Where Are the Adults?

Usually, when a demographic group is significantly underrepresented on elite college campuses, we consider it a problem. But there is one such problem that almost no one seems to notice or care much about. Nearly 30 percent of college undergraduates are adults, defined by the United States Department of Education as 25 years old or older. But at Stanford, the share of undergraduates who are adults is 1.2 percent; at Yale, 0.7 percent; at Princeton, 0.6 percent; at the University of Chicago, 0.2 percent.

This blatant discrepancy hasn’t drawn any sustained attention even from liberal elites who otherwise tend to notice these things.

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