With regard to the current Fall school semester, some state and public universities have run out of scholarship money, others have raised tuition and a few have canceled classes due to lack of funding. The recent economic situation has forced many students to pay more for colleges that offer less.
Many of today’s college-aged adults are not only deciding where to go for school, but IF to go. With rising tuition during a tough financial time, many are choosing to look to trade schools, online degrees and other alternative options, such as reverse transfers (transferring from a four-year University to a Community College) as a means to gaining education and getting in the job market.
Another increasing trend, coined as the “gap year,” finds more and more students taking a year off after high school before they begin their college experience and volunteering/helping others while experiencing other cultures and societies. While more common in Britain and Australia, gap years are becoming more popular in the U.S., with many partakers citing “avoiding burnout” as their primary reason for doing so. And while these adventures can be just as expensive as college, many feel the benefits of a year away are advantageous and help a future student learn more about themselves and what they want in life before walking the college road.
What does this mean for us? Anytime there is a shift in consumer or societal behavior, we must be ready to meet the demands of change. Knowing that many are not experiencing the college years as you and I in the past, their needs, wants, perceptions and attitudes may be different and may cause us to alter our approaches and messages.
Just a lil’ factoid: In today’s weak job market, the unemployment rate for college graduates is less than 5%, about half the rate for those with only a high school diploma.
Source: U.S. News and World Report