Public Viewpoint: The Value of Online Education

Released July 29, 2020

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The COVID-19 crisis continues to touch nearly every aspect of American life, but the latest Strada Public Viewpoint research shows Americans’ interest in online learning will endure beyond the pandemic. This week’s findings reveal Americans’ perceptions of online education, from whether they feel they can learn effectively online to the value of online education in the job market.

The nationally representative Public Viewpoint survey, with more than 14,000 responses collected between March 25 and July 23, is intended to provide insights to the education and training providers, policymakers, employers, and individual Americans who are navigating the COVID-19 crisis. This week’s analysis integrates additional data from Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Surveys fielded between 2016 and 2020.

Three in 10 Americans say that even if COVID-19 was not a threat, they’d prefer an online-only learning option.

Recent graduates of programs at online institutions rate the value of their education higher than graduates of other four-year colleges.

Nearly half of women would choose an exclusively online option if they enrolled in the next six months.

Black Americans have the most confidence in the quality of online education.

Similar shares of Americans say online-only, hybrid, and
in-person education would be the best value for their money.