't have to be a literary masterpiece, it should be grammatically correct and easy to read.
  • Use the first line for the title. We'll bold the title when approving the comment.
  • Include a blank line between paragraphs.

Terms and conditions

  • A comment (or response to a comment) needs to be 100-200 words to be considered for a prize. Shorter or longer comments won't be considered.
  • Maximum of 3 entries per person.
  • Prizes will be paid out by PayPal using an email address supplied by the winner.
  • We'll moderate your comment. Any competitive entries will generally be published within 24-48 hours. Occasionally, we may curate the discussion by deleting non-competitive entries.
  • If similar entries are submitted, we'll give preference to the 1st entry received. You have a better chance to win by entering early.
  • Shortlisted entries will be checked for plagiarism.

Student Essays / Entries

32 Responses

  1. Alicia Chevalier
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    No Place Like Home

    As a former home schooler, I am quite familiar with unconventional schooling methods. Entering college was a different experience for sure, but the transition was not as “traumatic” as people painted it out to be. Homeschooling prepared me for life as an independent and self paced learner. Going to college was a great experience and I enjoyed every new aspect to it. Although I was enjoying the newness of college life, my biggest struggle was having to get dressed for school. I know that sounds trivial, but four years in pajamas and comfortable house clothes can do that to you. A couple semesters in, I figured the sub universe that is online classes! Arguably, online classes are harder than on campus classes, but hard work was not something that scared me. Online classes reminded me of my happy home school days in which I could once again do school work in pajamas. More than comfortable clothing, is the simple fact that online classes allow students to work in an environment they are accustomed to. You can wear what you want, eat when you want, and work when you want. Online classes have helped me to realize that there truly is no place like home.

  2. Unity
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    My mind on display

    Online study is having the ability to put my mind on display with no misconceptions. It doesn’t matter what race, religion, gender or body image I portray physically. It doesn’t matter how awkward I feel in a room full of people, or how intimidated I may feel in front of others. My intelligence is the only thing on display. My potential is the only thing that can be seen. Meeting like-minded people through a network designed to encourage social engagement, yet does not have pre-requisites of social or economic class in order to do so. It is a beautiful concept and one I am very grateful for, one that I encourage all to do if considering tertiary education. Put your mind on display and prepare to have it looked at without prejudice.

  3. Bryony Facey
    | Reply

    If you’re not happy, change it

    No-one has the control like you do for your own happiness. I work Monday to Friday in a role that some would consider soul crushing. It wasn’t my intention to stay, but life took the reins and this is where I ended up.

    I used to enjoy the challenges and the satisfaction it gave me fixing issues, but the gratitude I receive in return is slowly dwindling away.

    “I want to do more” I thought to myself one day. I researched and thought hard about what I wanted to do. My life won’t allow me to work part time and study, but I found other options and online study has opened so many opportunities.

    I can mould my study and life around each other to make it work for me and my family. It is the best option for me to lead the way to my dream career. Too much time has passed to let it go, and online study has shown me the way.

  4. Celeste
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    Learning while Globetrotting

    Teaching is my profession and globetrotting is my passion. I’m a life long learner and an avid traveler. I’ve always had a passion for both of these things from a young age. It’s a constant battle, should I go travel or buckle down and take a course that is of true interest to me? This dilemma was solved when I discovered the wonderful world of online study! What I love about online study is that I can learn at my own speed. Whether I’m on a bullet train in Japan, a coffee shop in Italy, or in my bed back at home, I have 24 hour access to learning. Midnight or midday, I can continue to learn and grow with people from all over the world who are learning with me. That’s why online study is perfect for someone like me.

  5. Alicia Armelin
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    Doing it My Way

    I can manage my live my entire life online and it’s amazing.

    From arranging visits to see my love abroad, to forging friendships over mutual interests, the social aspects alone make the online world one of convenience and wonder.

    For my education to be available through such means really sets me at ease. It’s a world I understand, a medium that requires no explanation beyond the simple rules of “When is X due?”

