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Projections of Education Statistics to 2017

NCES 2008-078
September 2008

Section 4. Degrees Conferred: Introduction

Continuing growth in enrollment in degree-granting institutions, with particularly large increases among women, has led to a substantial increase in the number of degrees conferred. Increases in the number of degrees conferred are expected to continue between 2005–06, the last year of actual data, and 2017–18.

Three alternative sets of projections

Middle, low, and high sets of projections were developed for the total number of degrees conferred at each level—associate's, bachelor's, master's, doctor's, and first-professional—as well as for the number conferred at each level, by sex of recipient.

Assumptions underlying the projections

The middle alternative uses projections of the college-age populations developed by the Census Bureau and the middle alternative projections of college enrollment from this report. The low and high alternative projections of degrees were based on the alternative enrollment projections. Some factors that may affect future numbers of degrees, such as choice of degree and demand for occupations, were not included in the projection models.

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