Episode 77 - Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education

President Scott L Wyatt and Steve Meredith discuss the upcoming shift in enrollment numbers at universities and colleges with Nathan Grawe, professor of economics at Carleton College and author of Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education.

Full Transcript

Steve Meredith: Hi again everyone, and welcome to Solutions for Higher Education, a podcast featuring Scott L Wyatt, the president of Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. I’m your host, Steve Meredith, and I’m joined in-studio today, as I always am, by President Wyatt. Scott, how are you? 

Scott Wyatt: Good morning, Steve.

Meredith: It’s a cold, January day as we record this but, as usual in our part of the world, if it’s not actually snowing, it’s bright and sun-shiny with beautiful clear air, crisp and easy to breathe…so, come see us in Cedar City. There’s my chamber of commerce for this morning. Anyway, we are doing a series of podcasts right now about a looming crisis that’s besetting higher education. And part of what is driving this anticipated downturn in enrollment is demographics. There just are demographic changes in the United States, particularly among those that we would ordinarily consider to be our bread and butter students, 18-22 year olds. And so, we have joining with us today a very special guest, the guy who actually wrote the book on which a lot of this information is based and has created all sorts of models that are giving people in our line of work a moment of pause. So, why don’t we take a minute and introduce our guest? 

Wyatt: Yeah, thank you Steve. We’re so delighted to be joined today by Dr. Nathan Grawe who is a Professor of Economics, the Ada M. Harrison Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. Welcome, Nathan. 

Dr. Nathan Grawe: Thanks so much for having me. 

Wyatt: I was sitting on an airplane a while ago reading your book, Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education and the guy sitting next to me said, “Where do you work?” And he said, “I can tell you must work at higher ed, because nobody else would be reading a book like that.” [Both laugh] And it wasn’t a legal thriller or anything like that, but it put us into a really interesting discussion about what’s happening with enrollments because he was an employee at another university in our state. Anyway, welcome so very much. 

Grawe: Yeah, it’s great to be with you. 

Wyatt: What got you on to this topic? Where did…what was the impetus for you to take this subject of higher education enrollments and so forth as one of the leading issues for you? 

Grawe: So, I was…I’ve been a professor at Carleton for just over 20 years now, but in 2009 I took a little detour for three years into the administration and was associate dean of the college. And during that time, we had a strategic planning exercise and I was chairing one of the committees and our president decided to kick off that exercise with some data presentations. And that was the first time—this was about 2011 or ’12—it was the first time I saw data from the WICUE (or Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education) projecting the number of high school graduates by state across the country. And many in higher ed at this point will have bumped into those data, you can go online and see some terrific state-by-state depictions of that data if you go to wicue.org, but what I saw was a couple of things. One is that there was generally a decline in the northeast quadrant of the country in the number of projected high school graduates and that over time, it looked like the number of high school graduates was expected to take a significant tumble beginning in the mid-2020s. and so, it was precipitous enough of a change that my first thought was, “Wow, I better keep my CV in order because this doesn’t look good.” The northeast quadrant of the country is where we draw the most higher ed students, at least that  portion of the population, it’s our densest population of higher education institutions and so, in particular, the disturbance in the northeast gave me pause. But then it began…I started kicking a question around in my head and I wondered, “But does this really have anything to say about the number of kids who are going to college or maybe going to a four-year college or a four-year college like mine?” And so, that was the set of questions that got me thinking about this. And I do some things to try to differentiate between what we might expect for, say, a community college in at one end or a highly selective four-year institution on the other side, can we differentiate these kinds of markets and what kinds of insights does that yield?

Wyatt: Yeah, what you bring to this discussion is some meaning to the words, “Enrollments are going to change.” That doesn’t really mean a whole lot to anybody until you broke that down into, “What does the demographics do to the elite universities? What does it do to the national ones? What does it do to the regional ones? What does it do by region?” That’s what becomes so fascinating about your research is that we can all see some relevance in the data for our schools, for each of us. 

