The Post-Traditional Learners Manifesto Revisited: Aligning Postsecondary Education with Real Life for Adult Student Success

Building on ACE’s long history of supporting both post-traditional learners and the higher education institutions that serve them, The Post-traditional Learners Manifesto Revisited explores the distinctive nature of modern undergraduates. Using data from the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study 2011-12, the report digs deeper into the needs of this population of college-goers and offers recommendations to help schools, researchers, and policymakers better help thi​​s growing population of postsecondary students complete their degrees.

The analysis revealed that post-traditional learners—students who are either over the age of 25, working full-time, financially independent, or connected with the military—make up nearly 60 percent of the undergraduate student population. They are a diverse group with a range of education needs, encompassing many life stages and identities, which need to be considered when designing higher education business models tailored to them.

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