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Statewide Plan for Higher Education 2004-2012

Appendix B


These projections assume that institutions, sectors, the Regents, and other participants in higher education in New York take no steps that would change them.


  • The projections of New York State high school graduates show increased graduates until 2009. However, full-time undergraduate enrollments increase until 2012.
  • In most years, there was a projected year-to-year increase of both part-time and full-time undergraduates in every sector (Table B1).
  • Except for part-time graduate students at SUNY, an increase in graduate students is projected in every sector (Table B2).
  • Full-time undergraduate enrollment will grow fastest at SUNY. The independent sector will have the second fastest growth, followed by proprietary institutions and CUNY (Table B2).

Table B1, Headcount (Full and Part-Time)

Projected Total Enrollment Growth by Sector - Not Full-Time Equivalents), 2003- 2013
Sector 2003 2013 Change
% Change
State University of New York 409,886 432,267 23,381 5.5%
The City University of New York 212,711 216,607 3,896 1.8%
Independent Institutions 443,398 460,291 16,893 3.8%
Proprietary Colleges 46,394 46,300 -94 -0.2%
Statewide Total 1,112,389 1,155,465 43,076 3.9%
Source: NYSED Office of Research and Information Systems, 2004.


Table B2

Statewide Projected Percentage Changes in Enrollment, 2003-2013
Sector Undergraduate Graduate
Full-Time Part-Time  Full-Time Part-Time
State University of New York 10.7% 0.1% 3.3% -0.3%
The City University of New York 4.9% 2.7% 1.9% 2.0%
Independent Institutions 8.1% 0.6% 2.9% 2.1%
Proprietary Colleges 5.7% 1.7% 1.9% 1.0%
Statewide Total 8.4% 1.0% 2.9% 1.6%
Source: NYSED Office of Research and Information Systems, 2003.


Table B3

Projected Percent Change in Enrollment by Regents Region, 2003-2013
Regents Region Undergraduate Graduate
Full-Time Part-Time  Full-Time


Western 3.3% -4.3% 2.2% -2.8%
Genesee Valley 3.6% -2.3% 3.0% -0.7%
Central 7.5% -2.8% 3.0% -1.4%
Northern -0.4% 1.1% 5.2% 1.3%
Northeast 6.2% -2.2% 3.2% 2.3%
Mid-Hudson 14.8% 3.5% 4.3% 4.6%
New York City 6.7% 2.5% 2.4% 2.4%
Long Island 20.5% 3.1% 4.4% 1.5%
Statewide 8.2% 1.0% 2.9% 1.6%
Source: NYSED Office of Research and Information Systems, 2003.



  • Overall, undergraduate and graduate enrollment will grow until 2012, statewide. After 2012, enrollments will decline slightly (Chart B1).
  • Institutions drawing full-time undergraduates substantially from three downstate regions (Mid-Hudson, Long Island, and New York City) will have the fastest growth in full-time undergraduate enrollment. These three regions will account for 78 percent of the projected growth in total enrollments, yet they have only 68 percent of the total State population (New York State Statistical Year Book, 2001). This results from projected different rates of population growth by region (Tables B1 and B3 and Chart B1). As a result of the projected growth patterns, all upstate regions will see their share of the higher education market drop, or grow at a much slower rate than downstate regions. The upstate regions are not necessarily losing population; their population growth may be slower than the three downstate regions' growth.
  • Changes in enrollment are not constant across sectors, types of students, and regions of enrollment. (Tables B1, B2, and B3). The growth rate of part-time graduate students enrolled in the Western region will decline by 2.8 percentage points, while full-time undergraduate enrollment in the region will grow by 3.3 percent.
Assumptions and Caveats

This model highlights the effects of general demographic changes on future enrollment at colleges and universities. Such variables as participation rates, survival rates, and market shares of individual colleges and universities were held constant for the projection period. No attempt was made to assess and incorporate the effects of possible changes in economic conditions, student aid funding, institutional fiscal resources, admissions policies, cultural or socioeconomic changes in the population, or other factors. Since these variables were held constant, the model does not predict significant shifts in sector or institutional market shares.

The model does not address certain shifts in population characteristics/elements. For example, while members of minority groups constitute an increasing share of the State's population, at present we are not able to identify specific changes in minority enrollment in colleges and universities. Fundamental demographic shifts of this nature may be addressed at a later time. The model does address the nature of overall changes in the number and distribution of prospective students in the State. For example, we can identify in some detail the consequences of relatively greater population growth downstate. It means that the Mid-Hudson, New York City, and Long Island regions will contribute more of the population enrolled in colleges and universities than they have in the past (Table B4). For example, Table B4 projects the number of part-time undergraduates from New York City to more than double by 2013.

