Demographic Changes Affecting Higher Ed in New England

Demographic changes are underway that will continue to affect enrollment in higher education institutions.  The number of people in the traditional college student age-range is declining in New England, pointing to an inevitable corollary decline in enrollment numbers for this demographic.  More details about these trends are addressed in the resources below.

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Chronicle of Higher Education: 2026 The Decade Ahead

Author: Jeffery J. Selingo. (Note this resource lives behind a paywall, contact a librarian to obtain access)

This report broadly examines the students of the future, rethinking the faculty, and the future of learning.  The section on students of the future begins with an outline of a “supply-demand mismatch.”  Generally speaking, students attending private four-year colleges usually come from a 250 mile radius.  In New England, where there number of traditional age students is decreasing, the need to recruit from a larger geographic range will be more pressing.  Looking outside the traditional student age-range will also be important for keeping enrollments at their current levels.

See also the more detailed report, also from the Chronicle of Higher Ed and by Selingo, The Future of Enrollment: Where Will Colleges Find Their Next Students?  These reports are also summarized in the Chronicle article Demographic Data Lets College Peer Into the Future, which you can access through your local library.

Knocking at the College Door

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

Key findings of this report point to fewer high school graduates across the United States, and a dramatic increase in the number of students who are Hispanic or Asian/Pacific Islander.  The authors caution that looking at state and local demographic data is important, but that these nationwide trends are clearly identified in the data and should serve as a “window into our future” necessitating a clear need for “higher education systems must establish policies and practices that will lead to greater attainment of degrees and certificates for students of color.”

Funding Socioeconomic Diversity at High Performing Colleges and Universities

American Talent Initiative, a partnership of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Aspen College Excellence Program, and Ithaka S+R

This reports primary aim is to present and discuss the evidence that low- and moderate-income students admitted to four-year institutions thrive when their financial needs are met.  Unfortunately, many institutions consider a students’ ability to pay in admissions decisions.   In light of the demographic information presented above, this study is helpful in pointing to the need for increased need-based aid and other programs that support low-and moderate-income students.  The report outlines work done at Franklin & Marsall College, University of California Berkeley, University of Richmond, and University of Texas Austin, and Vassar College to increase financial support for low-income students.



Source: http://library.providence.edu/fhertr/index.php/2017/03/29/demographic-changes-affecting-higher-ed-in-new-england/