How to Double the Size of Your College Enrollment

Guilford College, a Quaker liberal arts college in North Carolina, has 2800 students.  Ten years ago it had about half as many students. They pulled this off by attracting adult learners.

Here is a snippet from Inside Higher Ed:

The demographics of Guilford’s adult student population differ significantly from those of the traditional student body. About 40 percent of the adults are black, compared with 11 percent of the traditional-age students. While the traditional students are split evenly across gender lines, about 70 percent of the adult students are women. On average, the adults are 35 years old. 

Guilford is far from the only liberal arts college to serve adults, but the college has been deliberate in its efforts to serve that population on the same campus as traditional students, and college officials say the creation of programs like an adult student government make Guilford’s approach stand out. The adults, about 60 percent of whom are enrolled full time, don’t live on campus, but they’re routinely seated alongside traditional students in class. That differs from a place like Indiana Wesleyan University, where a primary campus hosts about 3,200 traditional students, and another 11,000 adult students are taking classes either online or at one of 16 centers in three different states…

2 thoughts on “How to Double the Size of Your College Enrollment

  1. What Guilford is doing is commendable, particularly in that it sounds like they are integrating adult students into their regular semester-long classes. The proliferation of “accelerated adult learner” classes (a semester's worth in 5 evening classes, supposedly) that are found in so much of the CCCU is scandalous, imo.


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