Posted on November 16, 2016 • Category: Education
A new report from National Public Radio (NPR) estimates that college students 30 years and older now represent one quarter of all student enrollment in 2- and 4- year institutions.
nprED, Sept. 25, 2016
Job losses caused by the great recession and a changing economy are causing more adults to return to school for more education and training. They may have lost a job that’s not coming back or feel trapped in low-wage employment with little opportunity for advancement. While this is not a new trend, the rapid growth of online education is giving older students more access.
Why Does Arizona Look Different?
We are one of only a handful of states that have seen enrollment in our three public universities increase significantly over the last few years. The state also offers one of the largest community college systems in the nation as well as a number of large online programs (e.g., University of Phoenix, Grand Canyon University, Argosy University Online and ASU Online).
When the state’s large online providers are eliminated from enrollment numbers, Arizona looks a lot more like the nation, but still ahead of the curve.
A More Significant Change
The shift from full-time (FT) to part-time (PT) enrollment in the nation’s 2- and 4-year institutions is having an even greater impact. FT enrollment among 18 to 19-year old students has slowly declined since 1970. They now include only 25% of overall FT enrollment.
The Challenge for Higher Education
|15%||Traditional students (18-24) represent 15% of current undergraduates who live on campus at 4-year colleges.
Post-traditional Learners and the Transformation of Postsecondary Education: A Manifesto for College Leaders
Louis Soares, American Council on Education, March 15, 2016