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UF Online: A Modern Education for Modern Learners

UF Online: A Modern Education for Modern Learners

UF Online: A Modern Education for Modern Learners






While serving in the United States Air Force, 37-year-old Brandon Deusenberry was determined to earn his bachelor’s degree in geography. As a busy father of four and an active-duty service member, he needed a flexible and accessible online program to make his dream possible. At the University of Florida Online, Brandon found an exceptional program that empowered him to study and serve as a Gator on three different continents.










Brandon’s sentiment is increasingly common as education models become more flexible in the digital age. The number of online students is rapidly growing, with over half of U.S. college students completing at least a portion of their degree online. While universities are seeing this rise in interest, they are also seeing a greater diversity of applicants that span across a larger range of student ages, life stages, and career phases. What unites these learners is their interest in an accessible educatnoi that suits their current lifestyle with zero compromises on program quality and reputation. Meeting this demand from the modern learner requires a modern university model and mindset. As the #1 online bachelor’s degree program in the nation for the second year in a row, according th the U.S. News & World Report, UF Online is setting a new standard for what modern learners can expect when they wish to form a digital connection with a top reserach university on their own terms.

The Appeal of Online Education for Lifelong Learners

As a top 5 public university, the University of Florida is known worldwide for its academic rigor, breadth, and prestige. As more students seek a world-class education from this university across ages and life stages, UF Online puts a UF bachelor’s degree within reach for more learners, and invites those same learners to return to UF and upskill across a lifetime. Never compromising on quality, UF Online offers a flexible format while connecting modern learners with the best that the University of Florida has to offer. UF Online students can now pursue 25 different UF bachelor’s degrees and in doing so, earn the same degree as their residential peers.

UF Online students are taught by the very same faculty as on-campus students and are offered excellent opportunities for mentorship and undergraduate research, even if at a distance. UF meets the lifelong learner with top academics and faculty with the added benefits of a flexible, fully-online program.

With the growing need for digital options in the higher education landscape, online programs offer the flexibility many seek when choosing their degree program.
Fully-online learning makes it possible for nontraditional college students to earn their bachelor’s degree while maintaining the additional responsibilities that prevent them from being on campus. UF Online’s flexible courses make it easier for students to manage coursework despite demanding schedules, including busy parents, full-time workers, and military service members who are deployed around the world.





UF Online’s Student Experience Framework

Beyond convenience and affordability, the University of Florida pays special attention to ensuring that each and every Gator enrolled via UF Online has a fantastic student experience on par with UF’s reputation for excellence and engagement. UF Online focuses attention on seven distinct dimensions of the student experience, from student academic performance, faculty leaders and mentors, coursework and personalized academic advising, the vital role of amplified learning programs and co-curricular activities, and the culmination of the student experience as one component of a broader learning community environment at UF. Each of these seven dimensions receives investment, personnel, and data-driven outcomes for students thanks to a campus- wide commitment of teams across the University of Florida.

Even with attention to these seven dimensions, UF goes one step further with its UF Online Student Experience Framework. Across all dimensions of the student academic experience, UF Online works to ensure that each learner can experience those dimensions on their own terms, given their other responsibilities like caregiving or paid work. To ensure that each student may customize their experience and UF is welcoming to lifelong learners, UF Online deploys its own Student Experience Framework.

Focused on four key elements, the UF Online Student Experience Framework enables a top university like UF to offer lifelong learners the ability to customize their own experience while enjoying the best of what the university has to offer. The Student Experience Framework includes:

· Journey Mindset: UF adopts a journey mindset to welcome each student into UF Online. This “journey mindset” element recognizes that every student has their own unique journey, and the program must meet the individual needs of each student. UF understands that each semester is at least one student’s first semester and another student’s final semester, whether it is fall, spring, or summer. This mindset enables UF Online to support each unique journey that may or may not fall in line with a traditional fall start date and spring graduation, as seen on UF’s residential campus.

