Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Analysis Offers Peek at College-Age Student Demographics of Future

A new interactive tool created by the Chronicle of Higher Education offers some insights into the rapidly changing face of college students in America.

The publication took a look at the demographic profile of four-year-olds versus 18-year-olds in an effort to project what college-aged students will be like 14 years from now.

The takeaway: there will be far fewer young people of college-going age, more of that smaller pool of students will be Hispanic or Asian, and fewer will be black or white.

The Chronicle reports that for every 100 18-year-olds, there are only 95 four-year-olds. In more affluent, white communities the disparity is even broader.

Meanwhile, in many parts of the country Hispanic children are outnumbering white children for the first time. And the pockets where young children outnumber older children, the communities tend to be lower income.

The Chronicle cautions that college recruiters that relied for years on recruiting students from affluent, predominantly white communities are facing a dwindling applicant pool. To keep their enrollments steady, they must diversify.

Some elite colleges are forming alliances with programs that work with academically talented low-income and minority students. That includes QuestBridge, which “matches” students with full-ride scholarships to attend top universities. Others are trying to make better connections with Latino parents in Spanish.

The interactive tool designed by the Chronicle using U.S. Census data outlines demographic changes nationally and by county.

The countries vary greatly. For example, in Gwinnett County, Georgia, in 14 years among the college-aged, Hispanics will see a 43 percent increase, whites a 30 percent decrease, and blacks a 27 percent decrease.

Related Links:
“Prospects: Who Will Reach College Age in the Next 14 Years?” The Chronicle of Higher Education. (http://chronicle.com/article//144061/#48113/0-1)
“Demographic Data Let Colleges Peer Into the Future,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (http://chronicle.com/article/Demographic-Data-Let-Colleges/144101/)
“Bracing for Demographic Shifts, Colleges Face Tough Trade-Offs,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (http://chronicle.com/article/Bracing-for-Demographic/144085/)