Do Online Courses Help In College Admissions? - NeuroTray (2023)

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “Do online courses help in college admissions?”, how they help and which ones you should take.

Do online courses help in college admissions?

Yes, online courses can help the student in college admissions. The organizations in charge of providing online courses are increasingly improving their academic level in the courses ensuring a better job offer and admissions to universities for the student who takes them.

Online courses are also called MOOCs (Massive open online courses).

MOOCs are distance courses, accessible through the internet, to which anyone can join and has no limit of participants.

MOOCs generally are provided at no cost, permitting open up the online doors of colleges and universities to students around the world.

MOOCs began to appear in 2012 heralded as the revolution in higher education.

The institutions that offer online courses have a great advantage because they also offer a certificate once the student completes the course, in this way, any university will be able to verify that the student completed the course correctly.

The university entrance exam is a very competitive environment. You can have an advantage over other students with the online courses with certificates in the admission process if it’s done in the universities that teach it.

Today, the most prestigious universities such as Harvard, MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Berkeley, among others, offer online courses with certificates on platforms such as Edx and Coursera.

There’s no excuse for students to improve their knowledge regardless of the day, time, distance from the comfort of their home, and in pajamas.

Colleges love to see that the students have taken online courses, this can earn them college credit. However, even if a student can’t credit is awarded for the course, because that demonstrates they are motivated to learn.

There is no doubt a student will stand out beyond the basic curriculum requirement by taking online courses.

Returning to our main question ‘’Do online courses help in college admissions?’’ We have to say that there are even MOOCs that offer an explanation of the college application process.

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Also, senior instructional consultants at universities such as MIT(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) blindly recommend testing MOOCs before applying to college.

Use MOOCs before applying to university as the courses allow students to become familiar with the learning taught in universities.

Do Online Courses Help In College Admissions? - NeuroTray (1)

Are online courses helpful to college credits?

These days, more and more universities are accepting credit for the realized courses via MOOCs.

Many of the courses are free and publicly available to anyone with an internet connection.

Class Central is a company in charge of research which online courses are useful to students.

Recently, Class Central updated a list of all the courses that are part of for-credit programs, on topics spanning technology, engineering, business, humanities, art & design, Health & Medicine, mathematics, etc.

Below you can check out the list of MOOCs with credit-courses for college application:

Global Freshman Academy from Arizona State University & edX

EdX was partnered with Arizona State University to create Global Freshman Academy, which offers full university freshman-level courses for credit.

Some of the courses that you can apply for are:

  • MAT117: College Algebra and Problem Solving.
  • EXW100: Introduction to Health and Wellness.
  • CEE181x: Technological, Social, and Sustainable Systems.
  • HST102: Western Civilization: Ancient and Medieval Europe.
  • ASM246: Human Origins.
  • AST111x: Introduction to Solar Systems Astronomy.
  • ENG101x: English Composition.

Charter Oak State College & edX

EdX has partnered with Charter Oak State College, which offers full university freshman-level courses for credit.

Some of the courses that you can apply for are:

  • 6.00.1x: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python.
  • CS169.1x: Agile Development Using Ruby on Rails – Basics.
  • CS169.2x: Engineering Software as a Service (Saas).


Kadenze is a MOOC platform in charge of bringing together leading universities, and educators, to provide education in fields of art and creative technology.

Some of the courses that you can apply for are:

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  • Touring Modernism: From the French avant-garde to American Pop and Beyond.
  • Introduction to Generative Arts and Computational Creativity.
  • Making Meaning: An Introduction to Designing Objects.
  • Introduction to Motion Design: Time and Transformation.
  • Visual Storytelling: Envisioning a Narrative for Film and Video Games.
  • Contemporary Museum Education.
  • Gender, Feminism, Art and Technology.
  • Foundations of Arts and Entertainment Technologies.

American Public University

When a student completes any of the approved MOOCs, American Public University will accept them as part of credits for college application.

Some of the courses that you can apply for are:

  • Introduction to Genetics and Evolution.
  • Interactive 3D Graphics.
  • Intro to Artificial Intelligence.
  • Intro to Computer Science.
  • Intro to Physics.
  • Intro to Statistics.
  • Bioelectricity: A Quantitative Approach.
  • Calculus: Single Variable.
  • Pre-Calculus.

Alternative Credit Project

When a student completes any of the approved MOOCs, the Alternative Credit Project will accept them as part of credits for college application.

  • Math226.2x: Linear Differential Equations.
  • Math226.3x: Nonlinear Differential Equations: Order and Chaos.

