Single parents do not have it easy. Full-time jobs, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and child-rearing all on their own, and some even have to take care of elderly parents. Getting a degree can make life easier by improving your income and maybe even giving you better working hours. As a single parent, though, finding the time to go to school can be a challenge. There is a way it can be done, and it’s ideal for single parents: online school.

Set Your Own Schedule

Sometimes you have to attend live lectures at specific times, but much of online schooling will allow you to set your own schedule. You can attend classes day, evening, or even middle of the night. You can buckle down on a Saturday and get a lot done after skipping most of the week because of a sick kid or overtime at work.

Save Time

In addition to setting your own schedule, you can save time by attending school online. You don’t have to waste time driving to campus, finding parking, and hustling to the other side of the campus to class. Then there’s the drive back home. This becomes even more of a problem when you spend all that time driving to school only to find that class has been canceled for whatever reason.

Save Money

Sometimes, the tuition for online school is lower than the tuition for physically attending college—sometimes, significantly lower. But even if tuition remains the same, you’ll still save money. There’s no gas driving back and forth to school, no parking passes to pay for, and no other little expenses that add up like grabbing coffee from a coffee shop or a fast food dinner after a late class. There’s less wear and tear on your vehicle, and no babysitting expense.

Inspire the Kids

When you attend school physically, you might be tempted to take advantage of the fact that you have a sitter to do your studying at the library. Or you’ll wait until the kids are in bed to study. With online school, you’ll likely find that you study and/or attend class at least some of the time that your kids are home, awake, and aware. This sets an incredible example for them, seeing you motivating yourself to do something that you technically don’t have to do.

Once you’ve made the decision to attend school online, the next step is to carefully and thoroughly vet the schools you think you might want to attend. Look for accreditation. Make sure the school you’re looking at offers a degree in the program you’re interested in. Look at the financial aid options, and consider which ones you’ll need to take advantage of or how you’ll make up the difference if you can’t get enough financial aid to cover all of your tuition, books, etc.

Make sure the school has satisfied students, too. Check reviews, and look in places that you might not have thought of. Independence University reviews on Facebook, for example, are favorable and posted by people whose profiles you can see even if it’s only limited information. This allows you to get a feel for the kind of people who attend the school you’re looking at, and determine whether it’s a good fit for you.

Just about any excuse you have for not attending school is defeated by the idea of online school. Don’t let anything hold you back from achieving your dreams and goals, and let your kids see that anything is possible. Get started on your degree and get on with your life.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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