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California Enrollment Freeze Left You in the Cold? Online Education Can Help

As of July, 2010, California's unemployment rate is a whopping 12.4 percent, tax revenue has plummeted, and budget after budget has failed to pass the California state legislature despite the largest deficit in state history looming above it. Among those shouldering the burden is would-be California college students.

Budget Woes Take their Toll on CSU and UC Schools

In a desperate attempt to stabilize the economy, California has slashed higher education funding, crippling both the California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC) systems. Schools have responded by raising student fees, laying off staff, eliminating programs, and expanding class sizes.

Bad news turned worse, however, when CSU and UC schools announced they were combating their budget woes by slamming their doors shut to future students. In an unprecedented move, the CSU system--much larger and historically more affordable than UC--announced it would be freezing enrollment through 2011. UC is not freezing enrollment entirely, but is reducing new admissions.

What the CA State University Enrollment Freeze Means for You

The shockwaves of the CA state university enrollment freeze are widespread. After all, California's economy isn't just the largest in the US, it's ranked eighth in the world.

While temporarily providing schools with some relief, the admissions closure may likely do more harm than good to the California economy. According to a study by the Public Policy Institute of California, the state already could face a shortage of nearly 1 million college-educated workers by 2025. The freeze only exacerbates the problem. In other words, the CA state university enrollment freeze has left more than its affected students out in the cold.

The future seems bleak, but what does all of this mean for you, a future college student? If you were hoping to attend a CSU or UC school, it may be time to reevaluate your plan. You might have to scratch Cal Poly or Berkeley off your list, but you still have options, thanks to online schools in CA.

Online Schools in California Offer a Much Needed Alternative

Students unwilling to wait for CSU and UC schools to re-open their doors can still launch their educations online. You don't have to be in the Silicon Valley, either. While online education was once favored by a brave, tech-savvy elite, the Sloan Consortium reports that online degrees have not only entered the mainstream, enrollment is increasing at a staggering rate. The Consortium also notes that as online courses are more widely accepted than ever before, it's much easier to transfer back and forth between online and traditional colleges.

Online schools in California may be a great alternative to the CA state university enrollment freeze, but the benefits don't end there. Web-based programs offer the following perks:

  • Flexibility: Most online programs are nonsynchronous, meaning you can forego strict schedules and log in to class whenever it's convenient.
  • Convenience: With online education, the classroom is as close as the nearest Internet connection.
  • Options: Whatever your intended major, chances are there's an online school that offers it. Even most hands-on careers, like nursing or engineering, typically have hybrid programs combining online and traditional instruction.
  • Affordability: Online programs are not only cheaper than out-of-state tuition if you're fleeing California's education crisis, their flexibility allows you to keep a full-time job while you study.

Don't let the enrollment freeze put a chill in your career goals. Look around the internet for online school reviews, and find a new direction with online schools in California.