The number of high-school graduates is expected to decline gradually until 2015, when the growing Hispanic and Asian populations will start pushing it to new highs, according to estimates from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Although this is not news to anyone in admissions, the implications of this shift continue to spark discussion–and worry–among those who recruit and evaluate college applicants.
A new white paper, “The End of Higher Education Enrollment as We Know It,” offers a glimpse of future enrollment challenges. It was written by Greg Perfetto, vice president for research and development at Admissions Lab (formerly 422 Group), a higher-education consulting firm. Mr. Perfetto, a former associate provost for institutional research at Vanderbilt University, writes that the numbers of affluent, “second generation” high-school graduates will very likely decline in most parts of the country: “The well-prepared, affluent college student that has helped fuel the expansion of higher education over the past 20 years will not disappear but will not spur additional growth either.”
The Admissions Lab white paper is available here (PDF).