Common App’s Next Chapter is about tackling this challenge head-on with our member colleges and partners.
Serving more low- and middle-income students will require us to reverse the downward trend of postsecondary enrollment. In 2021, 62% of high school grads (age 16-24) enrolled at 2- or 4-year institutions, compared to 68% in 2010 (according to National Center for Education Statistics data).
And, expanding our reach is made even more difficult by other factors affecting today’s higher education landscape. One, we know the population of students graduating from high school each year is declining.
And, people continue to question the value of higher education.
According to Gallup, Americans’ confidence in higher education fell to 36% in 2023, sharply lower than in two prior readings in 2015 (57%) and 2018 (48%).
But, the value of postsecondary education has been well researched and demonstrated.
We believe we can turn these challenges into opportunities by focusing on underserved groups of prospective students. Such as low- and middle-income students, first-generation learners, and adults without a degree beyond high school.