See Also

· Adaptable by Design: “Adaptability” represents UF Online’s commitment to innovation and agility in all facets of the student journey. Most notably, each UF Online student is assigned a personal academic advisor that is with them each step of the way to customize and adapt their course enrollment plan to conform to their lifestyle, schedule, and career goals.

· Seen Through a Student Lens: The “student lens” element focuses on ensuring that each UF Online student has UF events, resources, and support that are mindful of the reality and needs of a fully-online student. UF is continually working to ensure that our campus programs are live-streamed, announcements are posted in the UF Online virtual community hub (the UF Plaza), and/or dedicated emails are sent specifically to UF Online students about campus opportunities, UF employs a variety of methods to ensure our programs are seen through the lens of a remote, online student to ensure their full engagement.

· Equity of Experience: This final “equity” element of the UF Online Student Experience Framework ensures online students have access to the resources and support they need to succeed. In one example, UF Online funds opportunities exclusively for online student participation in the UF University Research Scholars Program (URSP). UF encourages undergraduate research projects that are paired with faculty mentorships for all undergraduates, and UF Online students are no exception. To ensure equity of experience across all facets of UF academic programs, UF teams work collaboratively with UF Online student experience leaders to develop resources, initiatives, and communications that maintain a student-first approach.

By adopting this Student Experience Framework, UF Online enables each enrolled Gator to have access and opportunity to all that UF has to offer. This framework ensures a welcoming approach for each student as soon as they join the Gator Nation, no matter their journey, age, or life stage. This unique approach sets UF Online apart. UF offers its UF Online students enriching learning opportunities that are not always available to online students at other universities across the nation.

UF Online Offers Lowest Tuition in the State Many Paths to One Gator Nation

Online education can provide a more affordable alternative to on- campus learning for students. When the state of Florida set UF Online tuition rates in 2014, they mandated that UF Online students pay 25% less in tuition and fewer required fees. As a result, UF Online students pay 40% less in tuition and fees compared
to their residential peers who are completing their UF bachelor’s degree on campus. Several online programs charge a reduced tuition rate compared to residential students attending the same institution.

Enrolling online can also save students additional costs that are often overlooked when evaluating and comparing the costs of college programs. Online students don’t need to relocate or significantly alter their current lifestyles to attend classes. The flexibility of online courses also ensures that students can keep outside employment,
often working full- or part-time, alleviating the financial stress of attending college. Student parents may save on childcare costs if they can pursue school while at home with dependent children. Caregivers of dependent adults can also save on dependent care if they can take classes online and remain vital caregivers during those hours.

Nationally, UF Online’s pricing stands out. UF Online boasts the lowest in-state tuition among the top 10 programs nationally and has been recognized for its affordability and notable low debt for graduates. Sustained investments from the state of Florida and the program’s commitment to keeping college
affordable have resulted in continued decreases in average student debt among UF Online students and in the number of students borrowing to pay for college.


Many Paths to One Gator Nation

The modern learner requires and deserves a welcoming and engaging experience from their university, and UF Online is proud to serve as a gateway to all that UF has to offer. By paving the path to UF bachelor’s degree programs for both local and global students, UF Online continues expanding access for students who’ve always dreamt of becoming a Florida Gator. With our Student Experience Framework, each student tailors their UF experience to fit their goals and schedules. Each enrolled Gator can participate in and enjoy UF programs on their own terms across a lifetime. UF Online currently supports Gators who learn and engage from 46 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and 22 countries around the world as they continue to soar. To date, over 4,000 Gators have already graduated with their UF bachelor’s degree via UF Online.

The nation’s #1 online bachelor’s degree program continues to set the pace in online education by spearheading innovative practices that cater to modern learners’ needs and expectations in the digital age. With accessibility and convenience increasingly valuable to today’s students, online higher education must rise to support their evolving interests. With a commitment to accessibility in higher education, the online program helps students connect to the Gator Nation no matter the distance. As UF Online continues to meet the growing needs of modern learners, there is no limit to what the University of Florida can achieve with this lifelong learning model.

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