Today's College Students: An Increasingly Diverse Population

StudentBridge Staff |Sep 01, 2017

Today's College Students More Diverse Than Ever:

Today's college student population is becoming more diverse than ever before. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has done a comprehensive investigation into who the population of college students are in today's world and have found that the college student population has changed rapidly over the last several decades. More and more "nontraditional" students are in our universities than ever before, yet many universities are still designed for students coming straight out of high school and who are proceeding on to attend 4-year universities to get degrees. This is cited by their foundation as the biggest problem colleges face today; as students become an increasingly diverse population colleges must change to address their ever-changing needs.

Colleges Must Change Their Approach:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's chief concern with colleges is that they must change their approach to education and make themselves more student-centered. Colleges must change to meet today's diverse demographic of college students by taking on a student-centered approach and putting the student first. That's the only way more students are going to be able to receive the education they need to improve their lives.

What is Different About Today's College Population?

To start off with the basics the most recent numbers released by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's comprehensive study shows that 56% of college students today are female while 44% are male. Many college students are also going back to school later in life as well as 1 in 5 or 20% of college students are aged 30+. For today's students, 40% are attending 2-year schools and 60% are attending 4-year universities.

Students who are attending college are also experiencing many different life circumstances than students in the past. Some of the observations released by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation observed that:

If colleges are not willing to adapt to this increasingly diverse group of students and the circumstances they are in they will find themselves alienating many potential learners. This makes "modernizing" education and helping to make it accessible for everyone more important than ever.

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