Eduventures’ Adult Prospect Survey Highlights the Complexities of an Increasingly Diverse Population

Encoura Eduventures Research

There are patterns of overlap and distinction among these Mindsets, but it becomes clear that prospective adult learners cannot be thought of as a monolithic whole, only seeking affordable and flexible ways to continue their education.

The National Research Center for College and University Admissions™ (NRCCUA®), an educational data science and research organization, today announced the results of Eduventures’ Adult Prospect Survey. Leveraging a national representative panel of prospective adult undergraduate, graduate and non-degree learners, findings from this survey help institutions better understand the adult learning market.

Eduventures’ Adult Prospect Survey was fielded in the spring of 2017 to survey a broad range of prospective students with the goals of 1) more precisely understanding the motivations, attitudes and perceptions that impact how prospective adult learners make decisions about continuing their education and 2) building a more actionable understanding of the variety in the prospective adult learner market.

According to Howard Lurie, Principal Analyst and author of this study, “A complex web of economic conditions, prior educational experiences, and the demands of balancing family and work continue to shape Adult Prospect Mindsets. There are patterns of overlap and distinction among these Mindsets, but it becomes clear that prospective adult learners cannot be thought of as a monolithic whole, only seeking affordable and flexible ways to continue their education.”

Eduventures’ Adult Prospect Survey emphasizes that prospective adult learners weigh the value of career advancement against personal fulfillment, but also program immersion versus convenience. Eduventures reports that at least 25% of prospective adult learners are motivated by highly personal goals rather than purely economic outcomes.

At a time when adult undergraduate enrollment is in decline, and the market is flush with flexible, inexpensive learning options, higher education institutions, vendors, and service providers could do more to differentiate their messaging and programming. It is essential that institutions recognize the variables and differences that impact this increasingly diverse population.

Richard Garrett, Chief Research Officer of NRCCUA, said, “We are committed to providing in-depth, actionable, higher-education-specific research that will help institutions recruit and meet the needs of both traditional and nontraditional students. Our survey and research findings help colleges and universities understand the complex objectives of multiple stakeholders by ensuring that student fit is a priority.”

About NRCCUA®

The National Research Center for College and University Admissions™ is an educational data science and research organization serving over 1,800 member institutions comprised of public and private colleges and universities across the nation. For 44 years, NRCCUA has been a leading provider of data, technology and programs serving students, high school educators, colleges and universities from its offices in Lee’s Summit, MO, Boston, MA, New York, NY, and Austin, TX. These solutions represent the link between students making important life decisions and those providing the resources and information they need to succeed in their post-secondary educations and careers. With the launch of Encoura™ Data Lab, the company now combines data science, advanced analytics, research, predictive modeling and omnichannel enrollment services in one platform to enable institutions to make real-time strategic and operational decisions to meet their unique enrollment goals and create the highest probability of student success. For more information, visit https://encoura.org

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