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29% of Undergrads are Traditional Students: Market Accordingly!

It’s last week’s news, but I still can’t get over it! Only 29% of college undergraduates are traditional students. That’s right, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education as reported in the Wall Street Journal, just a fraction of the country’s 18 million college students are 18-22 year olds attending four-year, non-profit institutions on a full-time basis. (The graph below shows more of the breakdown.)
This number should make campus administrators take note. After all, the data has serious implications for how colleges and universities market themselves, communicate their strengths, recruit students and faculty, and retain donors. It also provides a window into the future of higher education. With MOOCs on the scene, continued rising costs for the “traditional” undergraduate experience, and other new trends, even fewer students could be considered traditional a few years down the road. And that would call for big changes in messaging and imagery on college websites, mailers, advertisements, media stories, etc.
If you didn’t see the Wall Street Journal story that explains this startling statistic (and provides many more) you can read it here: Number of the Week: ‘Non-Traditional’ Students Are Majority on College Campuses. Thanks to Eric Sickler at Stamats for sharing the story with TVP Communications!