Profile of an Online College Student

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From the mail-order correspondence courses of the last century to today’s high-tech learning environment, distance learning has changed the way some college students learn and earn degrees. Online education continues to make strides in educating new generations of students, as witnessed by the double-digit growth of people taking at least one class online in the past several years. Universities from California to Pennsylvania are now jumping in the online education game, further improving the format's visibility and access.

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According to a collaborative study by the Babson Survey Research Group and the College Board, while less than 10 percent of college students were taking at least one class online in 2003, nearly one-third of college students are now taking at least one of their courses online. While students come from a variety of ages and ethnicities, they do seem to have some things in common, particularly when it comes to their gender and household income. They also have similarities when considering motivations for taking online rather than on-campus classes.

Have you ever taken an online class, or would you take one? And just who are the nearly one-third of higher education students who are taking at least one online class? Do you fit the online college student profile?


Going the Distance, Babson College and the College Board, 2011, http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/goingthedistance.pdf

Online College Students, The Learning House, Inc. and Aslanian Market Research, 2012, http://www.learninghouse.com/files/documents/resources/Online%20College%20Students%202012.pdf

For a complete list of sources, please view the infographic.

Profile of an Online College Student

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