Minority Applicants To Colleges Will Rise Significantly By 2020

Over the next decade, more students of color than ever before will pass through the gates of the nation's colleges and join the ranks of its work force, according to new projections by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

By the year 2020, minority students will account for 45 percent of the nation's public high-school graduates, up from 38 percent in 2009. In short, the number of white and black graduates will decline, and the number of Hispanic and Asian-American/Pacific Islander graduates will rise significantly.

Those projections appear in the latest edition of Knocking at the College Door, a regular report on demographic change published by the commission, which is known as Wiche. Released on Thursday, the updated report includes national, regional, and state-by-state projections for graduates of public and private high schools through 2027-28, revealing the enrollment challenges colleges must adapt to.

Birthrates and migration patterns are altering the racial and ethnic composition of the population, according to the report. Although increases in minority graduates will vary from state to state, not one, it says, "will escape the necessity of addressing the particular needs of a diversifying student body."

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