New Student Enrollment Data Released: Where is the Growth Coming From?

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has released its latest student data, Projections of Education Statistics to 2020. While the trends seem to be in line with previous reports, as well as our internal expectations and research, I wanted to share with you the latest numbers.

According to NCES, total enrollment in post-secondary degree granting institutions is expected to increase 13 percent to 23 million students between fall 2009 and 2020.

Between 2009 and 2020, enrollment is projected to increase:
• 9 percent for students 18-24 years old
• 21 percent for students 25-34 years old
• 16 percent for students 35 and older

Between 2009 and 2020, enrollment is projected to increase:
• 11 percent for full-time students
• 16 percent for part-time students

The good news is that we are all still serving and participating in a growth industry. Growth in non-traditional student enrollments is leading the charge, which is no surprise given the evolution of online learning and flexible term structures, as well as increased opportunities for career training and more.

These statistics can and should impact the way you market to students and develop new programs. For example, with more 25-34 year olds going to (or back to) school, will they be more responsive to mobile marketing or direct mail tactics? Does that same age bracket gravitate toward specific disciplines?

Given today’s highly competitive admissions environment, it is more important than ever that you consider demographic details in deciding who you want to reach, how you want to connect and what you want to offer.