Who are Today’s Students?
Today’s students are more diverse than any previous generation of college students: they’re diverse in age, race, and income level. They’re more mobile and may not live on campus. Most participate in the workforce, either full-time or part-time. Work and family responsibilities beyond the classroom—whether that is on-campus or online—often compete with today’s students’ educational goals. Younger workers are changing jobs as many as four times by age 32, so lifelong learning and continuing education are fast-becoming the norm.
Despite the changing demographic realities, the federal role in supporting postsecondary education is largely the remnant of policies designed for a time when most students graduated high school and immediately went to a four-year or trade school. Federal policy needs to be updated to support a system that works for everyone, including today’s students – a system where postsecondary providers can deliver the skills and knowledge that employers seek, where programs are flexible and support student success, and all types of learning—on campus, online, competency-based, and more—are fully recognized.
Get up to speed on who today’s students really are with this “101: Today’s Students.”