Shifting U.S. demographics are expected to shake up the world of college admissions in the next several years. Overall birth rates have declined, and kindergarten classrooms in many regions include more Latino and Asian-American students than ever before.
What that means for the future of colleges and universities is the subject of an extensive data project and accompanying story from The Chronicle of Higher Education. Using census data, The Chronicle examines the race or ethnic groups of children who will reach college age each year through 2028.
As reporter Sara Lipka notes: “Two decades of steady supply drove enrollment growth and let campuses be choosy, gathering freshmen with good test scores and parents who could pay. But those days are over.”
More locally, a report from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education highlights current racial discrepancies in Washington’s high school graduation rates, test scores and income. Among working-age adults in this state, Hispanic or Latino residents have a median income of $23,719 (using 2010 census numbers) — about two-thirds the statewide median.
In King County, Hispanic or Latino residents turning 18 — reaching college age, in other words — is expected to grow from 2,739 today to 4,113 in 2028. Access to the financial resources needed to pay for higher education is a major barrier for this population group, the commission states.
Here is a more comprehensive look at shifting demographics across King County and Washington state, using The Chronicle’s data: