Skip to content

What are the Pros and Cons of Online School?

Updated: June 19, 2024 | Published: January 27, 2019

Updated: June 19, 2024

Published: January 27, 2019

Pros and Cons of Online School

Want to advance your career, change careers, or get started in a career for the first time? Getting a degree can help you achieve your professional goals and land the job of your dreams. When considering how to earn your degree, you have the opportunity to learn online, given all of the technical advancements that have been made. To consider this option, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of online school. 

Source: Unsplash

Advantages of Online School 

As Mckinsey reports, 2020 witnessed record enrollment, and so, many institutions continue to launch online programs to meet the increased demand for education. As demand has grown, so too has the quality of online educational programs.

Pair this fact with the multitude of benefits that online education affords, namely: 

Cost Effectiveness

Online education tends to be much more affordable when compared to in-person institutions. The main and most obvious reason for this truth is that online institutions have lower overhead costs than those colleges that operate with campuses. Additionally, students who learn online don’t have to pay for the cost of commuting to and from campus nor do they have to take on extra expenses like paying for parking, for example. You can even attend tuition-free universities like the University of the People! 

Flexible Schedule 

When you attend an online college, it may be asynchronous or synchronous learning. Asynchronous learning happens when lectures are recorded, allowing students to log on and attend lectures on their own time. Synchronous learning happens in real time, so both professors and students are digitally meeting at the same time. With asynchronous learning especially, students benefit from immense schedule flexibility, in which case they can choose when and where they want to learn. 

Saves Time 

All the extra factors that come along with attending in-person college add extra time to your schedule. From commuting to campus or walking from lecture hall to lecture hall, all those minutes could be better spent studying or socializing. With online college, you have the opportunity to map out your days with extra gaps of time and spend it more productively or leisurely, as a result. 

Self-Disciplinary Skills

Studying online and at your own pace gives you extra independence and freedom. At the same time, it helps to hone your self-disciplinary skills because it’s up to you to decide how you design your schedule and manage your time. The skills you develop during online college can then be applied to your professional endeavors. 


Without a physical location, online colleges remove geographical borders and boundaries to enroll and expand students’ accessibility to earn their degrees. Take the University of the People as an example: rather than requiring a minimum GPA or SAT scores, students have two main requirements for entry, namely: proof of English proficiency and a high school diploma (or equivalent). This all plays a part in enabling our mission to provide access to higher education regardless of your financial, geographic, political, and personal circumstances. 


With the freedom and flexibility to learn when and where they want, students get to experience a heightened sense of comfort when it comes to education. This is particularly true for students who are otherwise easily distracted or nervous being in social settings, such as large lecture halls with hundreds of other students. 

Global Student Body 

While it is true that many in-person campuses have a diverse student body, they are limited in how many seats they can fill and other requirements for entry (such as student visas and such). With an online university, students from around the world can take part in equal educational opportunities, no matter where they are from or what their legal status may be. 

Disadvantages of Online School 

If we’re looking at the pros and cons of online classes, we must also consider the requirements and potential challenges you could face. However, these “cons” in the online schooling pros and cons equation can be overcome with some planning. 

Take a look: 

  • Technological Requirements: As long as you have access to WiFi and an enabled connected device, you can take part in online learning. If you’re unable to connect to WiFi from the comfort of your home, consider visiting an internet cafe, library, or public city WiFi to gain access. 
  • Potential Distractions: Studying and learning outside of a classroom can bring along its own set of distractions. You can manage this by creating or finding a distraction-free study space.  
  • Degree Options: There are some professions for which online schooling alone won’t cut it. For example, if you want to become a doctor, you’ll have to go to medical school in person. So, keep in mind your career goals to see if it’s an option.
Source: Unsplash

Want to Learn Online?

If the prospect of learning online sounds intriguing to you, take a moment to explore our offerings at the University of the People. Students can choose from degree-granting programs or certificate programs to boost their skills and knowledge. 

Along with all the benefits of attending online college, you also get to save a lot of money since our programs are tuition-free. Plus, if you need any help covering the associated fees of attendance, you can always apply for financial aid and scholarships. 

Last Words

After reviewing the pros and cons of online school, we are confident that you will leave feeling pleasantly surprised. The advantages of online education far outweigh any potential disadvantages or challenges that could arise. And, as such, the demand for digital education is continuing to trend upward as people get to experience affordable and quality education with increased freedom and lowered costs. 

At UoPeople, our blog writers are thinkers, researchers, and experts dedicated to curating articles relevant to our mission: making higher education accessible to everyone.