Student Migration to Online Education: An Economic ModelReport as inadecuate

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Journal of Academic Administration in Higher Education, v9 n1 p19-28 Spr 2013

The popularity of distance education has increasingly led universities to consider expanding their online offerings. Remarkably few financial models have been presented for online courses, however, and fewer still have investigated the economic consequences of the migration, or cross-over, of students from traditional classes within the institution. The issue is critically important because small class sizes are widely recommended for online courses, and the available empirical data suggest that sizable and rising fractions of online enrollments are due to internal migration. This paper develops a simple model indicating the minimum proportions of online students who must be new registrants in order for online ventures to break even.

Descriptors: Distance Education, Online Courses, Economics, Models, Educational Finance, Migration, College Students, Enrollment

JW Press. P.O. Box 49, Martin, TN 38237. Tel: 731-587-4010; Fax: 731-588-0701; Web site:

Author: Eisenhauer, Joseph G.



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