Do all Universities accept online courses for credits?

MOOCs or online courses have had a powerful impact on higher education and constitute one of the latest, most efficient educational innovations.

There’re platforms offering helpful courses for admission in the college, however, there are universities that don’t accept this education alternative, because they don’t see any value in listing a MOOC on a college application.

Who makes MOOCs?

Most MOOCs are made by universities. Some of the first and most active MOOC makers are Stanford, MIT, and Harvard. However, some MOOCs are made by companies, such as Microsoft or Google, or by various organizations, such as IEEE or the Linux Foundation.

Why do universities offer online courses?

Offering online courses has been the key to allowing universities to remain active in student application options.

Online courses play an important role from the point of view of expansion.

When universities teach online classes allows them to know the needs, expectations, and difficulties of students when learning, creating new educational models that increase the quality of teaching.

Distance training or face-to-face training, which one to choose?

Online and face-to-face training are two different ways of acquiring knowledge. Although both pursue the quality of teaching, each uses its own method and establishes its own channels and learning guidelines.

Virtual education uses the Internet and information and communication technologies (ICT) to provide students with teaching tools (chats, blogs, videoconferences, or shared documents) that make the course more dynamic and more intuitive, and easy to follow.

This system allows students to attend class, work, communicate, examine themselves, and access content from anywhere. Distance training is also characterized by fostering the autonomy and curiosity of students, collaborative work, critical thinking, and self-taught learning.

This online system also diversifies the sources of knowledge. On the other hand, in face-to-face education, students go to a physical classroom where teaching and much of the learning takes place. In this modality, students acquire a more passive role and adapt to the rhythm and method of the teacher, who becomes the main source of consultation.

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Until a few decades ago, the debate on online vs classroom training was non-existent for a simple reason: there was only classroom training.

In 1995 things began to change. On that date, the UOC (Open University of Catalonia) was born, the world’s first online university, and since then this type of learning has become the preferred option of millions of people. In fact, according to a study by the International University of La Rioja (UNIR) carried out by the consulting firm GAD3, since 2000, online training has grown 900% worldwide.

Most of the students have tried this type of teaching. 77% of the world’s youth have an online course on their curriculum, according to a Global Shapers survey published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the trend will only increase in the coming years.

North America and the Asia-Pacific region lead the online education industry which, according to the Global Online Education Market: Forecasts from 2018 to 2023 report, will achieve an annual growth rate of 10.26% for the next four years and will exceed the $ 286 billion of market value in 2023.

The decision is yours!

Are online courses important?

Today, knowledge and skills are essential for professional advancement. But, sometimes, work and training can be incompatible due to geographical, economic, or time reasons. For that, a large number of universities and institutions offer online courses, some paid and others free, covering topics such as Technology, Humanities, Economics, Medicine, and Communications.

More and more new platforms are emerging offering online educational programs, and several experts believe that the online education sector will continue to grow in the coming years.

Some of the most important benefits of studying online are:

  • More flexibility to organize your daily schedule.
  • Costs are reduced.
  • Self-discipline and responsibility are strengthened.
  • More diverse learning formats.
  • There are a lot, of course, options to choose from.
Do Online Courses Help In College Admissions? - NeuroTray (2)

FAQSs: Do online courses help in college admissions?

Does Coursera look good on college applications?

Completing Coursera courses and earning certificates can be a good indication of your university application. Admissions officers get really excited when they read applications by students who demonstrate an unquenchable thirst for learning.

Are MOOCs free?

Yes, most MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) teach courses completely free. One of the fundamental characteristics that MOOCs must have is that they have to be open to all users across the world.

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What are the best MOOCs?

On the internet, you can find hundreds of platforms to take online courses. The most popular are; EdX, Coursera, Khan Academy, Udemy, Canvas, FutureLearn, Udacity, Open Education Europa, Iversity, and Kadenze.

How do MOOCs work?

MOOCs are online courses available to anyone with a computer, tablet, or mobile phone and an Internet connection from home or anywhere. Students within these platforms learn in an environment similar to an online class, but they are generally unstructured and can be accessed without paying tuition or committing to an academic program.

Why do students prefer online learning?

The benefits of studying online are better than traditional schooling, students have the freedom to understand in their own rhythm speeding up or slowing down as needed, the schedules are flexible and instructors have individualized teaching models to address needs, strengths, weaknesses in all kinds of students.

In this brief guide, we answered the question “Do online courses help in college admissions?”, how they help and which ones you should take.

