Need to Recruit More Adult Learners?

Persona hero image from our Adult Learners website. "The Seeker", woman illustrated like a comics hero.

Learn how to focus your marketing efforts on four critical adult learner personas.

We recently concluded a comprehensive, data-driven research study on the U.S. adult-learner population with an eye toward capturing this massive segment of non-traditional students—approximately 95 million. While that number represents a huge opportunity for higher education, it also presents a tremendous challenge.

At a high level, it helps to put a face to an audience that is often thought of as very monolithic

Our online survey dug deeply into why adults decide to re-enroll in college or not, and probed on the expected outcomes or motivations for wanting to earn a degree. We also looked at the emotional aspects of the college search that might be preventing adults from applying.

Through this research, we developed A Guide to Recruiting Adult Learners, which identifies and outlines four adult learner “personas” that are critical for recruiting non-traditional students. The personas were enhanced with media and behavioral data mined from the Simmons National Consumer Survey.

This research-intensive study helps colleges better understand adult students and their specific characteristics and nuances. Our insights also led to specific marketing implications for each of the four adult learner personas. As Inside Higher Ed points out, colleges can now leverage these marketing best practices when crafting recruiting campaigns targeting adult learners.

See more takeaways from our research and get easy-to-implement marketing tips in our Guide to Recruiting Adult Learners.

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