Marketing to Adult Students

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Increasingly, academic leaders are becoming aware that the traditional, 18-year-old high school graduate enrolling as a freshman at a four-year institution is a shrinking demographic. According to data from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES):

  • Three-fourths of today's college students are nontraditional
  • 49 percent are enrolled part-time
  • 38 percent work full-time
  • 27 percent have dependents of their own at home

As colleges and universities strive to enroll more of the growing adult student market, they face significant challenges: at most four-year institutions, the website, marketing messages, and the academic experience those messages promote are tailored to the needs of traditional-aged, high-school graduates.

We turned to Bob Sevier, senior vice president of strategy at STAMATS, for his insights on factors in college choice for adult students, and where colleges can see gains in marketing to adults.


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