A Celebration of Distance Learners: Who Are StraighterLine Students?

A Celebration of Distance Learners: Who Are StraighterLine Students?
Beth Dumbauld

November 7th-11th is National Distance Learning Week, and we are proud to celebrate all of our amazing students!

Behind every StraighterLine student is a story; behind every story is a dream. And our students prove, time and again, that we all have what it takes to set another goal or dream a new dream.

At StraighterLine, we’re proud to enable and celebrate distance learners every single day. From all 50 states, and throughout the world, our successful online students share many important qualities, including motivation, determination, and a desire to flexibly and affordably earn a college degree.

Want to see how it works? Take two free lessons on us today!

The Solution to the Cost of College

By enrolling in our low-cost online courses, StraighterLine students are able to pursue their career and degree goals no matter where they work or live. To date, we have saved college students over 120 million dollars*. We’re truly honored to provide an affordable degree pathway to so many distance learners.

This past year, thousands of students have enrolled in at least one StraighterLine course, and have enjoyed easy credit transfer to our over 100+ accredited partner colleges and beyond.

Since all StraighterLine courses have been reviewed by the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT), our courses are considered by more than 2,000 other colleges and universities for transfer to their degree programs upon request. At StraighterLine, we are all about student success and college affordability.

So whether you are starting, or restarting your college degree, whether you are completing one course with us or ten--we’re pleased to share a little insight about you, our truly inspirational students.

Who are StraighterLine students?

  • At StraighterLine, according to student reported data, we have more female than male students: 60% (female); 40% (male). Nationally, according to the most recent Dept. of Education data, women account for 55% of all undergraduates currently enrolled at 4-year colleges in the U.S.
  • The majority of our students are financially independent adults (73%), though a sizable portion of our students are still financially dependent (27%). Nationally, according to the Georgetown University’s Working While Earning Report, “more people are working full-time while in college. About 40% of undergrads and 76% of grad students work at least 30 hours a week. About 25% of all working learners are simultaneously employed full-time and enrolled in college full-time.“
  • More than half of StraighterLine students have children (52%). In fact, 16% of our students report having 3 or more children. According to the Georgetown University report, 19% of all working learners have children.
  • A sizable minority of our students are military members taking advantage of online education: 12% of our students are either military veterans or active duty currently. According to federal data, both undergraduate and graduate military students participate in online education at higher rates than their nonmilitary peers. 18% of military undergraduates took all their classes online.
  • Another notable percentage of our students are international, with 7% of our students taking courses while living outside the United States.

These numbers tell only a very small part of our students’ stories. After all, there’s nothing small about going back to college. Below, we’ve shared stories of real student success -- distance learners who achieved their degree goals with online courses.

StraighterLine Student Story: The Working Mom

Sheila Ann Jordan has worked full time for five years training children’s behavioral health service providers. She first went to college right after high school--29 years ago--the first in her family to do so. “My goal was to ultimately earn my MBA,” said Sheila. Life, however, got in the way of completing her degree.

She had two daughters and began working full-time in a career that made a difference in children’s lives. “I’ve been very fortunate and blessed,” said Sheila, “Yet I always saw earning my degree as a stepping stone to even bigger goals.” Thanks to StraighterLine, Sheila was able to affordably earn the college credit she needed to complete her degree.

StraighterLine Student Story: The Career Changer

Wayne Brown had already earned his associate degree in 2006, but wanted to earn his bachelor’s degree in order to expand career opportunities after retirement from his current job in law enforcement. He started doing some research, and began looking into transfer-friendly degree program options online. He found exactly what he was looking for with StraighterLine partner college, Liberty University Online.

According to Wayne, “things were going great” at Liberty and, about halfway through his degree program, he realized that if he could finish one more course, English Composition II (3 credits), at an accelerated rate, in addition to his regular course load, he would be able to graduate at an accelerated rate.

StraighterLine Student Story: The Software Developer and First Time Student

Kevin Linn has been working in IT full time in the medical technology field for over 6 years. He loves technology and programming, but as he gained more and more work experience, he found himself ready to dive deeper into coding. “I went about as far as you can with a high school degree, and I knew that in order to reach my career goals, I’d need to go back to school,” said Kevin.

As a working father, Kevin determined that enrolling in an affordable competency-based online degree program would be the best possible move to take his career to the next level. He used his StraighterLine courses to complete the prerequisites he needed to start his Bachelor’s of Science in Software Development at Western Governors.

StraighterLine Student Story: The Teacher Pursuing a Master’s Degree

Jenna Rygol had been working in human resources for over 15 years before she “got the opportunity to be laid off.” Jenna, a working mom, intentionally uses the word “opportunity” because she chose to view her downsizing as a great chance to decide, as an adult, what she really wanted to do. And what she really wanted to do was become a teacher.

Though Jenna had earned her previous degree at a brick-and-mortar school, she knew she wanted to enroll in something online. Before she could officially enroll in WGU’s Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education, Sheila completed several prerequisites, including required humanities and history courses, through StraighterLine.

At StraighterLine, we recognize a college degree is life changing. We are proud to help make yours more affordable. 

Not sure where to start? Get your free personalized degree plan today!

*Total StraighterLine savings is compared to the average, in-state, published tuition and fees at a public four year college plus the average amount of contribution paid by state and local taxpayers. For 2014 - 2015, the average published tuition and fees is $9140 which represents an average of 47% of a public institution's revenue. Source: College Board and State Higher Education Executive Officers.

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