By JEAN EVANGELAUF
Chronicle of Higher Education
College enrollment is expected to climb over the next decade, with the fastest growth among women and members of minority groups, according to a report released on Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics.
From 2005 to 2016, total enrollment is expected to rise 17 percent, to 20.4 million. Of that number, nearly 60 percent are expected to be women and more than a third will be members of minority groups. (For details, see a table of enrollment projections from the report.)
Enrollment of women will jump 22 percent in the 11-year period, while enrollment of men will rise 10 percent. Women will predominate even more than they do now in college classrooms. By 2016, 59.8 percent of all college students are expected to be women, up from 57.4 percent in 2005, the latest year for which firm enrollment figures are available.
The most important factor behind the overall growth is the increase in the traditional college-age population, the report said. Enrollment of students age 18 to 24 will climb 15 percent, to about 12 million, from 2005 to 2016.