Posted by: Gregory Linton | 10/09/2017

Projections of Education Statistics to 2025 shows slower increases in college enrollment

In September of each year, the National Center of Education Statistics releases a report that projects trends in education for the next 11 years from the last year of collected data. The last year of collected data for this report is 2014, so the projections are carried out to 2025. The report also compares the future trends with the past trends of the previous 14 years, in this case 2000 to 2014. Four of the six sections of the report deal with K-12 education, but the last two sections deal with enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions and postsecondary degrees conferred. The table below summarizes statistics from the report and then a few observations follow. The percentages indicate increase, but note that the report compares the past 14-year period with the future 11-year period.

Category 2000–2014 2014–2025
Total Enrollment 32% 15%
Enrollment by Age:    

18-24

33% 13%

25-34

35% 16%

35+

23% 20%
Enrollment by Sex:    

Males

31% 13%

Females

33% 17%
Enrollment by Attendance Status:    

Full-time

38% 15%

Part-time

23% 16%
Enrollment by Level of Student:    

Undergraduate

31% 14%

Postbaccalaureate

35% 21%
Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity:    

White

  3%

Black

  22%

Hispanic

  32%

Asian/Pacific Islander

  16%

American Indian/Alaska Native

  -2%

Two or more races

  37%
Enrollment in Public and Private Institutions:    

Public

25% 16%

Private

56% 14%
First-Time Freshmen Fall Enrollment:    

Total

20% 14%

Males

21% 11%

Females

20% 17%
Associate’s Degrees Conferred:    

Total

73% 29%

Males

69% 15%

Females

76% 37%
Bachelor’s Degrees Conferred:    

Total

50% 9%

Males

51% 6%

Females

50% 11%
Master’s Degrees Conferred:    

Total

59% 30%

Males

53% 35%

Females

64% 27%
Doctor’s Degrees Conferred:    

Total

48% 18%

Males

33% 16%

Females

66% 19%

Here are some observations about this data:

  • The slowdown in enrollment increase will result from a slowdown in population increase among 18-29 year olds. From 2005 to 2014, that population increased by 4.38 million, but from 2015 to 2024, it will increase by only 312,000.
  • The gender gap will continue to increase. Females currently make up 57% of the undergraduate population, and their proportion of enrollment will continue to increase.
  • The booming increase in enrollment for private institutions will drop off dramatically.
  • The greatest increase in degrees conferred will occur in master’s programs.
  • The greatest increases in enrollment will occur among traditionally underrepresented populations, especially those of 2 or more races and Hispanics.

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