SOURCE: Avenue100

Avenue100 Media Solutions

October 14, 2009 09:06 ET

How to Pay for College Is Number One Concern Regardless of Age

CourseAdvisor.com Survey Demonstrates the Demand for Centralized Financial Aid Information and Expert Resources

WAKEFIELD, MA--(Marketwire - October 14, 2009) - Avenue100 Media Solutions, Inc., a growing digital marketing company, announced the findings of a recent survey conducted through the company's flagship Web property, CourseAdvisor.com. Approximately 1,800 respondents participated, and 43 percent overwhelmingly cited the ability to pay for school as their top concern. In addition, the data revealed that selecting a degree program weighs on earnings potential, flexibility, and the option to make a career change, but the order of importance differs by both age and gender.

Age in particular is an evolving factor in school enrollment. According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than one third of individuals studying for an associate's degree or higher were 25 and older in 2007 and this number is expected to grow by 20 percent by 2017. The survey supports this trend -- 69 percent of respondents were 25 and older.

Key findings from the survey include:

--  While both men and women are equally concerned about how to pay for
    college (43 percent), 18 percent of women are also worried about
    finding a program that "fits their needs," while 21 percent of men
    prefer to make sure it's the "right career path."

--  While zero percent noted that they visit school Web sites directly for
    degree and financial aid information, an astounding 36 percent cited
    search engines as their primary tool for finding such information.

--  However, 42 percent of respondents found information from career
    experts, financial aid professionals, and school administrators most
    helpful when seeking information about degree programs.

--  In addition, 40- to 50-year-olds rely on government Web sites for
    information on financial aid two times more than those under 24 years
    old.

--  The most important criteria for selecting a degree program varied
    widely depending on age:
        - Those under 25 years of age focused on the ability to
          "make money"
        - Criteria for 25- to 30-year-olds addressed the need for a career
          "change"
        - Respondents over 40 years of age noted "flexibility" as their top
          preference

"As the survey data depicts, people are looking for more than just standard information on degree programs and financial aid resources. Rather, they are seeking individualized data based on their stage of life, gender, or age. Unfortunately, it can be overwhelming to search the Internet for such relevant, personalized information," noted Brian Eberman, CEO of Avenue100. "Likewise, higher education institutions and financial aid providers are often unsure of how to find and attract prospective students via the Web. With our network of education-focused Web properties, Avenue100 offers the direct access to schools and institutions that consumers demand while helping our partners identify the students who are most appropriate for their programs."

About Avenue100 Media Solutions

Avenue100 Media Solutions, Inc. is a leading analytics-based performance marketing company that helps institutions acquire qualified customers. A Washington Post Company, Avenue100 operates a network of Web properties, including CourseAdvisor.com, EducationGrant.com, OnlineDegreeFinder.com, and the Washington Post education site, which collectively generate hundreds of thousands of leads per month. Learn more at www.Avenue100.com.

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