There are a lot of options in the world of higher education. Should I pursue an associate’s degree or bachelor’s? What major should I choose? What career should I pursue? Private or public education? One big question is: online education or in-person education?
For some, online education is the perfect fit, because it offers the affordability and flexibility they need to complete their goal. For others, in-person education is preferred in order to get the traditional college experience. But there is a lot more to consider than this.
Let’s dive into the pros and cons of online education degrees!
Pros of an Online Education
- Choosing to pursue online education offers a wide variety of pros. The greatest advantage is cost. Online education degrees tend to be much more affordable than in-person education. At Grace College Online, degrees have been reduced by 19.5%, which is a huge draw for students looking to save.
- Another benefit of online education degrees is flexibility. For students who are trying to continue in their careers, online classes provide an adaptable schedule which allows students to complete assignments at times that work best with their work schedule. Students who are parents will also appreciate the ability to attend classes from the comfort of their own homes.
“One of the benefits of my online Christian degree is that I have more flexibility,” shares Tracey LeGrow, a current online student. “Frankly, it has made me take more responsibility for my education. It takes a lot of self-discipline, but it has been absolutely worth the effort.”
Grace College Online professor Dr. Jenny Preffer understands that supporting online students who are parents and full-time employees is vital. “We know the students’ situations because we have gotten to know them,” Preffer says. “We pray together, we check in together, and we care for each other. Grace’s faith and support are such large pieces of what sets us apart.”
- A third, and lesser-mentioned, value is that of adaptability. Online education degrees allow students to work at their own pace. If a concept comes more easily, students can move ahead quickly. Whereas, for subjects that take more time, students can slow down, reach out to professors, and re-watch material as often as needed.
- One specific pro of Grace College Online is that students do not need to sacrifice a Christian education when choosing a more flexible and affordable degree.
“Many people think that it’s impossible to pursue a quality, Christ-focused education online,” shares Brittany Tadesse, an online business degree graduate. “That’s just not true with Grace. At Grace, you’re pursuing an unapologetically online Christian degree. These programs are just as intentional and faith-forward as their in-person degrees, which I think is something special.”
Cons of an Online Education
Although online education degrees come with many benefits, online degrees aren’t necessarily the best fit for everyone.
- The first con is motivation. “I knew that for me personally, I needed to have my education in-person,” shares online admissions counselor Maddie Barkes. “Having that real-time face-to-face interaction helped motivate me to give my best.”
Many students relate to Barkes and report they are more motivated in a classroom setting than in an online setting.
- Another difficult aspect of online education is staying connected with professors and peers. For many online education degrees, professors and students make few connections with one another. What sets Grace College Online apart is that the professors make an effort to maintain a relationship with their students as much as possible. For example, Professor Matt Metzger is working hard to create as much face-to-face interaction with his students as possible by sending care packages, meeting with local students, and scheduling group classes.
“Rather than communicating through email only, I believe in interactive online education, which consists of weekly Zoom calls with the class,” said Metzger. “The most recent cohort seems to love the interaction.”
Even with thoughtful professors, online students must still make an effort to make the most of online education.
- The third downside of online education degrees is that many online institutions are not backed by a physical building with great professors and reputations. Fortunately, Grace College Online originated from Grace College in beautiful Winona Lake, Indiana. A fully accredited school that is an active member of multiple academic organizations, those who graduate from Grace can feel confident that they have received a legitimate and accredited degree. The reputation of an institution will become tremendously important once you graduate and begin seeking jobs after college.
So, Should You Pursue An Online Christian Degree?
The short answer: we vote YES.
The longer answer: is it right for you?
According to Barkes, an online admissions counselor at Grace, students should take the time to self-reflect before embarking on the online education journey.
“Online students need to have strong self-motivation and focus to be successful. So do an internal assessment and ask yourself: is this really right for you?” says Barkes.
If you have self-motivation, drive, and ambition, an online degree may be perfect for you! Interested in a degree that is more flexible, more affordable, and more centered around what YOU need? Learn more about an online Christian degree with Grace College Online!