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Removing 5 Barriers to Enrolling in Online Courses

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Even when an online course is a perfect fit for a learner, they may still find themselves hesitant to enroll because something is standing in the way. It could be anything from personal reservations to concerns about trust and quality.There are several barriers to enrolling in online courses. Getting to the bottom of this can be the difference between a “yes” and a “no.” The good news is there is a lot you can do to proactively limit or remove these barriers.

This article explores five reasons why learners may hesitate to enroll in an online course. I share how nearly every prospective learner, no matter the field or course topic, is grappling with considerations of readiness, time constraints, cost, trustworthiness, and fear. Unraveling these barriers will help learners see the potential in your offering, and, in turn, further help you unlock the full potential of your audience.


The journey of learning begins with preparedness. Many prospective learners grapple with self-doubt and imposter syndrome and question their aptitude for online learning. Concerns about academic and technical proficiency, level of subject matter knowledge, the ability to manage self-paced learning, and readiness for personal change and development can prevent individuals from enrolling.

It’s essential for online course providers to be empathetic to these concerns and offer prospective learners support to assess their readiness and support their transition into and through an online learning experience. Here are some tips:


In our fast-paced world, time is our most precious resource. The commitment required for online courses can be daunting, especially for those balancing professional, family, and personal responsibilities. Learners need assurance that they can integrate the online course seamlessly into their daily routines and still get the results they desire.

You should focus on ways to accommodate learners with time constraints. Here are some ideas:


The financial investment required for online courses raises questions about their value and return on investment. 

Everyone wants maximum quality for minimal cost. However, many people are willing to pay more for higher-quality experiences that are proven to produce results. That doesn’t mean you should go and price your course as high as possible because doing so could price your best learners out of your course. Be realistic about what people are able to pay, not just willing to pay.

People seeking the results and outcomes of online courses are often looking to transform their lives, many with hopes of financial gains or financial freedom. In these cases, it’s important to price your course within reach for this audience, realizing that they may not have the funds to invest right now or all at once.

To make learning more accessible for individuals facing financial constraints, consider implementing some of these creative strategies:


Credibility is the cornerstone of education. Learners may hesitate to trust independently created courses, questioning the authenticity of course creators, the accuracy of content, and the promise of outcomes. These concerns come from the abundance of online course offerings and the varying levels of legitimacy and quality among them.

Building trust is pivotal for learners who are investing a lot of time, money, and emotion into this experience. Use these best practices to address these concerns and build trust among prospective learners:


Fear of failure and fear of the unknown can deter even the most eager learners. Apprehensions about underperforming, being overwhelmed by the learning journey, experiencing imposter syndrome, and having high expectations of oneself, often result in hesitation.

It’s important to understand how significant emotional barriers like fear can be and how online course providers can help ease these fears. Here are some tips to consider:

Addressing these concerns requires proactive measures from course creators. To maximize enrollment opportunities and dismantle barriers, adopt these strategies to provide transparency, support, and personalized experiences. It will no doubt set you apart from the overwhelm of online course options.