Online Classes vs In-Person Classes on Campus


Every student has a different preference for how they want to receive their education. At National American University, we offer 100% online classes that maximize flexibility. Online isn’t the only way to further your education. You can also opt for in-person or blended learning classes.

Advantages and Benefits of Online Classes

While in-person classes are more traditional, online classes often represent the best option. With even basic online learning tips, you can succeed in your program. Here are some of the benefits of online classes:

  • Maximum flexibility: If you have a hectic or dynamic schedule, online classes are better than in-person classes. You complete coursework on your own time, and you can usually join virtual class sessions from anywhere with an internet connection. You do not have to worry about your work or family schedule interrupting your education.
  • More varied programs and curriculums: As an online student, you have access to a variety of programs with customizable curriculums. In-person programs tend to be more rigid and structured.
  • Career advancement opportunities: Because of the schedule flexibility, online classes do not require you to put your career on hold. Rather, you can further your education while you work! Take what you learn in your courses and apply it to your career right away. Also, you’ll always be ready if new career options open up through your new school network.
  • Lower education costs: Tuition for online classes is typically less expensive than for in-person classes. Plus, you save more money because you do not need to commute or move closer to campus.
  • Learn how to better use technology: Technology continues to change the modern-day work environment. If you want to succeed in your career, you must become comfortable with the latest technology for virtual meetings. Online classes provide you the background you need to leverage technology in the workplace and at home.

Drawbacks and Disadvantages of Online Classes

Online learning offers many benefits, but it isn’t for everyone. There are some important disadvantages of online classes that you must consider.

  • Technology requirements: Online college classes require access to technology such as computers and an internet connection. Plus, you must be tech-savvy to complete all class assignments online. Fortunately, most online schools offer resources and expertise to help you master any technology requirements.
  • Online learning space: Because you do not have access to a classroom, you must create your own online learning space. This may be challenging depending on your existing living space or work requirements.
  • Self-motivation: You must be self-motivated to succeed in online classes. This is especially the case if you take asynchronous classes. You have to stay on schedule and balance work and family.

Advantages of In-Person Classes on Campus

For some of you, taking in-person classes on campus is the only way to go!

  • Easy access to teachers and students: You may like to have the teacher right there in front of you teaching you the lesson or having someone hold you accountable for being in the classroom.
  • Familiarity with in-person classes: The on-campus setting may be something you are more familiar with since high school and community colleges typically have on-campus classes for students.
  • Hands-on learning: Another main reason we typically see students choose the on-campus setting is based on the program of their choice. For example, there are some healthcare programs such as nursing that require an in-person component. In order to learn the required hands-on experience, some classes require an instructor to teach it to you.

Disadvantages of In-Person Classes on Campus

In-person classes are more traditional, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any disadvantages.

  • Less flexibility with scheduling: In-person classes do not offer the same flexibility as online classes. You are required to attend class at specific times and locations.
  • Tuition expenses: On-campus classes typically have higher tuition expenses. Plus, you are required to pay for room and board if you live at college.

What Are Blended Learning Classes?

Do you want to balance the benefits of in-person and online classes? Consider blended learning classes. Blended courses are a combination of both on-campus and online classroom settings. If you are enrolled in a blended course, you will physically go to the classroom at your campus and then log into a virtual classroom. Or, you take a mix of online and in-person classes during a semester. There could be other fellow classmates with you at your campus or you may only have classmates that virtually log in.

Your instructor is typically not located in the classroom but you can all see each other and interact with one another as though you are all located in the same place via technology. This allows you to chat, see each other, and even see presentations all at the same time.


At National American University, we believe that online learning is a great fit for any student. However, if you want to learn even more to determine if online classes are appropriate, contact us today. If you have been wanting to get started with your education, we can help explain more in-depth what your different options are based on the degree program you are wanting to pursue.


Online programs for maximum flexibility
NAU students receiving transfer or experiential learning credit
Relevant degree and certificate programs
Years of online educational excellence