Colleges want to know their markets, and academic research tells them there are six types of college students they must appeal to.
Perhaps if you know which type of college student you are, it will help you choose which college will best appeal to you. Here are the six types of college students:
• Young Academics (24%) –These students usually graduate in the top 5% of their high school class, come from higher incomes, and will likely pursue graduate school.
• Career Starters (18%) – These students are also strong academically, but they are looking to start a career right after graduating from college.
• Coming-of Age Students (11%) – These students will wait to declare their majors, are less-academically motivated, and are looking for a college experience.
• Career Accelerators (21%) – These are working adults who wish to climb the ladder in their jobs. They want to attend college part-time and may have tuition reimbursement.
• Industry Switchers (18%) – These people want to change careers. They may be in financial difficulty or be unemployed.
• Adult Wanderers (8%) – Such nontraditional students may already have some college experience, but they tend to come from lower incomes. They have no defined career path.
If you fall into one of these groups, here are some things to look for in a college to help meet your expectations.
If you are a Young Academic, you want a college with a specific and well-developed major or academic program. You should also look for qualified professors who are doing research and for research opportunities for yourself.
If you are a Career Starter, you should be less interested in a liberal arts college. The college you enroll in should have good career services and a good job placement rate.
If you are a Coming-of-Age Student, the best college for you is one with a good residential-life program, college sports teams, and opportunities for a strong social life. A broader range of academic programing should also work best for you.
If you are a Career Accelerator, you want flexible scheduling with online classes and self-paced courses. The college you attend should transfer credits easily and perhaps allow credit for work or out-of-class experience.
If you are an Industry Switcher, you want to attend a college that has connections with the labor market, good job placement ratings, and flexible scheduling for course work. You may also need a college conveniently located near you and one with low tuition costs.
If you are an Adult Wanderer, your college is also be a low tuition school and have broad programing. Counseling in both career and life goals would also be accommodating.
Knowing what you want helps you choose the right college for you, and if colleges are molding themselves more and more to these groups of students, all this information helps you find the best college fit.