Campus School or Online School: Which is a Better Fit for You? Part 2

University HallLET’S GET CRACKING on the costs and benefits of on-campus education. After all, we are out to get the full picture and in order to learn what we want, we need to put our biases aside…for now.

Traditional campus schools may provide that personal touch to education through live interactions with students and faculty. If face-to-face time is how you learn best, then giving it up in favor of an online school may not be worth the benefits for you. Also, in light of the proven gains of truly student-centered education, it is important to consider the opportunities that campus schools provide to engage with other students on a personal level, and to satisfy this need, class discussion boards and chat rooms may not be enough. Similarly, a campus school may give you the unique opportunity to experience a new part of the country or world, allowing for a cycle of learning with and from other students, as well as reflecting on educational experiences, which is like no other. Additionally, the possibility of networking with faculty and potential employers on site may be an appealing possibility that you can see benefiting you in the months and years to come after you’ve completed your degree!

In any case, education is about broadening one’s horizons through increased learning opportunities, and a campus education—through amenities such as on-campus gym to a career counseling office—may potentially offer you the exact experiences you’re looking for to grow personally and professionally in a nurturing social environment. On the other hand, we should consider the relatively higher financial cost of an on-campus education, especially one that is out-of-state and may not offer the most competitive tuition rates. In addition to the topic of affordability, some campus-based state schools may lack more specialized, one-on-one instruction (which is often not quite feasible in large lecture hall settings) which may be more or less conducive to an online classroom, depending on the instructor and size of the class. Additionally, another potential drawback of a campus school is the inflexibility of class offerings, as many on-site courses are offered according to a static, daytime schedule. It is definitely worth inquiring about evening classes when balancing educational opportunities against a full-time job.

Regardless of which option you feel is right for you, remember to keep your eye on the prize. Online schools and campus schools each have their unique advantages. It’s up to you to seize them on your own terms.

Read Part 1