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A new study of the online student market, released on Wednesday, corroborates many of the trends seen among students who enroll in fully online undergraduate or graduate programs. The findings of the study, a joint project of Aslanian Market Research and the educational technology company Learning House, include:

  • The average online student is getting younger. While colleges often market fully online programs to working adults, the average ages of a typical undergraduate and graduate student are 29 and 33 years, respectively.
  • Students make decisions about where to study online quickly, and they expect colleges to be equally quick with their responses. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of students make a decision about where to apply within four weeks of starting their search, and more than one-third expect to hear back about financial aid before they even apply.
  • While online education enables students to study anywhere, most students choose someplace close to home. Three-quarters of respondents said they picked a campus within 100 miles of where they live.
  • Cost is the No. 1 factor for students when it comes to where to study, and nearly 90 percent of respondents said a scholarship of as much as $500 could influence their decision.

The full study, of 1,500 graduates, students or future students of fully online programs, is available here.