The Dimensions of an Online College Student

Lessons learned from Online College Students 2018

Published May 21, 2018

Get a 360-degree view of the online student population

Attracting students to your online programs can feel like a tall task. After all, you must examine their habits and interests from every angle and deliver what they want. To see today’s students from all sides, check out More than Meets the Eye: The Dimensions of an Online College Student. This infographic shares data-driven ways to enroll and retain more students in your online programs based on the 2018 Online College Students report.

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Expand what you know about digital learners
Download the seventh-annual Online College Students report. The Learning House, Inc. and Aslanian Market Research surveyed 1,500 online learners to uncover the programs and services they want most. Explore the report to discover more ways to thrive in all facets of higher education.

Infographic Transcript:

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE
THE DIMENSIONS OF AN ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENT

 
EXPLORE A GROWING, CHANGING DEMOGRAPHIC
As online learning opportunities continue to evolve, so do the students who seek them out. The 2018 Online College Students report, conducted by Aslanian Market Research and The Learning House, Inc., surveyed 1,500 current, prospective and recently graduated online college students about their preferences and must-haves. Learn what you need to do to best attract, serve and retain the online college student.

FOCUSED ON A SPECIFIC PROGRAM

91% of students know either the field or the specific program that they want to pursue.

  • 55%: I knew the specific academic program I wanted
  • 36%: I knew the general field I wanted to study

Lesson: Diversify your online offerings to reach more students.

Fields of Study
Business

  • Undergraduate: 23%
  • Graduate: 21%

Health & Medicine

  • Undergraduate: 19%
  • Graduate: 16%

Computers & IT

  • Undergraduate: 13%
  • Graduate: 15%

Social Sciences, Criminal Justice, Law

  • Undergraduate: 11%
  • Graduate: 8%

Arts & Humanities

  • Undergraduate: 10%
  • Graduate: 5%

Education & Teaching

  • Undergraduate: 9%
  • Graduate: 14%

Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics

  • Undergraduate: 7%
  • Graduate: 11%

Counseling & Human Services

  • Undergraduate: 5%
  • Graduate: 8%

REMEMBERS DIGITAL AND TRADITIONAL ADS

Digital ads are remembered more by students, but traditional advertisements, like TV, can boost your reach.

  • 31%: Listings on search engines
  • 30%: TV commercials
  • 29%: Email
  • 25%: Ads on websites
  • 25%: Ads on social media
  • 23%: College fairs
  • 14%: Direct mail
  • 13%: Radio commercials

Lesson: Focus on digital advertisements, but don’t forget about traditional methods. TV, college fairs, and even snail mail and radio can make a lasting impact.

OPEN TO COST-SAVING INNOVATIONS

When questioned about cost-saving programs like competency-based courses or textbook-free programs, 4% or less would NOT consider them.

  • 49%: Yes, I would definitely consider a CBE program
  • 48%: Maybe, I would research a CBE program
  • 3%: No, I would not consider a CBE program

Lesson: Consider offering options to lower the total cost of education.
USES A MOBILE DEVICE FOR RESEARCH AND COURSEWORK

Students commonly use mobile devices to research schools and complete assignments.

TO WHAT EXTENT DID YOU CONDUCT ANY OF YOUR RESEARCH ABOUT SCHOOLS TO ATTEND ON A MOBILE DEVICE?

  • 11%: All
  • 33%: Almost all
  • 42%: Some
  • 13%: None

DID YOU COMPLETE ONLINE COURSE-RELATED ACTIVITIES USING YOUR MOBILE DEVICE?

  • 20%: YES, all of my course-related activities
  • 18%: YES, most of my course-related activities
  • 29%: YES, some of my course-related activities
  • 12%: NO, but I would have liked to
  • 21%: NO, and I would not want to

Lesson: Ensure both your website and course materials are optimized for mobile.

INTERESTED IN CAREER SERVICES

More than 30% will take advantage of services offered either online or on campus.

TOP 4 CAREER SERVICES USED

  • 40%: Job search assistance
  • 47%: Resume creation
  • 48%: Self-assessments
  • 50%: Working with a career advisor

Lesson: Make career services available online. Students report higher usage of these resources with online accessibility.

EXPLORE DOZENS OF ADDITIONAL FINDINGS ABOUT TODAY’S ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS.
DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT AT LEARNINGHOUSE.COM/OCS2018

The Learning House, Inc.
Aslanian Market Research
Powered by EducationDynamics

Related Resources

Research Report
Published May 15, 2018
Discover the dimensions of online college students. "Online College Students 2018: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences" explores a survey of 1,500 online students.
View Research Report
Webinar
Published May 24, 2018
This free webinar shares insights from the 2018 Online College Students report. Discover the needs of today’s online learners from the authors of the report.
View Webinar
Infographic
Published May 10, 2017
Tune into the Online College Student and hear what they have to say with this infographic!
View Infographic