    I could be in my super comfortable plush black robe with its pockets and deep all-encompassing hood, behind comfortably tucked on my favorite chair in the comfort of my own home as I consider what I should do for an upcoming assignment.

    Maybe I could visit the library down the street and sit at a quiet desk to write things up, but if coordinating an outfit and putting pants on becomes too much effort, I can sure as heck stay inside and peck away at my keyboard completing my assignments.

    Am I a hermit? Perhaps at times, yes! That doesn’t mean I don’t deserve a bountiful education however!

    -May the campus going students unite! I shall be staying inside.

  6. Caitlin Adcock
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    Taking a Breather

    I do not remember a time that I have not had a busy schedule. I have been a dancer for 13 years, and have always kept myself involved in school clubs and church activities. I have taken many leadership roles in my life, which consumed even more time, and I would never take a moment for myself to simply breathe. I was a full time student, and had a job that took up a great deal of my “free time.” My life was the definition of complete chaos.

    When I finally decided to take a course online, I was extremely nervous for the outcome; however, it changed my world for the better. Being able to do my work when I actually had the time was highly comforting. I hardly ever stressed about this course, and I enjoyed taking it wherever I chose to go. I often ended up in places that were open, full of sunlight, and had a sense of pure tranquility in the air.

    I could breathe again. I could take as many moments as I needed to relax, and actually enjoy myself while being productive in a course that I loved.

  7. Marina
    | Reply

    It is the ultimate tool to feed your curiosity

    There are literally thousands books telling you that you need to find yourself, improve yourself and to change your life despite the age, family, money or responsibilities. But all those books give you only vague idea how to do it. How would I know what I’m good at? How would I know in which sphere would I have long-term interest in? There are more than half a million professions to choose from nowadays.

    In most societies changing the preferences more than 3 times would label you flimsy and unreliable. But you are not. You are just very curious. You want to know, you want to learn, you want to understand. It’s a seething desire, which people who don’t have it stigmatize and try to make you feel bad about.

    Distant learning gives it all to you. You can start and drop the subjects which are interesting but ultimately are not for you. You can do it till you find the one and only you can fell in love with. The one which gives you permanent motivation, and makes your life interesting and tolerable in ever-changing environment.

  8. Jacqueline Kate
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    Fork in the road

    It was once a dream of mine to flourish into a bright and inspirational young lawyer. This was put on hold when I discovered that completing your degree was only a stepping-stone to success.

    Experience was the key.

    I had no other choice than to relocate to a major city. My parents could not afford to support me financially. The government also refused to award me with the full payment of Youth Allowance because I didn’t meet their criteria. I had not saved up enough money to afford rent for much longer. The only option left was to work full time.

    After four months of searching, I was offered a position with a small boutique law firm. My only dilemma was how to complete study? I had moved eight hours away from home and could not physically attend classes. The only option was to study online.

    Without the availability of online study options, many adolescents or young career personnel who have reached a ‘fork in the road’ like myself, would struggle to reach their potential and fulfil their dreams.

  9. Bayo Akinbo
    | Reply

    At my convenience

    Time was running out. I needed to improve my skills for career advancement. I had no time to take off work and my budget was slim. Moreover, I could not see an approval for a course flying at this season in the company. All the courses seem to wear the same armor – high cost, impossible timetables, distant locations.

    There must be a way out. Click, click…. Up pops a live chat on my tablet.
    “Have you considered studying online?”
    ‘Not really, I have always attended traditional classrooms’ I replied.
    “Give it a thought” said the advisor, “You get the same certificate. You can study anytime and anywhere”.
    ‘Hmm… What about content?’ said I.
    “Same trainers, same quality” she responded.
    ‘I will need to independently confirm your assertions, bye’ I closed the chat.

    Click, click, click … I think I have found something that might just work for me. Now the problem is when can I start? How long is it going to take? Click, click…Wow, anytime and at my own pace mostly. How about hidden costs? Click, click… Nothing more than the cost of my internet provider. Eureka! I have found it! So convenient.

