The pandemic saw colleges across the country shift to virtual classes, at least for a while. Students who had never considered online learning were forced to do it. And now, as normalcy returns, you might be considering whether online learning is right for you in the long term. It’s an individual decision on what works best for you, but here are some things to consider.

Greater flexibility with online classes. If you live off-campus or work full time, getting to class in person can often be a rush against the clock. Being able to tune in online means that you can attend lectures from anywhere you have internet access, as opposed to trying to make it to a classroom in time. This can really free up your day and eliminate the added stress that comes with getting on campus.

Taking online classes can be cheaper. If you’re able to transfer credits from another institution to your school, taking core/general education requirements online through a community college can equal thousands of dollars in tuition savings. These schools often offer a wider range of online classes because they cater to a diverse student body.

Online courses could affect your financial aid. It’s always best to check with your school’s financial aid and bursar office to ensure that there are no issues with your financial aid if you’re opting for virtual classes. There could be limitations on how many you can take.

Your learning style plays a big role. If you’re someone who enjoys participating in class discussions or prefers a hands-on approach to learning, you might prefer physically going to class as opposed to attending online. While virtual learning has improved by leaps and bounds since it first became popular, it can be tough to replicate that in-person environment completely. Some students also require the accountability of being in a classroom to make the most out of their lectures.

On the other hand, if you’re more on the introverted side or prefer taking notes and communicating with your teacher after class via email, you might find that virtual learning really suits your needs. Those students who are self-motivated also tend to do quite well working at their own pace.

Building relationships might be harder online. For many students, a large part of the university experience is the relationships that are forged with professors and fellow classmates. That might be easier to do as you chat before and after class together, pop into office hours, or study at the library with other students.

That’s not to say that these relationships can’t occur with virtual classes, but it’s likely to take more effort and planning, whereas in person, often these interactions play out naturally. If you’re in a program where networking is critical, it’s something to factor in.

Enjoy the best of both worlds. The good thing is that these days, it’s likely that you won’t have to choose an either/or solution. Many schools are offering a hybrid model, allowing you to dip your toes into online learning without having to commit to a fully virtual program. If you have the choice, our tip is to take your lower-level classes or general requirements online and save the in-person classes for those in your major.