Grawe: Yeah, and I think the interesting thing to me was to see that we do all fit in the same market in some sense. We’re facing some similarities, but we also have some significant differences. So, for instance, the rising number of adults who have college degrees, the legacy of the great access push that higher education has been on for a number of decades now, is going to pay an intergenerational dividend. There will be children now of parents who have college degrees, and those children are more likely to attend four-year colleges in particular, and more selective forms of four-year colleges in particular. So, we as a result can expect there to be a little bit of an updraft for more selective forms of higher ed, but where we all sit together is in the backdraft of the financial crisis. Young families decided that maybe it wasn’t the best time to have children and fertility rates declined and, in fact, they’ve continued to decline through at least 2018. And so, that means that about 18 years later, we can expect there to be a smaller population of prospective students for traditional-aged college. And the declines we’re talking about are significant. We’re talking 10% to 15% nationally and in some parts of the country, much steeper than that. So that no matter where you are in higher ed, we can expect that in the mid-2020s, we’re going to see a significant reversal. And so, we end up sharing some burdens together and yet having distinct paths at the same time. 

Wyatt: Yeah, so you’re referring to the Great Recession, the way we might describe it, it 2008?

Grawe: Exactly, the financial crisis. 

Wyatt: And if…yeah. So, if during that year the fertility rate dropped significantly as you say between 10% and 15%, then you just play it out 18 years later when those children who weren’t born aren’t going to colleges and universities and that’s about 2026.

Grawe: Exactly. 

Wyatt: And then as that occurs with fewer students in the country going to college, then how does that relate to the elite universities that are recruiting and…I thought it was fascinating how you describe in your book that the elite universities will never likely have any issues because they can recruit nationally. And, as you’ve just said, second and third generation college students are likely to go to those types of universities. So, then the…

Grawe: They have…

Wyatt: Please.

Grawe: They have several advantages. So, it’s certainly true that they can draw from a national market, they’re not geographically bound. I think most institutions, if they looked at their admissions data, would conclude that they’re significantly more bound by geography, even institutions that are ranked very highly, say on the U.S. News list, ranked 40 or 50, if you look at what states they’re drawing from, they don’t draw a representative sample from the country. I’m not sure that any institutions do, but if there are any, it would only be at the very, very tip-top of the pile. And so, as a result, we have institutions at the top that have a little bit more give because they can go to different markets. But they’re also more selective. They have deep application pools and so they have the option of just dipping a little further into their pool and that, of course, only makes things a little bit tighter for competing institutions that lose out on those students. So, there’s…it’s another place where we all find ourselves in the same market, that there are overlaps between markets and they’re connected one to another so that we all sort of are chain linked. On the flipside, I think that as we see institutions respond to declining numbers of prospective students, I wouldn’t be surprised to see many institutions—thinking here about privates, but also increasingly public—engaging more aggressively with merit aid and discounting. That kind of pressure can create pressure that goes upward. You might find that you compete well with another institution for a student in the current environment, but if you're competing with another institution that starts getting aggressive with discounting and offering financial aid, you may start losing students that you’ve become accustomed to winning. 

Wyatt: Yeah. So, if the elite schools have big applicant pools that they can dip down just a little bit lower in then that affects the national schools, and if those schools respond similarly then that affects the regional universities, which Southern Utah University is one. 

Meredith: Right. 

Wyatt: And it was interesting as I was sitting on the plane reading your book, sitting next to somebody from our flagship school in Utah and he just said to me, “Yeah, our president just announced that we have intentions of growing by something like 8,000 additional students” and I thought, “Oh, here it comes.” 

Meredith: That’s actually not great news for us. [All laugh]

Wyatt: Because it appears…it has always appeared to us that our flagship school has never really tried to recruit, they’ve just been the flagship so whoever comes, comes and they’ve had very stable, slightly growing enrollments. But not much, they’re not like everybody else that’s been kind of competing for students. And so, I thought, “Well, if they start competing, that’s going to change things in our state a bit and then of course, as you know, we have in Utah the home of Western Governors University which has very aggressive enrollment plans. 

Meredith: Already at 100,000+, 120,000+ I think.

Grawe: Right. 

Meredith: And a stated public goal of…

Wyatt: A million. 

Meredith: A million students, yeah. Which is…could take all of the universities in our region and quite a few other regions. 

Wyatt: Yeah. 

Grawe: Yeah, those kinds of things remind us that as much as demographics are worth attending to. Also, we can’t go back to the year 2012 and add kids to the birth cohort. So, it’s something we need to be aware of but not fixated on because there are other factors, like the competition with Western Governors or our retention and student success rates, these are things we actually can control and of course, nothing is going to slow down the pace of change in those areas. We are likely to be confronting demographic challenges at the same time as we continue to wrestle with these other changes in higher education. In fact, we might anticipate the pace of change to increase a bit as institutions are working either way through demographic change by looking at, “Well, can we offer online options?” Or, “How can we be the institution that successfully recruits its way through this tightness?” But I think it is likely to be a time of considerable change. Whether we want to participate in that change or not I guess we can decide our participation, but I suspect the environment around us is going to choose change. That we’re going to experience it whether we participate or not. 

