Date of Award

Spring 1983

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Martin, Thomas

Second Advisor

Thorn, Carl


In recent years, a topic of central importance to administrators of institutions of higher education has been the potential effects of the impending decline in the traditional college-age population. These possible effects range from job security for faculty and the search for new financial resources in a lagging economy to revisions of admission policies and special programs of student retention and new student market development. These issues are related to the predicted decline of the 18- to 24-year old population. The decline of this age group had been forecast to begin in 1982 and continue through the remainder of the decade and well into the next decade. Dearman and Plisko (1980) note that "this age group will number approximately 27.9 million by 1985 and 25.1 million by 1990, dropping by 6 and 15 percent, respectively, from the 1981 peak year" (p. 96). Shifts in social values seem to account for the changes in the median age of the American population which, in turn, influences the size of the market for post-secondary education. To be sure, the American population will continue to increase between the present and 1990, but the ages of the majority of persons in the population will be higher than in the decade of the 1970's...



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