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Student Connection: The Modern College Student

October 28, 2013

5740431883_bd812e8a5f_bWhen you think of the typical college student, what do you picture? Most likely, you imagine a late-teenager who went straight from high school to a four-year college, lives in the dorms, and has a lot of free time between classes for studying and/or video games. According to a recent article from The Washington Post, however, it’s time to re-evaluate what we deem “usual” characteristics for a college student. Here are a few facts from the article that help explain why:

  • Only about one-third of the 20 million American college students fit the “traditional” description (in other words, they haven’t delayed attending college, attend school full-time, work under 35 hours a week, aren’t financially independent, don’t support a family, aren’t parents, and earned a formal high school degree)
  • About 40 percent of college students are over 25
  • More than a third of students attend school part-time
  • Around 20 percent of students work full-time
  • About 40 percent of students attend community or for-profit colleges
  • The number of international students has increased by 35 percent between 2000 and 2012

As the definition of a college student changes, the ways in which schools and financial aid offices provide support need to change as well. Take a look at the original Washington Post article for more statistics and student stories.

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

Kristin Tobias, Communications Coordinator, Nelnet

(Photo courtesy of Flickr, S C C)

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