Online vs. Traditional Education—Which is Best?

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Montague versus Capulet, butter versus margarine, and Hawaii versus the Bahamas. There is a multitude of ongoing arguments that might never be settled. Is the struggle between online and traditional education one of them? We’ll let you be the judge.

Florida National University (FNU) decided to take a closer look at the value of both online and traditional education courses, further offering students the ability to distinguish between the two and narrow down which option is right. FNU is a fully accredited private university serving the needs of students in Miami and across South Florida; some of our degree programs can be completed online for the convenience of working adults, but we also offer the traditional classroom experience at our two campus locations in Miami and Hialeah.

Online Learning

Although learning online is the newer model of education between the two options, a college education has been delivered through the internet for several years. In fact, distance learning, the precursor to online education, has a long history, much longer than most people think. Eddie Rickenbacker, the corporate executive who put Miami’s own Eastern Air Lines on the map in the late 1930s, was a Sergeant First Class in the United States Army before taking correspondence courses, getting his university degree, and earning an officer’s commission that allowed him to become a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Service. Rickenbacker became a fighter ace during World War I and was a Medal of Honor recipient. In case you are wondering, the Rickenbacker Causeway that connects Miami to Key Biscayne is named after this famous South Florida resident.

Why is online learning growing in popularity? Why do so many students swear by it? The following are reasons why online education is on the rise:

Benefits of Online Education

Learning online provides many benefits to students; the most notable being the student’s ability to learn from just about anywhere.

Easy communication with professors is another benefit. Students can email or post to their virtual classroom any questions as they arise; when instructors are available, they can answer questions accordingly. This allows for ample ease of effective communication, and it’s all documented if students would like to revisit their questions and responses at a later date, or if the professor decides to elaborate on the answer.

Whether at the park, in a coffee shop, at the library, or in the comfort of one’s home, online classes enable students to learn wherever they are at a given time. The advent of mobile computing technology has greatly enhanced this benefit.


Online students have the ability to learn on their own time. While this does not suggest that online students receive no deadlines, it does imply that they have more flexibility in managing their schedules for these classes, in which they can study, complete assignments, and learn with greater freedom.

Students with a tight working or family schedule are the most likely to enjoy the flexibility of online classes. Learning and studying after work is a possibility, and without having to commute to school, students save extra time that they would otherwise spend stuck on the Palmetto Expressway.


The price of online learning is comparable to many other college programs. While this tuition and fee price is not unique to online students, it can be an important factor knowing that it does not cost more than a usual program to study online. Keep in mind, however, that learning online does save students the cost associated with commuting to school. Rather than spending gas driving to campus and buying lunch on campus or nearby, students can stay where they are to pursue their education.

It is important to note that FNU offers financial assistance programs and even scholarships to qualified students. For more information on financial aid and tuition incentives, please get in touch with one of our counselors.

Traditional Classroom Education

The traditional classroom continues to be the medium in which most students spend the majority of their learning career. This familiar model is seen by many students as the best option to pursue higher education courses; part of this familiarity is that the methods associated with this learning style are considered by many to be tried-and-true. Let’s take a look at the following reasons why learning on campus is an excellent choice:


As previously mentioned, of the many benefits to the traditional classroom setting, familiarity is number one. More than likely, this is the manner in which students have already completed most of their primary and secondary education. In other words, they know that they are able to learn in this setting, as they have been trained in this manner. For the most part, learning on campus will not be any different for students who did not have difficulties with it in the past. Some will always prefer this standard of education.

Another benefit is the ability to communicate directly, on a face-to-face basis with professors. While online students can email a professor at any time, students on campus can walk directly up to a professor during his or her office hours, and personally ask them anything they need. Seeing a professor in person might even remind some students that there is a real person there, ready and willing to help them learn at their best.

Surprising Flexibility

One might be surprised about the level of flexibility opportunities found through traditional classes, depending on the university.

Because FNU’s educational model features a rolling application deadline plus nighttime, summertime, and other classes at varied intervals, students can easily find courses that fit into their busy schedules and without having to worry about whether or not they can find the time. The blended education approach some FNU students choose features a mixture of classroom sessions and online courses.

Price Comparison

As previously stated, there is not a significant price difference between the tuition and fees associated with learning on campus.

FNU offers a wide collection of courses for students of various backgrounds and with varied interests to enjoy. We provide both traditional and online education programs. Please keep in mind that the online programs offered by FNU are available to be taken fully online, meaning that no tests or labs must be attended on campus; this makes it an attainable education for students not just in South Florida but also across the U.S. and abroad. As part of our accreditation efforts, FNU meets the requirements of the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of the Bahamas, which means that degrees granted by our school can further the career opportunities of graduates in the Bahamas.

If you are ready to harness your education and skills through a college program, whether it is delivered online or offered on campus, you can get started today by applying to FNU.