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Adults in College: A Steady Trend

Photo by KUT News
Enrollment data from across the nation shows many believe it's never too late to hit the books.

A new report shows 38 percent of U.S. students who were enrolled in postsecondary classes during the Fall of 2011 semester were adults (under the definition of the study, an adult was at least 25 by October 15). That percentage is down slightly from 2010 but went up by more than 4 percent from 2009 to 2010. 

The study by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center shows adults looking for education are consistently choosing to enroll on a full-time basis over part-time. Adult students also prefer 4-year, public institutions. The center looks at data from more than 3,300 college institutions—representing 93 percent of student enrollment.

Meanwhile, the average age of a student at the University of Texas at Austin (22.5) is actually getting younger. 

The average ages of undergraduates, graduate students and law students have all been trending slightly downward over the past several years at UT.

Only 5.6 percent of UT undergraduates were 25 or older during the Fall 2011 semester. That same semester, 72.6 percent of UT graduate students were 25 or older.