Study Reveals that Course Rigor and College Credit Draws Students to StraighterLine

Study Reveals that Course Rigor and College Credit Draws Students to StraighterLine

4 minute read

Baltimore, MD, August 27, 2012 – An independent study by Hezel Associates reveals two key factors motivating students to take college-level courses through StraighterLine. Students find that the high degree of academic rigor and their ability to fulfill pre-requisite course requirements for college credit are driving factors in their selection of StraighterLine as an educational option. The announcement was made by Burck Smith, founder and CEO, StraighterLine, which for a second straight year engaged Hezel Associates to develop, execute and analyze a study of the StraighterLine student population. The study’s purpose is to help StraighterLine better understand the level of student satisfaction with the online course experience. Among the key elements of the survey and for the second consecutive year, more than 9 in 10 StraighterLine students (91%) indicated they would recommend the program to a friend, with the percentage even higher among those who successfully completed a course. Also for the second consecutive year, respondents who had earned college credit through other means were asked to compare that experience to StraighterLine on a number of measures. Among that sub-group, StraighterLine courses were found to be more or equally academically rigorous by the vast majority of students who had taken a prior learning assessment (PLA) (96%), non-university courses (96%), online university or college courses (91%), or brick and mortar community college courses (87%). According to the survey nearly 95% of StraighterLine students who sought and applied for college-level credit for their StraighterLine courses were successful. “It’s gratifying to see how affordable college credit has been embraced by the StraighterLine student population and recognized by over 300 colleges,” said Burck Smith, CEO of StraighterLine. “Self-paced, pay-as-you-go college-level courses may sound like a pipe dream, but they are a very real benefit to thousands of students today, and an exponentially greater number in the future.” Seventy-two percent of survey respondents report that fulfilling a pre-requisite course requirement is a reason of “high importance” for enrolling in a StraighterLine course. Other key findings include :
  • 88% of StraighterLine students cite convenience as a reason of “high importance” for their enrollment, and they consistently find StraighterLine courses to be more convenient than alternatives, with 81% finding StraighterLine to be more convenient than community colleges, 76% discovering more StraighterLine convenience than with four-year colleges or universities, and 70% viewing StraighterLine with greater convenience than online college or university courses.
  • 83% of StraighterLine students attach “high importance” to enrolling in a course because they believe they will save money. Their experience bears that out, with StraighterLine rating favorably in most cost comparisons. Majorities report that StraighterLine is less expensive than a four-school school (75%), online courses through colleges or universities (61%) and community college courses (53%).
A complete copy of the report is available at About the survey Hezel Associates conducted an online survey from June 19 – July 9, 2012 and targeted StraighterLine students who had either successfully or unsuccessfully completed a StraighterLine course by June 6, 2012. There was an 11.8% response rate during the data collection period. About Hezel Associates 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 by major news organizations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for offering students online courses that earn real college credit for just $99 a month. Fast Company named StraighterLine one of the “10 Most Innovative Companies in Education.” 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 250 other schools are reported to have accepted StraighterLine coursework for transfer credit. Currently, StraighterLine offers 38 entry-level college courses online in the Sciences, Humanities, English, Math and Business. 5 StraighterLine courses have been approved by The College Board to be listed as AP courses: AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, AP English Language and Composition, AP Calculus AB and AP Psychology. And dozens of StraighterLine courses cover the same subject areas as CLEP exams, making them acceptable alternatives to or preparations for those tests. For information, visit or call 1-877-str8erline (1-877-787-8375).

« Back to Blog

Added To Cart

Your cart includes: