Using registration and transcript data, the authors explored differences in online course enrollment across different student groups. This study revealed that minority students do not enroll in online courses to the same extent as their White student peers, but the effect size for the difference in participation rates was small. However, the actual difference between minority students online vs. face-to-face enrollment was five percentage points, a difference equivalent to about 150 minority students per year, given the College's current enrollment rates, so the impact of this small difference is not insignificant. An even greater issue is that Black and Hispanic students, regardless of the course delivery medium, continue to have lower G.P.A. s than their White and Asian/Pacific Islander (PI) student peers. This finding reinforces prior research that suggests Black and Hispanic student groups need additional support in order to be successful in college, and that greater recruitment efforts for online courses are needed for all minority groups. Prior research has also shown that students who enroll in online courses at the college have higher G.P.A.'s than students who enroll in face-to-face courses; however, this study reveals a notable exception to this pattern. Black, Hispanic and White students who select online courses are better prepared (as denoted by G.P.A.) than students who select face-to-face courses, suggesting that the weaker students in these groups are influenced by academic experience in their decision not to enroll in online classes. Among Asian/PI students, however, there is no significant difference between students who select face to face versus online courses, suggesting that there are differences in the factors that determine online enrollment in this group compared to others. This leaves open some important questions about online enrollment and its relationship to student G.P.A. among different ethnic groups. In this case, why are Asian/PI students with higher G.P.A.'s choosing not to register for online courses at the same rate as students from other ethnic groups?
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