There are many reasons that we are seeing more and more students becoming entrepreneurs on campus. Changes in the economy and technology as well as increased offerings of entrepreneurship classes are major influences.
The growth of higher education — the campus as market — is another reason. There are just more and more opportunities in and around the university in America as the scope (in all ways) of higher education expands. Here is an article from the Economist — Just Add Cash; the expanding American University.
The Department of Education estimates that American high schools pumped out 3,176,000 seniors in 2006, up 26% from 1995. Consequently, university enrolments swelled 24% during the same period and are projected to rise another 13% by 2015. Naturally, the universities need places to house and teach all these new students. According to the National Science Foundation, American academic institutions began constructing 10.2m square feet of new scientific research space in 2004-05
But with more students entering university, there are also more desirable applicants, a fact that encourages universities to try and expand the number of highly qualified students they can attract. New student amenities and labs help universities outdo each other. The competition for prestige, in the form of top students, prominent faculty members and grant money, is intense: it can also get remarkably petty. Last year the Dallas Morning News reported that Baylor University increased the height of its planned rock-climbing wall from 41 to 52 feet after learning that Texas A&M University’s was 44 feet. Then the University of Houston built a climbing wall that was 53 feet high, and even that was later surpassed by the University of Texas at San Antonio.