According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of public high school graduates in Massachusetts, after increasing nearly 12 percent from 2003-04 to 2008-09, is expected to fall off 5 percent from 2008-09 to 2021-22. Some other New England states are projected to have even steeper declines.
"The need to create secondary and tertiary markets becomes very important now," said Paul Vaccaro, vice president of enrollment and marketing at Regis College in Weston.
For Regis, that has meant going a little more abroad than usual to find students. The college has ramped up recruiting in states with expected high school graduate booms like Florida, for example, which also has a substantial population of New England transplants, as well as many cities with direct flights to Boston. Regis also looks to large overseas markets like Brazil and Thailand to attract international students, Vaccaro said.