WAMC: Three Members of College Community Interviewed in Story on Effect of Student Loans on Adult Learners

By David Henahan, director of communications, Office of Communications and Government Relations

February 19, 2015

WAMC Logo: microphoneIn part two of a series on student loan debt, WAMC News takes a look at how adult learners are navigating today’s world of higher education and what schools are doing to meet their needs.

When you think college student, you probably picture an 18-year-old fresh out of high school living on a university campus. But Ed Klonoski, president of Charter Oak State College in New Britain, Conn., says that population is actually non-traditional.

“If you think of full-time residential college students, your typical picture of a college student, I went to UConn, that was me, I was full-time residential,” Klonoski said. “They represent 15 percent of the 20 million people that are in higher education today. That’s all. Forty percent of the undergraduates in higher education are over the age of 25 and going to school part-time. So if you just look at who’s out there available to be educated, that traditional 18-year-old market is shrinking and the adult population is a big untapped possibility.”

Because of that stereotype, most of the conversation about college loan debt focuses on those teenagers and what financial barriers they may face when they graduate in their early 20s. As Klonoski explains, because of the increasing focus placed on a person’s area of study and its correlation to a career in today’s economy, more and more adults are going back to school.

Read here and listen: wamc.org/post/part-two-student-loan-series-looks-adult-learners (link opens in a new page).

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