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Online vs. In-Person Education

Updated on August 22, 2016

There are many aspects of education that needs to be considered when choosing either an on-campus or online experience for your education. Here is a breakdown of some of those:

On-Campus Education Benefits

  • Socially, it is more ideal for those wanting to experience things such as clubs, fraternities and sororities, campus living, etc.
  • Discussions can be made in class, while online learning makes it harder to interact on a personal level.
  • Typically, it can be easier to understand material because of the personal interaction with peers and professors by discussion and asking questions.
  • Ideal for young adults who want the full college experience.
  • Lower costs are still available by commuting, living with parents, or in a shared apartment.
  • Classes are mostly at lengthier paces on-campus if that is ideal.
  • Opportunities for more involvement in sports and campus events.

Online Education Benefits

  • Assignments dates are scheduled for the same time every week.
  • Students can work from anywhere at anytime.
  • Online learning gives the ability to work full-time while earning a degree.
  • Many schools give students longer to complete their degree if needed.
  • Ideal for adults with families and dependents.
  • Costs are lower because tuition is the only cost when not living on-campus.
  • There are usually no set times to be on-line unless a college requires.
  • Classes typically only last 8-10 weeks with 5-6 terms per year.
  • 1-2 classes are typically taken at once, giving a shorter workload.

In-Person Education Disadvantages

  • There is a set schedule, meaning that full time jobs and situations like having dependents could become hectic at times.
  • Higher costs for those paying to live on campus.
  • In-person education means that there may be times that a person must miss class, while in online education, there would be no schedule issues.
  • For those who like to work independently, they will have to follow the schedule and pace that the professor sets.
  • Online education allows a person to work wherever, whenever, while in-person education may force a person to move or travel long distances.

Online Education Disadvantages

  • Misunderstandings of material and assignments are more likely to happen with the lower amount of interaction between student and teacher.
  • Being socially involved takes more of an effort.
  • Typically, classes are at a faster pace because of shortened class length, so if that is not ideal, it can be difficult to turn assignments in on time.
  • Due to the independence, it can sometimes be hard to stay focused.
  • If you learn best by demonstration, audibly, or visually, learning may be more difficult than if you had a teacher physically in front of you.

Conclusion-Which is Better?

There is no right path to choose. Whatever educational path a person might choose must fit their own needs. What is right for one person might not be right for another. You must figure out for yourself what this might be.

Do you do better when the teacher is physically present? Do you do well with independent study? Would you rather have the residential college experience? Or would you rather work from home? All of these things are important things to consider when choosing on-campus learning or online learning.

Take the quiz below to find out what's best for you!

Are You Better Suited For Online Learning or On-Campus Learning


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Which education path do you find more beneficial for yourself?

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