Wyatt: Yeah. And there’s nothing quite more unsettling than seeing change and we’re not changing. 

Meredith: Right.


Grawe: Right, exactly. 

Wyatt: Because then you’re acted upon rather than acting. It’s kind of scary to see where you land. But one of the other interesting things about your book is not only this discussion about how enrollments are changing and we go from the birth dearth in about 2008 that carries right through to the next 18-20+ years, but the effect that that has on faculty. So, you’ve got a projection about a reduction in the number of faculty…and there’s an interesting discussion…a reduction in the number of faculty that are being hired, employed in the country. If the students dip, then that generally means that the faculty will too. 

Grawe: Yeah. And we can imagine that as the number of students decline, we maintain the same number of faculty and student-to-faculty ratio will decline…but while it’s easy enough, I suppose, to imagine that, it’s financially not very sustainable. 

Wyatt: No, and in addition to that is the increasing discount rate so that universities and colleges can be more competitive. 

Grawe: Yeah. 

Wyatt: For our listeners that don’t understand the term “discount rate,” in order to be competitive and draw students in, we reduce the tuition charges. 

Meredith: Through waivers and scholarships. 

Wyatt: Yeah, which brings in less revenue. So, if you’re bringing in less revenue to be competitive, it’s really hard to have the same number of faculty members if your enrollments are dropping. 

Grawe: Exactly. And that might mean that…we can think of a number of different margins that we can make changes to. We can change the total number of faculty, we can change the nature of faculty…so, maybe part of it is a reduction in total number but another way you can have savings is obviously to shift the weight from tenured faculty and continued faculty to more temporary and adjunct faculty. Obviously as a tenured faculty member, I think that there are some losses to the institution when we rely heavily on temporary staff who don’t have a commitment to the institution in the same way and so aren’t as likely to bring a mirroring commitment of their own. 

Wyatt: Mhmm. 

Grawe: But I understand that financial pressures are going to create, in all likelihood, tough choices to administrators who are looking for ways to continue to offer programs that their communities need, but at the same time facing a total enrollment count that may be lower and, like you said, a more expensive student body at the same time. Something’s got to give. So, yeah, I think we can imagine, “Is it possible to avoid these decreases in enrollment through increasing enrollment?” I would say the answer is in some hypothetical sense, “Yes.” We can look back to, for instance, the 1990s and 80s, there was a similar decline in fertility following the baby boom. So, there was considerable concern in higher education that, “Well, this would mean that in the echo of that decline in fertility, we would see the decline in enrollment.” And of course, we didn’t see that in the 80s and 90s. we saw an expansion in enrollment. I would argue though that if we go back to why that was, some of it was that higher ed did change. We reached out to adult learners, we expanded gender equity so that we reached the 50% mark and then some with women attending. But I think the biggest factor was the returns to education went through the roof and so everybody wanted to go to college and so, that caused the share of high school graduates going to college to increase from something like 50% to 60%. Well, now we stand with 70% of high school graduates attending college, I don’t know that we should necessarily hope that the returns to a college degree are necessarily going to spike in the same way in the next decade. If they did, I suppose that would drive more people to college and that even though we had declining numbers of young people, we might skate through without seeing an enrollment decline. But I don’t think that we should necessarily make a strategy of hope based on that…lots of hope that the international economy changes in ways that are beneficial to us right when we need it. I think we need to at least be prepared for the possibility that we will see a declining pool of students who are interested just because there are fewer of them. 

Meredith: Yes. It’s unlikely that any of those three things that happened in the 80s and 90s will save us again I think. As you suggest, we’re already now…most universities are, if they’re not there already, are approaching 60:40 in terms of females versus males on campus. So, that aspect that buffered that in the 80s and 90s is not available to us now. All of the things that you mentioned are things that saved us once but probably won’t save us again, correct?

Grawe: Yeah. I think at this point you’d have to say, “Well, if you want it with gender equity, we’ve got to figure out how to speak to males.”

Wyatt: How do you…

Grawe: And draw them into education. 

Meredith: Yeah, men. 

