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How today’s “traditional” students see higher education opportunities


The “traditional college student” of today bears little resemblance to students of the past, who were typically recent high school graduates, dependent on family support, and going to school full-time. In fact, research shows only 16 percent of today’s college-going population fits this description.

Instead, today’s “traditional college student” is older. She’s returning to school, raising a family, and struggling to make ends meet. He’s independent, maintaining a full-time job, and navigating a system still designed with the students from the past in mind.

Public Agenda, a grantee partner of our Education Program, recently talked to these students in focus groups and produced three new, short videos that illuminate how they see higher education opportunities, what they struggle with, and what they look for in a school.