Online learning has exploded at traditional two- and four-year institutions. The latter group has tried to add more of these types of courses to attract adult learners and other nontraditional students, and to position themselves to fare better during an economic downturn.
About 18.4% of college students were enrolled in some distance learning courses in 2018, according to the report, which uses data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). That’s compared to 17.6% of students who did the same in 2017. (Distance education classes are almost always digital but the category can include courses taught offline.)