What Are College Demographics?

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  • Written By: Angela Johnson
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2019
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College demographics are statistical data that are gathered about students who have attended or are attending specific colleges. This data is analyzed and grouped according to specific characteristics. This particular type of demographic can include student-specific information such as ethnicity, hometown, family income levels, and scholarship information; it can also include academic details such as major and minors, high school grade point average, and college grade point average. This data can also refer to specific school demographics such as enrollment numbers, drop-out rates, graduation rates, and other school-specific numbers. College demographics can be as detailed as hair and eye color or as broad as yearly college enrollment numbers across an entire state or country.

Some college demographics are used to analyze the potential for certain industries or to market to future prospects. Target marketing has become a common form of marketing that requires the use of demographics. This information is collected and then used to market to potential college students that match the demographics collected. The thought behind this type of marketing is that the students most likely to be interested in attending the college are like the majority of the students that are already there.


Understanding student demographics within a certain college allows the administration to tailor many on-campus resources and classes to fit the population. If there are many students attending a particular college within an easily commutable distance, it would not make sense to build on-campus dorms. If there are many students who live too far to commute, it would make sense to build on-campus dorms because the majority of students would be able to use them.

Certain industry sectors use college demographics to determine future demand for jobs. If there are many students who are enrolled in a certain major, the industry related to that major will have a sudden influx of job applicants available when these students graduate. Certain industries in need of new graduates to meet demand will sometimes offer incentives such as scholarships or grants to qualified students. These students may be required then to work with the company or industry who offered the scholarship or grant.

A useful tool, college demographics can help enhance on-campus marketing of resources as well as industry advancements in business. Demographics have long been useful in the study of sociology as well as other behavioral sciences. Much can be inferred from the reports, including current and future trending that can be beneficial to many institutions.


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