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This year’s report confirmed many prior findings and codified long-developing trends. Students are still motivated by career outcomes and their biggest challenge continues to be figuring out how to pay for college. However, student motivations and demands are changing in unexpected ways that are likely to define the trends over the next five years. Compared to students from five or more years ago, the online college students of today are younger, more likely to be working full time, and devote more time to their education.

Even as the overall outlook for online education has significantly improved over the past decade, many schools are finding it increasingly difficult to take advantage of the growth opportunity. This is particularly true because more colleges and universities are investing heavily in building out online program offerings, leading to more options for students. Understanding the unique challenges and characteristics of online learners is key to surviving and thriving in this increasingly competitive environment. With online education now taking its place in the forefront of the minds of students and educators alike, it is more important than ever for the leaders of higher education to understand and embrace the changes driving online program growth. The 2022 Online College Students Report provides the insight needed to understand and better engage online college students.


What's in the Report:

In this report, we surveyed over 1,000 current and future online college students to examine their motivations, program interests, demands, and opinions to help colleges and universities find the best opportunities for future online program development and growth.

You'll Learn:

  • The influence of COVID-19 on online program enrollment decisions
  • The proportion of online enrollments in different degree programs
  • The most popular subject fields among online college students
  • The value students see in online programs
  • The programs most attractive to online students today
  • The preferred course calendar and class size for online college students
  • The most popular career services used by online learners
  • The most important factors impacting enrollment decisions for online students

The Demands & Preferences of Today's Online College Students

The 2022 Online College Students Report is an insightful look into the demands and preferences of today's online learners. As online education, and the adult students largely served by online programs, play an increasingly important role in higher education, schools will dedicate more resources to attracting and serving these students in ways that will only reinforce the trends mentioned in this report. The Online College Students Report aggregates data from over 1,000 graduate and undergraduate online students. The data uncovered provides colleges and universities with actionable information to effectively create online programs that will meet the interests of today's online students. Download a copy of the report and start growing your online program enrollments.