Online Isn’t Optional: Student Polling on Access to Internet and DevicesPublished May 2021
Based on polling data collected by New America and Third Way, Online Isn’t Optional: Student Polling on Access to Internet and Devices outlines which students are facing the gravest technological challenges, including the lack of reliable internet connection and the need to share devices with others in their household, both of which limit their ability to consistently participate in higher education. As one example of the inequities in barriers internet accessibility can pose, approximately 60 percent of Black and Latinx students, and students with a reported household income of less than $50,000 face significant cost in affording internet, while only 50 percent of White students or 47 percent of students with reported income of $50,000 – $100,000 so report.
Online Isn’t Optional: Student Polling on Access to Internet and Devices provides recommendations for institutional leaders and policymakers to ensure that students are able to connect, continue, and complete their education. Recommendations for institutions and the U.S. Department of Education include accounting for technology costs in financial aid and cost of attendance, collecting and publishing disaggregated data regarding student access to reliable internet and technology, and strengthening broadband and technology support for students.