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Students take online classes to save gas

July 11, 2008 at 12:47 PM

NEW YORK, July 11 (UPI) -- Thousands of U.S. college students are taking online courses to avoid driving to and from campus as fuel prices spike across the country.

"Gas prices have pushed people over the edge," said Georglyn Davidson, director of online learning at Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Penn.

The number of students taking online classes at Bucks County Community College has gone up 35 percent this summer compared to last year, The New York Times reported Friday.

College officials in Massachusetts, Florida, Texas and Oregon also said online enrollment is on the rise this summer, with class sizes doubling in some cases.

Two-year colleges are experiencing the most significant increase in online enrollment because most students attending such schools commute from home, the Times said.

School officials have predicted online enrollment will continue to increase because of $4-a-gallon gasoline prices.

"There was broad agreement that gas price increases will be a source of continued growth in online enrollments," said David Gray, chief executive of UMass Online at the University of Massachusetts.

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