According to the report, key findings include:
1. Online students are studying further away: 54 percent of students attend an institution within 100 miles of where they live, showing a 3-year trend of students increasingly willing to attend an institution farther from home.
2. Cost and financial aid important, but not critical: Although students reported that cost was a primary selection factor when choosing an online degree program, approximately two-thirds of respondents said they did not choose the most inexpensive program. Only 20 percent said they would not attend an institution if financial aid was not offered, although approximately half said they would need financial aid.
3. Job placement messaging resonates: When given a choice of 18 marketing messages, the overwhelming favorite was “90 percent job placement.” This makes sense, given that a large majority of students pursuing an online degree are doing so for job-related reasons.
4. Transfer credit makes a difference: Approximately 80 percent of students have earned credit elsewhere, and those students want to bring that credit with them. Having a clearly defined, generous, and easy-to-navigate transfer credit policy can help institutions stand apart.
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