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To Physically Attend or Virtually Attend? That Is the Question

Up until a few years ago, taking classes online was thought to be a poor substitute for physically attending a college or university. Today, this is no longer the case, as even Ivy League institutions like Harvard and Cornell are offering online classes. This means that the decision to attend classes virtually is just as legitimate as the choice to attend physically, and needs to be given the same amount of research and consideration. Here are some of the benefits of both options.

  • Online

When considering an online education, the first and most important benefit that comes to mind is flexibility. You have control over when and how much you study, giving you the chance to schedule your educational obligations around work, family, or any other responsibilities. 

A less recognized but valuable benefit is the choice of where to study. Not everyone enjoys the idea of campus life and all that goes with it, like crowded lecture halls, walking back and forth to classes, and taking a bus or driving back and forth to school every day. Instead, you can take your classes at midnight in the comfort of your own living room, or study for a test at 7 a.m. sipping coffee at your favorite café. As long as you can access the internet, school is just the push of a button away.  

  • Campus

The traditional approach to education is still the most popular choice, and there are very good reasons for this. For starters, it’s a much more personal experience. You have face-to-face interactions with professors and other students, giving you access to conversation and spontaneous social experiences. For the more gregarious among us, this social aspect is just as vital to them as what they’ll learn during their program, and it can be argued that the education received by interacting with others is as enlightening as any class you’ll take.

Physical attendance creates a richer learning experience as well. You can hear the professors, write down notes, and talk over what you’re learning with classmates. The time spent walking from one class to the next is even a way for kinesthetic learners to process information. A student who favors any of these learning styles doesn’t have to get creative about incorporating these experiences into their day if they’ve chosen the traditional attendance route. 

You can rest assured that if the school is regionally accredited, you’ll receive the same academic rigor online as you will on campus. That being the case, the choice to attend school online or in person really comes down to personal preference and the demands of one’s situation. No matter your choice, you’re making a wise investment in your future by earning a college degree.