As the American economy shifts, the value of education is becoming more important than ever. Here’s the fact of the matter: succeeding in our rapidly changing and increasingly automated economy means more Americans will require higher education to prepare our workforce.

To prepare, America’s colleges are overflowing with students attempting to adapt to our new economy as quickly as automation eliminates low-skilled jobs. Because of that, the “typical” college student today looks a lot different than you would expect.

Here are just a few things you might not know about America’s modern college students.

  • 28% of students have children
  • 68% of students work, at least part time
  • 1/4 of students are over the age of 30
  • 25% of students are enrolled in at least 1 online course
  • 1/20 community college students will graduate in two years
  • 1/3 of 4 year college students will graduate in 4 years


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Graduate from high school, then look forward to four years of full-time college education. Right? Wrong. These days, there’s no such thing as a ‘typical’ college student.

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As American students continue their education in a changing economy, it has become clear that education will need to adjust right along with them.

It’s time to start a new national conversation about the goals of postsecondary education and the services provided to the “typical” student to make our education system work for every American in our growing economy.

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