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Canaries in the Demographic Coal Mine: The Impending Enrollment Crash

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  • Higher education enrollments have trended downwards for each of the last eight years and are poised to enter a decade-long freefall. This demographic decline will force institutions to confront a new structural reality, including an unprecedented wave of downsizing, mergers, and even closures, but only a handful of institutions have begun to respond proactively. A deeper understanding of the enrollment crash is essential. We'll discuss the demographic decline, institutions already affected, and proactive strategies for addressing it (already undertaken by some).

    Learning Outcome 1: Convey the magnitude and urgency of the enrollment decline, including how it will impact various institutional sectors and geographic regions‚ especially New England.

    Learning Outcome 2: Strategize potential institutional responses to the demographic downturn that may help mitigate the impending blow, e.g., proactive downsizing, tuition discounting, improving graduation rates, etc.

    Learning Outcome 3: Contextualize the reasons for the enrollment decline, including but not limited to: post-recession birth decline, international student policies, the value proposition, ingrained attitudes, and competition.

    Learning Outcome 4: Identify the potential warning signs and precursors to an impending institutional enrollment decline so as to better anticipate and proactively respond to it.

    Continuing Education Credits: AICP CM 1.0 Unit

    Presented By: Persis Rickes, President and Principal, Rickes Associates, Inc