During a recent assembly at the elementary school my two daughters attend, a visitor asked how many children planned to go to college. Nearly every hand in the room shot up.

Colleges better hope those kids were being honest because, a decade from now when they are applying to school, the outlook for enrollment in higher education is dire. The number of high school graduates nationwide is projected to remain relatively flat for the next several years before rising a bit in the middle of next decade. But between 2026 and 2031 — a period of graduating classes that includes both of my daughters — the ranks of high school graduates are expected to drop by 9 percent.

Beyond the overall numbers shifting, high school graduating classes will become more diverse. Those classes will have fewer white students and more Hispanic students, according to demographers, and a greater range of academic abilities. Family incomes remain stagnant, so student financial need will increase. In other words, the decade ahead will be tumultuous for college enrollment….

Read more in the Washington Post.