Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education

by Ad Astra

Dr. Nathan Grawe is a labor economist with particular interests in how family background--from family income to number of siblings--shapes educational and employment outcomes. Many of his works study whether access to financial resources significantly limit these important measures of success. Dr. Grawe's most recent publication, Demographics and The Demand for Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018) examines how recent demographic shifts are likely to affect demand for higher education and explores how colleges and policymakers may respond to meet institutional and national goals.

In this Astra Academy webinar, Dr. Grawe will discuss the following:

  • Because not all young people attend college, it is possible for college demand to deviate markedly from population trends. Indeed, that appears to be true in the case of the demand for elite schools where rising levels of parent education suggest rising demand despite shrinking populations. However, for regional colleges and universities, the demographic headwinds appear too strong to overcome, and so demand is expected to fall by 15% or more in the mid-2020s (18 years after the Financial Crisis).
  • The share of students who are not non-Hispanic whites is expected to increase for all institution types. However, while "increased diversity" is likely to be experienced as rising shares of Hispanic students at regional schools, at elite institutions Asian Americans are the minority group expected to grow the most.
  • With fewer prospective students, institutions may find that the easiest/least expensive student to recruit can be found on their own campuses. By increasing retention rates, many institutions could largely offset coming reductions in the number of new, traditional-aged students.

To learn more about Dr. Grawe's most recent publication, Demographics and The Demand for Higher Education, click here:

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