The U.S. is running low on adolescents: The number of young people graduating from high school will plateau or fall in coming years, according to the new Knocking at the College Door report.
The racial/ethnic mix of public high school graduates will shift: The number of Hispanic graduates is expected to increase by 50 percent and and Asian/Pacific Islander grads by 30 percent through 2025, while fewer whites and blacks will be going through school.
More graduates are expected to come from lower-income families.
Colleges and universities, already under pressure to raise graduation rates, will have to compete for fewer students from needier backgrounds, writes Hechinger’s Mikhail Zinshteyn.
According to one respected tally, just under 55 percent of students who entered college in 2010 had earned degrees after six years – an increase of two percentage points since 2009.
For higher education institutions to continue at that pace or boost it, they’ll need to find new ways of educating a student body increasingly composed of people who are the first in their family to enter college.
With fewer 18-year-olds whose parents can pay for a private residential college, I predict many second- and third-tier colleges will fold. They’re very expensive, they don’t graduate a high percentage of their students and young people are becoming wary of college debt.