Grawe: Scott, I do hear a number of leaders in higher education…obviously this is going to be deeply tied to the context of the institution, so for some institutions, this isn’t the way through, but some of them are seeing opportunities with the adult learner market. There are so many adults who are in the workplace right now who will need to retool at one time or another, and so I guess these institutions use that as an underserved market. So, already we have something like one quarter of full enrollments in the country are of non-traditional age. So, we…I think there’s a real question of as much as we might see the need for adults to come back to higher education, the real question is whether those adults see the need to come back to higher education. 

Meredith: Right.

Grawe: And there, I think some research by Gallup and Strata has suggested that we have some work to do to convince adults that that really is the case.

Wyatt: Yeah. The other element that I think is different today than it was in the 70s and 80s is the public’s perception of a return on investment of a higher education. 

Grawe: Yeah. 

Wyatt: We could make a compelling case for how the ROI is so positive, but I don’t think that we’ve ever seen so much conversation in the media and elsewhere about kind of the negative things about, “It’s too expensive” and “That’s too high” and all of those kinds of things. 

Grawe: Yeah, I’ve been really discouraged by the persistence of that negative story line, precisely because of the data. The data points to the power of a higher education degree so clearly, and yet the perception issue remains. I was looking at…Georgetown has done a study of return on investment by institution and you can question all sorts of things in the methodology, but if we take sort of as a  given and then rank the institutions by return on investment, even the least performing institutions were generally putting out a positive return on investment, which is pretty impressive if you think about it. And at the top end, the return is enormous. And the top end doesn’t mean the most selective. The highest return on investment schools are spread through all different institution types. You can find institutions of higher education that will advance you toward your life goal. So, we’ve got that, we’ve got this persistent story about the explosion of student debt—and there has been a dramatic increase in the global student debt, but a lot of that is driven by graduate school debt, which is not the story that people are thinking of. When you look at the average debt to a graduate from a four-year public institution, it remains very modest and very manageable as compared to the something like $1,500 a month premium that comes with holding that four-year degree. So, how is it that we can have all of this evidence of the continued potency of a college degree and still have the perception that the investment might not be worth it? Troubling. 

Wyatt: Yeah, it is troubling. I think our…I can’t remember the exact number, but I think the average student at our school who graduates with debt has about $16,000. 

Meredith: Yeah, just under $17K.

Wyatt: And we played that out in terms of what we know about the salaries that students are earning after graduation from high school or college, and I think that we concluded that it took seven years. 

Grawe: Yep. 

Wyatt: If you borrow 100% of the money and didn’t work at all, it would take about seven years to pay back. And then you’re ahead and growing that disparity for the rest of your life. It’s just so clear, but there’s a lot of elements…

Grawe: I think where…there are. I think where higher ed could pay more attention or better attention would be for the non-graduates. The people who come to higher education but don’t get a degree are often in a more difficult situation. When we look at the student debt-to-fault data, what we see is that it’s not students who have the larger debts that are more likely to fault actually, the default rates are higher for lower debt levels, and often that’s associated with people who have some college, but no degree. So, they’ve gone, they’ve acquired some debt, but then they don’t complete the degree that gets them the earning power. So, I appreciated the critique of those who say we need to do a better job of making sure that students who come to us persist to the end and get their degree, we still have work to do there. But the question that I do continue to hear about the broader value of the higher education value proposition is… I think your story is, like so many others, a $16,000 debt at graduation as compared to an auto loan or a home loan or the salary that they are likely to attain if they have a four year degree, it pales. That’s a very reasonable investment to make. 

Wyatt: Yeah, I know a lot of people with more than that on their credit card, just for consumer debt. [All laugh]

Grawe: And that’s not a good investment. 

Meredith: Are you looking at me when you’re saying that, President?

Wyatt: No, I have no idea what’s on your credit card. [All laugh] But the point is that there is a little bit more cynicism about higher ed today than there was in the 70s and 80s.

Meredith: Yeah. 

Grawe: Yeah. 

Wyatt: Which makes it a little bit more…it just throws in another element as to how we respond to this changing demographic of potential students. 

Grawe: Yeah, I think we have our work cut out for us. And that cynicism I think we do see in the traditional-age market. We can read research done by psychologists on Gen Z and whatever they call the generation after Gen Z and because they saw their parents wrestling with the consequences of the financial crisis in 2008, a lot of them are very skeptical about taking even modest debt. They’re skeptical about educational products that aren’t directly tied to careers, even though we have a lot of evidence that those kinds of educational paths that maybe aren’t pre-professional, nonetheless have high returns. So, we have a skeptical audience there, and then we have the adult learner market that also survey data suggests is skeptical about higher education and whether their best place for retraining. So, there’s a lot of skepticism left to overcome if we’re going to try to recruit our way out of the declining demographic. 

