Is Online College Worth It? Weighing the Pros and Cons

Thinking of taking your studies virtual?

You’re not alone. In fall 2019, over 7 million students enrolled in a distance education course in the United States. That’s over 37% of all enrolled students and it’s easy to see why so many are choosing an online college education over in-person classes.

Read on to find out what the pros and cons of online college are to help you decide if an online college education is right for you.

Pro: Flexibility

So many students have one or even two jobs these days to support their studies. The ability to log in and complete your studies anywhere and anytime can’t be beaten, however. With options like this software for colleges, students are able to manage their whole learning experience online, from enrollment through to communication with teachers.

Furthermore, if you have a family to raise, live in a rural area, or are always on the move, the ability to fit classes into your schedule can mean the difference between getting a degree and not.

Con: Time Management

When considering the pros and cons of taking online college classes, time management can fit into both camps. While some thrive in the freedom and flexibility involved in online college courses, others suffer.

We all learn best in different ways. If you work better with hands-on learning and a distraction-free environment, then an in-person class might be the smartest choice.

Taking online college classes is ideal if you have the discipline to set your own schedules and carve out enough time to study. If you’ve already identified that time management is not your strength and tend to leave things to the last minute then a physical classroom is your best bet.

Pro: Lower Costs

Taking online college courses is usually less expensive than in-person courses. Along with the course savings, students won’t have to pay for things like gas for commuting, student housing, or on-campus meal programs. These can all seriously add up.

In general, when you consider the costs that you can save when not having to go to a college campus plus the ability to continue working a part-time or full-time job, the difference to your bank account can be substantial.

Con: Personal Connections

There’s nothing quite like getting together with your classmates to hang out after class or for a group assignment. A face-to-face with your professor can make the difference between whether you get that new, complicated topic or not. When looking at the pros and cons of online college, this could be a big con for those who crave social interaction.

The good news is, technology is always improving, especially when it comes to online college courses. Now, instead of being able to connect with just students in your city, you can connect with students from all around the world. This could lead to possible professional opportunities that you wouldn’t have been exposed to in a traditional classroom setting.

Pros and Cons of Online College: How Would You Like to Earn Your Degree?

Now that you’ve got a better idea about the pros and cons of online college, it’s time to decide whether it’s right for you. Are you keen to make your own schedule and fit school around your busy life? Or do you prefer the connections and accountability of studying in a physical classroom?

To keep reading, head to our Education section where you learn more about the benefits of online college.


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