There are a growing number of students enrolling in online college degree programs and online classes. According to a study done by the National Center for Education Statistics in fall of 2012, there were over 21 million students enrolled at Title IV Institutions. Of that 21 million, 86% of students were undergraduate students and 77% were degree or certificate-seeking. Twenty-six percent of students in this group are enrolled exclusively in distance courses or in a hybrid of online and on-campus classes and over 2.1 million (11%) were enrolled in private for-profit colleges. Almost 50% of those 2.1 million students going to a private for-profit school, were enrolled exclusively in distance or online classes or a hybrid of distance and on-campus classes (1.1 million). This means that 5% of all students enrolled at Title IV Institutions in the US are enrolled exclusively in online classes or hybrid classes at a private for-profit college.
The highest enrolling for-profit institutions, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, are University of Phoenix, Online Campus, Ashford University, Liberty University, and Kaplan University. See all online colleges and universities.
Below we cover the top 15 reasons students like online college degree programs and online classes
- Many people
participate in online courses because
of the flexibility they provide.
Online college degrees and programs
make it possible for students to work
during the day and complete their
studies from their homes at nights.
Those who spend a lot of time
traveling due to work can also
complete their education in their
- Since online
education is known for its student
centered curriculum, it is an ideal
means for those who learn best through
this approach to acquire higher
education this way.
- Students can also
re-watch lectures and review notes and
other online resources any time they
wish. This way, if a concept is
unclear, students can review it at
- Students taking
online courses are also able to
participate in classroom discussions
in chat rooms or online forums. If a
student is shy or unable to share an
opinion because of time restraints in
a traditional classroom, online
courses make it possible for all
students to participate in
- Students taking
online courses can also take classes
from teachers around the country and
the world. As a result, student
options are not limited by geography.
- Students taking
online courses will also improve their
computer skills and knowledge. Since
these skills and knowledge are so
important in the global economy,
students can greatly benefit as they
look for jobs, and because students
are required to correspond with their
teachers and other students via email,
students will improve their
- If students have
problems learning in traditional
classroom settings, or have
disabilities preventing them from
participating in class, they can
enroll in online courses. As
mentioned, students that do not want
to speak in class but still
participate in discussions can do so
in online chat forums.
- Often students
are permitted to discuss non class
related topics and list personal
information about themselves in chat
forums. As a result, many students
make new friends and get to know their
supervising or teaching online courses
are also more assessable. Students can
ask questions or discuss concerns via
email instead of having to wait until
a teacher’s office hours which may not
suit students’ schedules.
- Students enrolled
in online courses will also have the
advantage of having a variety of
educational materials that can be
assessed anytime. As a result,
students don’t have to carry heavy
books around everywhere they go or
wait until an item they need is
returned to the library.
- In traditional
classroom settings, there are often
students who dominate discussions. As
a result, many students do not feel
they have the opportunity to
participate. Students enrolled in
online courses have equal opportunity
- Three-fourths of
American universities and colleges
provide students the opportunity to
enroll in online courses. Online
degrees are increasingly carrying the
same weight as traditional degrees.
- Whenever student
projects are assigned in traditional
classrooms, it can be difficult
coordinating a time and location all
members of the group can meet
together. However, it can be easier
for students participating in online
courses to work in groups since they
usually discuss their project online
in an online discussion forum.
- Many students
enjoy taking online courses since they
can complete their work at a time
convenient for them and do not have to
sit through long classes.
- Online education is also a great option for students wanting to enroll in courses not offered by local colleges and universities. This is especially convenient for people needing to earn a professional certificate.
Since online education accommodates work schedules and makes it possible for a wider variety of people to participate in discussions, it is becoming increasingly popular. However, this does not mean colleges and universities will begin to phase out traditional classroom learning.
Featured Online Programs
|University of Phoenix At University of Phoenix, we understand that you're juggling the demands of family and work while you earn your degree. That's why we provide working learners like you the tools you need to succeed. Our commitment to you begins even before you enroll with a one-on-one personalized consultation in which we answer your questions and develop the right plan to help you reach your educational goals. Learn More >|
|Grand Canyon University (GCU) With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments. Learn More >|
|Kaplan University Kaplan University's campus locations provide the facilities, faculty, staff and career programs to help you achieve your personal goals. You can learn from professionals specializing in identifying career opportunities and preparing students for a brighter future. Learn More >|
|Northcentral University Northcentral University (NCU) was founded to provide accessible, high-quality, online graduate degrees to working professionals. As a regionally accredited, online university, NCU serves students worldwide, focusing on Doctoral and Master's degree programs in the Schools of Business and Technology Management, Education, Psychology, and Marriage and Family Sciences. Learn More >|
|Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) At Ultimate Medical Academy (UMA) we specialize in healthcare education in a supportive atmosphere that promotes student success. We educate future allied health professionals through our online classroom and at our campuses in Clearwater and Tampa, Florida. Since 1994, UMA has educated thousands of students for careers in the healthcare industry. Learn More >|