The Changer of the Demand Curve for the Undergraduate Enrolment and Education

Many high schoolers consider first the cost of any educational institution before they choose to apply. This is certain. And this cost is therefore the determining factor of how students act in the market of university enrolment. We call it the market because the universities and colleges are suppliers of the product, an undergraduate degree, to the consumers of the students themselves. But how the demand for it varies and through what particular main effect and influence is what we are most interested in and is the point of our discussion here.

The claim is that the main contributing affect that increases or decreases the demand for an enrolment to any institution is the change in the amount of fund of scholarship and financial aid offered from any particular educational institution.

First, we notice the gradual increase in the enrolment of undergraduate institutions from as early as 1990 to our present time. Here is the actual and projected undergraduate enrolment statistics from the 1990 to 2023, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

figure_cha_1

Here is the link: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cha.asp

This fact alone begs for an explanation as to what could possibly have been inducing such a gradual increase in the enrolment of universities and colleges, despite the fact that these are the years that the cost of undergraduate education was on a spiking increase. Average amount of tuition and fee of any undergraduate educational institution, either private or public, could scarcely need an explanation and evidence as to how high and skyrocketing they are now. So to explain this rather paradoxical increase in the enrolment at the face of such a high cost of enrolment, we now refer back to our claim and examine the importance of scholarship and financial aid in explaining the high demand for undergraduate enrolment.

Now then let us look at the NCES’ statistics of the percentage of students receiving any financial aid during the years between 2006 and 2012.

figure_cuc_1

Here is the link: https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=31

This correlation of increase in the percentage of students receiving financial aid and the increase in the enrolment clearly suggests that the role of the fund of scholarship and financial aid available to students in general is the determining factor, or more precisely, the changer of the demand curve for the undergraduate enrolment and education. What is even more striking is that during the few years from 2009-2012, the only time when the enrolment number is in rather relatively sudden fall, we see the percentage of students receiving any financial aid also on an evident fall, indicating, in another words, the correlative slump of any financial aid fund. This is most evident in the case of private-for-profit institutions since they are, as we know, usually offering the more flexible scope of financial aid fund than the others.

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