Bowling Green State University
What are the demographics in Ohio and how will changes impact enrollment?
- Ohio’s population is declining. Growth rate for the U.S. between April 2000 and July 2005 was 5.3 percent; in Ohio it was less than 1 percent.
- The southern and central section of Ohio are expected to grow while little growth is predicted for the seven counties—Wood, Lucas, Cuyahoga, Erie, Lorain, Franklin and Huron—that supply about 50 percent of BGSU students.
- As the percentage of older adults grows in Ohio, the percentage of traditional age college students (18-24) is predicted to remain flat.
- Ohio and other Midwest states are losing population to the Sun Belt (Texas, Florida, Georgia, Arizona). Some experts theorize that this population decrease could lead to a lower tax base and less political support for higher education, and a downward spiral of decreasing enrollment and resources, greater competition and growing mediocrity.
- The U.S. middle class continues to pull apart into economic “haves” and “have nots” with educational levels as the primary determinant. Ohio’s college participation rate continues to lag behind the national average.
Changing face of students at BGSU
By 2013-14 Ohio will graduate 10,000 fewer high school graduates than today according to a report on high school graduates by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. During that time span, African American high school graduates in Ohio are projected to decline by 12.5%, whites by 8.42%, and Hispanics are projected to gain by 24%. BGSU will be increasingly reliant on transfer, international, distance, adult and other non-traditional populations to maintain enrollments.
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