White Paper: How to Scale Higher Education’s Looming Demographic Cliff

Higher education has faced several challenges over the years, but the demographic cliff feels different. The college recruitment landscape is changing … and not just because of the lasting effects of COVID-19 on enrollment.

In the coming years, there simply will not be enough traditional students enrolling in our colleges and universities to keep pace with institutions’ enrollment goals.

Projected to begin in 2025 (and likely to continue for decades), a “demographic cliff” for higher education is coming to the United States in the form of a dramatic drop in the traditional, college-aged population. This cliff is a result of a dramatic decline in the U.S. birthrate that began during the Great Recession in 2007. According to the Brookings Institute, the birthrate is down nearly 20% from 2007-2020 … and a rebound is unlikely.

College enrollment management and marketing stands at a generational precipice — where declining enrollment and fierce competition for students are the market norm.

In our recent white paper, Climbing Gear: How to Scale Higher Education’s Looming Demographic Cliff, we outline how being intentional with your recruitment strategy and using the right tools and messaging at the right time will help you ascend the cliff and achieve your enrollment goals.