And while the survey numbers were collected in 2007, Allen says the double-digit increases are continuing this year.
Amy Cottrell, one of Bolyard's online classmates, also said she couldn't take quit her full-time job at Highway Technologies in Phoenix for school, because without it she couldn't pay the tuition.
"I just have a lot of financial responsibilities," Cottrell said. "I don't have a choice. If I don't work full time I can't even afford to go to school."
Cottrell said she wouldn't be able to afford to travel to regular classes and work because it would cost too much to drive back and forth.
Online classes allow many people to learn from all over the country and in some cases go back to school without physically attending college while continuing to live their lives, said Patricia Feldman, ASU's vice provost of online and distance learning.
"Many students have gotten their education derailed along the line, not because they didn't want to complete, but because life happens," she said.
For many students, it was the economy that happened, leaving them looking for another way to learn at their own pace.
"Given the current economic conditions," Feldman said, online classes "allow students to pick up learning opportunities more so than they had planned before, [which makes] it a great opportunity for students."