Young Alumni Coming Home

homesweethomeYoung college graduates moving back home with mom and dad might be a sign of the times, but it has a lot of significance to alumni professionals.

A new study from Pew Research finds that 36 percent of Millennials – young adults ages 18 to 31 – are living at their parents’ homes, the highest number in four decades. A record 21.6 million young adults were still living at home last year.

This new report might cause some ripples in the advancement field.  Here are only a few:

1. Because many of these young alumni are heading home for financial reasons, one could surmise that their financial contributions to alma mater will probably suffer as they try to save enough money to leave “the nest.”

2. From a programmatic standpoint, if these alumni are looking for a job, alumni associations might want to think about networking/job hunting programs that cater to this age group.

3. Just a hunch, but these Millennials are probably not updating their new addresses with their alumni offices.  Traditionally, it is very difficult to track these young graduates down after graduation, and if the alumni office did have a post-graduation address on file, it is probably no longer accurate (h/t to my astute colleague, Jeremy, on this one).

4. How does this affect their parents?  Now that Junior is back under their roof, there will certainly be new costs associated with his presence, potentially curtailing their own charitable giving.

There is a great deal of uncertainly regarding how this phenomenon will affect these graduates and the academy in the long term.  Will this return home cause greater financial austerity for these Millennials, impacting their interest in philanthropic activities permanently or is this merely a blimp on the radar screen?  Although it may be too soon to tell, it is certainly a trend that bears attention since so many Americans are being affected by this shift.