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May 5, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

According to a recent state report from the Board of Governors, more women than men take only online courses in Florida. 

Sixty-five percent of undergraduate students who took only online courses in 2016-2017 were women, who comprise 56 percent of the overall undergraduate student body.

The report said, “The higher percentage of females enrolled in only distance-learning courses is consistent with national data that show that females are more likely to be caregivers, which leaves them place-bound. Distance-learning courses provide an opportunity for those who are place bound with family or job responsibilities to obtain an education."

An article published by the News Service of Florida highlights the experience of Lucy Golden, a student at the University of West Florida, who took online courses to get her bachelor's degree last fall. 

She said, "The online format was perfect because I could work it around my schedule.My twins were still teenagers, 13 or 14 and not driving, so I had to drive them around, take them to places —- to the ROTC program and games. It worked really well —- that was the beauty of it. I loved being able to do my classwork whenever I wanted. It doesn’t matter whether I was up night or day, I could get to it.” 

Prior to finishing her degree, she worked as a registered nurse. She currently works as a psychiatric mental health care nurse at the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Florida--a national leader in online learning--boasts 174,183 students currently enrolled in online classes as of 2016. 

If they were undergraduates, they were more likely to earn their degrees faster than those who did not take courses online. 

Learn more about online learning

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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