Enrollment in online schooling is on the rise, and that is evident, according to the “Grade Increase” report from the Babson Survey Research Group. The report is based off federal data from over thousands of colleges and universities, with findings of over 6.3 million students in the United States took at least one online course during the fall semester of 2016. The year before then, 5.6 percent of students were enrolled in an online class.
Online class enrollment rose 7.1 percent at nonprofit schools, but enrollment in for-profit schools dropped by 4.5 percent.
In June, Connections Academy, an online schooling system for students kindergarten through 12th grade, announced that over 5,300 students graduated across 23 states. The school awarded more than $38 million in scholarships to students, according to a release.
“Whether they attended virtual school since kindergarten, or joined Connections Acacdemy looking for a change in education option, each graduate has demonstrated the ability to tackle challenges and obtained a real-world skillset that prepares them for opportunities in a digital world,” Tom ap Simon said. Simon is the managing director of Pearson Online & Blended Learning.
Some students don’t have the time to attend school in person, whether that be because they are working, or for health reasons. Cole Glasson, graduated from Texas Connections Academy @ Houston, and he is an aspiring NASCAR driver. Glasson has won three national championships, and he recently completed a season as a national-level race car driver.
For Grace Garcia, a Colorado Connections Academy @ Mapleton student, online schooling gave her a path to receive an education. Garcia lives with epilepsy, and she is a board member and advocate for the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado.
Online schooling can also be helpful for students who may be going through classes at an accelerated rate. Thirteen-year-old Chance Simpson graduated from the online school, and he started going through school at an accelerated rate since he was in kindergarten.
“The school and their staff have been lifesavers,” Martha Simpson, Chance’s mother said. “(Connections Academy) flexibility and Chance’s ability to learn so quickly gave him the opportunity to pursue many other interests.”
Online schooling doesn’t have to be the only way a student gets an education. Many students switch between on-campus and online learning. According to the Babson Survey Research Group, around 53 percent of students who took at least one online class in 2016 also took a class on-campus.
There are many helpful resources out there for finding an online education program that is right for you, or your child. To find the best online university that will help you get the degree you want, visit www.oedb.org.