Kids going back to school - bright colored pencils, new shoes, notebooks and bookbags. Almost makes you wish you were getting into something new, doesn't it?
Most people say they feel enlivened by the return of cooler days (I know - not yet!) and look forward to doing something new or different. It could be the perfect time for you to study something new or to fill gaps in your education with a few online courses, or even more - gain a few college credits or get a complete degree.
Going back to school may be a tough financial road to walk if tuition fees are over your budget. Even getting a GED costs, and more so if you need to attend classes to brush up on required subjects. There are ways to study cheaper - on the 'net.
Online education has grown up from the 'email your answers' courses of a few years ago to sophisticated materials and scripts that grade and advise you as you go. This allows in depth study and along with email interaction, it's like having your own private tutor - but better. Learning at your own pace in your own time makes a lot of sense, frugal and otherwise.
Cost of courses? Anywhere from free to a few thousand dollars. You can even pay as you go on some of them.
Reasons to get an education online range from saving money to saving time, too. A stay at home parent can get a degree without ever having to hire a babysitter or buy a new wardrobe, to say nothing of bus fare or gas for the car, and in some instances you won't even have to buy textbooks. You'll still be at home with your children, and still be there to do things to save money around the house.
A full time worker can spend an hour or so before or after work studying without much of a disruption in normal routines, besides all the advantages above - no transportation, babysitter or clothing expenses. Of course, full time students will have the same advantages, too, and be able to move through courses as quickly or slowly as needed.
Although it seems easy and is inexpensive, it takes a certain kind of student to be able to take full advantage of online learning. Can you do it? Do you want to? Is Distance Learning for Me? will help you answer those questions. (You can skip the part about "Moodle".)
If you need a highschool diploma or a GED:
The price of taking GED tests varies from state to state from nothing in Connecticut to $160 in Virginia. Add to that the price of any courses or studies you might have to take and it can seem daunting. A highschool diploma is a near necessity and a GED is still cheaper than 4 years of highschool.
There is an impressive array of courses for almost anything, whether it's a trade or a college degree, online. You might want to check your local or state schools first to see if they offer online courses. If you want to work toward a college degree, make sure the online study is accredited because if it isn't accredited, you won't be able to get a real degree. Also, make sure that you can transfer those credits to a brick and mortar school if you want to. It's always a good option to have.
You'll have to do some work to find a school that fits your needs. Look for "online accredited schools" or "trade schools online." Guide to Online Schools is a good place to start, but don't stop there. Take enough time to know what you're getting in to, then go for it.