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The Echo Boom Generation: Statistics and Higher Education

September 12, 2006

Today I read that the Echo Boom generation, which includes this year’s eighteen-year olds, will peak demographically in 2009. In that year the largest group of high school seniors in the U.S. will graduate: 3.2 million. This means that college enrollments should increase every year until about 2015. My statistics here come from a July 30, 2006 New York Times article (you must be a registered user).

These numbers are staggering. What do they mean for higher education? For one, staff and faculty jobs should abound. This is good news for all those finishing up in the next few years. For those already working in higher education, it’s not too soon to start planning.

But what are this coming generation’s interests? What will be the most popular major? What jobs will they be seeking? What does college mean to them? What is important to them? Competition for limited resources (scholarships and grants) will be fierce. I wonder what the best sources are for generalizations on the Echo Boomers? – TL

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