Dual Enrollment: Online vs. On-Campus Classes

Students interested in dual enrollment might be wondering whether to take a class on campus or online. Time to compare and contrast!

Dual enrollment is an amazing thing. It allows middle and high school students to take college classes that will also count for high school credit. For those of you who are interested in dual enrollment, you might be wondering whether to take a class on campus or online. Here are some basic contrasts between commuting and staying home. 



These classes typically allow for the most flexibility. Assignments are usually on a weekly basis, and all of the week’s work is due by Sunday evening. Some classes could have earlier due dates though. Last year my classes all had discussions due by Thursday and required two additional posts on separate days by Sunday. With online classes, even if some dates are set in stone, you still have the option of being an early bird or a night owl. For some classes you may even be able to work ahead. This is a great option for students who want to devote more time to working, volunteering, or sports.

On campus

Classes typically meet two to three times a week at a specific time. Although you can still complete homework at any time throughout the day, you have to keep in mind when class is so you can be rested and prepared beforehand. The option of working ahead is more difficult in this setting, as the class is typically expected to progress at the same rate.

Learning methods


Classes have a variety of assignments: quizzes, papers, exercises, presentations, and discussions. Some assignments are group-oriented like discussions and some projects, but the majority are to be completed alone. From what I’ve seen, every class has different requirements and the “final” varies; some classes have papers, others have presentations, and some do have traditional final exams. Online learning is great for independent, self-motivated students. Some classes have videos or live sessions, but the majority do not. For students who learn best by hearing from a teacher, online classes may take an adjustment. 

On campus

Classes also vary by assignments and “final” requirements. The campus setting allows for more surprises like pop quizzes or assignment deadlines that may not have been specified in the syllabus. With online classes, you pretty much know what’s expected week by week and there isn’t much spontaneity. Classes on campus are great for auditory learners. Being able to hear lectures from professors can help you better understand reading materials and quiz content.

Social interaction


Here social interaction typically consists of discussion forums or e-mailing. The online platform is great for students who want to avoid typical classroom distractions.

On campus

Physical classrooms allow for much social interaction. Being a high school student in class with college students can be intimidating at first, but it’s a great way to meet new people. And seeing professors and classmates face to face definitely makes the college experience more memorable.

Commuting to campus or taking classes online are both great ways to get a jump-start on your college education. If you’ve already experienced dual enrollment classes, which type do you prefer: on campus or online? Or if you haven’t taken any yet, which way would you like to try?

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

academics college classes college credit commuting dual enrollment online classes

About RaeAnn Jent

RaeAnn Jent

RaeAnn is a Broadcasting and Digital Media major at Cedarville University. She enjoys writing, listening to music, bowling, and volunteering at a local history museum. Be sure to check out her personal blog.


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Maya Ingraham

Maya Ingraham

October 2021 Mini Scholarship Winner, Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has given me more confidence in my college process. With easy-to-access resources and guidance such as the CX Weekly Roundup, I have been able to find the best colleges for me. Most importantly, there’s a surplus of scholarship opportunities for every student to support their education.

Asia Stockdale

Asia Stockdale

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress helped me overcome a huge hurdle. Because of the small town I live in, I felt like I would never achieve more. I felt like I could never go beyond because of costs. I feared I wouldn’t be able to find scholarships. I had no idea of where to start. With CollegeXpress, I easily found scholarships—they came to me. It was a helper, and I was instantly matched with opportunities to go above and beyond educationally.

Abhishek Kumar

Abhishek Kumar

High School Class of 2022

As a high schooler, I know how hard it is to plan for college. You have to consider a lot of factors: SAT/ACT scores, college searches, scholarships, and more. CollegeXpress has been a helpful resource that solves all these problems. One can easily create a free account and search away. They help you search for scholarships and colleges, they have graduate program search, they have lists and rankings, and so much more. CX also has a lot of articles and advice to read—whether it’s financial aid, test prep, campus visits, internships/careers, or anything. Not only that, CX gives out free scholarship money to students who sign up and create a free CX account. I love CX and will continue to use it! Thank you CollegeXpress for making my college journey easier!

Caio Matos

Caio Matos

High School Class of 2022

Starting the college admissions process as an international student was daunting. Thankfully, CollegeXpress was the first website I used for that cause and it helped me so much, from knowing where to start to deciding what my next move would be. I'll take a gap year, but I’m certainly using the website again when applying for fall 2023.

Jeannie Borin, M.Ed.

Jeannie Borin, M.Ed.

President and Founder, College Connections

I frequently visit CollegeXpress to answer questions from students and parents. There are countless hot topics in admissions that need to be addressed. I enjoy reading what my colleagues post and gain additional insight from different perspectives.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Thiel College

Greenville, PA

Gardner-Webb University

Boiling Springs, NC

John Cabot University

Rome, Italy