Posted by: Gregory Linton | 05/03/2018

NCES releases “Projections of Education Statistics to 2026”

On April 12, the National Center for Education Statistics released its annual projection of education statistics. Below, I have summarized some key information from the part of the report the deals with postsecondary education. Note that most of the comparisons are between the 14-year period from 2001 to 2015 (the last year of available data) and the 11-year period from 2015 to 2026.

  • Total enrollment increased 25 percent from 2001 to 2015 and will increase 13 percent from 2015 to 2026.
  • The number of high school graduates increased by 20 percent between 2001-02 and 2012-13 and is projected to increase 3 percent by 2026-27.
  • Enrollment of students who are 25 to 34 years old will increase 11 percent from 2015 to 2026, a significant slowdown from the 35 percent increase from 2001 to 2015.
  • The gender gap will continue to widen. Enrollment by males will increase by 11 percent from 2015 to 2026 but by 15 percent for females. Females will outnumber males by 3.3 million. In addition, associate’s degrees awarded to males will increase by 16 percent but by 34 percent for females. Bachelor’s degrees awarded will increase 8 percent for males and 11 percent for females; master’s degrees awarded will increase 19 percent for males and 23 percent for females; and doctor’s degrees will increase 8 percent for men and 17 percent for females.
  • Enrollment by race/ethnicity will see these changes from 2015 to 2026: Two or more races (+37%), Hispanic (+26%), Black (+20%), Asian/Pacific Islander (+12%), White (+1%), and American Indian/Alaska Native (-3%).
  • Enrollment in public institutions increased 19 percent from 2001 to 2015 and will increase 14 percent from 2015 to 2026.
  • Enrollment in private institutions increased 46 percent from 2001 to 2015 and will increase 11 percent from 2015 to 20126. This is a dramatic slowdown in the increase of enrollment.
  • From 2015-15 to 2026-27, the number of associate’s degrees awarded will increase by 27 percent; bachelor’s degrees will increase by 10 percent; master’s degrees will increase by 22 percent; and doctor’s degrees will increase by 13 percent.

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