Online Options Give Adults Access, but Outcomes Lag

“Using federal data on online enrolments, prices and completions, as well as state-by-state data from the National Council for State Authorisation Reciprocity Agreements, Garrett made the case that online education has helped to suppress the tuition prices adult students are paying, and that colleges that enrol many students online are significantly increasing access to higher education for adult students.

But the data also show that students at those institutions graduate at sharply lower rates than do those at institutions where in-person and blended modes of learning dominate.

That “conundrum,” as Garrett called it — that online education “widens access but on average lowers students’ odds of completion” — raises questions about the extent to which colleges, states and others should be pushing fully online education or more blended forms of learning, which may be less practically available and more expensive but more likely to result in students’ success, he argued.” Read more at

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