|Photo Credit: CollegeDegrees360|
The nation's college students are growing in number and our campuses continue to become more diverse. Taken from the most recent edition of The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac and the Open Doors Report, the following statistics from the 2010-2011 school year contain some interesting facts concerning the current make-up of college students in the United States:
*There are now over 21 million college students in the U.S.
* Of those 21 million students, nearly 4 out of 10 are American ethnic minorities and international students studying in the U.S.
* Within the state of California alone, there are over 2.7 million students. This is an amazing 13% of the country's total! Of these students, over 1.7 million are American ethnic minorities or international students.
* Texas has over 1.5 million students in the state, including nearly half a million Hispanic students.
* Primarily due to the presence of New York City, over 1.3 million students attend college in the state of New York. Nearly 600,000 of them are American ethnic minorities and international students.
* The number of Native American students across the country is close to 200,000.
* Asian Americans now number nearly 1.3 million students.
* There are more than 3 million African Americans on our campuses, more than 14% of all students.
* Hispanics and Latinos are rapidly growing in number and influence and now comprise nearly 13% of all students, totaling over 2.7 million students.
* There are well over 800,000 international students currently studying in the U.S., many of whom will return to their country of origin a different person than when they came here.
*In demonstration of the country's increasing cultural diversity, over 300,000 of America's college students define themselves as being multi-ethnic.
* Students of European descent are still in the overall majority with 12.7 million. If current trends hold true, however, there will be no ethnic majority by the time we reach 2020.What does this all mean? The college campuses of the United States are becoming more diverse, the coasts are rapidly growing and our cities are home to many of the nation's students. In order to reach these students, campus ministries like those that I work with need to adopt new approaches that will effectively reach: 1) students of color; 2) those that speak a primary language other than English; and 3) those in our major cities. The world is here. How will we respond?