What Are University Demographics?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
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  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2019
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University demographics are statistics regarding the characteristics of a university population. Common university demographics include student personal and historical data. Other important university demographics might include student participation in university offerings, division of students between majors, and grades. The demographics are often used by the university to measure its levels of diversity, student body makeup, and achievements. These statistics may be used to improve marketing efforts, attract students from an underrepresented demographic, or promote a reputation for excellence.

Many universities publish demographic studies that give a clear picture of the student body makeup. Factors that may be examined include age, race, national origin, gender, and household income level. These university demographics can be useful to both potential students and to the university itself. Students above the ordinary college age may be attracted to a school where there is a large population of older attendees, while a university with a high proportion of locally-based students may use this fact to attract more regional applicants. Universities may sometimes be able to use diversity statistics to qualify for special grants or recognition.


Student population university demographics can also help a university direct its recruitment efforts. If a school finds that it has a disproportionately low number of low-income students, it may want to boost these numbers by offering better financial aid, grant, and scholarship programs. Likewise, if a school wants to maintain a long-standing reputation as an attractive campus for foreign students, it may use demographics to know when to boost advertising efforts overseas.

In addition to giving data about who the students are, university demographics can also provide important information about the success of various school programs and the level of academic achievement for the university. Understanding how students are divided between available majors may help a university determine how much money each school department should receive. Knowing the average grades of a student population may help boost a school's academic reputation and attract more dedicated students.

University demographics serve a school much in the way that customer demographics serve a business. By understanding the type of people attending the school and their interests, marketing efforts can be developed to attract new recruits, much in the way that a business tries to attract new customers. Using demographics to improve marketing schemes and university offerings can help a school ensure a successful future by maintaining a current idea of the makeup and needs of the student body.


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