Wyatt: So, the word “crisis,” which has been used so frequently in the press about enrollment trends, I think the word “crisis” is a synonym with “opportunity” if we take it and respond. 

Grawe: Yep. 

Wyatt: What do you think…what are the opportunities here? What would you recommend? You’ve got a portion of your book dedicated to policy makers and what we should do. The story isn’t all negative because understanding the challenges is a positive thing in and of itself and helps motivate us to find solutions or to adapt and maybe improve the quality of what we’re doing or something to that extent. What are your thoughts about this? 

Meredith: Yeah, what I found particularly interesting about your book is this…I don’t know how you pronounce the acronym, is it HEDI? Your higher education demand index that you develop for this has…it breaks things out by college type and size and location and all of that. We would love to know what your recommendations are for this opportunity that we’re facing. 

Grawe: Yeah, so I think that is the right way to look at it is there’s a challenge in front of us, so that’s nothing new for higher education, and if we look at it through the right lens, we can view this as an opportunity to renew our commitment to our mission or perhaps adjust our mission in ways that are healthy for the next generation and the next century of students to come. So, we see a declining student pool, we can think about recruitment and that point to access. The last 20 years have been an incredible success story with the increased educational attainment by Hispanics. Among high school graduates, Hispanics now attend college at the same rate as the national average. Just maybe 15-20 years ago, there was a double-digit gap between Hispanics and the national average. So, that’s wonderful news. The surge in Hispanic enrollment—I thought perhaps it would be at two-year colleges because Hispanics have traditionally been more likely to attend two-year colleges—but that’s not the case. The biggest surge is in four-year institutions. So, we have an opportunity here to recognize the importance of speaking to all of the subgroups in our communities that we can reach. I think we’ve seen some interesting new approaches to enrollment and recruitment, partnerships with K-12 schools, but I think we also then have to imagine once we get students, we have the opportunity to focus more on retention. So, the national average on retention for four-year schools is something around 75%. That means one in four students that we recruit doesn’t stick around for even a second year. That gives us a lot of room for increasing enrollment without having to increase recruitment. There’s been some terrific work being done on two fronts. One, I think a lot of faculty will immediately think of, “Well, academic preparation is an issue with retention.” And there is some of that, and I think we can think about new support systems, we can think about new curriculum, we can think about certain mathematics requirements and writing requirements that are two of the most pronounced bottlenecks. Are there ways to reduce those bottlenecks? I’m more familiar with the quantitative side, so we know there are quantitative reasoning pathways and statistics pathways in addition to the traditional algebra pathways to get students to the mathematics, not just that they need for general ed, but also a mathematic that is better aligned to their program of study. In addition to the academic success, retention speaks to a sense of belonging. So, I know one institution in my state, St. Cloud University, has developed a short, ten-question questionnaire that they give the first year students that strongly predicts retention, and particularly, they’re trying to find students who might have a GPA of 3.0 or better and yet leave the institution. And they find these students are disproportionately disconnected from the institution; they don’t have a sense of belonging. So, by identifying those students who are at risk with low sense of belonging early, they are seeking ways to have faculty and staff reach out to those students, get them involved. I hear other institutions pushing initiatives that encourage students to get involved early in fall term in at least one extracurricular. They call it a “pick one initiative.” I think these are all really smart ways to try to address the challenges that we have with the declining number of prospective students by doing more with the students that we do have. Retaining them for longer and therefore simultaneously solving an enrollment problem that’s a financial problem for the institution, but also better fulfilling our mission, which of course is great for our students. 

Wyatt: Yeah, when I look back when I was a student which was before you were a student, Nathan. [All laugh]

Meredith: Yeah, we’ve actually commented that when you said you’ve been there for 20 years, you look like a student in your picture. [All laugh]

Grawe: Well, that’s very nice. I didn’t take a picture of the top of my head so…[All laugh]

Wyatt: But when I look back at when I was a student, and I think Steve’s experience was similar to mine, I didn’t think anybody really cared if I stayed or didn’t stay. 

Grawe: Hmm. 

Meredith: I’m 100% sure that no one would have ever noticed or made a phone call or sent a note or anything. 

Wyatt: Yeah, we’re all in on this. Wow, we are working very hard to make sure that students feel connected and help them be successful and if they don’t come, we call them and say, “What can we do to help you?”

