It’s no secret. Higher education is changing. With innovative new technologies, a shifting workforce, and growing expectations, the landscape of higher education is evolving faster than ever. One of the most affected branches of this change is enrollment.
Author of There is Life After College and former top editor for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Selingo knows a thing or two about the tectonic changes taking place within the industry. “Over the past three decades, American colleges and universities have looked farther afield to attract students outside of their traditional market,” Selingo says. Begging the question, is the market of students, willing to travel for higher education, expanding at the same rate of all the colleges looking to recruit them?
This is a great question. In the coming decades, shifting demographics suggest that the largest groups of high school graduates will be Hispanic, low-income, or first generation college-bound students—all of which were segments of the population traditionally less likely to travel far distances for higher education.
What’s more, “after decades of fairly steady upward expansion in a number of high school graduates across the United States, the U.S. is really heading into a lengthy period of significant differences in growth by region,” Selingo notes. “According to newly-published data, its figures forecast the number of graduates in all fifty states through the early 2030s, and shows that the South and, to a certain extent, the West will count for nearly all the growth in the high school population over the next decade.” Comparatively, “the Northeast and Midwest, which of course are home to the highest density of colleges in the U.S. with a history of student migration, will show a steady and continued decline.”
Higher education is changing and, with it, the admissions market. Evolving demographics and regional trends are but a few of the many shifts affecting enrollment. Along with thought leaders Jay Goff and Rick Funk, Selingo tackles these, as well as many more, head on in an in-depth and informative discussion.
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