Older Students Increasing in Numbers

Keeping up with national trends, a new blog post has surfaced about the increase in older students. As graduation rates remain stagnant, and the country pushes towards increasing degree attainment, older students are one of the biggest factors in raising the numbers.

According to the National Center for Education, between 1995 and 2006, the enrollment of students over age 25 rose by 13 percent. Its 2007 statistics indicated that over 40 percent of the 16 million U.S. college students were over age 25. 2010 statistics from the U.S. Department of Education reveal that approximately 5 million, or 25 percent, of college students nationwide are over age 30.

Many middle aged Americans have been the victim of the recession, layoffs, and corporate downsizing. Many have turned to taking college courses as a way to learn new skills, have a career change, or get an advanced degree. Some see it as a way to reinvent themselves.

We see adults return for various reasons. Sometimes they want to change their lot in life. Sometimes they want to earn something they stopped earning a long time ago. Sometimes they want to change their career.

But the blog points out:

The advent of online or distance learning has also made it easier and more convenient for older students to go back to college. Most major public and private four year universities now offer courses online…

As the status of education changes, so does the modes we offer education in, molding it to fit our growing populations. Hopefully this trend will continue and offer the many necessities for the adult learner: Online and accelerated learning, PLA credit acceptance, and specific support services.

See the full piece here.


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