Adults are Heading Back to School at Historic Rates

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Four out of 10 college students are 25 or older: The adult learning market is one of the fastest growing segments of higher education. In fact, today only a little more than 16% of the higher education population in the United States are traditional 18 to 22 year olds, according to Eduventures, the leading research and consulting firm for the education industry.

The adult learning market is one of the fastest growing segments of higher education. In fact, today only a little more than 16% of the higher education population in the United States are traditional 18 to 22 year olds, according to Eduventures, the leading research and consulting firm for the education industry.

"Those college students you picture in your mind, you may have to put a few more gray hairs on their heads," said Lori Mitchell with UCEAdirectory.org. "Right now, nearly 40% of all students enrolled in degree-granting institutions are 25 years old or older."

Leading by Example

Steven Moore, a 36-year-old father of three, returned to college after what he calls a "perfect storm" of circumstances, all converging at the same time. He was unhappy in a sales career and wanted more out of life. Moore decided to go back to school to get his college degree in preparation for law school. His first choice, The George Washington University, accepted him. Moore moved his family from San Antonio, Texas to the Washington, DC area, where he has now lived for a little more than a year. "For the first time in years, I feel like I am right where I am supposed to be," said Moore.

Patricia Agnew, a 45-year-old mother, returned to school to challenge herself. She also wanted to show her only child the importance of an education. Agnew graduated in 2005 from Washington University in St. Louis, with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She says the best part of getting a degree is the feeling of success and accomplishment. For Agnew, the hardest part was being away from her daughter. She credits her family and friends for helping keep her eye on the prize. "With a lot of faith and determination, it can be done," continued Agnew. "It's all about balance, time management, and determining your priorities."

John Boomhover, a 36-year-old business man, returned to college to make sure his goals become reality. "My goal is to be an executive officer of a company," says the Champlain College MBA grad student. "I want to be able to help lead a company and make decisions that will improve it and the lives of the people who work for it." Boomhover says getting an MBA allows him to learn and apply news schools of thought on a higher level. "It will provide me with the skills to analyze business trends and data in order to make the right decision," continued Boomhover.

Online Resources

As adults like Moore, Agnew and Boomhover consider their options, they are beginning their search online through search engines and education portals. One such portal is UCEAdirectory.org, a service of the University Continuing Education Association (UCEA), one of the oldest college organizations in the U.S. UCEAdirectory.org is a free, objective resource to help adults go back to school by:

  •     Finding an accredited university and program.
  •     Being inspired by stories from other adults who have gone back to school.
  •     Reading original articles offering helpful information and advice.
  •     Identifying the best options to balance work and life --online or on campus.

"Going back to school is a big decision," continued Mitchell. "And UCEAdirectory.org leverages the history and connections with accredited colleges and universities that offer some of the best continuing and professional education in the country."

About UCEAdirectory.org

UCEAdirectory.org successfully connects learners to continuing education programs from trusted universities and colleges - whether online, face-to-face, or a combination of the two. Potential students can search the website by subject matter, location, and mode of instruction (online or classroom), easily identifying the best options for meeting their academic needs. UCEAdirectory.org is limited to higher education institutions that are fully accredited and members of UCEA. For more information on UCEAdirectory.org, visit http://www.uceadirectory.org/.

EDITORS NOTE: UCEAdirectory.org can provide you with contact information for adults who have gone back to school and who are available for interviews to offer advice on making this transition.

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