SOURCE: The Learning House, Inc.

The Learning House, Inc.

The Learning House, Inc.

July 09, 2015 08:00 ET

New Data Reveals Online Students Choose Institution Before Making Contact

The Country's Only National Survey of Online College Students Indicates They Often Choose Both Program and Institution Before Beginning the Application Process

LOUISVILLE, KY--(Marketwired - Jul 9, 2015) -  On average, online college students only contact between two and three colleges and universities of interest. In addition, 60 percent say they select their program of study first, before considering institutions. These data comes from the fourth annual Online College Students report, produced by The Learning House, Inc. and Aslanian Market Research. According to the authors, this trend of decision-making before contact means colleges and universities must be cognizant of both brand awareness and the types of online programs offered, or they will not attract the online student population.

"We tend to think of online students as shopping around, but the data show that isn't true," said Dr. David Clinefelter, Chief Academic Officer at Learning House and coauthor of the report. "This is a population that knows what it wants, has clear goals and has a plan for achieving those goals. To remain competitive, colleges and universities need to communicate in a way that resonates with students, including sharing job placement rates, internship opportunities and more."

In the nation's only annual study of online students, Learning House and Aslanian Market Research conducted surveys with 1,500 recent, current and prospective online students nationwide. The information can be used by colleges and universities to effectively develop and deliver online programs.

"Students consistently told us they considered transfer credits and affordability when choosing an institution," said Carol Aslanian, Senior Vice President of Aslanian Market Research and coauthor of the report. "Tailoring processes to meet these needs, and then developing messaging that speaks to those benefits, will be critical to the long-term success of institutions offering online degrees."

Key report findings include:

  • The demand for online technology degrees is increasing. The popularity of computers and information technology degrees increased by 9 percent at the graduate level, while industry stalwart graduate education degrees decreased by 9 percent.

  • Money influences decision-making. Eighty-nine percent of online students said an annual $2,500 scholarship would have swayed them to enroll in one institution over another.

  • Online students act quickly. Forty percent of online students apply to an online program within four weeks of starting their search. Sixty-one percent know how financial aid is available to them within two weeks of application and 64 percent understand transfer credit eligibility in the same timeframe.

  • For-profit isn't a deal-breaker to students. While government initiatives and media attention have focused on reforming for-profit institutions, 62 percent of online students do not have a preference between for-profit and nonprofit colleges and universities.

Coauthors David Clinefelter and Carol Aslanian will discuss the report and its findings in a live webinar on Thursday, July 30, at 1 p.m. EDT / 10 a.m. PDT. To learn more about this webinar, view an infographic, or download the full version of the report, please visit http://www.learninghouse.com/OCS2015.

The Learning House, Inc., through its proprietary cloud-based technology platform, helps colleges and universities create, manage and grow high-quality online degree programs and courses. Partnering with more than 75 schools, Learning House enables institutions to efficiently and affordably achieve their online education goals. Services include product development and market research, marketing and lead generation, enrollment management, student retention, curriculum development and management, faculty training and professional development, learning management systems and 24/7 technical support. 

EducationDynamics is a proven leader in helping higher education institutions find, enroll, and retain students. The company maintains its industry leadership through a deeply rooted philosophy of serving its schools best by serving students first. This commitment has been at the heart of EducationDynamics' success since it began more than a decade ago, and it continues today as they serve more than 1,200 colleges and universities of all types and sizes.

Aslanian Market Research (EducationDynamics' market research unit) conducts market demand studies, institutional audits, program and marketing reviews, and professional development seminars and workshops for colleges and universities seeking information and data on how to expand adult and online student enrollments. Throughout the last 25 years, Aslanian Market Research has worked with more than 200 colleges and universities of all types -- public, private, large, small, rural, suburban and urban -- in every region of the United States. Its seminars have provided thousands of college administrators with practical, hands-on tactics that they can implement at their institutions at minimal cost for maximum impact.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Emily Wheeler
    Senior Marketing Manager
    The Learning House, Inc.
    Email Contact
    (502) 815-0656