Arizona State University Projects Big Numbers for ASU Online

Among brick-and-mortar schools shifting toward online education, Arizona State University has big goals. Officials there project that online course enrollment at the school will increase by 30,000 students by 2020, putting nearly a quarter of its students online within the decade. In the 2011 fiscal year, ASU Online generated an estimated $6.2 million in profit, the school reported to The Arizona Republic. The school benefits from higher enrollment without new building and maintenance costs, and students benefit from the flexibility of attending school on their own schedule.

Brett Chappell, a 43-year-old divorced father of three, has the option to pause online lectures at home when he receives a business call. "I have an opportunity to kick-start my life and start over," Chappell told The Arizona Republic.

In addition to online lectures, students at ASU Online are required to participate in discussion boards. Students communicate with their professors through e-mail, online chats and telephone, and some larger classes feature teaching assistants. The average age of students at ASU Online is 33, and the majority of students are female and married with some college experience. Viki Zulkoski, a stay-at-home mom from Connecticut who now lives in Singapore, fits the student profile. "I 'attend' school and then have a full day to myself," she told The Republic.

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