That idea of a college student spending four luxurious, carefree years studying is passe. Of the more than 20 million students enrolled at thousands of two- and four-year colleges and universities across the nation, only about one-third fit that traditional description.
About 40 percent of all college students are older than 25, according to U.S. Education Department data. More than a third attend classes part-time. Nearly 20 percent work full-time. About 60 percent enroll at four-year public and private schools, while the rest mostly attend community colleges or enroll at for-profit colleges. Very few attend the well-known universities topping the U.S. News and World Report rankings.