6 Million Students Took Distance Education Courses in 2015, Up 3.9...

Higher Education

6 Million Students Took Distance Education Courses in 2015, Up 3.9 Percent from 2014

May 2, 2017

MORE THAN SIX MILLION students were enrolled in at least one online distance education course in Fall 2015, according to a recent study by the Digital Learning Compass, a new partnership between Babson Survey Research Group, e-Literate and WCET. The study shows an overall increase of 226,375 distance education students since the year prior, up 3.9 percent, which was a higher growth rate than the two previous years.

Public institutions accounted for the largest proportion (67.8 percent) of distance education students. According to the report, private nonprofit institutions saw an 11.4 percent increase in distance enrollment, compared to in private for-profit institutions, which saw a 9.4 percent decrease.

The jumps mark the first time the non-profit private industry has passed the for-profit industry in terms of distance enrollment. Most for-profit institutions did experience growth in distance education enrollment, however, “large enrollment drops among for-profit institutions were driven by a few of the largest institutions,” a press announcement reads.


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