Do you stereotype college students?
Are we stereotyping college students too broadly?
I certainly have. For me, the typical college student falls in the category of studying full-time, living on-campus, and enjoying the freedom of being away from their parents without any major life responsibilities. However, recent research conducted by Complete College America shows a different story. Complete College America found that only 25% of college students attend full-time at residential colleges and have most of their bills paid by their parents. Measured against most of our stereotypical views of college students, that leaves 75% of college students unaccounted for.
These students are the commuters. They are juggling a combination of responsibilities while commuting to class. According to the research, More students are working, and they are working more hours than ever before. Many can afford to attend only part-time, extending the years until they graduate. The more time it takes to graduate the more difficult it becomes. They say, Students’ lives fill up with jobs, relationships, marriages, children, and mortgages; the list goes on and on. Not surprisingly, college often gets left behind: a few years of courses, no degree, and a lot of debt.
This information makes me think about different college ministries. Typically, college ministry is done on campus, or with the full-time student in mind. In this strategy, only about 25% of the college student population is being targeted. What are some ways that college ministries can supplement their ministry in order to target commuters?
What other ideas do you have about the ways this shift in the college population impacts our youth ministries, college ministries, and church-wide approaches to discipling emerging adults?
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