Today’s College Students

Today, America’s college students come from all backgrounds — many work, many have children, and nearly half are non-white. But higher education institutions in America don’t always reflect the needs of a more diverse population.

If we’re to help more Americans achieve their dreams, we need to better understand who these students are and what they need to succeed.


Diverse
Students

Students of color are coming to college in increasing numbers — but these students aren’t as likely as white students to receive certificates and degrees. Closing these gaps is necessary to reduce income disparities and meet America’s workforce needs.

42%

of students are non-white


Older
Students

Many students don’t attend college immediately after high school, and instead return years later. These students, most of whom have work and family obligations, need flexible and affordable programs that offer credit for what they’ve already mastered and support for what they haven’t.

40%

of students are 25 or older


Working
Students

Some students need to work part- or full-time to pay for their education; others are already in the workforce and are looking for a career change. Working students need flexibility so they can study at their own pace and on their own schedule.

62%

of students work