There are many myths that surround the world of online education and these can actually prevent people from considering it as an option to learning. Quite often, these myths are completely untrue or at least not as big as an issue to prevent people from studying online.

Online education is rising with more and more people signing up for lessons from diplomas to post-graduate status. However, if you’ve made assumptions that have stopped you taking the plunge, you might be interested in the following report and infographic: “Online College Students 2016: Comprehensive Data on Demands and Preferences”.

The fifth annual Online College Students report, developed by The Learning House, Inc., and Aslanian Market Research, shares the results of a survey of 1,500 prospective, current and recently graduated fully online students. Here are some key points:

  • Demographics are shifting. The average age of online students is decreasing, as the percentage of online students aged 18 to 24 years old doubled since 2012. They also are more likely to be both single and childless (an increase of 10 percent since 2013).
  • Cost remains a key factor. For the second year in a row, cost has been the most important factor in deciding which institution to attend. While students are concerned about cost, even token efforts to mitigate that cost are valuable; almost 90 percent of students would be at least somewhat swayed to choose one school over another for as little as a $500 annual scholarship.
  • Speed-to-enrollment is a priority. Students expect the admissions and enrollment process to be quick and streamlined. Sixty-eight percent of online learners choose a school to apply to in just four weeks or less, and, on average, considered only three schools. Twenty percent of respondents considered only one school during the selection process.
  • Location is key. More than half of learners choose institutions within 50 miles of their home. This may be because, despite learning online, students are willing to go to campus, with approximately 75 percent reporting they would visit campus at least once a year.
  • Alternative credentials are interesting, but not well known. While there has been a lot of discussion about alternative credentials, such as MOOCs, badges and microdegrees, two-thirds of students reported they had no or minimal knowledge about these learning paths. The majority, however, reported they would consider one of these paths in the future if they could do more research.

You can read the full report here and check out the key findings in the infographic below:

5 Myths about online higher education infographic

Source: Learning House

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