The New “Traditional” College Student: President of AASCU Discusses the Changing Demographics of Higher Education

This episode is part of the EdTech Times podcast series Higher Ed Transformation for the Campus of Tomorrow, sponsored by Huron.

Over the past decade, the definition of a “traditional” college student has been turned on its head. According to Dr. Mildred García, President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, students today have different backgrounds and needs than the prototypical college students of the past.

Our students are no longer 17 through 21. They are no longer the student that we were thinking about maybe 30 years ago, where the parents would send their children to college. They would be taken care of. They didn’t have to work. And they went off to dorms…As a matter of fact, that’s the nontraditional student today. And so the changing demographics is number one,” says Dr. García. 

So how does higher ed adapt to the new normal, and help support today’s demographic of students? Dr. García says that in the case of AASCU’s member institutions, many schools are building their strategic plans directly around student-centered transformation.

So it is about looking at, where are the programs? How many students are we are enrolling? What are the support services? Which support services are really working and which are not? And actually transforming the institution to be student-centered, and ensuring that they’re graduating at a pace that is good for the student as quickly as they possibly can. And then measuring to see how well they’re doing that,” says Dr.García.

Listen in to our interview with Dr. García to find out how institutions can build more effective plans for growth and innovation by focusing on student success.


This episode is brought to you by Huron.

Huron is a global professional services firm with an extensive history in higher education. For nearly two decades, Huron has provided consulting services for over 500 educational institutions, including all 100 of the top research universities in the United States.

You can learn more about what Huron does by visiting

Listen to the full series:

Higher Ed Transformation for the Campus of Tomorrow