Friday, June 20, 2008

Rising gas prices equals rising interest in online courses

Fri Jun 13, 9:40 AM ET YaHoo News

Due to rising gas prices, online degree programs and distance learning options are skyrocketing according to a recent survey by Of those surveyed, 60 percent cited the high cost of gas as the reason for their interest in the internet education alternative.

(PRWEB) June 5, 2008 --, a website focusing on online degree programs and distance learning education, had 38 percent more visitors during April-May 2008 compared to February-March 2008, after adjusting for seasonal differences. In an informal survey of site visitors, the #1 reason for being interested in an online degree was “higher gas prices,” cited by 60 percent of those responding in May 2008. Other reasons given were convenience, parking, scheduling, babysitting and the cost of classes (

In a comparable 2007 survey of visitors to, the number 1 reason for interest in an online degree was “convenience,” with gas prices not even mentioned when the top five reasons were compiled. The surveys used a fill-in-the-blanks format rather than multiple choice, to increase the reliability of respondents’ answers.

“Gas is costing people upwards of $1000 a month,” says Sheila Danzig, who runs the site. “And students are the last group who can afford that. Taking classes at home and other distance learning options allow students to avoid spending limited funds on gas and to have more time for a part-time job that helps pay the tuition bill. For the adult learner, online degree programs provide a perfect answer to a scarcity of time and resources, particularly for those who also work and have a family.”

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