If you have any questions or comments please let us know.


DMI, S. (2016, July 20). The Value and Benefits of Online Learning to Educators. Retrieved September 23, 2020, from Digital Marketing Institute website:

Making MOOCs Count in the College Admissions Process | The International Educator (TIE Online). (2020). Retrieved September 23, 2020, from website:

Moody, J. (2019). What College Applicants Should Know About MOOCs. Retrieved September 23, 2020, from US News & World Report website:

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What does it take to succeed in an internet based college course? ›

10 Tips for Success in Online Classes
  • Establish a productive learning environment. ...
  • Set a schedule for completing and reviewing assignments. ...
  • Seek virtual interactions with your peers.
  • Use the 'chunking' strategy to section out tasks.
  • Try to increase your interest in the work.

What must be done before deciding where to study in college? ›

Perspective. The most important factor when considering a college is how the school made you feel. Regardless of all the programs, opportunities, and scholarships, the school you choose should feel like home, a place where you will be able to grow and develop not just academically but in all aspects of life.

What is the purpose of massive open online course? ›

What Is a MOOC? A massive open online course (MOOC) is a model for delivering learning content online to any person who wants to take a course, with no limit on attendance.

What happens to a user after completing a MOOC? ›

If you finish a MOOC with a passing grade, you may earn a certificate of completion. Sometimes, the certificate is free. But more often, you have to pay for it.

What are the disadvantages of online classes? ›

Ten Disadvantages of Online Courses
  • Online courses require more time than on-campus classes. ...
  • Online courses make it easier to procrastinate. ...
  • Online courses require good time-management skills. ...
  • Online courses may create a sense of isolation. ...
  • Online courses allow you to be more independent.

What are the 5 tips to be successful in online learning? ›

5 Tips to Succeed in Online Learning
  • Develop a Schedule. Commit to making your online coursework part of your weekly routine. ...
  • Set Specific Goals. Create daily goals and set reminders for yourself to complete tasks within specific windows of time.
  • Get Connected. ...
  • Create a Designated Study Space. ...
  • Stay healthy.

Which is not an advantage of massive open online course? ›

High attrition rates

One of the biggest disadvantages is that students are not interested in completing the course. This is because they don't have the inclination to do so because they have not paid any fees. When the attrition rate was studied in some Massive Open Online Courses, it was found to be high.

What are the three 3 characteristics of MOOCs? ›

Three key characteristics are revealed: varied definitions of openness, barriers to persistence, and a distinct structure that takes the form as one of two pedagogical approaches. The concept of openness shifts among different MOOCs, models, researchers, and facilitators.

Is MOOC taken seriously within academia? ›

The answer is: Yes, to a large extent.

Is online schooling better than traditional schooling? ›

Online education is better than traditional education, debates the most significant element of the online education model. The online education model is basically trying to overcome the disadvantages of the traditional education system, while also providing additional benefits.

Why do MOOCs fail? ›

People have to find time for their studies in short snippets of time between life and work. According to a recent Duke University survey MOOC students cited “lack of time/amount of time required” as one of the main reasons for not completing their course.

Do MOOCs have real impact on learning? ›

Furthermore, the research data support hypothesis 2 MOOC's has a direct impact on developing students' learning skills. Thus, the development of the university curricula.

What students should look for when choosing a college and what mistakes to avoid? ›

To help you confront this challenge, here are 10 mistakes to avoid when deciding which college to attend.
  • Not taking enough time. ...
  • Choosing a college for its reputation. ...
  • Not visiting the campus. ...
  • Overemphasizing your current major. ...
  • Not applying because of cost. ...
  • Thinking you won't qualify for financial aid. ...
  • Missing deadlines.
15 Jul 2021

What are some of the most important factors in your college decision process? ›

Here are some of the top factors to consider when choosing a college.
  • Academic Majors Available.
  • Affordable Cost of Attendance.
  • Location, Location, Location.
  • On-Campus Facilities and Amenities.
  • Student Activities.
  • Career Services.
  • Do You Feel at Home on Campus?
2 Mar 2022

How do you answer why do you choose this college? ›

College authorities want to know more about your academic interests and commitments. Talk about the specific educational, research, and other academic opportunities offered by the college that appeal to you. Expand on this idea by talking about how these opportunities help support your future goals.

How useful are online courses? ›

Like any class or program, online courses are effective if designed and taught well. In fact, studies have shown that online education increases students' retention of material by up to 60% compared to in-person classes. Part of the reason is flexibility.

