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Education & Enrollment Trends

Virginia’s school enrollment declined in 2018 for the first time in decades

For decades, Virginia’s public school enrollment has grown steadily along with Virginia’s population, but the results from this year’s September student count show that in 2018, Virginia’s enrollment fell by a little over 2,000 students—the first decline in enrollment since 1984. While this year’s dip in student enrollment is relatively small compared to Virginia’s total […]

Helping first-gen students: first find them in high school

As our nation embraces–and as the workplace demands–postsecondary education for an increasingly wider swath of students graduating from high school, the question arises: what factors discourage, or even prevent, high school students from applying for admission to Virginia’s many fine postsecondary institutions?  Certainly, finances, family constraints, academic and career interests, and other issues may influence […]

What are the most popular colleges in Virginia?

The Most Popular College Football Teams on Facebook According to the New York Times’ analysis of the number of “likes” it receives on Facebook, Virginia Tech has easily the most popular football team in Virginia, but among undergraduate applicants, Virginia Tech is not nearly as popular a choice. Data from the State Council of Higher Education […]

Where Virginia legislators went to college

The Washington Post recently published a graphic showing where the 100 U.S. senators went to college. It might be nothing more than an interesting bit of biographical information about our elected officials, but it could also be meaningful. For educated and increasingly mobile Americans, college is often a formative experience and a college’s culture can […]

The Goldilocks problem: Enrollment trends are not being kind to Virginia’s schools

This week, the Demographics Research Group published a new Census Brief covering recent trends in Virginia’s public school enrollment. Despite the weak economy, most of Virginia’s localities have continued to grow in population during the past five years. Throughout the recession and the subsequent recovery, Virginia has consistently had more people moving in than out. […]

The demographics of declining college enrollment

Despite a rise in high school graduation rates, college enrollment is dropping from its 2011 peak, leaving many small colleges scrambling.  Here in Virginia, enrollment has largely been steady, but two small colleges closed in the last two years, and others have sounded the alarm on declining enrollment or missed targeted growth.  Every struggling college certainly has […]

What’s Driving the Rise in High School Graduation Rates?

Much of the news that circulates regarding the state of education is not positive, but one trend that remains under-reported is the significant rise in public high school graduation rates during the past decade. By the end of this month, around 85,000 high school seniors are expected to have graduated from Virginia’s public schools.That is […]

Metropolitan Cross-Sections: College Graduates

With input from Hamilton, I’ve been looking recently at how metropolitan areas change as one travels from the center to the periphery.  The following charts show the percent of the population 25 and older with bachelor’s degrees.  The graphs are based on concentric rings coming out from the center of downtown.  I’ve included reference maps […]

Education in Virginia: Doing it at home

Three decades ago homeschooling in Virginia was legally questionable and rare. But since the Code of Virginia was amended in 1984 to specifically allow for homeschooling, the number of children educated at home has grown steadily. When the Virginia Department of Education first began counting the number of homeschool students in 1989, there were 3,000 students. […]