Is Student to Faculty Ratio Important in Online CollegeOnline learning has changed the way that college students can get a quality education, but many are wondering whether or not the student to faculty ratio of an online program can affect quality. When college-bound students are researching schools and crossing the less-than-reputable options off of their list, they must consider a long list of factors. When comparing traditional schools, students will consider graduation rates, accreditation status, location, on-campus atmosphere, degree program offerings, admissions rates, admissions criteria, cost of tuition, financial aide opportunities, schedule options, class sizes and more.

While many of these same factors are just as important when attending an online college, there are factors that really are not relevant that can be thrown out the window. The campus facilities, on-campus atmosphere, location and at times the admissions rates are not as important if you attend a college where the curriculum is delivered entirely online. When you are attending a degree program where you are not instructed by a professor face-to-face it does not mean that there is not a professor reviewing your work, leading discussions, or explaining complex content. This is why the class size and student-to-faculty ratio is still important across traditional and distance education lines. Read on, and learn more about why these ratios are so important when attending college online.

Online Formats Are Guided By Professors

At first glance, it may appear as if an online degree program could be led by an automated computer software where assignments are released weekly and tests are graded based on a legend that is built into the platform. While distance education portals do have some features that automate teaching tasks that can easily be automated, professors are what dictate the quality of education provided by a program. All classes have professors who guide the learning and benefit from the self-paced format and the latest technologies that are being implemented.

The online format frees up time for teachers to answer questions, create fun lessons, dive deeper into topics of discussion and foster engaging conversations. Since the student-to-faculty ratio will directly have an affect on the teacher’s ability to design and present content, it is extremely important.

How to Look for Schools With Lower Ratios

The success of education is contingent upon classroom size no matter if the instruction is delivered online or onsite. Some schools are enticed by the prospect that they can increase the number of students in an online class because they do not have to worry about running out of seats. While it is tempting for the schools to increase the revenues for a single class by increasing class sizes, this can have an affect on how much time a teacher will have to respond to you or explain theories.

If you want to find schools that have lower student-to-faculty ratios, you should contact administration and ask about this figure. You can also benefit from searching for Small Private Online Courses instead of getting stuck enrolling in a larger Massive Open Online Course. Many unbiased third-party rating agencies will review the class size of online schools and publish this information for college-bound students.


No matter how course content is delivered, class size is important. Make sure that you do your homework and do not overlook all of the factors that you need to consider when you are qualifying a distance education program. By doing this, you can find a school that will allow you to study from home while still maintaining a good student to faculty ratio.

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