How are higher education trends in online student demographics changing?

So, what do students look at when choosing their intended courses and the institutions to pursue them in?

According to a Best College report, most students largely rely on the information provided on college websites when choosing the best educational provider for their learning needs.

  • 31% of online students get the information on choosing their colleges from the websites
  • 21% rely on suggestions and reviews from other students

What are some demographic differences between men and women embracing online learning?

According to the report, areas of major, level of study, employment and income, age, ethnic background and marital status are the major issues factoring in to influence the trends for either gender. Let’s take a look at how each of the factors above shape the demographics trends around online learning.

  • 20% of them major in Computer and Information sciences and related majors
  • 20% major in business-related courses
  • Profession related majors accrue 14% of students
  • Education and Engineering related majors make up 18% of students

What are the challenges involved for learners when it comes to online learning?

Most students cite financial constraints as the major road blocking factor that stands in the way of successful completion of an online course.

  • 22% of students seek financial support
  • 19% seek support with family
  • 17% seek support in academics
  • 15% seek support in relation to work (employer or employment)

What do the students consider a satisfactory learning process?

The report indicates that a flexible schedule is key to ensuring a learner’s satisfaction. A great number of students also wish the colleges were a little more supportive in the essence of skills and development. Students needed help with time management, technological skills and developing self-confidence. From the report, it appears that if an institution was to run a satisfactory program to the students, then each of the above need to be considered.


Venable, Ph.D, M., 2021. Trends in Online Student Demographics. Best Colleges.

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