By Jillian Berman

Cain may not fit with the image we often conjure when we think of college students — the co-ed lounging in the quad and grabbing a few beers with friends. But these days, the typical student looks more like Cain. Nearly 40% of undergraduates are older than 25 and nearly one-quarter are raising children, according to Lumina Foundation, an organization focused on increasing access to post-high school education.

More “non-traditional” or independent college students attend college than a generation ago, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. “It is important for promoting racial and ethnic equity in college attainment, given the relatively large share of students of color among independent students,” it said in a 2018 report.

There are likely millions more adults out there looking to start college for the first time or go back after years away.

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