Executive Summary
California: The Changing Context
Tidal Wave II Revisited
The Original Projections
The 1994 Projections vs.Today's Reality
Accounting for the Growth
Updated Projections
How the Cohorts Have Changed
Is This a Tidal Wave?
Improving Projections
About the National Center

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Page 12 of 15


The state's remarkable economic recovery has allowed California to fund higher education enrollment growth at a rate that has surpassed the CPEC baseline enrollment projections recommended by the panel in 1995. The Department of Finance 1997 series projects a higher growth rate than originally projected by CPEC, increasing the projected number of new students over the decade to about 538,000.

The projections of the two state agencies and the segments are more consistent than in 1994. CPEC and the Department of Finance are developing closer working relationships with each other and with the segments of higher education. CPEC will be making new efforts to update and improve their methodology in order to provide more regular projections. These changes should lead to even closer estimates in the future. Our re-examination of California's higher education enrollment projections reaffirmed and indeed strengthened our original findings that:

  1. Differences in enrollment projections are largely driven by the underlying assumptions.
  2. The degree of agreement between the different projections is converging.
  3. Segmental policies continue to have a significant influence on enrollment patterns for the other segments, and have an immense effect on student "demand."16


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