Today, more and more learning institutions are offering courses that are entirely online. Advertisements portray online classes as being fun, easy and free of deadlines. Some even show students in pajamas, creating the image of a relaxed, carefree environment. Students drawn to online courses may be full-time employees with time constraints, students who believe online courses may be easier or students who just prefer online learning environments vs traditional. Although both environments teach the same material, online schools and traditional schools differ in many ways such as cost, flexibility in schedule, learning styles and social interaction.
For many adults who may not have completed college, online classes may seem attractive. However, the price of returning to college may be a reason for the delay in reaching their educational goals.
Traditional schools have a very wide range of tuitions, depending on the type of institution. From a county college to a major university, the cost can range from a few thousand to over twenty thousand. While non-traditional learning may have a similar range in tuition, often the savings can be seen greatly on the periphery. Traditional learning environments require lab and equipment fees that are generally not found with online courses. Another factor to consider is travel fees the student may incur commuting to classes. For instance, the potential cost of student housing in proximity to the school, the cost of mileage and gas on a vehicle, and the cost of procuring food while away from home. Those students who participate in on-line style classes do not have to contend with the extra fuel, or can take a few minutes to prepare a light meal directly in their kitchen and return to their computer. The online student does not have to spend extra money commuting to and from class.
In addition to having to physically trek to the classroom, limited time offerings may be incompatible for learners who are parents or...