Why Are Adult Students Enrolling at Your Institution?
Chances are they’re enrolling at higher rates than ever before. Do you know why? The reasons have shifted in the last 10 years.
Scott Jeffe, Director at Aslanian Market Research (the leader in adult student research), recently shared Aslanian’s findings from their annual survey, Understanding the Adult Student Enrollment Decision, at Converge 2015.
Some key findings in the last five years:
- Age no longer predicts learning patterns.
- All ages and backgrounds study all the time in all ways.
- Traditional, not-for-profit colleges have entered the online market in a big way, branching out to new regions of the nation previously not available to them.
- For-profit market share has declined significantly with some institutions closing their doors.
So why are adult students enrolling in your institution? Scott shared five key factors to keep in mind as you are recruiting this increasingly important segment.
1. Career changers are THE driving factor.
There’s usually a trigger event in their lives that initiated the move. Keep in mind that most adult students come in with some career credentials already. They are looking to round out their experience with new skills or an advanced degree.
2. There is now a mass availability of options available.
More schools that are driving distance from yours are also offering options to this important market. So not only are you competing with more schools, you are also competing with everything else going on in their lives.
3. Cost is paramount.
Cost is driving decision making both directly and indirectly. Discounts are still attractive. A majority of the students surveyed would rather receive a discount or a scholarship than lower tuition.
4. Flexibility versus time to complete.
Although “time to degree” is still important, most surveyed would choose flexibility over time to complete.
5. There is no silver bullet.
Adults or post-traditional students are choosing formats that fit best their lives. The old thinking that an online degree is inferior is no longer the case.
Ready for more tips for recruiting adult students? Register for Converge 2017 and save with early bird pricing.