About the MAPS Project
What is the MAPS Project?
The purpose of the MAPS Project is to Model, Analyze, Prototype, and Share how the changing structure of higher education may help or hinder the creation of equitable outcomes for students. For colleges and universities to continue as viable anchor institutions within their communities, those who lead them must have the tools to gain insight and foresight into the future of the industry and they must do so in a way that supports the success of all students, regardless of age, race, gender, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics.
The landscape of higher education is shifting across the nation. Enrollment is dropping nationwide, particularly for schools that typically serve vulnerable populations (i.e. community colleges). The “demographic cliff,” a concept coined by Nathan Grawe that predicts a steep decline of the traditional college-age student population in the US around 2025, is on the minds of many college presidents and boards. The racial makeup of future students is also changing, more rapidly in some states than in others. With these changes comes the need to understand who the future students of higher education will be and what they need from their institution to be successful. The MAPS Project came about as a way for higher education leaders to get ahead of these challenges in a way that centers equitable student outcomes as a measure of success. In order to do this, leaders need new ways to look at industry data that offer greater context around the student experience and upcoming trends—the suite of MAPS data tools was born from this need.
The MAPS Project is facilitated by the Sorenson Impact Center, with generous support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Special thanks to Megan Cotten of Social Driver for providing essential communications support throughout the project.
We offer our appreciation to the many team members who have contributed to the MAPS Project during its three-year lifespan: