How To Decide Between A Campus Or Online Degree
If you’re planning to get an advanced degree, you can choose to go to a traditional campus college, or you can make the choice that is becoming more popular in the educational world—you can get your degree online. For some students, this is a great choice. Others do better with a more traditional type of education. Which option is right for you? Here are some answers you can ask yourself to help you decide:
- Do you prefer to work independently or do you work better when pushed to achieve goals?
One of the biggest advantages to going to school online is that you have more flexibility in your schedule. Often, online classes don’t even require you to meet at a certain time for lectures. However, that’s not the best choice for all students. Can you succeed in your education without structure? If not, don’t worry; you aren’t alone. It takes a lot of discipline to work with such a flexible schedule, and it isn’t an environment where just anyone can succeed.
- Do you want to participate in student groups or sports?
When you take part in an online program, you can still be a member of national organizations and student groups, but it isn’t the same as with a campus college, where there are often hundreds of different groups, as well as sports teams, many of which meet every week on campus. If you want to be a part of this student life, you need to go to a traditional campus college. That said, don’t automatically choose a brick-and-mortar college just so you have this opportunity. Even if you end up not taking part in these student organizations, you’ll still pay activities fees as part of your tuition. By going through an online program, you can keep your costs lower.
- Do you have a reliable Internet connection and computer?
If you’re going to go to college online, you need to have a reliable online connection. Before you begin any program, make sure you know the system requirements. If you only have an older computer or slow Internet connection, you could be looking at added costs to upgrade so you can participate in your courses. That’s not to say that a campus education will be less expensive. Often, upgrading your Internet connection and purchasing a new computer make more financial sense than the high cost of a campus education. If that’s the only thing holding you back, weigh the costs carefully.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to your education, as long as you aren’t stuck in the mindset that you have to go to a traditional school to get a good education. There are many benefits to online degree programs as well. Before you apply to any program, take a tour of the school to learn about these benefits. Make sure you understand what will be expected of you as part of the program, and learn as much as you can about the school so you can make the best educational choices for you.