'Non-traditional' students are the new normal

Today’s college students are more ethnically diverse, more likely to come from low-income households and more likely to be the first in their families to attend college than those of 20 years ago. More than one-third are over the age of 25.

That’s great news for building a diverse future leadership of California—but it presents challenges for the state’s financial aid planners. Assumptions that policymakers made in the past—for example, that students can rely on their parents for help with books and transportation—no longer hold up.