Online Vs. Traditional College

Online Vs. Traditional College

Which one is best for you?

Getting an education beyond high school is extremely valuable in this day and age for many reasons. For instance, high school graduates make only 62 percent of what college graduates make. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), the life expectancy of people with a bachelor's degree is nine years longer than people who did not graduate high school. Also, college offers an educational environment that will enrich your mind if you take advantage of it. Nowadays there are many different options when it comes to where to go to college. You can get a degree without even having to leave your house. There are plenty of online colleges that provide perfectly good educations and almost all of the same subjects as traditional schools. At Graceland there are many online classes. You may not have known that Graceland has the 5th ranked online graduate degree program in the nation. Both online classes and traditional colleges have their own pros and cons. It is also a smart idea to take some online classes along with traditional classes. Taking both may help you graduate earlier, which will save you lots of money in the long run. While taking online courses can be a valuable option for some students, I wouldn't trade my on-campus Graceland experience for anything in the world. It's allowed me to stay on task, meet amazing people from different parts of the country and world, and build strong community and alumni connections that I truly believe I would not find anywhere else. 



For many people, the structure provided by traditional college helps them to stay on task and to be more effective students. Having to do assignments every day before class the next day is a good way to prevent too much procrastinating. According to the U.S. News & World Report, traditional universities have a  77 percent retention rate of fist-time, full-time students while online students only have 55 percent retention rate of first-time, full-time students. Traditional colleges can provide an important structure for individuals that promote an environment conducive for success. 


When you live in a college town, especially in the dorms, you get a sense of community with your fellow students. Most colleges have lots of planned activities for students to participate in and opportunities to get involved in clubs and organizations. College is a great way to form lifelong relationships and have a ton of fun. At Graceland we have the "House" system, which allows for incoming students to instantly be accepted by a group of friends. There also many fun events and activities to participate in sponsored by COSA (Campus Organization of Social Activities). Organizations such as COSA, GSG (Graceland Student Government) and House Council are great ways to get involved on campus. 

Face-to-Face Interaction

Going to class in person and seeing your professors gets students more face-to-face interaction. This helps many people learn better and get a clearer understanding of the course content. Also according to, many employers are more impressed by a degree from a traditional college than an online one. 



There are different kinds of online classes, but many of them allow students to get all of their assignments done on their own time. This is very convenient for people who work full-time jobs, and don’t have time to go to class every day.


All of the materials, information or assignments you may need are available and easy to find online at all times. With traditional classes, if you miss a day you might miss some valuable information that you need.


 If you would have to commute a long distance to go to class every day, then online college may be the better option. You can save money on gas, which is good because college, even when it’s online, can be expensive.

I am grateful to have been able to go the traditional brick and mortar route for my education. Graceland has given me a community that I am proud to call home. The people I have met here have made a profound impact on my life in ways that I cannot express. I would definitely suggest that everyone spend some time at college. It is an excellent environment to grow as a person both mentally and spiritually.


Brandon Christian

Junior, Cheville