Students of all ages pursue degrees at Highlands

A look around a GHC classroom will reveal a diverse range of students. According to the US College Student Demographics Marketing Charts, the average college student’s age ranges from 18 to 24. At GHC this is not the case due to the wide range of nontraditional students.

Programs such as dual enrollment allow students as young as high school freshmen to enroll. On the other hand, some enroll to further or continue their education from a range of advanced ages. This creates diversity within the student body, with different students bringing varying drives and motivations.

There are many positives and negatives when it comes to going to college. Concerning dual enrollment, one benefit is prematurely earning college credit. This is accompanied by the freedom and responsibility of a college student.

Jackson Greer, a dual enrollment student, said, “It is honestly nice because they treat you like an adult.” Greer is in his second year at GHC and has successfully furthered his college career at a high school age. The adult responsibilities make young students feel as if they are accomplishing something.

In contrast, there are students coming back to college later in life. Many older people are attending to broaden their opportunities or compensate for missed ones. Some of them find the prospect intimidating as they cannot quit their jobs or families. This creates a concern with time management.

Kelly Samson, a returning college student and mother to six children, said, “It has been much more manageable than I thought it would be.”

Samson is one of many older Highlands students with professional and home lives that are pursuing new degrees.