chapter  Chapter 1
39 Pages

A Question of Numbers

ByAllan O. Pfnister

The revisions in enrollment projections made by the Carnegie Commission are illustrative of the shifts in judgment that have been taking place generally among those engaged in estimating future enrollments in American higher education. Revisions in the 1971 report were made when the final report of the commission was issued in 1973. One of the first council reports dealt with enrollment projections, and it referred to "dramatic, even traumatic" changes in the condition of higher education and to the "decline of the old and the birth of a new vision of the future for higher education." The Carnegie Commission observes that there has been a shift away from formal programs in higher education to a wide range of other kinds of postsecondary learning. As numerous reports and articles have documented, higher education in the United States has experienced an almost continuous growth pattern since its establishment with the founding of Harvard in 1636.