My occupation is a statistician. I tell people it is like "CSI without dead bodies" because analyzing a set of data that has been collected is like doing an autopsy on a deceased person in the sense that I'm trying to learn what I can from what statistics and information are available. Except in this case the information does not involve gross things. For me the research process can be humorous, scary, but always captivating.
Last week I received the quarterly alumni magazine from the University where I received my undergraduate degree, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (our most famous alumnus would be Newt Gingrich's lesbian half sister Candice) in 1993 in Psychology. It included a chart showing how the makeup of the campus has changed in the last decade. The full chart can be seen in the link below.
These numbers jumped out at me. Total enrollment is up to 15,126, a 13% increase from 2000. It was about 12,000 when I was there. The gender makeup of the campus is the same as 2000, 57% female (I don't know what it was in 1993). The total number of graduate students increased by 37% while the number of undergrads increased by 9.3%. The number of degrees awarded for the previous academic year for graduates (masters + doctoral) increased 55% while the number of bachelors degrees awarded decreased by 4%.
In state tuition for undergraduates has increased by 64% to $7,571 over the last decade while it has increased 45% for graduate students to $8,691. There is a 33% increase in the number of degree programs for undergrads while there is a 53% increase in the number of graduate programs. In state tuition plus room and board was about $5,000 when I was there.
The number of international students has increased by 44% while the number of minority students increased by 96%. It doesn't say how many of these are graduate students.
Enrollment of graduate students increased in each college at IUP while it decreased for undergrads at the Colleges of Education, Fine Arts, and Humanities and Social Sciences.
I'm not saying that there is a conspiracy to weed out undergrads. It is easier for graduate students to get financial aid for school (increasingly in the form of student loans) than undergrads and to help bring in research dollars. As a state owned university Governor Corbett's proposed budget promises to make matters even worse for all state owned and related universities while student pursue dreams of a better life at a public option for education.