On Campus or Online: Which Undergraduate Experience is Right for You?

Read our article and find out!

Potential students shopping undergraduate degree programs are presented with more options than ever before. The wide array of traditional and online choices currently available to students poses the challenge of deciding whether the online or the traditional degree is “better.” Here are some points to consider when comparing the advantages of the online versus the traditional campus-based undergraduate programs.

Advantages of Traditional Programs

Online learning is not for everyone. Face to face regular classroom meetings add an element of structured discipline that differs from the online environment. Many students in their 20’s with social distractions may choose the traditional programs because of the regular class meetings and for the opportunity to work in groups that also mingle socially.

Some students who prefer the traditional classroom setting:

  • Need a traditional format with face to face student and professor interactions in order to personally invest in a course and do well.
  • Like the on campus group work format that is popular in many campus-based programs and enjoy being a part of a group that meets and socializes regularly.
  • Enjoy the competitive factor of a traditional classroom experience.
  • Rely on career placement services which can be more abundant in traditional settings and may offer events with recruiters or sponsor business topic related brown bag lunch talks and meet and greets.
  • Desire the traditional setting for the experience of being a part of the college community in a formal way.


Advantages of Online Undergraduate Programs

Traditional classroom learning is not for everyone. Returning students who are also juggling careers, families and other responsibilities appreciate the flexibility of the online learning environment. While peer interaction is available on class discussion boards, students do not need to leave their home or juggle schedules to interact with classmates the same way a traditional student would.

Some students who prefer the online classroom setting:

  • Need the flexibility to attend to their course assignments with a much more flexible schedule.
  • Like the geographic flexibility so they can attend a highly ranked school even though they may be several states away.
  • Enjoy the customized schedule and wide array of specialized courses.
  • Achieve better results because they are in control of their workload and can complete the work in larger or smaller chunks; there is email access to instructors for personal clarification which builds better retention of knowledge as they move along in the course.
  • Desire a program that is personally tailored to specific needs and specialties that the traditional courses don’t offer as readily.
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