|"Give-Us-Ed-Jew-K-Shun" (Image from Flickr, by Anelieke B)
Over the last decade, competition for college admission has been intense due to increasing numbers of high school graduates, a number that peaked at 3.4 million in 2012-2011, according to the Los Angeles Times. However, over the next decade, competition is expected to drop, as the number of high school graduates will decline due to lower birthrates and immigration. For the 2013-2014 school year, it is estimated there will be 3.21 million high school graduates. The number is not expected to reach 3.4 million again until 2023-2024.
In California, the number of high school graduates this year is expected to be 408,467, compared with a peak of 430,292 two years ago. However, the largest declines are expected in the Northeast and Midwest, while moderate growth is projected for the South. The number of Latino and Asian high school graduates is projected to grow, despite declines in immigration, while the amount of black and white graduates should drop.
Because of declining numbers of high school graduates, many universities will have to change their recruiting policies and methods. Many will spend more on recruiting older adults and out-of-state or foreign students. Fewer applicants will also likely lead to increased competition between schools for eligible students. This could result in reductions in tuition and increases in student aid to attract more students.