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College on Campus VS Online Essay

So, you have decided you want to go to college. Do you know what your options are? Read on to get a brief look at what these options have to offer and see what the pros and cons of each choice are. Every student is different and is looking for the type of college that fits them the best. Learning style and personal study preferences tend to assist in making the right choice. Attending college on a campus or online have similar outcomes but differ in how students attend class, complete class work, and interact with teachers and classmates. The decision is yours to make.

Whether a student decides to attend a campus or remain at home and attend classes online they still have to go through the same basic processes. Look into and choose a school, pick the desired major, apply for financial aid, and start classes. With either choice there will be professors to teach all the different classes. Some professors might not be as enjoyable as others, and it does not really matter if the student meets them in person or not. There will also be other students of all ages attending the same classes; they will have the opportunity to interact with and get to know each other either face-to-face or through messages on the computer. Attending college online and on campus offers the same or equivalent classes that include books, that have to be read and discussed with the class, homework that will have to be completed and turned in, and the students still have to show up for class and participate. Whichever choices, the student will take and complete all sorts of classes and eventually graduate with a degree of their choosing.

Along with things in common, campus and online college also have many differences that need to be taken into account before making a final decision. Getting to campus can be difficult, the student would have to drive, take a bus, or a cab. This makes going to school even more expensive, paying for gas or paying fees to use public transportation add to the cost of school. Staying home and attending class online becomes the cheaper option, even if tuition is usually slightly higher. This is one of the big differences to consider. Another important variance to make sure is considered is whether they want to have everyday interactions with classmates and professors. If they choose to attend online classes almost all communication is done via the Internet. However there is the option of calling their teachers if needed.

As for relating with classmates daily, this is all done within the virtual classroom; however, they do not get to “meet” the people they are in class with. Attending class is also very different, on a campus students have to get up in the morning and get dressed, they have to be presentable when going to class, and this takes time. Then they have to drive to the school, get to class before it starts at whatever designated times are given, and then sit there for lectures and discussions. With online college they are able to save their gas money, sit at home in their pajamas, and attend class whenever it is convenient. There are no set class times, and they do not have to go anywhere. Doing and turning in assignments is also something that is usually different. At a college campus many of the assignments will be done on paper and handed in to the professors. Online all class work is done and turned in on the computer by submitting them on the school’s website.

Another thing about attending online classes is whichever degree program is chosen the student typically only take classes toward that degree. Elective classes can be taken online, but they are not commonly included in the degree programs because taking classes online are supposed to be a faster way to get to the degree the student wants. If attending a campus they will more than likely have more opportunities to attend these extra classes. Also not included when attending college online is the ability to join clubs or participate in school functions such as sports or other school events. This is a great deal of information to process and think about, but we are not done yet.

Knowing the similarities and differences between these types of colleges are not all that needs to be considered. Students need to think about their lifestyle and which type of college will fit their daily lives. One of the main things to think about is what kind of schedule they have. If they work full or part time they will have to figure out how to work in a school schedule. Depending on if they are single, married, or have children, also affects when, how, and where they can attend school. What activities and other obligations they have planned week to week also make fitting school time in difficult. These are all things that have to be thought about while planning how and where to attend college. Another factor that has to be taken into account is how the person learns. What is their learning style? There are many ways a person can learn, such as by reading and taking notes or seeing the action taking place.

Some students need to have someone speak about what they are learning, such as a lecture. Some people need to work in a group; others do better at learning alone. Knowing the best way they learn will assist in deciding how they will take classes. When attending college at a campus they will be going to classes and listening to lectures, reading class material, and doing assignments, some on their own and some in groups. Online classes require the student to attend class on their own, when they can but still make attendance and participate. They have to be the type of person who can make time to attend class and do the assigned work without someone telling them to do it. As an online student they have to manage their own schedule and make sure all assignments are turned in on time. They have to know themselves and what they can do to accomplish their goals.

Deciding how and where to go to college is a tough one. You have to take a great deal of information into consideration. The social and class opportunities given at a campus are a definite plus, but they have to be worth the extra time and money needed to get to and from school. By going to college at a campus it may also take you longer to get to your degree goal. Attending a campus can also take time away from family and friends. If you have a busy lifestyle with work, children, or other obligations; going to college online might be a better choice for you. You can get your degree faster and be able to achieve your dreams in a timelier manner.

Have you made a decision yet? Probably not, but you will. Keep in mind that you are doing this for you and no one can make this decision for you. Some advice for you is to do your research. Go visit some college campuses, surf the web for schools that offer online classes for the degree that you want, and don’t settle for the first school you look into, whether it is online or at a campus. Know what you want out of college, do you want to fast track, or take your time and get all you can out of the experience? Once you contemplate what you want and how you want to get it the rest will fall into place.

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