In one of the more fascinating and misunderstood contradictions of the U.S. education system, nearly half of our college students are only part-time. Some 12 million (also almost half) attend community colleges and 38 percent are also working full-time. Only 56 percent of students at four-year colleges actually get a degree within six years.
Those numbers from the National Center for Education Statistics portray a very different college going population, at a time when President Barack Obama is pushing to rachet up the number of graduates. That’s why The Hechinger Report is intrigued with a project that will start running next week in USA Today that takes a look at some of the country’s non-traditional students Clearly, they now outnumber the now outdated image of a more traditional student going off college, living in a dorm and graduating four years later.
These students are parents and veterans, police officers and salesmen. You can watch some of their stories here: they will be running throughout next week.