The trends in on-line education show twice over the benefits of being first to market. Five years ago, the top ten providers of on-line education were all for-profit companies. Two years ago, the five fastest growing providers of on-line higher education were all not-for-profit universities, led by SNHU which has seen a remarkable 400% growth in enrollment. The most interesting statistic is that only 5% of all institutions provide nearly 50% of the distance education in our country. Success at places like SNHU and the concentration of providers shows that early movers among traditional institutions have benefited from the decision to offer on-line courses.
While overall enrollment in higher education has fallen in the past three years, the number of students taking classes at a distance has continued to grow, a new report shows. In 2015, more than six million students — nearly 30 percent of college students — took at least one course online. Nearly half of those students took courses exclusively online. The report, Digital Learning Compass: Digital Education Enrollment Report 2017,also documents the shifting patterns of online enrollment — away from for-profit colleges and toward private nonprofit institutions.