Wednesday, July 01, 2015 3:00:50 PM

Many nontraditional students are becoming increasingly frustrated by a postsecondary education marketplace that caters largely to young people. At present, the majority of four-year institutions support websites, promotional materials, and marketing messages that are primarily centered around the needs of students in their late teens or early twenties.

Enrolling in higher education

While the traditional 18-year-old-freshman will always have a prominent place on the American college campus, more and more older adults are enrolling at institutions of higher learning every day. The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that recent high school graduates account for only 25 percent of today’s university students. 49 percent of individuals seeking a college degree are enrolled part-time, 38 percent are working full time, and 27 percent are taking care of children who currently live with them. 

Tailor the Curricula

Some colleges, however, have learned to tailor their curricula and policies to take advantage of the growing demographic of nontraditional students. The wisest of these colleges do much more than simply offer evening and weekend courses.

Focus on Professional Advancement

Understanding that working adult learners tend to be pragmatic and career-driven, successful marketers have learned to develop marketing campaigns that focus on professional advancement, workplace success, and the realization of specific goals. 

Attract and Retain

Colleges can better attract and retain returning and adult students by delivering targeted messages that promote education as the key to workplace achievement and professional happiness. University marketing efforts should match educational demographic shifts and support recruiting success with strong brand position. Perhaps most importantly, marketers must let older adults know that they can flourish and thrive in the modern postsecondary learning environment.

LA Times has the reach you need The ideal place to deliver these important messages is the highly respected LA Times. Nearly one-third of area adults who will pursue new certifications or degrees within the next year currently read print or online editions of the LA Times. Latimes.com alone reaches 2.2 million adults who plan to change professional positions or careers in the coming months.

Source: Academic Impressions, “Marketing to Adult Students;” Evolllution, “AUDIO | The Similarities and Differences of Marketing to Adult and Traditional-Age Students ;” Zaiss & Co, “Attracting and Retaining Adult Learners.”

Categories: Education

Tags: universities, adult students, marketing tips