A Closer Look at the Demographics of Online College – Who Really Attends?

There are a vast majority of people who attend college online; parents, people who are busy, older generations, and more. The online world of education is becoming increasingly more demanding and many schools (even higher education Ivy League schools such as Harvard University) are bringing their courses online for students needing flexible knowledge to take advantage of. The many ways in which students can benefit from an online education vary widely and the different reasons why those students take online classes vary even more. However, here are the most common reasons why students attend online school and the ways in which attending online benefits them.


This one is probably pretty familiar to most people. However, maybe you aren’t a parent and you don’t quite understand just what these parents get out of online schooling and how online courses aid in the growth of their education. Many parents are attending school while working a full time job, which allows them to attend school in person, pay for daycare, and allot special time to spend time with their children. However, there are also many parents who don’t have full time jobs and staying home with their kids is much easier for them (especially when their children are very young) and less expensive than paying daycare costs. This is when many parents choose online schooling in order to spend ample time with their children while still bettering themselves for the future; not only them, but for their family.


A less common, but still decently abundant reason for many people to take online courses is simply because they are at such a distance from any college that they have no choice but to take online courses (unless they move), simply because the commute is just too far. Many students travel up to an hour each way to attend school. However, it can get quite expensive and complicated when a student is required to travel any more than an hour’s worth of distance both to and from school. When this is the case, conflict tends to arise; in turn making many students lose interest in their studies and causing even more drop out due to lack in drive – literally!

The Busy Folk

There is a vast array of very busy people who would still like to obtain an education to better their career or obtain an education in order to secure a nice future outside of their typical nine to five job. These folks are the perfect candidates for online schooling. Many of these busy people work every day for at least 8 hours a day and coming home from work just to grab a snack and head to night school isn’t exactly the most ideal plan for most; coming home to a dinner and a laptop on a TV tray in the living room seems far more appealing. Generally, they will choose night school in order to allow themselves more flexible times in which to fit their studies.

Older and Desirous

Many older generations of people like to re-vamp their knowledge of the various subjects they learned in school, either for their jobs or for their own personal wealth. It’s a great idea to keep our brains learning, regardless of age. Many people like to study new things in order to add even more meaning to their lives by learning something new. A lot of these students like to attend actual in-person classes at a local college, simply for the experience. But quite a few attend these desired classes online, just for the education.


Although it is increasingly uncommon, many disabled folk still tend to prefer to take their classes online and in the comfort of their own homes. College campuses tend to be very large and chaotic. Many disables folk prefer to avoid the hassle.

For a long time, online classes were considered to be undesirable by most employers, simply because many of them were provided by un-reputable online schools. However, with the modernization of online schooling, many traditional schools are allowing quite a few of their courses to be taken online; some even offer entire degrees that are obtainable online. These days, most businesses consider online schooling just as credible as traditional schooling, simply because so many students are obtaining their educations online and proving the naysayers wrong. As schooling becomes even more readily available online, the many colleges of the world will adjust by increasingly adding even more online education possibilities, which will in turn make online education more accepted by employers.

Whether you are brand new to college education or you are a seasoned college-goer, online college classes can offer you a significant amount of convenience and aid. You are never limited by distance so you are not restricted to learning the degrees offered by the college in your city; you can attend an online college anywhere and never have to worry about whether the degree you are seeking is available at your local college. You get plenty of one-on-one time with instructors via email and chat and you can always visit your local school for tutoring or check the newspaper for more help regarding your trouble areas. You can fit online education in before work, at your lunch hour, after work, and more. Online college is also much less expensive in the long run (depending on which school you attend of course), you won’t have to pay for quick lunches, you’re not paying transportation costs and a lot of the time, you can get eBooks for your courses, which make your book costs considerably less. Plus, you have options; you can either earn a whole degree online or you can simply take a few courses to build your knowledge and your resume in order to attain a higher paying job position or even a job that is more suited to your personal desires.
As you can see, online college learning can be ideal for most people looking to earn a degree or even just take a few classes. And with the increase in demand for these classes, online courses are becoming more reputable by the second!