Nearly two-thirds of all colleges and universities that deliver face-to-face instruction now also offer online courses, and last year's enrollment in these online courses was up nearly 20 percent over 2003 figures, according to the latest survey representing the state of online instruction at the nation's higher-education institutions.

"Growing by Degrees: Online Education in the United States, 2005" is the third in a series of annual surveys sponsored by the nonprofit Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and conducted by the Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C), a group dedicated to pursuing the benefits of online education. If the survey's findings are any indication, its

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