Higher Ed in 2023

Highlights from the recent NCES report.

April 21, 2016

Higher ed nerds throughout the land rejoiced last week at the release of The National Center's for Education Statistics report Projections of Education Statistics to 2023.

While I am confident that you also have been spending quality time with the report, I thought that I’d summarize some of the highlights:

Postsecondary Enrollment Growth Is Slowing:  Where as enrollment increased 42 percent from 1998 to 2012, enrollment is only expected to increase 15 percent (to 24 million) between 2013 and 2023.

Traditional Age Student Enrollment Is Slowing:  From 1998 to 2012 the number of 18 to 24 year olds enrolled in degree granting institutions increased from 8.2 million to 11.9 million.  By 2023 that number will only grow to 13.3.

The Number of Older Students (25+) Is Growing:  By 2023, over 10.3 million students will be over 25.

Part-Time Students Are Growing Faster Than Full-Time:  Between 2012 and 2023 the number of part-time students will increase by 18 percent, compared to only 14 percent for full-time.

Graduate Enrollments Increasing Faster Than Undergraduate:  The number of students enrolled in graduate programs will increase by 25 percent between 2012 and 2023, compared to an increase of 14 percent for undergraduates.

Enrollment Growth is Strongest Amongst Nonwhites:  Between 2012 and 2023 the number of Latino students will increase by 34 percent, Black students will increase by 25 percent, and Asian students will increase by 11 percent.  In comparison, the number of White students will only increase by 7 percent.

By 2023 a Minority of High School Graduates Will Be White:  In 2023-2024, Whites are expected to account for 49.4 percent of all graduates.  Latinos will be 28.5 percent, African Americans 12.8 percent, and Asians 5.6 percent.

The Number of High School Graduates Will Decline In Some Areas:  From 2010 to 2023 the number of students graduating high school (in that year) will decline by 10 percent in the Northeast (from 556,050 to 500,840) and by 7.2 percent in the Midwest (702,910 to 674,410).  By contrast the number of high school graduate will increase by 9.7 percent in the South (1,107,200 to 1,211,510) and 5.1 percent in the West (755,490 to 777,780).

By 2023 There Will Be 4 Million More Female Than Male Students:  In 2032 there will be over 14 million women enrolled in postsecondary institutions, and less than 10 million men.

Most Students Will Still Be In Public Institutions In 2023:  Projections are for 15,375,000 students enrolled in public colleges and universities in 2023, and 4,810,000 at private schools.

What do you make of all of these projections?

How will your school navigate declining number of traditional-age students eligible to apply?

Is your institution doing enough to recruit and retain faculty that will match the demographic profile of tomorrow’s students?

How much are the big demographic trends in postsecondary enrollment discussed in learning and technology circles?

How should edtech people respond to these data?

What other government reports and projections should we be discussing?

What will your college or university look like in 2023?



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