No. No, no, no. No. 20 is not too old to start college. At any college, there will be plenty of freshmen who are 18, sure—but you’ll also find people in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, (you get the point).
When you go to college, you’ll quickly find that the student body wasn’t nearly as uniform age-wise as it was in high school. People decide its time to pursue higher education at all ages, from all points in life.
In fact, according to Statista, the share of individuals enrolling in college in their 20s and later has been ticking up for decades. In 2019, 28.6% of Americans aged 22-24 were enrolled in college, as were 11% of Americans aged 25-29.
Find more statistics at Statista
Will I be able to make friends if I start college in my twenties?
One of the beautiful parts of college is that you get to meet hundreds of people that are different from you—but you also are able to discover firsthand that there are countless people out there in the same exact position as you. That means that if you start college in your twenties, or in any stage of your life, for that matter, you’ll be able to find other students that are at the same stage in life as you.
To make friends your age at college… do the things you like doing! If you’re interested in certain clubs, events, or extracurriculars, chances are other people your age will be into those things, as well.
To get some ideas about the types of clubs you might be able to make friends through joining, check out this great write-up from thebestschools.org, which highlights:
- the school paper
- political clubs (dependent on your affiliations)
- social justice advocacy clubs
- academic clubs (dependent on your area of study)
- student government
Outside of school, you might want to try some different bars from the other students. In other words, instead of frequenting that shady dive bar that serves minors, try something a bit more… mature.
The other thing to keep in mind is that 20 isn’t that far away from 18. In other words, you might find that you find it more natural to make friends with people a couple years younger or older than you than you did in high school, where the maturity gap was much more pronounced.
Can I live on campus as a 20-year old freshman?
While there might be the odd college with atypical housing eligibility requirements, most colleges do not set strict age restrictions for living in dorms.
Harvard’s housing eligibility page, for example, mentions nothing about age limits.
With that being said, if you’re in your late twenties or older, the housing department at your school is unlikely to pair you with an 18-year old roommate. As someone who was once an 18-year old roommate myself, I can confirm that you should take this as a win.
Noah graduated Summa Cum Laude from Worcester state University with a Communications major and Writing minor. At school, he was the Executive Editor of the online newspaper, a tutor at the school’s writing center, and an all-around good guy. He is the Founder and Content Manager of Edu FAQs, and is here to clear up your questions and make your college experience as exciting as it is educational.