Bracing for Demographic Shifts, Colleges Face Tough Trade-Offs

Demographic projections have inspired doomsayers and daydreamers alike. The sky-is-falling contingent says the declining number of white, affluent high-school graduates will sink many tuition-dependent colleges. Meanwhile, optimistic observers predict that population shifts will compel institutions to transform themselves by embracing underrepresented students like never before.

As any admissions officer could tell you, the number of high-school graduates