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How to Be Successful in an Online Program—Advice from Online Students & Alumni

How to Be Successful in an Online Program—Advice from Online Students & Alumni

Have you been considering an online degree but not sure it’s the right move for you? You’re not alone. There are many UGA Online students and alumni who overcame their hesitations so they could achieve more for themselves, for their families and for their communities by earning their degree online through the University of Georgia. We approached many of these students/alumni and asked them one simple question: “What advice would you give to current or future online students?”

Ashley Reese, MBT ‘18, is a current student who has been enjoying the Master of Business and Technology program and wants future students to know that online classes aren’t to be underestimated.

“My advice to future online students is to be fully committed to the learning process. Realize that online classes are not an easier way to learn but rather just a more convenient way. Actively participate in the virtual classroom sessions and do not be afraid to ask questions. The professors are very active with the students and they have a strong desire to help in any way possible. Lastly, communicate with your classmates. Everyone in the program comes from different backgrounds. Be sure to leverage each other’s skill sets.”

Danielle Smith, BS Special Ed. ‘17, says that time management is the most crucial piece of puzzle of completing an online degree with UGA.

“My best advice for upcoming online students would be to manage your time wisely! During the time you’re not spending in physical classroom, make sure that you’re out in the real world volunteering, helping in the community, and expanding your realm of knowledge by experiencing as many new things as possible. Sometimes, it might feel like your education is a little bit isolated, but if you make an effort to involve yourself with people who are going to encourage you, strengthen you, and help you succeed in life, then you will really have a better quality education than a student who might be on campus.”

Kali Koppen, M.Ed. Reading Education ‘16, says that to be the best student you can be, you need to put as much as you can into the program.

“I learned so much more than I ever thought I would being in an online program. You definitely get out of it what you put into it. Be dedicated, read the syllabus for each course carefully, and enjoy learning from the comfort of your own couch!”

Phillip Manville, MIT ‘17 (now MBT), says that you need to use your resources to ensure that you have the best educational experience you can.

“If I had to give advice to future prospective online students, I would tell them to understand that it’s a commitment. Treat it as if you would a class in a traditional setting. Communicate with your instructors frequently so they can understand you and vise versa. Meet your peers and get to know each other all the same. For us, video chat rooms worked tremendously. Above all, do not lose sight of your goals to walk across the stage with your team!”

Finally, Abigail Letts, M.Ed. Reading Ed. ‘19, speaks on the importance of asking for help when you need it.

“For future students, I was apprehensive about online classes going into the program. I always thought that I was a better learner “in person” and was concerned that I wouldn’t gain as much in an online setting. I was totally wrong. I have loved the online setting because I can do my work on my own timeline. The flexibility to determine my own schedule has been great. The classes are designed in such a way that you still engage with your peers in discussion on readings, and the projects are meaningful and often applicable to your classroom. I have gotten so many teaching ideas this year from classmates and from assigned readings. For current students, I would just say to manage your time and don’t procrastinate! Be considerate of others when you are working on a group assignment, especially regarding due dates. Don’t be afraid to ask your professors or TA’s for help. The staff within my program has been wonderful in terms of their responsiveness and understanding. They want you to learn and be successful.”


Thousands of online graduates agree that the flexibility of an online degree from a highly respected institution is invaluable. The University of Georgia is committed to raising the bar for online degrees, and there is no better time to start your own journey than now. Get started and submit your application to attend the birthplace of public education today.