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5 Benefits of Online Learning—Online vs. Brick and Mortar School

Every year, more and more students choose to attend online schools instead of traditional in-person learning institutions. Flexibility, efficiency, reduced costs, and convenience are just a few of the reasons why students might pick an online program over an in-person one.

If you’ve been considering attending an online school, you might be wondering about some of the benefits of this relatively new learning format. Keep reading to find out the top 5 benefits of attending an online learning program.

1. Flexibility

Additional free time and flexibility in your schedule is among the top reasons why you might choose to attend an online school over an in-person one. Online learning programs usually follow a format that does not require you to attend live lectures. This means you can do your schoolwork on your own time, whenever it best fits into your schedule.

For this reason, many people who wish to work while in school choose an online program. Online learning makes it easy to focus on schoolwork in the evenings, on the weekend, or whenever you are not working. You also gain valuable time that would otherwise be lost commuting to and from school.

Many people are hesitant to attend an in-person school because they don’t want to give up valuable time with their family and loved ones, and/or they do not wish to relocate from where they currently live. Online learning allows you to have the best of both worlds; pursuing your learning and professional goals while maintaining ties to loved ones and your local community.

2. Reduced Cost

Higher education is among the most significant investments that many people in the U.S. will make in their lifetimes. Any way to reduce the financial burden of school is a welcome benefit. Online learning programs can be cheaper than in-person programs for a number of reasons:

  • Tuition: The tuition for online degree programs is significantly cheaper than that of in-person programs. On average, private institutions will charge about $60,000 for an online degree, vs. about $130,000 for the same in-person degree. For public schools, online degrees are about $37,000 cheaper over the course of four years when compared to an in-person counterpart.
  • Materials and textbooks: Virtual programs tend to do a better job of utilizing virtual course materials and textbooks, which are cheaper compared to materials for in-person programs. You could save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year on materials by attending an online school.
  • Cost of living: Many college towns have high costs of living compared to nearby areas. One way to save a lot of money while attending school is to live somewhere with a lower cost of living and earn an online degree. You could save thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per year by living somewhere with more affordable housing.

3. Increased Variety of Courses

Many college students are disappointed to learn that classes can fill up fast and it’s not always possible to take the courses they want to take during a given term. While this problem is not completely absent in online learning programs, it is vastly improved. Students in online programs generally find that courses are less competitive and more widely available. This enables you to take exactly what you want to take each semester, and it can even help if you are trying to fast-track your degree and graduate early.

Furthermore, online learning provides a flexible format that makes it simple to add classes and electives that you are interested in taking. You have access to a wide variety of courses and you get to take charge of your own learning.

4. Time Management Skills

One of the most notable benefits of online learning programs is that you are in charge of your own schedule. This is great because it provides a lot of flexibility, but it also has the added benefit of teaching you how to manage your time effectively. You don’t have to show up for class, so it’s up to you to do your reading and studying in a timely manner and make sure you are prepared for exams. Plus, a lot of students in online programs are also working full or part-time, meaning they have busy schedules that require them to manage their time efficiently.

5. Great Choice for Older Students

Many people who return to college after some time away from school are uncomfortable with the idea of attending classes with lots of younger students. It can also be difficult for older students who have responsibilities like a job or a family to relocate to attend school. For these reasons, online learning presents a golden opportunity for older students who are looking to continue their education.

These students can remain in the locations they live without necessarily compromising on work or family life while also attending school online. Plus, they can earn their degree without needing to immerse themselves in a school and social scene that consists of younger students.