Report: US Online Education Growing


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New data show that online enrollments in the United States continue to have a steady increase in recent years. The latest data on distance education enrollments from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) show that more students are enrolling online at all levels of postsecondary education. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of students enrolling in at least one online subject has increased from 31.1% to 33.1%. This number grew further to 34.7% in 2018. Statistics show that graduate students are more likely to take online subjects than 4-year and 2-year undergraduate students. As a result, a number of traditional institutions have tried to add more online courses to attract adult and nontraditional learners. In an article by global education platform Studyportals, online learning at US universities is indeed perceived to be popular among adult learners, particularly those who are working. This is because of the flexibility, accessibility, and affordability that online learning offers. Additionally, online learning does not restrict learners when it comes to schedules, and lessons are not bound by time or location. Lesson costs are also not as expensive as those of traditional classroom education. However, even with the apparent benefits and continuous gains of online learning in previous years, some experts believe that the growth of enrollment in online courses in higher education might possibly slow down in the future. A separate team of experts suggests that for online learning to be continuously successful in higher education, institutions should provide good quality education, effectively manage their resources, and navigate the current dynamic and competitive market.

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