Online College VS In-Person College

Rachel Griffith, Staff Writer

After the pandemic, the number of high school seniors planning to attend 100% online colleges has more than doubled. Pre-pandemic, high school students had gotten into the routine of waking up in time to leave for school, entering the building, and switching from class to class. However, the COVID-19 pandemic abolished this routine and introduced students to the aspect of going to school online. Online school allowed students to wake up later, offered a more flexible school schedule, and allowed students to take notes, review lectures, and go over materials at their own pace. Some students found that they learn better in an online environment because of these reasons.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a large impact on students. A poll released by SurveyMonkey stated that 59% of high school students thought that online school was worse than in-person school, 21% viewed it as the same as in person learning, and 19% of students liked online learning better than in person learning. The experience of attending high school during the pandemic introduced students to the more relaxed schedule of online learning, and some students may have learned that they work better in these conditions. 

Online college has many advantages. One of the most impactful advantages is the lowered price. The tuition is lower in an online college, and students pay less in transportation costs, material courses, and social events. There are more advantages to taking virtual college. Taking college online allows people to finish college in as little as one to two years if they are willing to take on a more course load. Another benefit would be that taking school online gives a person more time to spend with family. Since they are not required to live on any campus, they can spend any time that they are not in class or working with their family. 

In Southern New Hampshire, 33,750 students were enrolled in SNHU, an online university, before the pandemic. Post-pandemic, the number of students who were enrolled in SNHU rose to 43,750 students. The difference between the number of students deciding to attend online college before the pandemic versus after is 10,000 people. Additionally, in a Data Study done by Best Colleges in Fall of 2022, 46% of students took classes exclusively online, 29% of students took some courses online but not all, and 26% of students did not take any online courses. 

Online college allows students to be more flexible in their schedule, spend more time with their family, spend less money on college and obtain their degree faster. Since the introduction to online schooling through the pandemic, many students learned that they succeed better online. However, online college eliminates the social aspect of college, which is something many high school seniors and juniors look forward to as they begin thinking about which college they’d like to attend. There are advantages and disadvantages to both virtual colleges and in person colleges.