LOUISIANA’S COLLEGE STUDENT: THEN AND NOW
Two decades into the 21st-century, the profile of the “typical” postsecondary student has fundamentally changed. No longer an intermediate step primarily for 18- to 21-year- olds with limited life and work experience, college campuses attract students from across the demographic spectrum, and with an extraordinarily diverse set of experiences.
In addition to educating more students overall, the state has also increased enrollment and completion of African American students, Pell students, and returning adults. Comparing 2017 to 2001:
- African American students comprised 2% of the total enrollment, up from 26.7%, with enrollment growing from 27.4% to 32.6% of entering full-time freshmen. Gaps continue to appear in completion with only 24% finishing a postsecondary credential in 2017, down from 25% in 2003. However, it is notable that the number of completions in 2017 grew more than 2,000 over 2003.
- Pell recipients have grown significantly since 2007, the first year for which reasonable comparison data exist: in 2017, 68,762 students received Pell, an increase of 29%. In 2017, 47% of credential recipients, more than 19,000 students, held a Pell award at some point during their college
- The number of adults over 25 earning an undergraduate credential grew by 2,660, a 29% increase from 2003.