Nearly two-thirds (64%) of people believe it is easier to complete a degree today than it was a decade ago.
According to a survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, including 1,000 college students, approximately eight in 10 (79%) graduates believe that currently enrolled students have access to more resources than they did in the past.
More than half cited greater flexibility through hybrid programs, synchronous and asynchronous courses (59%), and more online resources to navigate their studies (54%).
Additionally, 48% said the increased availability of online options for classes is a factor making the path to graduation easier for current students.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Bellevue University National Online Learning Day results also found that the average college student faces six major challenges on the path to graduation and that financing their education (38%) is not the only obstacle.
People also reported difficulties juggling commitments outside of study (43%), finding effective ways to study (36%) and being a parent or carer whilst enrolled (26%).
In fact, 48% admitted there was a time when they felt like they wouldn’t graduate.
The three most important factors when choosing a college were originally the programs or courses offered (29%), the cost of the school (27%) and the high status of the school (27%).
One in five (21%) also prioritized colleges with a distance/online learning option.
However, two out of five (41%) would change some of their criteria when choosing a course if they returned. Of these respondents, more than a quarter (26%) said an online learning option would be their top priority.
If they were to enroll in a college course now, 45% would prefer a hybrid course, while 20% would prefer a fully online course.
“Working adults are always looking for ways to save time and money, especially when returning to college. “It is therefore important to prioritize the flexibility of your learning environment and ensure you have access to integrated support,” said Dr. Matt Davis, Executive Vice President and Dean of Bellevue University. “Online learning can be helpful for new students juggling multiple commitments as well as those seeking their next career advancement or considering a career change.”
52 percent have already taken an online course, be it for study, professional development or for another reason.
Among the benefits people felt from online classes, respondents included being able to more easily fit classes around other commitments (54%), learning from their preferred location (53%), and being able to learn at their own pace (49th). %).
Regardless of their current level of education, the top two factors that would encourage people to enroll in virtual college courses are cost (39%) and availability of the courses they are interested in (38%).
“If you are considering enrolling in an online university, look for one that is not only affordable, but also has real expertise in offering online degrees with built-in support and is accredited by top employers across the country and nationwide is recognized,” said Dr. Davis.
People’s Biggest Challenges in College
- Balancing school and other obligations – 43%
- Financing my education – 38%
- Keeping track of my schoolwork – 36%
- Find effective ways to learn – 36%
- Deciding which courses to take – 31%
- Commuting to and from class – 30%
- Budgeting – 30%
- Deciding on a major – 30%
- Relationship problems – 27%
- Relationship problems with roommates – 27%
- Being a parent/carer – 26%
- Managing my physical health – 26%
- Dealing with my mental health – 25%
- Homesickness – 22%