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Online College vs. Traditional College


By: Robyn Landolfi, senior reporter

When one thinks of college they tend to think of living on campus and taking classes with a professor and other students in the same classroom or lecture hall. However, with online courses you can take these in the comfort of your own home.

Some questions people ask in regards to higher education are, online college or traditional college which has more benefits? Also, what does one have to take into consideration when picking one or the other?

There are many pros and cons associated with both forms of learning. The biggest challenge is figuring out which works for you based on your study habits and schedule. When looking at these two options, a student will become aware of the fact that one type of pro could be is the con of the other side.

For instance, one of the pros of traditional colleges is that you get to interact one on one with your professor. Meanwhile, learning through electronic means nearly eliminates that option and if you do have one-on-one conversations it is usually through Skype and is limited in time. Thus, showing just how complex the situation is.

In contrast though with online colleges classes are more flexible to your schedule. Meaning that it is a lot easier to find time to do your coursework, go to your job, or take care of your family. However, in a traditional class setting courses are less flexible due to being programmed at a certain time.

“I did both, I did traditional undergrad where I went away to a school and I liked the experience of being with real people. It was very tactile for me, but for graduate studies I needed to do it online because I was starting when I was pregnant and full time working and then finishing it when I had a small baby at home, so I needed to do things on my own schedule. If I had to do it would prefer to be in a physical classroom,” said WJPS English teacher, Ms. Marks.

An important factor to take into account while choosing which type of college is right for you is the idea of networking. Networking is defined as a system of trying to meet people who may be useful to you in your work.

With online colleges networking can be tedious and difficult due to lack of interacting with people face-to-face. While this is a con of online learning, it is a pro of traditional learning. For with traditional learning you are communicating with people at most moments of the day.

You also want to take your major into account and see which ones are suitable for each type of learning. For example, majors that require more hands on training like, engineering or chemistry may be best suited for a traditional classroom setting. Meanwhile, business, finance, and human resources are majors that can be completed online.

Full Sail University student Mat Dhyne said, “Online school is awesome because you can make time to do all your work while in the comfort of your own home and it’s really easy to work around your everyday life.”

Ultimately, the type of college a person chooses all depends on the individual’s preference. Also, what they are willing to give up in order to obtain something else. Each type of learning can help a person become successful, as long as it is applicable to the major one chooses and the classes that are scheduled.

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