Online vs. On Campus: Which Type of Community College is Right for You?


Online colleges used to have a bad reputation, but they’re recently becoming an increasingly popular and more accredited option. As a result, many college students are questioning whether they should enroll in an online community college or attend an on-campus school. Here are some things to consider before you make your choice.


On campus community colleges require you to be in class during certain hours. The typical schedule includes an hour of class per course on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and an hour and fifteen-minute classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You have to be on time and show up every day to receive a good grade. There is no way around this and there is very little flexibility. You can choose which hours you want your classes to begin, but you still have to show up to attend.

Online colleges are much different. If you choose to enroll in an online community college, you will be able to decide your own schedule. Your school schedule is able to mold to your personal and work schedule, and you can complete your school work whenever you have time. Flexibility is sometimes necessary for those who are frequently ill, have children, a full-time job, or other outside obligations.


Community colleges offer a structure that is perfect for many students. Students on campus are required to complete assignments before class each day. If you have trouble being self-motivated to complete your work, you maybe should consider going on campus. You’ll likely have an assignment due before each class meets, meaning if you have a Monday/Wednesday/Friday class, you’ll have an assignment due on each of these days.

Due to the flexibility of online colleges, you often have a group of tasks that require completion before the end of the week (usually Sunday). This schedule can be difficult for people who have poor time management skills. It can cause extremely stressful days and sometimes it can lead to bad grades. Online students need to be able to self-motivate themselves and have a plan to complete their assignments in a timely manner.

Interaction with Students and Professors

Being on campus, you will have plenty of chances to make friends and meet new people. It’s often considered one of the most important parts of the college experience. Attending community college on campus not only allows you speak to other students, but you can also get in-person help with assignments from your professors or even visit tutoring labs if necessary. Another benefit of being on campus is that you can speak to your professor immediately after class and voice any questions or concerns you may have.

Online colleges hinder social interaction. It can be tough to connect with your classmates since your relationship is purely virtual. Social interaction may not be absolutely necessary for some people, but for others it’s important. Additionally, communicating with your instructor requires the use of email, and there is no guarantee that your professor will be able to get back to you in time.


Community colleges are ubiquitous, but most people don’t think twice about whether or not they are accredited. Most people just assume that most colleges and universities are. Granted, some programs may not be accredited, but an Associates of Arts or Science will usually transfer to a four-year university without any trouble.

Accredited online colleges so exist, but extensive research is essential in order to find one before you spend thousands of dollars. Even then, you will need to do research to see if your future profession will recognize your online degree. Some organizations find online degrees unofficial. An Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Studies is one example of a degree that many top paralegal organizations consider unaccredited.


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