College is no longer just for young adults. Adults of all ages are finding it easier to get their degrees with the help of online programs. Plus, as noted by the Education Dynamics Online College Students Report 2023, the COVID-19 pandemic largely normalized online learning for college students. Of the 19,140,689 students enrolled in U.S. institutions of higher education in 2021, roughly 30% were enrolled in online programs, and an additional 29% took part in some online courses.
Certain online programs are also designed to help working adults finish earning their bachelor’s degrees, facilitating the transfer of credit from previous collegiate or even work experience. For example, students applying to Lamar University’s online Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in University Studies degree program can transfer up to 90 credit hours from previously completed academic courses, technical credit or workplace experience.
The Number of Older Students Is on the Rise
The enrollment of older students in postsecondary education has been steadily increasing. Many adults return school by enrolling in online degree completion programs. Students often find online bachelor’s degree programs affordable and flexible, complementing the working adult’s busy lifestyle.
Older adults attend college for multiple reasons. Whether driven by a higher salary or by finding a job more aligned with one’s interests, starting a new career tops the list of reasons for attending online school, according to Education Dynamics. The next most common reason is increasing one’s salary in a current position. Clearly, the prospect of improved career opportunities is a primary motivation for online students of all ages.
How a Bachelor’s Degree Makes the Difference
Getting a bachelor’s degree can make a financial difference and help students seek employment. On average, adults holding a bachelor’s degree earned approximately $579 more each week in 2022 than those with only a high school diploma, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In addition, the unemployment rate for adults with only a high school diploma was 4% in 2022, compared to only 2.2% for adults with a bachelor’s degree.
However, the most rewarding aspect of completing an online bachelor’s degree program may be the satisfaction of earning a degree. Earning a bachelor’s degree can help you seek a promotion or start a new career. And with the increasing availability of online bachelor’s degree programs, going to college is not out of reach for the busy adult. It is never too late to return to school.
Learn more about Lamar University online Bachelor of Science in University Studies.