One thing we’ve noticed is that grad students are often bifurcated into students recently out of undergrad (in their early/mid 20’s) and second career students that are typically 15-20 years older. This is one reason the average age of a Denver Seminary student is 32 years old.
This segment of “Adult Students” is getting more attention then they have in the past, including an article in the Wall Street Journal, for a couple of reasons:
- We’ve documented that older students are more vulnerable to high levels of student loan debt: Students over 31 years of age are significantly (almost 3x) more likely to borrow high levels of debt (over $50k)
- It’s a larger pool then we thought: Some 41% of students enrolled in higher education are 25 or older.
- 38% of these older students drop out in their first year. Students that borrow money then fail to earn their degree are among the biggest fatalities of the student loan programs.
Goldie Blumenstyk is a leading voice in this area. A couple of her resources to highlight: