Conference Presentations

Canaries in the Demographic Coal Mine

The Impending Enrollment Crash
Delivered March 8, 2020
Presented by Persis Rickes, President and Principal, Rickes Associates, Inc

Higher education enrollments have trended downwards for each of the last eight years and are poised to enter a decade-long freefall. This demographic decline will force institutions to confront a new structural reality, including an unprecedented wave of downsizing, mergers, and even closures, but only a handful of institutions have begun to respond proactively. A deeper understanding of the enrollment crash is essential. We'll discuss the demographic decline, institutions already affected, and proactive strategies for addressing it (already undertaken by some).

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Convey the magnitude and urgency of the enrollment decline, including how it will impact various institutional sectors and geographic regions‚ especially New England.
  2. Strategize potential institutional responses to the demographic downturn that may help mitigate the impending blow, e.g., proactive downsizing, tuition discounting, improving graduation rates, etc.
  3. Contextualize the reasons for the enrollment decline, including but not limited to: post-recession birth decline, international student policies, the value proposition, ingrained attitudes, and competition.
  4. Identify the potential warning signs and precursors to an impending institutional enrollment decline so as to better anticipate and proactively respond to it.

Continuing Education Units: AICP CM 1.0 Unit

Member Price: $35 USD | Non-member Price: $50 USD
Purchase includes streaming video recording and slideshow PDF.


Did you register for the SCUP 2020 North Atlantic Regional Conference? If you did, great news! You have free access to this and all of the recordings and slideshows from that event. Go to the Registrations page of your account (login required), find “SCUP 2020 North Atlantic Regional Conference,” and click “View.”

Looking to earn CEUs? You can earn Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) by watching this session recording and passing a short quiz. Learn more here.