EducationDynamics Survey: Many Online Learners Never Seek Help Before Dropping Out

Survey Results Indicate an Opportunity for Schools to Play a More Active Role in Retaining Students

HOBOKEN, NJ--(Marketwire - January 6, 2009) - Among online students who dropped out of their degree or certificate programs, 40 percent failed to seek any help or resources before abandoning their programs, according to a recent EducationDynamics survey.

Conducted in November 2008 among nearly 150 respondents who visited EducationDynamics' Web properties and, the survey was designed to identify students' motivations for deserting their online degree or certificate programs. Financial challenges (41 percent) proved to be the main contributor to student attrition, followed by life events (32 percent), health issues (23 percent), lack of personal motivation (21 percent) and lack of faculty interaction (21 percent). Nearly half (47 percent) of students who dropped out did so even before completing one online course.

When asked to select the resources that online institutions could have provided to improve the online student experience, 53 percent craved more online student services and Web-based academic advising. Self-help, time management and organizational advice also ranked as coveted offerings among students who stopped out (46 percent).

"These survey results confirm the fact that schools can play a more active role in retaining students by identifying their key life issues, such as important personal events and financial issues, and creating compelling interactive content that addresses them," says Peter Tomassi, senior vice president of product development for the Enrollment and Retention Services Division of EducationDynamics.

The survey also captured the school-student communication methods students prefer, and new media avenues proved to be the most popular among respondents. Ninety percent of students preferred connecting with others online through discussion forums and social networking communities. "While students tend to drop out prior to utilizing retention resources, we believe they are generally interested in such assistance so long as services are available in convenient, easily accessible formats," adds Tomassi.

Overwhelmingly, online schools should be encouraged by the fact that of the students who dropped out, 71 percent plan to resume their online education within the next two years. Twenty-one percent of those who dropped out remain undecided about resuming their education and seven percent intended to enroll in a campus-based program.

To learn how online colleges and universities can take a more active role in retaining students through Web-based programs, contact Tracy Howe by phone at 201.377.3318 or via email.

About EducationDynamics

EducationDynamics, a portfolio company of Halyard Capital, is the leading marketing and information services company dedicated to helping higher education institutions find, enroll and retain students. Its content-rich and highly visible education websites, including,,,, and its more than 50 special interest microsites, make EducationDynamics the premier provider of qualified prospective students for colleges and universities. In addition, the company offers a full suite of Web-delivered services proven to drive enrollment growth and reduce student attrition. For more information, visit

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