  10. Ashika
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    I could always apply for scholarship for full time scholarship, however, it is very important that I stay in Fiji and continue with my full time job. My studies have to be done on part time basis either locally or online (internationally). I am the only one working in my family with a proper full time job. If I go abroad to study, I will not be able help my family financially the way I am doing right now. I support my parents and my brother. He (my brother) is too young (in high school) to be given such a responsibility yet. Life can be hard but priorities matter and for me right now, as much as I would love to be doing my masters out there, I have to try online options or just do it locally. But locally, I do not have many options on what to study. Online studies have made life so much better for people like me.

  11. Madison Gill
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    Not an average teen

    Growing up I was never boisterous, was never into partying or alcohol. I was never interested in the stereotypical “uni life” on campus and never sat right with me to move from my country town to the city purely for the opportunity to get wasted and stay awake all night to prove I could ‘party’. Studying online was the solution to all of this. I could study and work towards my desire to be a midwife, without external pressures to interrupt and unsettle my values and morals. Studying online allows me to be who I am, and not succumb to what society thinks I should be. I am content with sipping on a cup of tea in my bedroom, writing essays and assignments, and slipping into bed at 9pm.

  12. Kelly Rose Jackson
    | Reply

    Where is your classroom?

    Mine is everywhere – Provided I have an internet connection and full cup of coffee.

    Online study allows me to open my laptop and work towards a degree from anywhere I can connect. When work takes me across the country or family takes me overseas on holiday, I never need to say no. Being a mobile student allows me the freedom to say yes more, which allows me to maintain strong relationships with family and friends.

    Last semester I packed up my things and buckled my dogs in the car, then drove across Australia twice! From Darwin to Adelaide to spend 6 weeks with my family, then Adelaide to Perth to move into a cosy new unit and I didn’t have to sacrifice my grades or the excitement of a road trip. I would never have had that option as an internal student.

    For rural residents, travellers, workforce professionals and stay-at-home parents, physical location is not a limitation. Full time university is challenging in so many aspects, but the flexibility to study online anywhere at any time can, at the least, reduce some stress and at most, can introduce a whole world of opportunities.

  13. Marinel Taljaard
    | Reply

    Time: Our Precious Resource

    In a world of Consumption we are often deprived of a valuable resource that sometimes unknowingly passes us by. Time. We no longer have time to reach our goals. We are so busy striving for survival that we run out of time to do the things that add value to our lives and before we know it,our lives have passed us by. This is where the concept of online studies offered a solution in my life. Through online studies,we as individuals, are provided with the opportunity to perform the tasks that we need in order to survive while at the same time, working towards the goals we want to accomplish in the future. It provides us with the silver lining that serves as the conqueror of the obstacles that stand in our way of reaching our career goals. Online studies are not only an education. They are the solution, because let’s face it, when it comes to things lost, time is the one thing we can never get back.

  14. Claire S.
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    Students are Teachers, Too

    One classmate was a doctor, one was an architect, and one was a teacher. I haven’t had a career yet.

    One is 53, one is 42, and one is 30. I haven’t had that many birthdays yet.

    All of us, gifted with various abilities, interests, pasts, presents, and futures, are joined together in one class by our one commonality. We all want to learn the same thing, and we all choose to go online to learn it.

    You would not believe how much depth it adds to the conversation when everyone brings unique experience and knowledge. We are not each in our own online world; we share with each other, support each other, and help each other learn. It makes regular high school and university, where nearly everyone is the same age and knows the same things, seem less appealing.

  15. Claire S.
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    Where Does Your Professor Live?

    If I go to school in a classroom, I get a local expert. They know what they are talking about (usually). But they may not have the depth of knowledge I want. They are the closest person to an expert that the school could get to teach their course.

    But if I go to school online, I could get the world’s expert. No, they don’t know everything (no one does). But chances are, they’re the one who started that field of study, or they studied under the one who did, or they are so passionate about their topic that they decided to start a course on it. Those are the best teachers.

