Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education

Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education

by Nathan D. Grawe

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Higher education faces a looming demographic storm. Decades-long patterns in fertility, migration, and immigration persistently nudge the country toward the Hispanic Southwest. As a result, the Northeast and Midwest—traditional higher education strongholds—expect to lose 5 percent of their college-aged populations between now and the mid-2020s. Furthermore, and in response to the Great Recession, child-bearing has plummeted. In 2026, when the front edge of this birth dearth reaches college campuses, the number of college-aged students will drop almost 15 percent in just 5 years.

In Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education, Nathan D. Grawe has developed the Higher Education Demand Index (HEDI), which relies on data from the 2002 Education Longitudinal Study (ELS) to estimate the probability of college-going using basic demographic variables. Analyzing demand forecasts by institution type and rank while disaggregating by demographic groups, Grawe provides separate forecasts for two-year colleges, elite institutions, and everything in between. The future demand for college attendance, he argues, depends critically on institution type. While many schools face painful contractions, for example, demand for elite schools is expected to grow by more than 15 percent in future years.

Essential for administrators and trustees who are responsible for recruitment, admissions, student support, tenure practices, facilities construction, and strategic planning, this book is a practical guide for navigating coming enrollment challenges.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421424132
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 01/01/2018
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 281,162
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Nathan D. Grawe is the Ada M. Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of the Social Sciences at Carleton College, where he served as associate dean from 2009 to 2012.

Table of Contents

1. Demographic Headwinds for Higher Education
2. Demographics as Destiny?
3. The Higher Education Demand Index
4. Changing Contours of Population and Aggregate Higher Education Demand
5. Demand for Two-Year Programs
6. Demand for Four-Year Institutions
7. Is Anyone Paying for All of This?
8. Coping with Change
9. Anticipated Higher Education Attendance
10. The Potential for Policy to Affect Attendance Rates
11. Looking beyond 2030
Methodological Appendix

What People are Saying About This

Bradley G. Lewis

"An ambitious, original book that provides a new and much-needed general framework for detailed, fact-based forecasting of the demand for higher education over the next 15–20 years. Grawe's scholarship is well beyond sound."

Martin J. Finkelstein

"Fascinating and ambitious. There will be a wide and eager audience for this book."

Jon McGee

"Numbers and statistics aren’t always what they seem. Nathan Grawe provides a readable and insightful look at the sweeping demographic change occurring in America and what it means for different types of colleges. Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education is an important read for college leaders and policy makers alike."

Scott Bierman

"Anyone who cares about the future of higher education in America will need to carefully study Nathan Grawe’s Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education. By disaggregating poorly understood demographic shifts on the near horizon, Grawe fundamentally changes the narrative of what colleges can do to thrive."

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