First Report Card Shows StraighterLine Courses Earn "A" for Effectiveness

First Report Card Shows StraighterLine Courses Earn

4 minute read

For Immediate Release BALTIMORE, MD – Introductory college courses offered online for just $99 a month may be a more effective start on a college degree for students than those offered for thousands by colleges and universities. That is one of the key findings of an independent study conducted by Hezel Associates in which it surveyed the alumni of innovative online college course provider StraighterLine. The key findings of the survey reveal:

  • Over 90% who sought college credit for completed StraighterLine coursework were successful.
  • Nearly 90% are enrolled in a degree program now or have successfully completed one.
  • Over 70% who completed a StraighterLine course felt it made them more likely to complete college.
  • Well over 90% would recommend the program to a friend (among those who successfully completed).

StraighterLine vs. Online Courses offered by Traditional Colleges and Universities

Respondents who had also earned college credit through an online course offered by a college or university were asked to compare that experience to StraighterLine on a number of measures. StraighterLine courses were found to be:

  • Equally or more rigorous (79% indicated StraighterLine courses more or equally academically rigorous)
  • More convenient (72% indicated StraighterLine more convenient)
  • More affordable (73% indicated StraighterLine courses cost less)
  • Greater overall satisfaction (majority more satisfied with StraighterLine courses; 90% more or equally satisfied)

Similarly, respondents who had earned college credit through other typical means, including through courses offered at a four-year college or university or at a community college, were asked to compare that experience to StraighterLine. Again, results show StraighterLine compares favorably across all four dimensions of evaluation. A complete copy of the final results is available at

“This study confirms our belief that online courses can be vastly cheaper and more convenient without suffering any reduction in student satisfaction or academic rigor,” says Burck Smith, CEO of StraighterLine. “With low-prices and little financial risk for the student, StraighterLine is a terrific on-ramp for college.”

About the survey Hezel Associates invited to participate in the survey all students who had either successfully or unsuccessfully completed a StraighterLine course since the company’s inception to June 6, 2011. There was an 11.5% response rate during the data collection period. About Hezel Associates Engaged by StraighterLine to provide an independent study of student experiences, Hezel Associates has investigated promising new education practices, technology- and media-assisted learning and tested market opportunities for higher education institutions for more than 20 years.  From innovations in online learning to continuing education, Hezel Associates delivers research results that inform strategic decision-making and enables learning organizations to create, manage and improve the learning experience with the intelligence.  Additional information regarding Hezel Associates is available online at About StraighterLine StraighterLine has been recognized as a revolutionizing force in education bymajor news organizations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for offering students online courses that earn real college credit for just $99 a monthFast Company named StraighterLine one of the “10 Most Innovative Companies in Education” and our students love us. In order to facilitate the award of credit, StraighterLine has forged partnerships with leading accredited online colleges and universities.  A student ultimately earns a degree from those institutions but realizes tremendous savings and convenience by starting with StraighterLine. StraighterLine’s courses are evaluated and recommended by the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT).  In addition to the institutions with which StraighterLine has a direct relationship, more than 150 other schools are reported to have accepted StraighterLine coursework for transfer credit. Compared to online courses from a typical college or university, StraighterLine’s courses have been found to offer equal academic rigor but with more affordability, convenience and student satisfaction.  Students earn real college credit and see StraighterLine courses help them complete a degree. Currently, StraighterLine offers 23 entry-level college courses online in the Sciences, Humanities, English, Math and Business.  An additional 15 college courses will be available during the 2011 back to school season. For information, visit or call 1-877-str8erline (1-877-787-8375). ###

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