Table B4

(Contribution by region to overall projected growth by type of student)

Proportion of Growth by Region, 2003 - 2013
Regents Region Undergraduate Graduate Total
Full-Time Part-Time Full-Time Part-Time
No.  % No.  % No.  % No.  % No.  %
Western 2,086 3.8 -603 -26.9 166 7.4 -217 -12.6 1,432 2.4
Genesee Valley 1,856 3.4 -455 -20.3 133 5.9 -44 -2.5 1,490 2.5
Central 6,587 12.1 -412 -18.4 316 14.0 -110 -6.4 6,381 10.5
Northern -49 -0.1 29 1.3 47 2.1 8 0.5 35 0.1
Northeast 4,035 7.4 -557 -24.8 157 7.0 177 10.2 3,812 6.3
Mid-Hudson 8,812 16.2 953 42.5 125 5.5 390 22.6 10,280 16.9
New York City 15,584 28.6 2,317 103.3 929 41.2 1,248 72.2 20,078 33.0
Long Island 15,635 28.7 972 43.3 384 17.0 277 16.0 17,268 28.4
Statewide 54,546 100.0 2,244 100.0 2,257 100.0 1,729 100.0 60,776 100.0
Source: NYSED Office of Research and Information Systems, 2003.


Chart B1
Enrollment Projection Methods and Definition of Terms

Total Enrolled Students by All Types (Not FTE)


The method this model uses involves six major steps repeated in varying ways for each enrollment group: full- or part-time undergraduates, graduate students, and first-professional degree students. The steps were:

  1. Collating historical enrollment and gathering or developing high school graduate and population projections;
  2. Calculating historical and projected participation rates;
  3. Calculating projected pools of students in each of the eight Regents Higher Education Regions;
  4. Calculating projected market shares of each institution for each regional pool;
  5. Distributing projected student pools to each institution; and
  6. Using cohort survival data from each degree-granting institution to estimate the total enrollment of full-time undergraduates.

Definition of Terms

Enrollment data
The model used four years of historical enrollment data by institution for the projection. It also included two years of enrollments by institution with student region of origin. Numbers of high school graduates by county were projected for the years 2003 to 2013. This projection involved obtaining enrollment figures for first grade through 12th grade for the school years 1998-2002. Grade progression rates were calculated for each of the four historical years and used to develop projected grade progression ratios by county. Finally, the latest Census projections from Cornell Statistical Services for each county by age group to the year 2013 were used in conjunction with predicted high school graduates.

Participation rates
rrefer to the proportion of a population that attends colleges and universities in New York State. Rates are calculated for specific age groups, student levels, and attendance levels in each geographical/regional pool.

Projection of student pools
Multiplying a projected age group's population by its projected participation rate resulted in projection of a total enrolled student pool. For full-time, first-time undergraduates (incoming freshmen), the age groups were recent high school graduates, 20 through 24 year olds, and 25 through 29 year olds. Those used in projecting the part-time undergraduate and graduate student pools were 15 through 19, 20 through 24, 25 through 34, 35 through 49, and 50+.

Institutional market share
was calculated by dividing each institution's actual enrollments by the total statewide enrollment for students from each regional pool. Each college had market shares calculated for each type of student it enrolls. Therefore, a market share was assigned to every institution for every age group and geographic pool of students.

Distribution of the projected student pools
Projected student pools were distributed by multiplying each institution's projected share of each type of enrolled student by the projected pool of that type of student.

Cohort survival
The use of cohort techniques for full-time, first-time undergraduates (incoming freshmen) involved calculating a survival rate unique to each institution. This rate was applied to incoming freshmen to generate the number of continuing full-time undergraduates.

Appendix C

We would also like to thank our colleagues in the State Education Department who spent countless hours to capture the best thinking of all partners and to integrate it into the Plan.

Byron Connell, Team Leader
Theresa Czapary
Celia B. Diamond
James Donsbach
Jacqueline A. Kane
Linnea LoPresti
Robert F. McHugh
Barbara D. Meinert
Shannon Roberson
Glenwood L. Rowse
Margaret Watrous
Betty Zhou
Mei Zhou

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Last Updated: October 28, 2009