The new projections published today, showing more students who graduate from high school than previously expected are good news for higher education, where students aged 18 to 24, from 18 a.m. 24 years do or break budgets for many colleges and universities.

but do not change the perspective for a sector that has for decades in a stupid tubing of constant growth. Higher education will soon be facing the shrunken cohorts of traditional students, whose registration has been key to achieving budget balance. It is possible that the sector can not kick the can on the road and avoid fixing its crunchy business model much more.

"That good news really can not escape from demography," said Patrick Lane, vice president of politics. , Analysis and Research in Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. "There are simply fewer students available who were born and after the great recession to fill the university seats in the future."

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, or WICHE, launched new high school graduate projections today showing a national peak of 3.93 million in 2025. It would be an increase of 3.77 million in 2019, if it remains true Through interruptions related to the pandemic.

It is also a significant increase in the projections that was published four years ago. Anticipating a peak of 3.56 million in 2026. However, after half of the decade, the graduation totals, however, go downhill. By 2037, it is expected that the country will produce 3.52 million high school graduates, according to the new projections.

A often discussed fact adds a significant wrinkle to these developments: high school graduates are diversifying rapidly. White students were 51 percent of the 2019 high school graduation class. They will be 46 percent of the 2025 class and 43 percent of the class of 2036. Meanwhile, other groups of students, particularly Hispanic students and students of two or more races, are forming a growing proportion of high school graduation classes.

that firmly suggests that colleges and universities will need to increase their actions from groups from groups that do not traditionally register in large quantities if they expect to continue operating at their historical scale.

This image is nothing new, according to those who work and study higher education. But the fact that it is reinforced by the new data brings the sector a step closer to the key questions that will help determine their financial and operational future. Can access access to a large number of students of traditionally marginalized groups? Can you provide a cozy atmosphere that serves them well once they reach the campus, instead of Getting away from her? And can you find a way to pay for doing it?

The issue of enlargement of access is not as simple as a breakdown of the demographics of graduates from high school. In addition to serving students from 18 to 24, many believe that the higher education sector should do a better job of serving adults and other non-traditional students, including those who left high school or university.

"We have disproportionate abandonment rates that affect Latino, black, native Americans at higher rates," said Wil del Pilar, vice president of Higher Education Policy and Practice in Education Trust, a Grupo de Washington, based in DC that advocates capital in education. "We need to find ramps for those populations. Are there ramps for community universities where we should invest so that we can get more students to the equivalence of high school or some level of credential that allows them to participate effectively and win a worthy salary ? "

Getting students on campus is one thing. Making campus A place where they can prosper is another, whether that means scheduling classes at the right time for adults or finding a way to make culture more welcomed from historically marginalized groups.

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