Students came from a number of different states.As the demand for professionals with degrees continues to grow, more adults are returning to school to finish their education and further their careers. Online colleges offer working professionals the schedule flexibility they need to earn higher degrees.

This weekend, Ashford University hosted graduation ceremonies for more than 700 students. The school, which has accredited online graduate and undergraduate programs, held the event at the Kehl Arena at the Durgin Educational Center for individuals from 48 different states. Ashfrord University has been in existence for 91 years, and this is the first ceremony hosted in honor of students who earned their degrees through solely online programs.

"Many of our students meet face-to-face for the first time at graduation," said Ashford University president, Jane McAuliffe. "Graduation ceremonies are a wonderful opportunity for graduates to come together to celebrate their higher education experience at Ashford University."

Almost 100 percent of the students at Ashford complete their education through web-based programs. Online college enrollment has surpassed traditional college enrollment by a 5-to-1 ratio as more companies specifically look to hire applicants with degrees.

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