Blueprint for Growth is EAB’s signature, multi-year research initiative on the future of post-secondary enrollment, both undergraduate and graduate, domestic and international, degree and alternative. This research makes bold predictions to shape our partners’ future enrollment strategy, based on cross-cutting and holistic market analysis. It goes beyond market sizing alone to uncover hidden risks and opportunities and the changing dynamics of competition, all while helping partner institutions anticipate whether and how they should grow.
Start exploring our work on growing enrollments for adult and graduate, undergraduate, and international students.
1. Adult and Graduate Enrollments
Adult and graduate education has been a large and growing market for a long time, but growth (and revenue) is not a given for most institutions, particularly in the wake of a growing alternative credential landscape. A high tolerance for risk, along with sustained investments in marketing and recruiting, technology and student services, and specialized organizational infrastructure are all table stakes to compete for prospective students. We’re partnering with institutions to size the opportunity—and risks—present in the adult and graduate degree and alternative credential markets and identify a right-fit growth strategy.
How Big is the Adult and Grad Ed Market Overall?
Total Gross Annual U.S. Revenue Generated from Adult (25+)
Bachelor’s, Post-Bacc Certificates, and Graduate Enrollment, 18-19
Master’s Market Represents the Biggest Revenue Opportunity
Despite the projected overall slowdown, master’s enrollments are growing in the downturn.
Degree Completion a High Volume, Low Margin Market
About a quarter of adult degree completers who re-enroll eventually graduate.
Professional Doctorate Revenue Dominated by JD and MD Programs
JDs and MDs account for 68% of total revenue and nearly half of enrollments
Grad Certificates Growing Fast, but the Smallest Market
Double digit growth belies fact that there were 73K conferrals in 2019. The median number of conferrals per program is 4.
2. Undergraduate Enrollments
A global pandemic, volatile economic landscape, and looming “demographic cliff” have all created significant disruptions in the undergraduate enrollment market. The impacts of these disruptions have only been exacerbated by a decade-long rise in nonconsumption of higher education by recent high school graduates. We’re using market and competitive intelligence to identify hidden risks and opportunities to engage undergraduate learners and assist institutions in creating a sustainable enrollment strategy.
The Non-Consumer Market is Getting Bigger Every Year
Change in Ed. Attainment at 19 (2010 to 2020)
3. International Enrollments
Once considered a “blue ocean” opportunity for revenue and enrollment growth—particularly for American institutions—the international enrollment market has seen disruptive shifts in competitive positioning, sociopolitical policy, and student migration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, higher ed leaders must reexamine their previous assumptions and recalibrate their strategy to grow in an increasingly complex international landscape.
Our team is working with partner institutions to track ongoing shifts within the international student market and identify and leverage competitive advantages.
An Increasingly Competitive International Landscape
Leading Hosts of International Students, 2000-2020, IIE
Meet the team
We have a group of dedicated researchers focusing on the hidden risks, opportunities for growth, the current state of the competitive market, and diving into the true drivers of demand.
If you’d like to receive alerts about our latest market intelligence, or if you’d like to speak with a Blueprint for Growth researcher, please let us know.