Online Education vs Traditional Education Which Is More Affordable

Online Education vs Traditional Education: Which Is More Affordable?

The aftermaths of the pandemic brought us closer to additional educational modes like online schools and hybrid models. With these new paradigms in the education industry, most stakeholders are exploring the key differences between these two options. In this article, we will make a conscious effort to break down these differences. Read further to know all about online education vs traditional education.

We will categorically focus on the cost aspect, to help you understand the real impact of these choices on your pocket.

At the very start, let’s apprise you of the functioning of an online school or an online learning platform.

How Do Online Learning Platforms Operate in India?

Online learning platforms create a flexible virtual learning space. These educational choices allow students to study, complete coursework, and attend classes from their preferred location. And students can cover the entire curriculum without visiting any physical campus. Virtual schools like K8 School are both accredited by an international accrediting agency (Cognia). And recognized as well.

In the present time, India has embraced this model wholeheartedly.

Leading journals are apprising stakeholders of the efficiency of top online schools (like K8 School). In fact, our National Education Policy 2020 categorically highlights the importance of adopting best practices across many boards for all levels of education. Today, the benefits of online education are accessible to the Indian audience (both students and stakeholders). Top accredited online schools present a viable choice for school education with legitimacy and quality.

<If you wish to know about the true value of international accreditation, read this related article:- The Value Of Cognia Accreditation.>

Before we discuss the cost factor for e learning vs classroom learning, let’s take a look at the key differences between these two formats.

Online Education versus Traditional Education

Online Education Traditional Education
Makes use of e-learning formats like puzzles, quizzes, videos, graphics, etc.Uses traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms
Flexible timingsFixed timings/timetables
Teacher handholding through virtual classesClasses are conducted by teachers in a physical building
No restriction on a physical locationRestricted to a physical location
Can adapt to any learner’s needs – Highly customizedLess scope for adaptability
No physical structureOperates through a physical building/premises
Transparent fee structure with little scope of hidden chargesNumerous charges over and above the regular fee
Limited or no cost for infrastructureHuge cost for infrastructure
Online Education vs Traditional Education

Clearly, online education vs traditional education shows a massive difference in the approach, structure, constraints, and teacher handholding options. Let’s uncover some more secrets purely in the Indian context.

  • The online higher education market was 5.01 billion in 2018. By 2024, it will reach a mark of 40.63 billion. This CAGR is around 40.74% between 2019 to 2024.
  • Similarly, the online supplemental education segment had a value of 11.99 billion in 2018. Later by 2024, this figure is estimated to reach 123.65 billion. Once again, the CAGR will be close to 46.48%.

It’s time to move on to the much-awaited cost aspects now.

Is Online Education More Affordable than Traditional?

While discussing the cost aspects of online education versus traditional education, we must take into consideration some general factors.

Data as per the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (Government of India).

1. Inflation Rate

The overall inflation rate % in the country was 6.44% (as of 2023).

2. Specific Inflation Rate 

In the year 2023, the inflation rate for the education industry was 5.62.

3. Consumer Price Index (Education industry only)

As of Feb’23, the CPI for the education industry was 174.7. This means that the cost of education across India increased by around 75% between the years 2012 and 2023.

It is noteworthy till the pandemic hit the world most of the educational models were mostly traditional.

Online School vs. Traditional school: Direct Cost Comparison

Traditional Schools (Basic costs as per a leading journal’s report):

To understand the actual costs of traditional schooling, and compare it with online learning platforms let’s explore the various costs involved in schooling.

  • Admission
  • Tuition
  • Transportation
  • Books
  • School supplies
  • Additional tuition (after-school)
  • Edtech platform subscriptions
  • Examination fee

*Please refer to the subsequent sections for a detailed break-up of these costs.

For a fair idea, here’s a list of the overall costs for education in India (including the college years) reported in a leading journal in the year 2022.

