BestColleges’ seventh annual Online Education Trends Report offers insights developed by analyzing feedback provided by students and school administrators. This report includes our fifth year of original data collection and features participation from 366 school administrators and 1,800 students. Students surveyed include prospective online students, current online students (i.e., those enrolled in fully online programs), current remote learners (i.e., those enrolled in courses not offered in person due to COVID-19), and online program alumni. Findings are presented in four categories: the learning experience, marketing and recruitment, program design and administration, and student satisfaction.
Marketing and Recruitment
- Almost half (48%) of online and remote students were motivated by career and employment goals to enroll in their programs.
- Students’ biggest challenge to making a decision about online education was finding a program that met their needs and interests.
- Students were most likely to rely on college websites and online student reviews when researching and comparing online programs.
- If online program graduates could do it over again, they would conduct more research about costs and financial aid and compare more programs.
- Ninety-five percent of students overall, and 83% of remote learners, said they would recommend online or remote learning to others.
- An overwhelming majority (93%) of students said they have had or expect a positive return on their online education investment.
- Overall, a majority (74%) of students thought that online learning was better than or equal to on-campus learning; 64% of remote learners felt this way, too.
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