What are 3 advantages of online classes? ›

What are the Benefits of Online Classes for Students?
  • The “Home” Advantage. Digital learning has made learning interesting and fun for students. ...
  • Escape the Traffic. ...
  • Saves your Time and Money. ...
  • Best Online Guidance. ...
  • Instant Doubt Resolution. ...
  • Increased Convenience and Flexibility. ...
  • Enhances Self-Discipline. ...
  • Optimises focus.

Why do students struggle with online learning? ›

It's easy to get diverted from study online

Given all the distractions that are only one click away, students are easily diverted from online study. Those distractions are designed to grab attention and maintain engagement.

How do you finish an online course quickly? ›

manage time over in order to successfully complete an online course:
  1. Make the course a priority. ...
  2. Take the course with a friend or colleague. ...
  3. Set aside one hour a day to work on the course. ...
  4. Make a study plan. ...
  5. Make a calendar or schedule. ...
  6. Get rid of distractors. ...
  7. Set goals and incentives.
4 May 2015

What do you dislike about online learning? ›

Students sometimes feel online learning is impersonal, isolating, and non-interactive. They sometimes feel their online teachers are not particularly interested in neither them nor the instructional process. “Quality of professors varies widely. Some are great, some are not so great.

How can I pass an online class? ›

Successful Strategies for Passing an Online Class
  1. Ensure you have reliable internet access. Almost every facet of an online class requires internet access. ...
  2. Treat it like a regular class. ...
  3. Set aside a “study space” ...
  4. Take notes and organize your study materials. ...
  5. Participate in discussions and forums. ...
  6. Tap into self-motivation.
15 Jan 2021

What are the disadvantages of massive open online courses? ›

The Disadvantages of MOOCs:
  • Can't provide for personalized courseware and attention from a tutor.
  • It is difficult to keep track of students' assignments and involvement.
  • Learners with disabilities and a poor Internet connection can't use MOOCs.
  • Language can be a barrier while offering MOOCs.
22 Feb 2022

Which of the following situations are online learning or e learning typically more effective than face to face classroom learning quizlet? ›

Online learning is better than face-to-face classroom learning when learners are able to practice the learning content and receive feedback.

Which of the following are the benefits of massive open online course? ›

Eight benefits:

Courses are flexible, you can start now and study at your own pace. Being able to register for free and many MOOCs are free certificate courses. Engage and feedback with your fellow learners. Deadlines are flexible according to your schedule.

Who is the typical MOOC student? ›

According to Coursera data, 75% of MOOC students hold at least a bachelor's degree, 73% of users are in full-time employment and the average age of users is between 25 and 35. Many are seeking professional development, while some are looking to brush up on their existing knowledge.

Are MOOC courses accredited? ›

Saylor is the only MOOC platform that provides accredited college-level courses that can be directly transferred to US colleges for college credit. The courses are accredited by ACE or NCCRS. More information on Saylor Academy's benefits and course credit recommendations can be found here.

What is the difference between MOOC from actual or physical schooling? ›

Because the class information and materials are available electronically, and there is no physical classroom, there are usually no limits to the number of students who can enroll in a MOOC. Free In most cases, MOOCs are entirely free.

Do MOOCs help in college admissions? ›

While MOOC grades might not be taken too seriously by the Admission Committee, it still shows enthusiasm on your part and gives additional credibility to your application.

What is another term for MOOC? ›

A massive open online course (MOOC /muːk/) or an open online course is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the Web.

Is it better to do college online? ›

One of the most common questions asked on this topic is, "Are online classes easier?" Put simply, the answer is no. Opting for online courses over traditional courses is not the easy route for your education. It's true that online courses offer more flexibility, but that doesn't change the amount of work you put in.

What is better online classes or regular classes? ›

Class Flexibility

While online students receive deadlines, there is more flexibility around what their day — they can choose when will study, complete assignments, listen to lectures, and more. With a traditional class format, there is often a lack of flexibility.

Why is online better than face to face? ›

IBM have found that participants learn five times more material in online learning courses using multimedia content than in traditional face to face courses. Because online courses give students full control over their own learning, students are able to work at their own speed.

How many people finish MOOCs? ›

A 2018 Columbia University's Teachers College study on edX and Coursera courses shows that MOOC Certificate programs have a completion rate of 15% or less.

What percentage of people finish udemy courses? ›

This also gives a sense of accomplishment to the subscribers, and excites them to learn more techniques in order to add to their project later. The results speak for themselves. Where the average completion rate for Udemy courses is around 10%,my courses have a 65% completion rate.

