January 10, 2013, 8:58 pm
In an article on Thursday, I described new projections that will shape the future of college admissions. By the year 2020, minority students will account for 45 percent of the nation’s public high-school graduates, up from 38 percent in 2009, according the latest edition of Knocking at the College Door, a regular report on demographic changes published by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
The report confirms trends that admissions officers have long anticipated. The supply of white students—including many affluent applicants for whom colleges so often compete—will soon dwindle. Meanwhile, the number of Hispanic and Asian-American high-school graduates will increase sharply. This shift will present colleges with historic opportunities—and challenges.
At a news conference in Washington on Thursday, several experts discussed the report’s…
December 17, 2012, 2:16 pm
Recently, several admissions officers and college counselors have asked me about “disruption” in higher education. They’d all read somewhere that academe is on the verge of transformation—or collapse. Was it true?
My answer goes like this: Imagine that you’re the head of a publishing house, and that a prospective author has proposed writing about how and why college will change in some ways but not in others, that many of those changes will be gradual, subtle, and complex, and that despite many serious problems in academe, the sky, really, is not falling, at least not everywhere, in every way.
Would you choose to publish that book over one that declared the end of higher education as we know it, and that described the brave new world of virtual learning just over the rainbow? Probably not. As a publisher you would know that nuance doesn’t sell like simplicity does.
October 23, 2012, 11:00 pm
In the fast-changing realm of higher education, “grit” is becoming a red-hot word. Maybe you call it resilience, determination, or perseverance. Srikant Vasan defines it as “being able to get over obstacles as they appear in your path, to stand up when you’ve been punched down, to set a long-term vision and a goal for yourself, and be able to keep those in mind.”
How might colleges effectively measure—and promote—those kinds of noncognitive skills and habits among students? Mr. Vasan hopes to provide an answer. He is the founder and president of Portmont College, a new, low-cost associate-degree program created by Mount St. Mary’s College, in Los Angeles, and the MyCollege Foundation, which is financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The hybrid program, which will combine online and in-person components, was designed for students who have the potential to excel in…
October 4, 2012, 1:08 pm
In a guest post, Brian T. Prescott, director of policy research for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, known as WICHE, describes the implications of projected demographic shifts for admissions officers and college counselors.
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education is proud to have been producing projections of high-school graduates for over 30 years. Known as Knocking at the College Door, the series is scheduled to release its next edition this winter. These data provide stakeholders with important information about the future size and composition of the cohort that each year sits on the precipice of enrolling in college (or of joining the work force).
Broken down by state, projections of the overall size of the graduating class are crucial information for how states, local school districts, and others plan for future capacity needs. States…
August 20, 2012, 3:14 pm
For the first time, Hispanic students represent the largest minority group at four-year colleges and universities, according to a new report from the Pew Hispanic Center. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, the enrollment of Hispanic students at four-year institutions increased by 20 percent, to 1.2 million, from 2010 to 2011. Similar growth was seen at two-year colleges.
Over all, the increase in the number of Hispanic students attending college accounted for nearly three-quarters of the total growth in college enrollments over the last year, the report says. Hispanic students now make up 16.5 percent of all 18- to-24-year-old college students. Hispanic Americans comprise 16 percent of the nation’s total population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
May 17, 2012, 11:39 am
The U.S. Census Bureau has confirmed that minority births have surpassed the number of white births for the first time, The New York Times reported on Thursday.
This marks an expected but meaningful turning point, the Times reports: “While over all, whites will remain a majority for some time, the fact that a younger generation is being born in which minorities are the majority has broad implications for the country’s economy, its political life, and its identity.”
The shift also has implications for college enrollment. As the article explains: “A college degree has become the most important building block of success in today’s economy, but blacks and Latinos lag far behind whites in getting one. ”
The news serves as one more reminder that demographic change is coming to a campus near you.