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To promote social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak, many higher education institutions have closed their campuses and shifted classes online. The shift toward the online learning format, however, is not new. Interest in online higher education programs has grown significantly throughout the past two years, according to the 2020 Report On The State Of Online Vs. Campus-Based Higher Education Demand from Digital Media Solutions® (DMS).
Online Higher Education Programs Drove More Interest And Conversions In 2019 Compared To Campus-Based Programs
Despite some seasonal fluctuations, online higher education program interest increased over the past three years. During the first three quarters of 2019, 59.4% of higher education conversions were for online programs, up 4.7 basis points compared to the first three quarters of 2017. Online education interest was even higher during the second quarter of 2019, when 64.2% of all higher education inquiries were for the online format.
Bachelor’s Programs Dominate Across All Program Formats; Graduate Programs Skew Online
Bachelor’s degrees had the greatest share of higher education inquiry volume in 2019, accounting for 36.7% of online program interest and 34.9% of campus-based interest. Meanwhile, graduate program inquiry volume skewed heavily toward the online format, with master’s and doctorate inquiries representing 35.9% of online inquiries, but only 7.9% of campus-based program inquiries.
Especially during the Coronavirus pandemic, the increased demand for online education is likely to escalate and become the new long-term norm.
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