    So, where does your professor live? Mine lives in Australia.

  16. Claire S.
    | Reply

    Learning That’s Only Available Online

    No one will teach me what I want to learn. No brick-and-mortar school, anyway. I look at so many schools, each offering so many courses, diplomas, and degrees. I go to open houses, but after each one I say, “No, that’s not right either.”

    I know what I want. Why does no one offer it? I want to train horses.

    Finally, a course description draws me in. The science behind horse behaviour. Why, that would give me a window into every horse behaviour problem, from bucking and rearing to over-reacting or simply not responding. This is what I want: to be a horse trainer whose work has real effect, makes lasting change, and is simple to teach horse owners.

    But wait. ‘Online delivery.’ What does that mean?

    Learning online is not something I have thought of before. There is no other way to learn this material, though, so I sign up. Why not? Why can’t online learning be just as good (or better) than learning in a classroom? As I think, I see more and more benefits, but it keeps coming back to this: finally, I can learn what I want. Someone will teach me.

  17. Tammy Bowlvy
    | Reply

    Overcoming Congestive Heart Failure

    I was diagnosed with CHF in 2011 and was given 6 months to live and it’s 2017 and I am not completely healthy and in order to be able to obtain a well-paying job in the career of my choice, I need to get a degree. Online schooling works best for me as I have 3 boys and a husband who I carpool around from school to work to after school events. I can do online schooling on the go if I need to with wifi and hotspots, it makes it convenient to be sitting at a football game and cheering for my son while reading up on material for class and posting comments. It’s a unique way to spend time at all my boy’s events as well as getting my schooling done. This way I get the education as well as seeing their sporting events. They think it’s cool to see their mom in the stands with her laptop and cheering their touchdowns all at the same time. If I can overcome CHF then I can achieve my goal of getting my degree.

  18. Staci Bradford
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    Starting Life Over

    Well, where do I start? The benefits of going to school online are pretty simple, I get to enjoy my family, participate in my children’s school activities and will be able to maintain my mini domesticated pet farm we have.

    My main focus in deciding on an online school was the ease of access, staff whom are willing to help you out when you get stuck and a great support system in case you get discouraged. I am very proud to start school again after 10 years of going to community college. My children are my biggest motivation through all of this, I want them to see that no matter what happens in life, getting your education is what’s most important, especially if your my children who want to be a Paleontologist and a veterinarian! I hope that after these 4 years of hard work I can make a difference in small ways but make a big impact in my community and let the people of our community know that I am here to help turn this place around and make it a safer and more productive place to live..

  19. Sylvia Nanono
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    Convenience is all I need as a doctor-mother

    I am thinking! Oh, I need Master’s degree to advance my career as a medical doctor to become a Public Health Specialist. How will I attend to my patients if I have to get up early to get dressed, take public transport on poor roads to the university and attend classes daily? My calling is to save lives, can I let go of the Masters in Public Health (MPH)? No, I need to attend to patients and at the same time advance my career. My goodness! Did I just forget that I am a mother of three children? My children need me and I need time to take care of them, but now it means that the time I have been spending with them will have to be diverted to pursuing MPH. Great! I have just remembered that I can study online Masters; all I need is a computer and internet, study from home and when my children need me, I can stop and attend to them. I can also study from the doctor’s room and when there is a patient, I can stop and attend to him/her.

  20. Marie Louise
    | Reply

    High ranked University at your home

    Accessing high-ranked University around the world without leaving your family is a tremendous advantage of studying online. With my experience of studying Master of Public health online in one University in Caribbean while I was still closer to my children and husband in Africa, I can say that no one can ignore the advantage of studying online. Now, it is not a matter where you live, being in Africa or elsewhere; with online studies, you can study in Australia, Europe or America without travel expenses or any geographical barrier. You just need your home, computer and internet to study in any University around the World which has an online program. Why wasting money in travels, accommodation and separate from your family while you can earn your degree online while staying at your home?

