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ERIC Number: ED580852
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 49
Abstractor: ERIC
ISBN: 978-0-9968848-2-2
Grade Increase: Tracking Distance Education in the United States
Seaman, Julia E.; Allen, I. Elaine; Seaman, Jeff
Babson Survey Research Group
Distance education enrollments increased for the fourteenth straight year, growing faster than they have for the past several years. From 2002 to 2012 both distance and overall enrollments grew annually, but since 2012 distance growth has continued its steady increase in an environment that saw overall enrollments decline for four straight years and the largest for-profit distance education institutions continue to face serious issues and lose their enrollments. This report uses data collected under the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Fall Enrollment survey. Key findings include: (1) the most recent year-to-year addition of 337,016 distance education students, a 5.6 percent increase, exceeds the gains seen over the past three years; (2) six percent of all students now take at least one distance education course (a total of 6,359,121 students); (3) distance students are fairly evenly split between those who take both distance and non-distance courses (3,356,041 students) and those who take exclusively distance courses (3,003,080); (4) public institutions command the largest portion of distance education students, with 67.8 percent of all distance students; (5) distance education enrollments are highly concentrated, five percent of institutions account for almost half of all distance education students; (6) distance enrollments remain local: 52.8 percent of all students who took at least one distance course also took a course on-campus, and 56.1 percent of those who took only distance courses reside in the same state as the institution at which they are enrolled; (7) virtually no distance enrollments are international: only 0.7 percent of all distance students are located outside of the United States; and (8) the number of students studying on a campus has dropped by over one million (1,173,805, or 6.4 percent) between 2012 and 2016.
Babson Survey Research Group. Babson College, 231 Forest Street, Babson Park, MA 02457. Tel: 909-278-7389; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Pearson; Online Learning Consortium (OLC); Tyton Partners
Authoring Institution: Babson Survey Research Group
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A