The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Spaces4Learning.

BestColleges.com Releases 2016 Online Education Trends Report

HOUSTON, TX – In partnership with HigherEducation.com, BestColleges.com has released its 2016 Online Education Trends Report. The report draws from an extensive data pool to address relevant developments, patterns and concerns related to the field of virtual education.

"Traditional barriers to quality education are falling," notes General Manager Stephanie Snider. "This is in large part due to emerging technologies, including online learning. At no other time in history has higher education been so accessible to so many. This flexibility opens doors to those who otherwise might not have the opportunity to earn a degree."

Enrollment rates for online courses and degree programs have increased annually since the 1990s. According to the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES), one out of seven college students in 2014 was enrolled in a fully online academic program, a 6.6 percent increase over the previous two years. Furthermore, 58 percent of undergraduates and 79 percent of graduate students in 2013 enrolled in at least one online course.

The flexibility and accessibility of online programs have attracted a younger pool of students in recent years. Roughly one-third of undergraduates in online programs were 18-24 years old in 2015, a nearly 10 percent increase in that demographic over the last three years. Additionally, 61 percent of online students were enrolled full-time in 2015. And while online learning has historically appealed to students with full-time jobs, the report finds that more of today's e-learners are unemployed or working part-time.

The 2016 Online Education Trends Report offers a comprehensive look at the year ahead in online education. This guide is a useful, data-driven resource for students, teachers, administrators and other stakeholders in online academics. Readers can download a complete PDF of the 2016 Online Trends Report from the summary page on BestColleges.com.

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