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Demography and Higher Education in the United States after 2025: Panel II

Type: Panel
Theme: Expanding the Community of Geography
Sponsor Groups: Geography Education Specialty Group
Organizers: Joshua Hagen
Chairs: Joshua Hagen


Enrollments in post-secondary education in the United States have long been influenced by broader socio-economic, demographic, and political trends, including the post-World War II baby boom and the GI Bill, the Civil Rights Movement, and the increase in female workforce participation, to name a few examples. More recently, prominent venues including The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and especially Nathan D. Grawe’s Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education (2018) have drawn attention to the implications of impending demographic trends for higher education enrollments. Specifically, traditional college-age cohorts are expected to decline sharply by 10-15 percent nationally in the decade following 2025, largely as a result of lower fertility rates. This trend is already evident in the Northeast and gradually expected to diffuse through the Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes, Midwest, and Great Plains before eventually manifesting in the South and West. Simultaneously, college-age cohorts will continue to become more diverse, and public financial support for post-secondary education will likely remain flat or decline, making universities even more dependent on tuition. In light of these longer-term trends, this panel will feature broad discussion of the potential impact of demographic change on higher education, possible proactive steps to prepare for those opportunities and challenges, and the place of geography within this changing landscape of higher education.


Type Details Minutes
Introduction Joshua Hagen Northern State University 10
Panelist Edward Jackiewicz California State University - Northridge 12
Panelist Margo Kleinfeld University of Wisconsin - Whitewater 12
Panelist Mark Leipnik Sam Houston State University 12
Panelist John Sharp SUNY-New Paltz 12
Panelist Keith Ratner Salem State CUniversity 12

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