Commentary: Online students impact higher ed enrollment
Author: Ray Schroeder
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Angie Besendorfer, St. Louis Business Journal
In today’s tech-driven society, it’s imperative to not overlook the importance of online universities and programs. Most traditional universities now offer fully online degrees, and fully online universities are also gaining traction with students. In Missouri, out of the nearly 450,000 enrolled college students, nearly 55,000 — or 12.2 percent — are exclusively enrolled in online courses, and that number continues to grow. Online programs are particularly beneficial for non-traditional students looking to advance or change their careers, while working full time and raising families. It can be challenging to fit school into a busy schedule, but online programs offer the flexibility — and often lower tuition cost — to make earning an undergraduate or advanced degree a reality. Students who do not have access to a traditional university — whether they live in rural areas, have limited mobility or face transportation issues — also can be served by online education.