All states were not created equal in online learning, according to national statistics
About one in four college students took at least one online class in 2012 — the most recent year for which those stats are available — with 12.5 percent of U.S. college students taking their classes exclusively online, according to a study published by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
The research showed that online learning has grown unevenly throughout the country, with some states seeing steady increases in the number of students going the online route, while other states stagnate or even see fewer students taking web-based classes from one year to the next.
There doesn’t seem to be a geographical trend for states that see the most students enrolling online, nor do particularly large or small states stand out in the NCES research, which was released this month.
Arizona led all states in both the highest concentration of online learners and the total number of college students taking exclusively online courses. Here’s a rundown of states with the highest concentration of students taking only-online classes.
1. Arizona: 48.2 percent
2. West Virgina: 40 percent
3. Iowa: 39.7 percent
4. Minnesota: 26.2 percent
5. North Dakota: 22.9 percent
Check out the five states with the lowest concentration of online learners…
States with the lowest concentration of online-only learners had significantly lower percentages of web-based students, according to the research. The gap, in other words, was not insignificant.
1. Louisiana: 4.1 percent
2. Massachusetts: 5.1 percent
3. Montana: 6.3 percent
4. California: 6.3 percent
5. Connecticut: 6.8 percent
Louisiana, despite having the lowest concentration of online-only college students, had a middle-of-the-road percentage in students taking some classes online. About 11 percent of Louisiana college students take at least one class on the web — 3 percent more than Iowa, which ranked among the states with the highest concentration of web-based learners.
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