Gen Z: Three takeaways on the new generation of college students

A recent report by the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled The New Generation of Students discussed the differences in the newest generation hitting college campuses: Generation Z. Born between approximately 1995 and 2012, these new traditionally-aged college students are markedly different from generations even in the recent past when it comes to diversity, attitudes about money, and their expectations of a college experience.

1. Most diverse generation in American history

Gen Z is the most diverse generation in modern American history. Gen Z includes approximately 73.6 million people, 57% of whom are white and 27% Hispanic.

2. More campus services, less comforts

Gen Z is more focused on practical support services and convenient resources for tutoring, career development, and mental health. They tend to want fewer comforts and more supports; they may be fine with simpler housing while benefiting from more flexible spaces that promote interaction, and look for more guidance on issues like study habits, free speech, and wellness.

3. More focused on finances and the ROI of a college degree

The Great Recession and its aftermath focused Gen Zers on the value and relevance of a degree. For 57% of college freshmen in 2016, the purpose of college for them is to help launch a career. Nearly 70% said they have some or major concerns about paying for college.

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