Grawe: Yeah. 

Meredith: That’s right. 

Wyatt: That’s a…

Grawe: I’ve heard institutions find…go ahead. 

Wyatt: That’s a super positive. 

Grawe: Yeah. And I’ve heard institutions find that once they start down this path, they identify some really low hanging fruit. Some of it has to do with our institutional structure. I heard one institution where they sent an email to every student who was eligible to register for the next term but hadn’t by the typical registration cite—so, this is several thousand students, it’s a large institution—that they sent an email and said, “We noticed that you hadn’t re-registered, if there is an issue we can help with, just let us know.” And they got thousands of emails back and a lot of them pointing to, “It’s a library fine that resulted in a hold on my registration.” Those kinds of registration holds and other bureaucratic processes we hold are all there for a reason, so I don’t want to suggest that these are pointless, but when you start viewing it through the lens of student persistence and success, you might wonder, “Do we really need to go to the nuclear option and you can’t register? Or are there other…maybe we put a degree hold. We allow you to keep making progress toward your degree, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to pay your library fine. But we’re not going to stop you from getting into classes in a timely way so that you can get the classes that you need if you’re a junior, etc.” I think there are a lot of things that we can do that…we’ve just had sort of mission creep or bureaucratic creep, every step of the way it probably made sense at the time, but then you step back and take a look at the whole and say, “Oh, we can do better than this.” So, it’s an opportunity that way as well to re-envision how we operate, how we interact with our students. 

Wyatt: That puts it in a great frame. The challenge of continually improving our processes, helping students feel welcome, feel a part of the school, to try to find ways to help make the general education seem more relevant to them. My experience is students who don’t have any idea what their major ought to be but come to universities and flounder around for a while, haven’t defined the “why,” why they’re there, that they struggle with coming back and there’s a lot that we can do to help students figure that out. To just see ourselves more as a full service organization that’s really looking out for them and takes their needs at heart is going to make a big difference. 

Grawe: And once you have that perspective, then it becomes obvious that everybody on campus has a role to play. Our students are interacting with yes, faculty in classrooms and yes, enrollment management staff and advisement staff, but they also interact with the janitor in the dorm, they interact with staff at the dining hall, and every one of those touch points can be a resource to them. A student work supervisor can be the person who recognizes a student that is struggling and ask the question, “Hey, what’s up?” And finds out that, “OK, so you flunked a test. Did you know that we have an academic support center and I can at least point you in the right direction to get you hooked up with those resources?” I certainly know from my own undergraduate experience, my roommate, one of his closest contacts was the janitor in our dorm. I don’t know exactly how that relationship started, but ultimately, they were watching soaps downstairs during the lunch hour almost every day. [Laughter] And when he goes back to reunions, he looks her up. Because that was the adult who apparently had the opportunity and took it to make a relationship and say, “Whatever might happen to some other students, getting lost through the cracks is not going to happen to this one. This one is going to have an advocate; this one is going to have an adult who is looking out for them.” So, we all have roles. 

Wyatt: Well, and I want to thank you for this incredible book, Dr. Grawe, the Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education. It’s a spectacular book, very thoughtful. For anybody that’s…

Meredith: Yeah, we’ll put a link to Amazon on our website so that anybody that’s interested can pick up the book. 

Grawe: Well, thank you. 

Wyatt: And for any listener in Cedar City that wants to look at it, I have a couple of extra I can loan you to take a look at. We’ve passed these around, I’ve bought dozens of these, Nathan. [Laughs] 

Grawe: Well, the editor appreciates it as well. 

Wyatt: Yeah, I deserve a punch card. 

Meredith: Yeah, yeah. 

Wyatt: You know, “One free for every 12 bought.” [Laughs]

Grawe: Right. 

Wyatt: But it’s so thoughtful and it’s so helpful.

Grawe: Well, thank you so much for having me in this conversation. 

Meredith: You’ve been listening to Solutions for Higher Education, a podcast featuring Scott L Wyatt, the president of Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah. Today, we’ve had as our guest today Dr. Nathan Grawe, Professor of Economics and the Ada M. Harrison Distinguished Professor of Social Sciences at Carleton College. He’s joined us by phone from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota where he works. We’ve really enjoyed discussing his book, Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education. We’ll post a link to that on our website. We thank Nathan for joining us and we thank you, our listeners, for joining us. We’ll be back again soon, bye bye.