University of Arizona Global Campus Provides Access and Education to the ‘New Majority’ Student
With the number of 18- to 24-year-olds down and expected to remain flat through at least 2035, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, older students make up an increasingly important market for universities and colleges. The New Majority includes first-generation college students, students of color, and adults and military veterans.
Figure 1 compares the percentages of UArizona Global Campus students age 25 and older to the percentage of other higher education students. Figure 2 shares characteristics of UArizona Global Campus students. Figure 3 compares the rate of degree completion of primarily working students at UArizona Global Campus to those of students at other institutions of higher education nationwide, and Figure 4 looks at a comparison of active-duty military and veteran students.
Sources: NCES. (2018). IPEDS Spring 2008 through Spring 2018, Fall Enrollment component. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education; Institutional Research Services, 2020
Figure 1. Percentage of Higher Education Students Age 25 or Older
Sources: NCES. (2018). IPEDS Spring 2008 through Spring 2018, Fall Enrollment component. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education; NCES, 2020
Figure 2. Characteristics of UArizona Global Campus Students
Source: NCES, 2020
Figure 3. Degree Completion Rate of Primarily Working Students—UArizona Global Campus Compared to Higher Education Institutions Nationwide
Source: NCES. (2019). Profile of Undergraduate Students: Attendance, Distance and Remedial Education, Degree Program and Field of Study, Demographics, Financial Aid, Financial Literacy, Employment, and Military Status: 2015-16. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education
Figure 4. Percentage of Active-Duty Military and Veteran Students—UArizona Global Campus Compared to Higher Education Nationwide
The ‘True’ Retention Rate at University of Arizona Global Campus
Unlike a traditional, predominantly on-ground institution, UArizona Global Campus serves a highly mobile, adult student population. These students are likely to transfer credits into and out of multiple institutions during their course of study. Indeed, a large percentage of these students attend multiple institutions simultaneously to expedite time to graduation and to take advantage of attractive courses that are dispersed across various programs and schools.
When looking at bachelor’s students who attended UArizona Global Campus in 2017-2018, the data shows that a majority of the students, 86.7%, were transfer students. Only 13.3% were first-time students (Figure 5).
Transfer vs. Full-Time Students
Figure 5. Bachelor Students Who Attended UArizona Global Campus in 2017-2018
Taking into account the high mobility of this adult online student population, the “true” UArizona Global Campus retention rate is over 69%, as shown in Figure 6. That is, more than 69% of UArizona Global Campus students are active, or graduate, a year later either at UArizona Global Campus, or another institution, including 8% who take courses at multiple institutions within the same year.
Persistence Across Institutions
Figure 6. Bachelor Students Persistence Across Institutions in 2017-2018
Based on the most recent IPEDS outcome measures report, UArizona Global Campus 2011-2012 undergraduate cohort had 41% of part-time students. Nationally, 37% of college students are attending on a part-time basis.
University of Arizona Global Campus Student Success Compared to Institutions That Share Similar Characteristics and Student Demographics
The University of Arizona Global Campus graduation and retention rates are comparable to or exceed those of other institutions serving similar student populations. UArizona Global Campuss 6-year and 8-year completion rates for full-time, non-first-time students is in line with the rates of institutions serving a student population similar to that of UArizona Global Campus. For example, the Global Campus 6-year and 8-year completion rates for non-first-time students was 39% and 40%, respectively, compared to 40% and 42%, respectively, for similar institutions, as shown in Table 1.
Table 1. 2018 Enrollment and Retention Comparison of University of Arizona Global Campus Students to Peer Institution Students