Age GroupCost
Up to 3 years11,50,000
3 to 5 years09,05,000
6 to 8 years09,50,000
9 to 13 years23,12,500
14 to 17 years25,58,800
18 to 21 years51,00,000
cost of school education in India | Online Education vs Traditional Education

Online Schools (Fee Structure as per K8 School, India’s first accredited online school)

For the most authentic information, we are sharing all details as per our platform. The best quality online learning platforms like K8School mostly prefer a highly transparent fee structure. We have an admission fee, tuition fee (quarterly), system maintenance fee. And that’s about it!

Our fee structure inclusive of all these costs is as follows:

GradesCost per school year (in Rupees)
Nursery and KG110000
1,2, 3, 4 and 5115000
6, 7 and 8120000
benefits of online school | Online Education vs Traditional Education

Coming back to the cost comparison of e learning vs classroom learning, here’s a comprehensive table as per the traditional school costs reported by a journal and India’s best online school:

All figures are in Indian rupees

DetailsTraditionalK8 Online SchoolSavings
Age GroupOverall CostCost per school yearOverall CostCost per school yearPer Year with Online Mode
Up to 3 years1150000383333330000110000273333
3 to 5 years905000301667330000110000191667
6 to 8 years950000316667345000115000201667
9 to 13 years2312500578125480000120000458125

What Can Parents Really Save by Choosing Online Learning?

An online learning platform does not require everyday travel, too many school supplies (as students have a mix of online and offline assignments), additional books, uniforms, special kits, etc. All this saves huge cost round the year. In fact, parents can save several additional costs just by switching to online schooling mode. 

Here’s a general look at the charges that parents can avoid in an online mode.

Fee DetailsTraditionalOnlineSavings with online mode
Admission fee7500015000 (as per K8 School)60000
Extra Books7000×7000
Stationary1314Around 50% less
PE and gym kit1067×1067
Extras1314Around 70% less

If you think school supplies, uniforms, bags, etc. are a negligible cost, here’s a quick reality check. After the pandemic school openings, there have been a noticeable increase in the prices of school supplies. This hike is almost 20 to 40% (as reported by a leading journal).

What Does an Online School Really Offer at an Affordable Fee?

1. Skill-Based Learning

The first promise of online education is to develop skills in students.

Do you know that we are in an age where 75% attendance in the classroom has little or no value?

Yes! This skill-driven competitive world demands 100% skills. And surprisingly, this advantage is available for parents at an affordable fee through an online school.


With over 50 to 60% of students still victimized and bullied, our traditional schools do not seem completely safe!

For parents, online learning platforms can bid goodbye to all such worries with 100% home-based education.


With a number of reforms, and policies many of our Indian schools still lack basic amenities

Facilities% of schools without facilities
Boundary Wall27.70%
Functional Toilet23.80%
Kitchen shed (for mid-day meal)10.60%
Drinking Water24%

Virtual learning resolves all these problems including the issues related to teacher quality.

percentage of school without basic  facilities

Final Thoughts

An accredited online school has created a new and affordable alternative within the Indian educational landscape. However, all students have their own learning preferences. Clearly, there is no single paradigm that can support all types of students in a nation as massive as India. We hope this information enlightened you about an option that can release the financial pressure on your pocket.

Please feel free to connect with the online learning platforms of your choice to see if this choice can really work for your kid. As India’s best online school, we can assure you that an online format is certainly worth a try!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the main differences between e learning vs classroom learning?
    There are many differences between these two modes of instructional delivery such as:
    • Choice of time and location to study.
    • Costs
    • Teacher support (through virtual or face-to-face classes)
    • Dependence on the internet
    • Pre-requisites like travel, books, supplies, etc.
  • Which medium has a better future prospect online education vs traditional education?
    Both mediums have their respective advantages and disadvantages. However, in the future, online education is likely to attract a bigger audience. On the other hand, traditional education will also never lose its existence for students. 
  • Explain online education versus traditional education?
    Traditional education has more scope for teacher interactions and suits students who need more assistance from the stakeholders. Most of the online schools benefits extend to students who can work with deadlines without procrastinating too many things.
  • Highlight some benefits of online education for Indian students?
    Online school benefits have the potential to improve accessibility of good quality education in the remotest areas of our country. They can also develop skills of the future. In addition, this medium is also promising to bring back many out-of-school students.

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