Community Colleges and Trade Schools Marketing to Minorities

by | 2 minute read

Con­sumers con­cerned about their abil­i­ty to find good-pay­ing jobs are turn­ing to edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions to sharp­en their skills and improve their attrac­tive­ness to employ­ers. Dur­ing the reces­sion start year of 2008, col­leges, uni­ver­si­ties and trade school saw a 6% increase in fresh­men enroll­ment. An enroll­ment jump dur­ing a reces­sion­ary peri­od is not new, but what has changed this time around is the demo­graph­ic com­po­si­tion of the fresh­men class­es.

 A new report by the Pew Research Cen­ter, based on U.S. Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion data, finds minor­i­ty stu­dents had a high­er enroll­ment growth rate than white stu­dents. Here are the per­cent­age increas­es report­ed by eth­nic group:

  •  White 3%
  • His­pan­ic 15%
  • Black 8%
  • Asian/Pacific Islander 6%
  • Amer­i­can Indian/Alaskan native 2%
  • Non­res­i­dent alien 11%

 At the same time, spe­cif­ic kinds of high­er edu­ca­tion insti­tu­tions report­ed high­er growth rates than oth­ers. The high­est growth rates occurred at:

  •  2 Year Col­leges 11%
  • Col­leges with enrolled stu­dents of 20,000 or more 12%
  • For-prof­it col­leges 11%

 The study author Richard Fry attrib­ut­es some of these changes to the new demo­graph­ics of the U.S. Fry also points to the high­er high school com­ple­tion rates for spe­cif­ic demo­graph­ic groups. For exam­ple, the num­ber of white 18–24 year olds who recent­ly fin­ished high school stands at about 90%. Between 2007 and 2008, the num­ber of Asian stu­dents in that age group who fin­ished high school jumped from 87% to 92%. And for His­pan­ic stu­dents, the per­cent increase went from 67% to 70%.  Because of these increas­es, col­leges have a larg­er pool of minor­i­ty stu­dents to draw from.

 As high school com­ple­tion rates for minor­i­ty pop­u­la­tions increase and as more stu­dents opt for high­er edu­ca­tion, col­leges, uni­ver­si­ties and trade schools may shift their ad cam­paigns to tar­get the black, His­pan­ic and Asian stu­dents.

 [Source: Fry, Richard. Minori­ties and the Reces­sion-Era Col­lege Enroll­ment Boom. Pew Research Cen­ter. 21 Jun. 2010. Web. 16 Jul. 2010]

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice Pres­i­dent of Research for Sales­Fu­el. She holds a Mas­ters in Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ver­mont and over­sees a staff of researchers, writ­ers and con­tent providers for Sales­Fu­el. Pre­vi­ous­ly, she was co-own­er of sev­er­al small busi­ness­es in the health care ser­vices sec­tor.