Online vs. On Campus: Which Way Is Right for You?

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Summer registration has begun, and fall semester looms ahead! You have councilors to advise you about your subjects – but how do you know whether you should take your classes online or on campus? If you’ve never taken an online class before, it can be tough to know if it might benefit you. But never fear! This article is here to help you weigh the pros and cons of both options, so you can decide what is right for you.

Pros

Online:

  • Have Wi-Fi and a computer? Then there’s no need to leave the comfort of your home! This is great if you live farther away from campus.
  • Learn better through repetition, along with visuals and lectures? Online lecture videos are easy to review and take thorough notes on because you can watch them again and again.
  • Like creating the perfect schedule? You still have due dates with online classes, but you get to choose what time of day you “go to class.”
  • Plan to take on an internship or work longer hours? Going with online classes gives you a more flexible school schedule to work with.

On Campus:

  • Enjoy face-to-face interaction with your professors and peers? Being in a classroom setting will provide you with more interpersonal interaction than an online class. Additionally, if you have questions about class concepts, the professor is right there to answer questions during and after the lecture. It’s also easier to form study groups.
  • Feel interested in campus events and organizations? It’s easier to get involved and stay committed if you visit campus often.
  • Worried about fees? Scholarships, such as HOPE and Zell Miller, will cover the full cost of your on-campus courses.
  • Feel alone in dealing with studies? The campus provides opportunities to help you, from tutoring services, the foreign language lab, and the Writing Center! Being on campus for the classes themselves can help you take another step to seek out some extra on-campus advice.

Cons

Online:

  • Have poor Wi-Fi or an unreliable computer? You won’t be able to properly access your coursework, which will all be posted online on D2L.
  • Find money tight? Online courses come with their own additional fees per course taken, and these fees aren’t covered by HOPE or Zell Miller.
  • Find yourself easily distracted? It takes discipline to set your own schedule and ensure you stay on top of organization and homework. It’s easier to get sidetracked or procrastinate without the constant reminder of attending an in-person class.

On Campus:

  • Live off campus? You’ll have to commute. Depending on your location and class time, that can be a major pain. Traffic is unpredictable and certain during hours the parking decks/lots get crazy crowded – meaning you have to add extra minutes to get there, park, and get to class on time.
  • Miss a class? It’s harder to get missed information. Many professors won’t fill you in if you miss class; you have to rely on your classmates’ notes, which may not always be complete or accurate.
  • Tired out by hustle and bustle? Going to on campus classes several times a day, several days a week, can be mentally draining.

Neither option is better than the other; they just provide different benefits and detractors depending on your personal style. On-campus classes give you interaction and campus connections, but online classes offer some perks in both scheduling and peace and quiet. Whichever one is “right” for you will depend on what makes your perfect style and schedule: maybe online classes, maybe on campus classes, or maybe a few of each – it’s your choice!

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Kristen Roberson
I’m an English major and professional writing minor with a life-long passion for writing. Writing comes naturally to me, and it is a skill and an art I hope to mold into a lasting career. I particularly enjoy fiction writing, but retain deep love for the research, study, and self-reflection that goes into composing articles, essays, and other nonfictional writing. I also love drawing; particularly people, cats, and landscapes. I hope to inspire others through my writing and art as I have been inspired, and encourage them to reach out, speak out, and build their own voices creatively and professionally.