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Chapter 1: Five National Trends
Chapter 2: State Policies for
Affordable Higher Education
Chapter 3: Questions and Answers
about Losing Ground
Chapter 4: 2002 Update for the States:
"A Dire Situation"
Chapter 5: Public Concerns about the
Price of College
Chapter 6: Taking Care of the
Chapter 7: Profiles of American
Appendix: State Trends
CHAPTER 7: PROFILES OF AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENTS
College students in the United States defy a single stereotype. About 13 million undergraduate students attend many types of colleges and universities: public, private, two-year, four-year, for-profit, and not-for-profit.
This chapter presents six students and the challenges they face in paying for college. These student profiles, written by journalists in November and December 2001, help to illustrate the diversity of American college students. These articles also reveal the complexities of students' lives as they work, study, and find their own path through a maze of financial aid forms, part-time jobs, and credit card debt.
- About a third of undergraduates are older than 24 years of age.
- Almost 40% are enrolled part-time.
- About 42% attend public two-year colleges, 38% attend public four-year colleges and
universities, and 20% attend private colleges and universities.
- About 84% live off-campus.
- About 30% are non-white.
The students highlighted in this chapter were identified with the help of financial aid administrators, who were given sample student financial aid profiles derived from nationwide data. Based on actual award packages, the National Center searched for and found students who were willing to share their stories. These students represent some, though certainly not all, of the students who seek financial aid.
Betty Luz Morales
Sources for bullets: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics 2001 (Washington, D.C.: 2002), pp. 209, 211, 216, 244, 290; and U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics: http://nces.ed.gove/surveys/npsas/table_library/ tables/npsas37.asp [March 21, 2002]. Data are from fall, 1999.