Increasing fuel costs, rising inflation, and continuing economic hardships have really made going to a formal college difficult and impractical. That is why more and more students these days are enlisting to earn online college degrees. Attending school through the Internet is now a viable and more attractive option for people who want to continue college education but who have not enough time and resources to do so. The online college programs are also perfect for people who could not afford to leave their formal jobs just to attend to school classes.
A recent study conducted by the Sloan Consortium has been one of the many research efforts that aimed to determine the extent by which people are getting to online college degrees. The study, just like all others, tried to see how popular earning college degrees via the Internet have become. The findings were not surprising and were literally logical and anticipated. The study was entitled ‘Staying the Course: Internet Education in the US‘. It showed that Internet degree programs have become readily accepted as an important and practical way to attain tertiary education.
The report was actually part of an annual study. Sloan Consortium has been running the same research effort yearly since 2002. This has made tracking the volume easier and more accurate. In 2016, about 2,500 universities and colleges have contributed and participated as respondents to the study. The effort focused more on the nature as well as the overall extent of Internet education. Every year, it should be noted that the scope and coverage of the study is maintained. The interesting results are as follows.
The annual survey revealed that volume of enrollees in universities and colleges’ online degree programs have grown faster compared to enrolment in conventional or traditional tertiary institutions, 12.9% against only 1.2%, respectively. The study also estimated that more than 20% of tertiary students or about 3.9 million have enlisted in college-level programs or courses in the Fall season of 2016 semester. This caps the numbers game regarding volume of online college degree programs. It is expected that in the coming years, the number would further grow especially in the United States. More institutions are considering offering online college programs so it is expected that more students would take the opportunities.
What could administrative staff and faculty say about this trend? According to the study, those people see the rise of online college degrees as a positive development. That is because more and more students are given the chance to complete and earn college degrees despite all the odds. Online education systems are also becoming more in demand and are more developed to cope with the situation. Thus, in the coming years, expect that curriculums and systems of online college degrees would further improve and develop.
It is not surprising if in the future, almost all students in the college level are taking courses and programs online.