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More Students Are Enrolling Online

  • More than 5.6 million students were taking at least one online course in the fall term of 2009, according to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning. This is a million more students enrolled in online courses than the previous year, the survey showed. In fact, nearly 30% of all college students take at least one online course.
  • Online enrollment increased 19% between 2002 and 2008, according to a report by Babson Survey Research Group and the Sloan Consortium.
  • Community colleges have reported a 9% increase in enrollments in distance education programs between fall 2009 and fall 2010, according to a national survey by the Instructional Technology Council, Inside Higher Ed notes.
  • Online degrees continue to grow in acceptance. Not only have publications like the journal Nature noted the growing acceptance of online degree programs, but news outlets like CNN Living have chronicled this occurrence as well, noting that for many employers, a degree is a degree, regardless of the manner in which it was earned.
  • Rising enrollment in online classes is linked to an increasing number of nontraditional students looking for flexible higher education options that do not disrupt their ability to work full time. Non-traditional students include older students, working students, and parents. According to an NPR segment, the majority of college students are non-traditional in that they work, have families, and go to school part time. Fastweb recommends online classes for nontraditional students who need more flexibility without a commute.