Online vs. On-campus Which Program is Right for You?

Deciding on the best format for your college experience is dependent on several factors. While each option offers unique features, it is important to identify your specific needs and goals in order to find the best fit.  

For example, do you require in-person instruction in order to focus and grasp concepts or can you succeed independently? Is personal interaction an important feature? What sacrifices or accommodations will you need to make to attend in-person classes? These and other thoughtful questions can be helpful as you choose the right path to your educational goals. 

Let’s explore the unique features of each format in more detail. 

Online Learning

For those looking for more flexibility, online learning can be a great option. Whether you are working around commitments such as childcare, work, or other life responsibilities, completing your college degree online can help you achieve your goals on a schedule that works for you. With a stable internet connection, you can log on and complete coursework, watch videos, and access course material at any time from anywhere in the world. Another great feature of online learning is that you can access resources as often as you need! You can rest assured that all the same learning content offered in a traditional degree program is also included in an online master’s degree, for example. 

Considerations For Online Learning 

While online learning is a great option for some, it is not for everyone. As an online student, it will be up to you to effectively manage your time and schedule so that you do not miss out on assignment deadlines and other important requirements. Since you will have full autonomy, you may benefit from forming study groups or some type of accountability system with your classmates in order to stay on track. A balance of consistency, structure, and planning will be key to your success. 

Success Tips For Online Learning


  • Plan ahead. Preview upcoming lessons and assignments whenever possible to begin the pre-work of mastering concepts and properly allot time for studying. You can also use this time to clarify any areas of confusion with your instructor or request access to materials ahead of time.


    • Set S.M.A.R.T goals. By writing out your goals each week, you are 42% more likely to achieve them. This is a great way to ensure a successful outcome! 


  • Maximize your resources. As an online student, you may feel as though you are on an island of your own. Take the time to learn about all of the resources available to you and utilize them as needed. 


On-Campus Learning

If you are someone who benefits from live instruction and interactive engagement, an on-campus option may be a better fit for you. By attending in-person classes, you will have a consistent weekly schedule and routine to look forward to. You will be able to establish a relationship with your instructor and peers, and you can arrange to meet and/or collaborate in-person or virtually as needed. 

Considerations For On-Campus Learning

By choosing to complete your college degree on campus, you will need to be prepared for the commitment and expectations required of you. Most courses will expect regular weekly attendance as well as active participation throughout. You may also be asked to work with classmates on specific projects or assignments. By referring to your class syllabus, you can look at the semester ahead in order to plan and prepare. Take the time to build your schedule around your classes so that you can reach your goals with success. 

Success Tips For On-Campus Learning

There are a number of ways to be successful in your educational journey, including: 

  • Regularly attending class and utilizing office hours
  • Learn and support your learning style
  • Develop strong partnerships/relationships with peers to enhance the learning experience
  • Utilize available resources, such as tutoring services, financial aid, live webinars, etc.

By evaluating your current circumstances, you will decide whether an in-person or online option is a better fit for you. Whichever decision you make, you can feel proud knowing that in just a few short months, you will be armed with new knowledge, insight, and skills to last you a lifetime. 

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