A new study done by Learning House and Aslanian Market Research focused on students in online courses found that 50 percent of them would rather not attend classes on a physical campus.
The study was done in Spring of 2016 with 1,500 students who had either recently graduated, were currently enrolled or planned to enroll in the next year in a fully online higher education degree, certificate or license program; it found that while online courses were an only option for half of the students, 90 percent of them who had previously taken on-campus courses said that they preferred online courses or found them just as good.
According to Learning House’s Chief Academic Officer, David Clinefelter, 3.5 million students are working towards their degree online and that academic institution cannot afford to lose these students.
An important finding in this study is that most online students are unaware of the different pathways they can take during the college careers, such as micro-degrees or boot camps. They are more informed on the traditional college degree routes and templates, and only a third of the students were aware of the principles of competency-based education. Other findings include:
- Among the factors that go into choosing an online route, tuition was found to be number one
- The age for online students is decreasing as the average age for undergraduates this year was 29 for undergraduates and 33 for graduate students. That is done from 36 and 37 in 2014
- About ¾ of students picked a school that had a physical campus within 100 miles of their home, with 32 percent of students stating that they planned on visiting the campus at least once a year, and 44 percent stating that they planned on visiting more frequently.
- Computer science and IT has raised in popularity for graduate students with 20 percent choosing it – this drops education in the rankings, which dropped from 22 percent in 2014, to 14 percent this year.
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