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On Campus or Online?

4 key factors to consider when deciding between an online or an on-campus degree


The digital age has made people more open to new ways of doing things — whether that be online shopping, online dating, or online education. The digital experience is designed to make our lives easier.

One digital advancement that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years is online education . Some of the reasons for this growth are flexibility and affordability, both of which the traditional classroom does not always offer. However, not everyone has fully embraced the digital revolution just yet, so you might be dealing with a few reservations of your own.

To compare online and traditional on-campus education, let’s consider several key aspects.

1. The Classroom Experience

Traditionally, students attend classes on campus and have a fixed schedule. This allows for more face-to-face interactions with their teacher and classmates, where students can participate in group activities and projects.

Online classroom arrangements, on the other hand, provide more flexibility. That’s because students don’t have to worry about meeting at a specific time or place. They can choose between an online classroom session, where they log on at a specified time, or an independent setup, where they learn at their own pace.

PathwayConnect offers the best of both traditional and online education. Students complete their courses online throughout the week and also gather face-to-face every Thursday evening with other local students. BYU-Idaho also offers flexible online courses!

students in a classroom
PathwayConnect students meet together weekly at their local Church meetinghouse or institute building.

2. Accreditation

A college program that is accredited means that a college accreditation agency ensures that it meets the required educational qualifications. Most traditional programs are accredited, and this usually helps a student’s chances of receiving financial aid and their ability to transfer previous college credits.

Thankfully, online education has come a long way since it started, and credibility is no longer a major concern. There are close to 500 accredited online colleges offering bachelor’s degrees in the United States alone with the same higher education standards.

BYU-Pathway Worldwide presents and coordinates online certificate and degree programs accredited through BYU-Idaho.

man at graduation
Students who finish PathwayConnect can continue their education online through BYU-Idaho.

3. Tuition

You would think online programs would be cheaper, but Forbes pointed out that many online programs charge around the same amount of tuition (and sometimes more) as on-campus degrees. This is because online education requires much of the same resources as traditional education: instructors, support services, program development, and program marketing. That being said, price shouldn’t be the main deciding factor when choosing an online degree over traditional set-ups.

It’s important to remember that choosing to enroll online means you save on all the other usual expenses, like housing and food. Most of all, online students keep the most important resource of all — time.

BYU-Pathway Worldwide offers affordable education for students throughout the world based on their country. See our tuition page to see how much PathwayConnect and an online certificate and degree program would cost you!

drawing money symbol
Although tuition cost is about the same, the overall cost for an online degree is generally cheaper than traditional options.

4. Employer Views

Opinions vary among employers, but professionals in the workforce have started to recognize online graduates as just as qualified and capable as graduates from traditional schools, as described by U.S. News . This is because school reputation and work experience matter more to them, regardless of how an applicant obtained their credentials.

shaking hands
Earning an online degree helps students increase their employability while keeping their most important resource —time.

To learn more about how PathwayConnect can bring you closer your degree, visit to apply today!