More adults are going to college; most of them are doing it online. According to a piece by Natasha Bright in Dot on I, a blog, there’s some new information about nontraditional students:

Nearly 7 million adult students account for as much as 70 percent of college enrollment, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Some say adults are making the most of a sluggish economy by investing in the future. Many adults are enrolled in online college classes and online degree programs that afford convenience and flexibility. And tuition assistance options, including grants for college, have begun opening up to them.

Many of these students, traditionally called non-traditional students, enroll in online courses. This is mostly for convenience; adult students often have jobs and other commitments that prevent them from attending classes during regular hours. Almost 20 percent of all college students in the United States took an online course in 2006; the popularity of online sources has surely increased since then.

Despite extensive financial aid opportunities available for students enrolling in online courses, it’s unclear if that path to higher education is the smartest one. Employers often don’t trust degrees earned from online colleges. This tends to be true whether the programs are legitimate or not. [Image via]

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer