INA, Ill. (Aug. 14, 2020) — With fall semester starting Monday, several universities in the state of Illinois still cannot agree on how instruction should take place during the 2020-21 school year.
The number of new COVID-19 cases on the rise once again in Illinois and educators from around the state are urging colleges and universities not to return to campus.
Earlier this summer, the Illinois Federation of Teachers implored higher education institutions to start entirely online this fall. A virtual semester may be the reality for most college students this year. Even if a university does allow students to return to campus, it may be difficult to keep in-person classes going if confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise.
So, if you aren’t going to get the full university experience, why pay university prices for your college education? Rend Lake College is a more affordable option. And it’s a quality education from a reliable institution. With a plan for the Fall 2020 semester already in place, RLC is ready for the upcoming semester and there is still time to sign up for classes. Registration runs through next week. If remote learning is in the cards this year, RLC is a great option, and here is why:
- Classes are much, much cheaper — One semester at any neighboring university costs more than two years of college at RLC. Most neighboring four-year institutions charge more than $300 per credit hour. At just $110 per credit hour, RLC classes are among the most affordable in the entire state. That’s already a huge draw for many students during a “normal” year, but when the traditional college experience is moved online and everyone is in the same boat, how much do you want to be paying for an online college course? Plus, more than 80% of RLC students qualify for some form of financial aid, making an education even more affordable.
- No online fees mean even more savings — Typically, RLC would have a $20 per hour fee for online courses. For the Fall 2020 semester, that fee has been waived and that adds up to even more in savings for students choosing RLC. A full-time student taking a 15-hour course load would save $300 for the semester in fees for online instruction. Not all universities have waived or reduced online fees as many are still trying to decide what instruction will look like for students this year.
- Those credits are going to transfer — There is a stigma that a community college course does not carry the same pedigree as a course at a four-year university. But RLC’s credits are easily transferable and can help you achieve a degree elsewhere when things return to normal. RLC is part of the Illinois Articulation Initiative, which allows credits to transfer seamlessly between higher education institutions within the state. RLC also has several articulation agreements with neighboring colleges to help students achieve the degrees they are pursuing. And as an accredited institution for more than 50 years, our staff will work to make sure your achievements at RLC set you up for a better future.
- Safety is a top priority — RLC has had a plan for the Fall 2020 semester in place since June. A majority of instruction will take place online. A select amount of classes feature lab work where small groups will meet in person. RLC is taking a cautious approach to limit the spread of COVID-19. And this plan is fluid. The college is prepared to make adjustments as necessary moving forward. But the safety of students, faculty and staff is a top priority and always will be.
- Stay close to home during these uncertain times — It can be a scary decision to finally move out on your own. It can be even more daunting when its during a global pandemic. With travel discouraged to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, another year at home can be beneficial to public health. And it can be beneficial to your own health.
- We’ve been here before. We know how to do it — Yes, remote learning is all still a little new for all of us. But RLC faculty and staff made a quick transition to instruction based entirely online last March. With very little time to prepare, the instructors rose to the occasion and kept classes going. Now, we’re better practiced. We’re more equipped to handle the challenges. And, with ample time to prepare, we’re confident we can continue to deliver a top-quality education this year no matter what difficulties arise.
Maybe you are uncertain if the university option is right for you during this time. That doesn’t mean you have to give up on your education. RLC is right down the road and we’re ready for what lies ahead. With remote learning a likely scenario for most universities, RLC is a terrific option. Stay safe. Stay local. And save money. Getting started is as easy as enrolling, connecting with an advisor, and getting financial aid. So, don’t wait. Start your journey today by visiting rlc.edu. It's not too late to sign up. RLC is continuing registration through next week. Go to rlc.edu/advisement to get started with our advisement team on your fall schedule.