Adult Learners

Adult Learners – Building for the Future

Today approximately 1/3 of college students are “adult learners,” meaning they’re 25 years old or older.

  • What does this mean for colleges, employers, families?
  • How did this trend start?
  • What role does the rising cost of tuition play in this evolution of the college student?
  • How important is a college degree to career success?

The Student Research Foundation explores these and other trends. College students are more complex to understand than anytime in the past few decades.  As fewer high school student go straight into college, complete a degree within four years, and take on more debt than any time in history it is important for today’s students to understand their educational and career options.

In part, these changes are driven by the increase in the real cost of higher education.  At the same time, research has shown that having a high-school degree, without any further preparation for employable skills, holds less potential than it once did for the opportunity of earning a living.

As a result, many people are pursuing a mix of work and education at varying times in life, with the goal of bettering their employment prospects.  The pathways for success, depending upon the area of work, can include formal higher education (community college, colleges/universities) and can also encompass a wide range of other options including credential and diploma programs, coding boot camps, tailored education and training within workplaces and many other models.  The rapidly changing workplace and 4th industrial revolution requires new, evolving skills, and also calls for people to be “lifelong learners.”

Your participation in the Adult Learners Survey will lead you to educational institutions and programs to help you take your next step in your career or educational plans.  We will share the results of this work, in summary, form and your responses will help other students achieve their goals.

Take our Adult Learners Survey!

The world of work and education is changing rapidly!

Many students today either didn’t start college directly from high school, or have returned at various points to continue their education. Your point of view on being an adult learner/returning student/part-time student, and your opinions about what the future holds will help shape future students’ educational and career experiences across the country.

This brief survey takes less than 3 minutes to complete. Your participation in the Adult Learner survey will lead you to educational institutions and programs to help you take the next step in your career or educational plans.

The results will be presented in summary (your individual responses will not be shared).  Your participating, insights and experiences will also help others achieve their educational goals.