Are graduation rates higher for students that attend online universities?

online graduation rates

In theory, online college programs are supposed to make learning easier for an array of reasons, leading to better graduation rates. Time is a big factor for many students. Flexible and shortened class schedules are another reason that students choose the virtual study format. Online learning is also appealing for students of all educational levels, which could include traditional students who have just graduated from high school. Or, it could also encompass those non-traditional students who already have an undergraduate degree and established job who might want to earn another degree to raise their marketability or change careers altogether.

Getting to commencement day is hard for both students who attend brick-and-mortar institutions, as well as, for those who learn online at their own pace. From managing the costs that come with getting a degree to the time it takes to finish the coursework, both types of students have a hard road ahead of them. So, is online learning that much easier than the tried-and-true approach? Not necessarily.

Current research conflicts as to whether online students graduate at a higher rate than their traditional counterparts. A Columbia University Community College Research Center paper suggests that online learners are slightly less likely to finish their degree than students that attend classes on campus. Why is that? Sure, online distance learning programs are convenient; however, a student must be very disciplined to complete an online program through careful time management and determination. Often, online learning provides such informal schedule options that many students tend to lose track of time and do not complete their program.

For the non-traditional student, it makes sense that graduation may get put off for more pressing matters, such as raising a family or concentrating on their full-time job. In most cases, online students rarely finish a four-year degree in the allotted time frame.

If you think you’d work better on your own instead of a classroom setting, then online learning is most likely the best choice for you. If you thrive when you’re interacting with others, finding a hybrid program close to home might be a better option, where you can have a mix of hands-on learning and digital assignments. Are you a procrastinator? If so, online learning is not for you. Perhaps a more structured environment will help you stay on track for graduation.

Regardless, enrollment for online classes and degree programs are continuing to grow, without a doubt. But you should set yourself up for success, and the best way to do that is to choose an online program that is accredited, one that has excellent reviews, as well as, offers school services that specialize in the online learning format, such as career counseling and 24-hour tech support. You should also make sure the online program allows for flexibility and that you schedule your study sessions on a regular basis and stick with it to ensure that you graduate on time.



Are you interested in beginning an educational journey through an online format? Perhaps you would like to check out our choices for the best of the best in a school ranking titled “Unrivaled Online Paralegal Associate Degree Programs.”


Also, if you would like to ensure your online success, we have compiled a list of the top 30 Online Schools With The Highest Graduation Rates.

Graduation rates usually reflect the school they pertain to and the same goes for online schools, as well. Online student enrollment rates are drastically moving upward in all schools that offer online education. Education is moving in the direction of modern technology. Age old universities that existed before electricity are moving into the age of technology, creating record amounts of online students