Higher Ed Market Headlines

Online Education up 17% to 4.6 Million; Annual Survey Shows Recession, Influenza among Factors Driving Growth

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 2009 Sloan Survey of Online Learning reveals that enrollment rose by nearly 17 percent from a year earlier. The survey of more than 2,500 colleges and universities nationwide finds approximately 4.6 million students were enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2008, the most recent term for which figures are available.

"Online enrollments in U.S. higher education show no signs of slowing," said study co-author Jeff Seaman, Co-Director of the Babson Survey Research Group at Babson College. "More than one out of four college and university students now take at least one course online."

The seventh annual survey, a collaborative effort between the Babson Survey Research Group, the College Board and the Sloan Consortium, is the leading barometer of online learning in the United States. The complete survey report, "Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009" is available on the Sloan Consortium Web site, www.sloanconsortium.org. The report includes a detailed analysis of the factors driving the growth in online education.

"Online education continues to establish itself as demand remains strong and new applications materialize, such as contingency planning for campus emergencies," said Frank Mayadas, special advisor, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. "We believe demand will fuel sustained growth especially within public universities and community colleges, raising the need to share research, optimal methods for faculty training, and other best practices to new levels of importance." The survey is funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The Babson Survey Research Group in the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurial Research at Babson College conducts regional, national, and international research projects, including survey design, sampling methodology, data integrity, statistical analyses and reporting.

The College Board is a not-for-profit membership association whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the association is composed of more than 5,700 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. The College Board is committed to the principles of excellence and equity, and that commitment is embodied in all of its programs, services, activities, and concerns. Visit www.collegeboard.org.

The Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) is an institutional and professional leadership organization dedicated to integrating online education into the mainstream of higher education, helping institutions and individual educators improve the quality, scale, and breadth of online education. Sloan-C supports the collaborative sharing of knowledge and effective practices to improve online education in learning effectiveness, access, affordability for learners and providers, and student and faculty satisfaction.

CONTACT: Michael Chmura of Babson College, +1-781-239-4549, mchmura@babson.edu