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Online Versus On Campus Education

Updated on June 28, 2014

Education Is The Key

Earning a college degree is a goal that many people have. In this day and time it is pretty much mandatory that you possess a college education to have any hope of landing a good job.

Whether you are fresh out of high school or a working adult you want to obtain the best education possible that fits your budget and schedule.

Unlike years ago those desiring to attend college now have the choice of going to school in a traditional campus setting or taking classes online.

Both have their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages and choosing which one is best for you will center around convenience, cost, feasibility, logistics and the ability to get the quality of education that you want.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Some of the advantages of attending traditional classes are:

  • personal interaction - There is no substitute for human contact. In the course of classroom discussion critical learning can be gained.

  • personal relationship - A personal relationship can be established with the instructor which can aid the student to better understand what is expected of them.

  • educational atmosphere - Being on a college campus has an intellectual feel to it that can help boost the intellectual juices and aid in learning.

Some disadvantages are:

  • time consumption - Driving to campus and dealing with on and off campus traffic can eat up considerable time.

  • parking - Finding a legal place to park on a college campus can be a chore and a hassle on some days.

  • time constraints - Classes are offered at certain times on certain days during certain semesters restricting when you can take them.

Advantages to taking online classes:

  • cost efficient - All you have to pay for is the class. No parking fees, gasoline costs or room and board to be concerned with.

  • flexible class schedule - You can take classes when it is convenient to you. Sign in and out at your leisure.

  • comfortable setting - With your favorite footies on while sipping on a beverage you can get educated in the comfort of your home.

Disadvantages to taking online classes:

  • no personal contact - There is no opportunity to personally engage the instructor or fellow students who may be able to assist with a problem or concern during class.

  • computer problems - Computers are great when they work but they don’t always work and that can create a substantial interruption depending on how serious the problem is.

  • communication glitches - Sometimes there are problems with messages being delivered via electronic mail which can cause responses to be delayed or not received at all.

Final Evaluation

Either way you go there are going to be positives and negatives. In the final analysis it comes down to what you are willing and able to put up with and what you are not.

Just like any decision you weigh the pros against the cons and whichever choice has the most upside that is the one you go with.

In the end an individual’s choice comes down to what best fits them financially, logistically and socially.

No matter which you choose you can't lose because you're picking up a valuable education.


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    • TonyDan profile image

      Tony Daniels 3 years ago from Toledo, Ohio

      Both good points. I think most people would prefer an on campus experience but as Freeway Flyer pointed out the cost of higher education is forcing many to take the online option.

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 3 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thank you TonyDan for your article. I have the experience of both environments. I completed my undergraduate education online and my doctoral program on campus. I have mentioned this throughout my doctoral program that I prefer on campus education well over the online. The reason for me and this may only apply if one desires to move onto a graduate program, was I felt I did not have a quality education compared to my colleagues. It took me the better part of 2 years to feel as if I caught up. However, I agree with Freeway Fyler that online education may become the more popular model as prices increase. I too work for a college as a clinician and the financial worries of our students are definitely increasing.

    • Freeway Flyer profile image

      Paul Swendson 3 years ago

      Being a college teacher myself, I am biased toward the old-fashioned way. But so long as the cost of college continues to skyrocket, we may see increasing numbers of people shift to the online model, whether this suits them educationally or not.