EPI's weekly illustration of education data trends — September 20, 2018

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How Old Are College Students? (2015)


Using data from the Beginning Postsecondary Student (BPS) study, today's EPIGraph illustrates the age of all college students regardless of full-time, part-time status in higher education as of December 31, 2015. As illustrated below, half (49.6 percent) of all college students are between the ages of 19 and 23 years of age. Forty-one percent are 24 or older and 9.3 percent are 18 or younger.

By sector, we find that public four-year students tend to be the youngest, with 71 percent 23 or younger, compared to 67 percent for private, four-year nonprofits, and 51 percent at two-year publics. Thus, that latter group is the oldest group. Twenty-one percent of community college students are between the ages of 24 and 29, and another 28 percent are 30 or older.

For four-year institutions, traditional age students between the ages of 18 and 23 are still the norm, and community college students tend to be older.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2011-12 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study, First Follow-up (BPS:12/14). Analysis by EPI.



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