Looking out my office window at one of the world’s greatest cities, I am inspired — and reminded that the only constant is change. Change among our nation’s colleges and universities is nothing new, but near-future shifts promise to be profound and significantly alter higher education.
By 2025, U.S. colleges and universities are widely expected to reach an enrollment “cliff.” Due to declining birth rates dating back to 2008, this year marks the beginning of a steep drop in the number of college-age students in our country, causing a long-predicted drop in college enrollment — by an estimated 15% between 2025 and 2029, according to the Higher Education Demand Index.
The national decline has already begun: Undergraduate enrollment fell 11.4% between 2017 and 2022.
However, Stevens has resoundingly defied this trend. From 2011 to now, our undergraduate enrollment increased 68%.
You may ask, how? From a shrinking college pool and rapid changes in technology to an increasingly diverse student population and rising costs of a college education, Stevens is confronting and adapting to realities head-on.
The university responds to the growing needs of society by creating programs in high-demand areas such as computer science, quantitative finance and other technology-related fields.
Through bridge programs like ACES (Accessing Careers in Engineering and Science), the Stevens Technical Enrichment Program (STEP) and others, we recruit a broader range of students who enrich the experiences of all our community members and expand our nation’s talent pool as we strive to solve the world’s greatest challenges.
And our nationally ranked career outcomes, ROI and astoundingly low 0.4% student loan default rate prove that our graduates see lifelong returns and stellar futures. Indeed, 97.3% of the Class of 2022, the most recent class for which we have data, secured career outcomes within six months of graduation, with an average starting salary of $84,700.
We have always been innovators. Stevens has thrived for more than 153 years because we have adapted well, and we will continue to do so into the future — a future that we embrace.
President, Stevens Institute of Technology