Opsimaths: Demographics and Psychographics

Goals

To obtain information about opsimaths (otherwise known as nontraditional students, adult learners, or later learners), including their demographic and psychographic profile. This research would be used to create messages or strategies that resonate with such people and are relevant to their situation.

Early Findings

  • According to a Maryville University article, there was an evident increase in the number of adult students who enrolled in college programs across the US between 2008 and 2018.
  • This trend began with the major financial crisis in 2008, which led to widespread job losses. During that period, "many people realized that they needed further education to improve their chances of landing employment." Although the economy improved after 2008, adult enrollment continued to grow.
  • Top reasons for the increase in adult students' enrollment include increasing competition from younger employees, ease of access to education, and job dissatisfaction.
  • According to the Lumina Foundation, 38% of undergraduates are older than 25 years, while 26% are raising families while enrolled in college.
  • Students of color are more likely to be balancing college education with work or parenting responsibilities.
  • According to Higher Ed Connects, over 47% of people entering college are more than 25 years old; 40 percent of those students are over 35 years.

Proposed next steps:

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