    I am planning to study my PhD online as studying online is my preferable method of learning.

  21. yae eun kim
    | Reply

    Precious Time

    Time is such a complicated thing. People say time flies when you have fun but actually, attending school makes time fly by. By the time you get to school, make your way to class, and back home, you’ve wasted many hours repeatedly throughout the week that you could’ve used studying in the comfort of your home. Those hours can be spent going to your kid’s games, spend quality time with your family, hang out with your friends, and have me time. You will stop feeling like you wasted time and feel more productive by studying online. Be productive in life and value your time.

  22. Erica Livingston
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    Learning Creative Writing

    Hi, my name is Erica and I am an oneironaut. I reside in the heel of Africa, yet I live in a world that doesn’t exist with characters who do not live. They breathe in me and around me, and in between the paper notes and tattered journals scattered all over my writing desk. I want them to be known. I want to share their story with the world. If only I had the honour of studying the alchemy of words called Creative Writing through a reputable Australian school, my Hogwarts of choice, perhaps I could breathe life into my fiction and let my dragons set ablaze the hearts of readers, and share with them the fire that fuels my soul. Studying online would help me achieve this and my innate desire to become a novelist.

  23. Veronique
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    Multitasks mama

    – Why did you say no to Jordan? We all have been waiting for him to pump the question and you said no? No to the most kind loving man of the entire world?
    – Yes I said no. I promised my father to get my MBA. If I get married now I will never be able to get even my bachelor’s degree. And on top of that, Jo wants to have kids.
    – Are you sure this is the only reason cherie?
    – Yes of course it is the only reason. what else would make me leave the man I love? Since the breakup I can’t even sleep.
    – But you can also study online! You don’t have to attend class at the campus! Listen, having five kids and raising them alone, I find studying online the only option for me to achieve my dream. It allows me to follow my schedule without trampling on the kids’ while I keep my job; which allows me to financially support all these activities.
    Would you also consider this option?
    – Wouw! Yes. Sure. I can work and study simultaneously!
    But…. how will I get my Jo back?

  24. Emmanuel Chiseluka
    | Reply

    Family Financial Hardships

    Online Distance Education offers a number of students coming from poor families especially here in Africa the chance to get higher education. There are a lot of poor families here in africa who can not afford to send their children for Full Time on Campus Education and are finding it easier educating their children through Online Distance Education. This has the flexibility to allows students raise the required tuition fees through working in a number of organizations whilst learning. Most of the students attend online classes after knocking off from work. The Bachelors Degrees or Masters Degree achieved through Online Education has the same value as compared to the one achieved through full time on Campus Education, and this has been helping a number of family students stabilize their living standards by getting good jobs on the market after graduation in the same way full time on campus students get jobs on the Market. The good part is that it does not clarify that the particular Degree was done through Online Education. That makes the value equal of obtained Degrees.

  25. Delaney
    | Reply

    Extracurricular activities

    An entire unit dedicated to navigating online forums, troubleshooting technology or becoming confident using computer programs may seem too obvious for some technologically inclined individuals. However, for me, studying online is an extracurricular activity ensuring I become confident in the above areas plus more. As a student nurse, it is easy to see the importance of computer literacy in relation to the growing rate of paperless health facilities. This principle can be applied to any degree due to the global trend of technology.

    Studying online encourages me to interact with colleagues using the Internet, practice “netiquette” and observe approved abbreviations, professional language and medical terminology specific to nursing. Practicing these skills prepares me for job tasks that may be overlooked in the overall nursing curriculum. Therefore, I chose to study online because I feel it develops skills that are useful for my career.

  26. savitri devi
    | Reply

    Snoozing Nanna

    Lectures make me sleep but I can keep awake while surfing the net and doing online study. I am quite lucid in front of a computer but hardly ever in a classroom. After the first few minutes of absorbing a classroom lecture the rest sounds like words droning on and on. My thoughts begin to drift away and the peace and quiet in the room puts me in a pleasant lull. I have been caught snoring a few times. It was very embarassing at that time but I thought, ” After all I am an oldie, a nanna nap wont hurt anyone”. It actually perked me up and made the other students laugh. So I really like studying online. It suits me.