How effective are MOOCs? ›

Our latest research demonstrates that among learners who complete courses, MOOCs do have a real impact: 72% of survey respondents reported career benefits and 61% reported educational benefits.

Is the application of MOOC really suited to the students like you? ›

A descriptive survey of 250 learners was conducted. The study indicated that comprehensive study materials in MOOCs are useful for the learners as future reference. MOOCs are effective in the sense that it helps learners to understand a certain topic and apply it in real life.

What is the main goal of massive open online courses? ›

A massive open online course (MOOC) is a model for delivering learning content online to any person who wants to take a course, with no limit on attendance.

What happens to a user after completing a MOOC? ›

If you finish a MOOC with a passing grade, you may earn a certificate of completion. Sometimes, the certificate is free. But more often, you have to pay for it.

How does an online college class work? ›

Online classes typically have an asynchronous, or self-paced, portion. Students complete coursework on their own time but still need to meet weekly deadlines, a format that offers flexibility for students.

How does an online school work? ›

The course or module's learning resources will be delivered via the institution's online learning environment or platform. The learning platform will vary depending on the software used, but it will usually consist of a central online platform that students can access from their personal PC, mobile or tablet.

Do online college classes have lectures? ›

Traditional vs Online Learning

For most online courses, you'll be able to log on to Blackboard, access your lectures and homework assignments, and work on them when it is most convenient for you.

How do college classes work? ›

COLLEGE: You spend 12 to 16 hours each week in class, usually with breaks in between. Classes are not limited to the day with many classes offered in the evening. In most cases, the academic year is divided into two 15-week semesters with an additional week after each for exams.

Do universities care about online courses? ›

As long as a school is regionally accredited, colleges won't typically have any issue with whether the school is online or in-person. For students looking at more competitive universities, there are obviously additional considerations, such as AP courses or extracurricular activities.

Are online classes easier in college? ›

One of the most common questions asked on this topic is, "Are online classes easier?" Put simply, the answer is no. Opting for online courses over traditional courses is not the easy route for your education. It's true that online courses offer more flexibility, but that doesn't change the amount of work you put in.

How many hours should you spend on an online class? ›

You should plan to devote a minimum of three hours per week per credit, plus an additional hour per class each week to review materials. For instance, for a three-credit online course, you will need nine hours of study time and one hour of review time each week.

What are the benefits of online courses? ›

Benefits of Online Learning for Adults
  • Flexibility. Many people turn to online learning for its flexibility. ...
  • Ability to Advance a Career. ...
  • Wider Range of Courses and Programs. ...
  • A Broader Range of Perspectives. ...
  • Immediately Applicable Coursework. ...
  • Affordability. ...
  • Time Management Skill Development. ...
  • Virtual Collaboration Opportunities.
31 Aug 2021

Is online learning as good as face to face? ›

In many ways, online learning is more effective than face to face learning. As research shows 80% of organizations believe their use of digital learning will remain the same, increase or decrease only slightly as restrictions on live training ease.

How long are online classes a day? ›

One of the many advantages of online schools is that they will require less time from you compared to traditional schools. But then again, it is highly dependent on the online school that you or your child is enrolled in. On average, students spend four hours online.

Do students prefer online or in-person learning? ›

Most want in-person education

According to researchers, 65 percent of students preferred in-person instruction, compared to 18 percent who prefer a hybrid model and 9 percent who reported they'd rather learn remotely.

Why in-person classes are better than online? ›

In-Person Classes are Active and Involved

Group discussions and projects help some students better understand course material while also getting to know their classmates and professors and building connections with them.

Why is online college better? ›

Among the many benefits of online learning, you'll find that virtual education allows you to enjoy a more flexible schedule, can reduce the cost of your degree, and can allow you to more easily develop your career alongside furthering your education.

Is college harder now than it used to be? ›

It's much easier today to graduate college than it was 20 years ago. The grading curve is much more lenient, As are almost just given away, some colleges don't even use grades anymore. High school graduates are also about 20 pts less intelligent than 20 years ago.

How much harder is college than highschool? ›

Generally speaking, college is harder than high school because of the more difficult courses and coursework. College students are also usually on their own, away from family and friends. However, high school can be harder than college, too, depending on the academic rigor and the things teens go through.

Is a 4 year college worth it? ›

College Graduates Earn More Than Non-Graduates

Despite the rising cost of post-secondary education, a college degree still pays off for the majority of graduates. On average, those with a bachelor's degree earn significantly more than their peers with only a high school diploma.


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