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Projections of Education Statistics to 2014, published September 2005.

Section 2. Enrollment in Degree-Granting Institutions: Introduction

Total enrollment in degree-granting institutions is expected to increase between 2002 and 2014. Degree-granting institutions provide study beyond secondary school and offer programs terminating in an associate’s, baccalaureate, or higher degree. Differential growth is expected by student characteristics such as age, sex, and attendance status (part-time or full-time). Enrollment is expected to increase in both public and private degree-granting institutions.

Factors affecting the projections

Changes in age-specific enrollment rates and college-age populations will affect enrollment levels between 2002 and 2014. The most important factor is the expected increase in the traditional college-age population of 18- to 24-year-olds.

Three alternative sets of projections

Middle, low, and high sets of projections were made for total enrollment in degree-granting institutions and for enrollment by age, sex, attendance status, level (undergraduate, graduate, or first-professional), and control of institution.

Assumptions underlying the projections

The middle alternative uses a base-line scenario of the economy for projections of disposable income and unemployment rates. The low and high alternatives are based on the low and high scenarios of the economy, respectively, to provide other possible outcomes. For more information, see appendix A.
Factors that were not considered

The enrollment projections do not take into account such factors as the cost of a college education, the economic value of an education, and the impact of distance learning due to technological changes. These factors may produce changes in enrollment levels.

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