  27. Elena
    | Reply

    My Way!

    The day I fainted on the days of my Math O Levels destined me in the eyes of the people around to be not good enough or hardcore enough to pursue a University degree. Ashamed of my failure I moved away from home and got a job in the Hospitality industry which was far from the “ideal” career choice for such a “promising young lady”. Three years later I entered my HND course in Airline and Airport management via distance learning. My ex-colleagues, ex-schoolmates and even my family thought I would fail. But I didn’t – I pushed hard and studied day in and day out between shifts and flights and minimum rests. Today I am 3 modules away from graduating from my BA in International Hospitality Business Management and I have built a career in Aviation that many my age couldn’t dream of. Studying online gave me more than the ability to pursue an education. It gave me the confidence to believe in myself and say YES I CAN get a degree but I will do it MY WAY!

  28. Gabrielle
    | Reply

    Jump, and the net will appear

    I saw this on a card and loved it and I have dished out this advice to others but never to myself. It is time to stop putting up roadblocks – I can’t do this, I don’t have time. When I go back to work, I want it to be something I love doing, something that gives back and something that my daughter can be proud of. Online study means I can do this, whether I’m in my pyjamas or my daughter is playing at my feet or dinner is cooking. Its about regaining some of my life and identity in my own time and on my own terms. I’m excited to begin.

  29. Claire
    | Reply


    Studying online allows you to develop skills that will serve you in all areas of your life. You will establish planning and time management skills as you create a personal study schedule. In addition to study you may have several other commitments that you will need to coordinate to keep up with lectures and submission deadlines. You will have the opportunity to establish research skills and discover information relevant to coursework on your own because you will not necessarily have the same access to discussions with other students and staff. Studying online allows for self-realisation; you will discover who you are and how you want to live, based on your attitudes, approaches and the outcomes of these.

  30. Lacey
    | Reply

    Self Satisfaction

    Online study is a challenge. Do not doubt that for a second. Online study is a test of your own perseverance. No one has set your schedule for you, no one is waiting to mark your attendance. Setting intentions and goals is a task you must adhere to on your own and there is no one to answer to but yourself. Studying online teaches you so much more than the content of your course work. You learn about yourself. You learn how to manage your own time and where your sloppy self discipline may require a bit of grooming. You have to learn how to switch on when it’s time to work and switch off when it’s time to rest. Online study is a great way to build life skills beyond scholastic content. It builds integrity without supervision. Love a challenge? Love to test your own strengths and limitations? Study online.

  31. Lydia Matte
    | Reply

    Me time

    You can never turn a deaf ear or play dumb to children crying for the same toy their sibling has or children fighting to seek revenge or the need to breakup a fight, especially when they yell “mummy, mummy” like their life depends on that one yell…it gets your adrenaline up. You rush thinking the worst only to be told amidst sobs you did not read a story book for me yesterday (Please note they slept while I was reading the story book) and now it’s my fault. Well when you are a mother of toddlers, online study is an excuse to lock yourself away in the name of studying and let the husband deal with all the children’s issues cause all I will hear is “you cannot go in there mummy needs to study”.

  32. Chantell Jones
    | Reply

    Total Freedom

    Choosing online study gives you the freedom to study and go to class in the comfort of your pajamas. You can have rollers in your hair, a mask on your face and drink wine all while watching a class or working on an assignment. Online studying gives you the opportunity to pause a lecture; take a nap, pick-up the lecture after your nap, rewind and repeat lectures as often as you like. If you do not want to attend class, ok! don’t, who’s keeping record. If you hate group work, in class group discussions or in class one-one class work; online study is seeking YOU! If you want to cook dinner for one while your plus one (your professor) sweet talks you about IT, healthcare administration or employment law, online study is your place!

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