Almost 3 million students are enrolled in a fully online program, and that number is only expected to grow. Learn who these students are and what they are looking for in a landmark new study. The Learning House, Inc. and Aslanian Market Research surveyed 1,500 former, current and future online students to discover who earns online degrees and why. In the “Online College Students 2012: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences” report, learn:

  • How students select online schools
  • Which fields of study interest online students
  • Which program features online students seek
  • What prompts students to choose online study
  • And more!

Some key findings of the report include:

Most Popular Degrees

One-third of online students pursue business degrees, the most popular field for online degrees. Most online business students seek degrees in administration/management, finance, and accounting. Survey participants ranked the social sciences and health professions as the second most popular fields, followed by the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and education fields.

Choosing an Institution

Location significantly impacts students’ program choice. Approximately 80% of online students live within 100 miles of the institution they attend, and most live within 50 miles. The majority of online students (60%) initially seek information about programs of interest directly from a college’s Web site. Students cited tuition and fees as the most important information on college Web sites.

Type of Institution

Today, 65% of online students take courses through not-for-profit institutions; of these students, 45% study at public institutions and 20% at private institutions. While not-for-profit institutions collectively enroll the majority of online students, a small set of prominent and well-known for-profit institutions continue to thrive. Approximately one-third of students study at for-profit institutions. The University of Phoenix dominates the for-profit market and has a larger market share than any public or private not-for-profit school; approximately 15% of all online students take courses through the University of Phoenix.

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