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Online University Consortium Surveys Concur with Latest Industry Report: Traditional Universities' Degree Programs Preferred 2:1 Over For-Profit Providers

April 21, 2004, Salt Lake City, UT - Surveys conducted by Online University Consortium indicate traditional universities remain the preferred choice for online education and degree programs. These findings were substantiated in a recent report by Eduventures, prompting the Consortium to help clarify the market by making its industry checklist available for public download at www.onlineuc.net. The list features seven important factors for choosing online education, and includes buyer preferences and recommendations for what to look for in quality degree programs.

Results from the Consortium's surveys of corporate decision-makers at industry events, such as the Society of Human Resources Management conference, suggest that when hiring and promoting, employers prefer candidates with degrees from traditional universities 2:1 over for-profit providers such as University of Phoenix.

Eduventures' recent market update reinforces the findings of the Consortium, stating that, "As the market matures, brand strength will increasingly favor non-profit institutions." According to the report, traditional universities command significant brand equity, and will threaten market share of for-profit businesses, because students identify them as a familiar provider from which they will choose an online program for traditional reasons.

"For-profit providers enjoyed an initial surge in popularity partly because of convenience," notes Greg Eisenbarth, the Consortium's Executive Director. "However, the market has shifted dramatically with the country's most respected universities now offering quality online degree programs for greater choice and flexibility."

" Industry reports, including our own studies, continue to confirm that traditional universities remain the trusted and valued choice," adds Eisenbarth. "They provide a balanced education backed by a reputation and quality that remain unattainable by for-profits. For most individuals and corporations choosing an online degree program, this is critical to making a successful decision."

Experts predict for-profits are at risk as they come under increased scrutiny by regulators for mediocre success rates of students. Accrediting bodies such as The Association of Advanced Collegiate Schools of Business agree. It has refused to accredit the business schools of several for-profits, citing the schools' inability to provide sound programs for quality education.

Along with the industry checklist, results from Online UC's initial preference studies can be reviewed at http://www.onlineuc.net/shrmstudy.html

A summary of Eduventures' report, "Online Distance Education Market Update: A Nascent Market Begins to Mature" is here.

About Online University Consortium
Online UC was founded by leading universities to help companies and employees secure quality online education, high return on investment and relevant degree programs from trusted institutions of higher education. For more information, call 435.649.2190 or visit www.onlineuc.net.